City of Utica, Oneida County will both take on eminent domain process for downtown hospital

The City of Utica and Oneida County will both take part in the eminent domain process for properties located within the new downtown hospital footprint whose owners refuse to sell.

Posted: Apr 11, 2018 5:56 PM
Updated: Apr 11, 2018 11:47 PM

UTICA – The City of Utica and Oneida County will both take part in the eminent domain process for properties located within the new downtown hospital footprint whose owners refuse to sell, according to a joint release sent by Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri and Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente on Wednesday evening.

If needed, the City of Utica will use eminent domain to acquire properties within the hospital footprint through its Urban Renewal Agency, and Oneida County will use eminent domain to acquire properties within the footprint for the hospital’s parking garage.

There are 72 properties that lie within the footprint for the new hospital and parking garage, which are represented by 35 different property owners. According to Mohawk Valley Health System officials, three property owners refuse to sell, and five property owners have received purchase offers but aren’t in active discussion with MVHS or Bond, Schoeneck & King, the law firm handling the property acquisition process.

“From the very beginning of this project, we have believed in the potential to completely reinvigorate a major portion of the City’s downtown,” Palmieri said in the news release. “After careful and deliberate discussions with the County Executive, we have come to the decision that it is in the best interest of the City, region and healthcare for future generations, to advance eminent domain jointly with the County and the Utica Urban Renewal Agency, only where necessary. A consensus was reached between County and City officials, after extensive research and deliberations. Throughout the entire planning process, I have advocated strongly for the City’s best interests and that of its taxpayers, and we will continue to assist those impacted by this project within the City’s fiscal constraints.”

Scott Perra, president and CEO of MVHS, said this decision is “significant and important,” and it will allow the hospital project to move forward.

“MVHS will continue to reach out and work with all property owners to reach an agreement," Perra said. “It is our desire to avoid the use of eminent domain if possible.”

"I'll basically put everything I have into it," Joseph Cerini, owner of Citation Services on Lafayette Street said. "What we're being offered, money-wise, you can't rebuild a business that has 18,000 square feet."

"The mayor specifically said the city of Utica will not carry out eminent domain, we will not stop it, but we will not be part of the action," Shawn Corrigan, VP of Purchasing at Wilcor International said. "So that was a blatant lie."

Both Corrigan and Cerini say they will fight the city in eminent domain. No Hospital Downtown Co-Founder Brett Truett released a statement, saying he would be willing to help fund these legal battles.

"Anybody seeking to fight eminent domain will find a true friend and funding from me to fight the politicians on this disastrous hospital concept until the bitter end," Truett said. "Actually this official threat of eminent domain is very good news, as finally this 3-year old debacle as to who will bring eminent domain has been announced. This now becomes a national question regarding the right of government to take private property for private use."

"We shouldn't have to be taking the time out of our business to do this," Corrigan said. "We're bringing money into the area every day."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2147318

Reported Deaths: 53632
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings28739010516
Queens28217910018
Suffolk2040833412
Nassau1870513184
Bronx1865306597
New York1427444530
Westchester1313192296
Erie905981814
Richmond770911855
Monroe698961117
Orange48988847
Rockland47345758
Onondaga39473680
Dutchess29847447
Albany25027358
Oneida22813518
Niagara20243375
Broome18789367
Saratoga15729168
Ulster14111258
Schenectady13361206
Rensselaer11422145
Putnam1073793
Chautauqua9008146
Chemung7840137
Oswego770493
Ontario750893
Steuben7013147
Sullivan676976
St. Lawrence675097
Cayuga642092
Jefferson625568
Wayne584873
Cattaraugus578193
Genesee5456124
Herkimer5255110
Clinton487833
Madison460689
Livingston455760
Fulton446193
Tompkins444152
Montgomery4291128
Columbia4130104
Cortland396864
Tioga387163
Warren376162
Wyoming362253
Allegany357987
Chenango355377
Otsego349747
Greene346879
Washington320355
Orleans314383
Lewis283736
Franklin257512
Delaware243139
Seneca203357
Schoharie173319
Essex162926
Yates118226
Schuyler109014
Hamilton3182
Unassigned8811
Out of NY0253
Utica
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 64°
Oneonta
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 60°
Herkimer
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 64°
Old Forge
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 64°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather

Alivana Wellness Infusion Giveaway
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
18 Facets of Summer Photo Contest brought to you by Herkimer Diamond Mines
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve