Some people in East Utica are still upset Wednesday over the decision to allow Stewart’s Shops to come to their neighborhood on Culver Avenue, all while people in West Utica, and the Mayor, look on the bright side of what Stewart’s coming to Utica will mean for the city.
Last night police had to remove people from the Utica zoning board meeting, that’s how heated this controversy is.
The decision last night to grant Stewart’s Shops a variance for their East Utica location is not going over well with some people.
“The whole aspect comes down to just ruining the other local businesses around here,” said Robert Butler of Parkway Pizza,” with their store, their ice cream, I mean, you got one gas station down the street now you have another gas station right around the corner."
Some in East Utica are more accepting.
"I sort of knew they were gonna vote for it anyway when we went down there we just sort of knew they would, so, you know, I don’t feel bad about nothin,” said Nancy Monopoli,” if they want to go down there, they go down there as long as they don’t take residential property we don’t care."
Mayor Palmieri said Stewart’s coming to Utica is change the city needs.
“These are some of the changes that sometimes not everyone likes, but I think we're moving forward in the right direction, as I said, its sales tax revenue,” said Mayor Palmieri,” we can’t keep on cutting. In order to sustain ourselves we have to have sales tax revenue."
The mayor said Stewart’s will bring nearly four million dollars in revenue.
All of this controversy over East Utica is happening while people in West Utica are ecstatic.
“Now you have something that’s basically centrally located. People at the Kennedy plaza apartments can walk just across the street and get everything they need. People in the general area can walk a couple blocks and get great food and ice cream," said Dr. Paul Mickler of West Utica.
With both Utica locations being approved by the zoning board they now go to the planning board for final approval next Wednesday if approved Stewart’s can start construction on both locations.