The Utica Planning board late Thursday afternoon passed a major milestone toward building of the downtown Utica hospital. They accepted, as final, the environmental impact statement, generated by O'Brien & Gere, in Syracuse. It was a unanimous vote by the five-person board, and the next-to-last step in the SEQR, or, State Environmental Quality Review, process.
Next, after a minimum of ten days, the last step in the SEQR process, known as findings. The board will reconvene, and if they find all regulations were followed and potential environmental impacts of the hospital project identified, evaluated and adequately mitigated, the SEQR process, from their vantage point, will be complete. Various other applicable agencies, however, have to go through their own SEQR finalization process.
Once the process is complete, MVHS can finalize acquisition of properties in the downtown hospital footprint and begin demolition, and, if necessary, the eminent domain process.
MVHS issued a statement, thanking the city planning board for accepting, as final, the environmental impact statement, saying they're excited about the progress being made.