Utica, Oneida County And Hospital Get Memorandum of Agreement

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The City of Utica, County of Oneida and the Mohawk Valley Hospital System have entered into a Memorandum of Agreement that seems designed to allow the hospital group to move forward with the accreditation process with the state. The MOA says that the three sides agree to work cooperatively on a plan to be brought forward by MVHS to build a new hospital in downtown Utica. Key component to the development of the process of accreditation is parking requirements for the facility. The MOA outlines funding plans for parking.

The overall price tag for the hospital is estimated at $523,517,875. Of that, $300,000,000 would come from the state. The proposed downtown campus is designated as the area between Oriskany St. on the north, Columbia St on the south, Broadway on the east and State St on the west. Portions of Lafayette, Lee and Cornelia Streets would be closed.

The main focus on the cooperative parking element talks about a new parking facility that would include space for 1,550 cars. 400 of those spaces would be set aside for use by the general public. The location of the facility is not spelled out in the MOA. The plan is also to add 2,000 surface parking spaces. In addition, there is a plan to repair and refurbish the existing Kennedy Parking Garage on Columbia St.

The cost for the parking portion of the plan is estimated to be $40,517,875. The restoration work on the Kennedy Garage is estimated to be $3,000,000. The financing breakdown is proposed in the MOA like this; the county would issue general obligation bonds in the amount of $27,405,853. There would be an allocation of $10,112,022 from the New Market Tax Credit program. NMTC is a program, administered by the US Treasury, which provides funds for business and real estate investments in low income communities.

The City of Utica would redirect $1,500,000 in grant money from the Empire State Development Program. The city will put forward a state assembly designated $1,000,000 from the State Assistance Municipal Program and another $500,000 from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative Grant.

Once MVHS secures its accreditation for the project, the parking facility funding will be split between the county and city at a 60/40 split. The county will act as the primary developer of the financing and oversee the construction of the parking facility.

The three parties to the MOA will establish a parking agreement that will set the parking fees. MVHS will receive the revenue generated by the garage and be responsible for its operation and upkeep. MVHS will also set up a capital reserve fund for the parking operation. The city will remain the owner of the Kennedy Garage. If there are any revenue exceeding the operating costs will be shared by the county and city in the same 60/40 proportion.

The county will provide a planner, coordinate with the state DOT and waive all county fees associated with construction. The city will contribute all city owned property within the campus footprint. The city would also relocate the city owned parking lot on Pine St, currently used by Utica Police. The lot would be moved to the area near Lafayette and Broadway. Extra spaces would be made available in the new parking facility.

The city would also assist displaced and affected businesses to relocate to other suitable locations in the City of Utica. The city would also waive and fees related to construction.

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