The coronavirus has killed more than 500 people in New York State, sickened more than 44,000, and is still on an upward trajectory. The virus also targets the economy, progress and development. Added to the growing list of banned activities: non-essential construction projects. This directive, from Governor Andrew Cuomo, will not affect construction of the downtown Utica hospital. Perhaps a bigger issue: the $300 million the state previously pledged to the project, as a bare bones budget now looms. MVHS officials say they're confident the money will still be there.
"We have been told by DOH(NYS Department of Health) to continue working on our project, so, there are certain people who can do things. There's a lot of work that's being done on that site by people who are outside and away from each other," said MVHS President and CEO, Darlene Stromstad.
When asked if that mean the money would be there, Stromstad replied, "And that the money will be there."
Oneida County Executive, Anthony Picenter, Jr., said that downtown Utica's Nexus Center would likely fall victim to the governor's temporary ban on non-essential construction projects.
"Well, Nexus clearly doesn't fall into that criteria of what the governor established in terms of essential," said Picente.
In Marcy, it does not appear the coronavirus and subseqent government-imposed restrictions will affect the Cree project. The Vice President for Operations for Cree said the semiconductor industry has been granted essential status.
"At this point, we're not planning on any impact to our schedule in Marcy," said Rex Felton, adding that he plans to be in Oneida County in about two weeks.