Hotel Utica promises to make all future payments to city on timely basis

UTICA - Mayor David Roefaro and Robert Sullivan met with Hotel Utica owners Joseph Carucci and Chuck Gaetano Thursday to discuss the ongoing HUD loan repayment schedule, and the hotel's ability to stay current on its financial obligations to the city. At the meeting, the city was presented a check for $12,500 to cover an interest payment for the month of April.

The soft winter business has contributed to the hotel's late April payment. The owners are confident that their future payments will be made on a timely basis.

The meeting allowed Roefaro and Sullivan to examine all aspects of hotel operations. The two also took a tour of the hotel and engaged in conversation with employees and guests.

"Joe and Huck are giving 100% to the day to day operation of this facility," Roefaro said. "The downturn in the national economy, as well as the cost of daily operations has trickled down to this hotel and of many other local businesses, which is why we must remain flexible when dealing with this financial circumstance."

He added "The opening of new hotels in the area has also had an impact on their business. Hotel Utica is doing what i can and we need to stand behind them while we are finding solutions. We are doing no more for Hotel Utica than we would do for any other business that might need our assistance."

"The public must remember that it would have cost the taxpayers $3 million to tear down this beautiful and historic structure that has been a mainstay of our downtown for years. Although I believe that from the beginning, this loan was structured in the wrong manner, we are here today and must deal with the reality of the problem. Remember, 'empty lots' do not produce employment, property tax, or sales tax revenues."

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