City of Utica says it's in the process of creating "a master plan"


UTICA - The City of Utica says it is in the process of creating a "master plan" - a vision for what the city wants to look like in the next 10 to 15 years.

"There's not a lot of activity for kids and teenagers, and since they're going to be the ones who come in and run this city, eventually we need programs to put them in a leadership position," said Lou Fresh, a Utica resident.

"I would like to see stores go up like more convenient stores more drug stores downtown," said Rich Bronga, another Utica resident.

It seems everyone has a different opinion about the direction the city should take toward the future, which is why officials are bringing in a consulting firm to develop a master plan.

"The master plan itself is helpful in identifying projects that the city can undertake," said Brian Thomas of the City of Utica's Urban and Economic Development. "It prioritizes the projects and the legislators at the state and federal know what projects the city is interested in."

It's been more than 50 years since the city put together a comprehensive master plan, making it difficult for the city to make decisions on public funding.

"We need to pinpoint every aspect of our city whether it be education infrastructure our roads every facet public safety we need to know where we're going," said Utica Mayor David Roefaro.

City officials want to piggy-back on plans already in development by neighborhoods such as the Brewery District and Cornhill.

"The master plan is the community's plan," Roefaro said. "It's not one person's plan or the consultant's plan."

The city has six proposals from various consulting firms around the northeast to review. Once a proposal is chosen...they say it could take a year or longer for the plan to come to fruition.

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