Utica, NY, December 4, 2017 – In the Sunday, December 3, 2017 edition of the Utica Observer-Dispatch, MVHS advertised that questions should be submitted to them on Twitter tagged with #askmvhs. Great, #NoHospitalDowntown who numbers over 2,500 members on Facebook, has the following questions:
1. The property assessment process started in May of 2016 and has been completed; however today the property owners, business owners, their employees, and some residents are still in the dark. Why have assessments not been shared?
2. Regarding MVHS’s November 16th “site plan unveiling” event at Hotel Utica: A) Why wasn’t the event opened to the public? B) Why were property and business owners of the Columbia Lafayette neighborhood not invited when other downtown businesses were invited? C) Why were armed police stationed at hotel entrances?
3. The MVHS downtown concept would take the new Utica Police Maintenance Campus, A) Who would pay-off the still current debts used to build it? B) Who will pay for demolition and remediation costs? C) Where would the new facility be relocated to and, D) What are both the costs and who owns the property where it would be placed?
4. MVHS cannot receive the proposed $300 million in state funding until an environmental study is started and completed. Who will lead and managed this study and when will it start?
5. Trains traverse the CSX tracks everyday within 2,000 feet of the proposed MVSH location. Hazard chemicals, fuels and toxic wastes are contained in the rail cars, some over 100 train cars long (1 mile in length). What state and federal departments signed-off on the decisions to place Oneida County’s new hospital into this higher risk location?
6. Helipad: A) Has a federal (FAA) approval been granted to place a new “helipad” at the proposed hospital location? If not, B) What are the costs, process and timeline to achieve such approval?
7. We have asked MVHS multiple times, without an answer, so we'll ask again: When will you supply us with a list of urban hospitals that successfully revitalized downtown neighborhoods?
A dedicated website www.NoHospitalDowntown.com offers many more questions and issues. Our group believes historic preservation - and more of what is happening in Downtown Utica, TODAY! - not a single, out-of-scale, nonprofit concept, is the solution that Downtown Utica requires. Advocacy for locating any new hospital “outside downtown” will not cease as we believe rationale thinking and the “public will” is being ignored by MVHS and downtown hospital concept supporters.
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#NoHospitalDowntown was co-founded by two business owners and former board members of Utica’s chamber of commerce following disturbing calls from hospital board members. The hospital would abandon a 64-acre hospital campus to go downtown. The downtown concept would require demolition of historical buildings and streets and threatens over 40 businesses. Both the Utica Chamber and the Genesis Group have never allowed them to share their concerns with their boards or membership.