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Dredging of Utica Harbor begins

By GARY LIBERATORE

UTICA, NY (WKTV) - Utica Mayor David Roefaro has a vision of what he hopes a new development in North Utica called Harbor Point will look like. It will include condos, hotels and retails shops along the harbor in North Utica just of N. Genesee Street. Monday afternoon, the dredging of the harbor that is connected to the Mohawk River and the canal system began, paving the way for future development.

An energy producing plant once stood in this area, and contaminated the harbor. That is the reason why National Grid is involved in this cleanup process. They are putting up 100 million dollars to cleanup the site, once contaminated by energy companies that eventually became National Grid.

The sludge and contamination from the bottom of the harbor is being taken out and pumped through a series of pipes into a vast area of land to the south of the harbor that has been cleared out over the past two months. The contaminated product will be filtered through large filtration devices. The clean water that comes out will be pumped back into the harbor.

Eventually the plan is to have all sorts of retail shops, hotels and condos along this waterway. Mayor Roefaro smiled in his office Monday morning, thinking of the possibilities for Utica. He believes where there is a waterway, business will come. Roefaro says once the site is cleaned up, demolition of the old buildings that still stand in the area will begin, possibly as early as next spring. Once those old buildings are are demolished, developers who have purchased those buildings will begin building new ones. Roefaro says the cleanup process is ahead of schedule and believes Harbor Point will be a reality within about four years.

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