UTICA, N.Y. – Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente gave the 2021 State of the County address Tuesday, detailing plans for the county’s future following a trying year for everyone during the coronavirus pandemic.
“These last 12 months have been challenging for everyone to say the least, but through it all, we channeled our history as a people, determined not to let this or any crisis define us,” Picente said. “Our goals and vision should not be based on how this pandemic will impact us, but rather how we will continue to invest, build and grow a better Oneida County for generations to come.”
Picente talked about how the county worked to combat the pandemic throughout 2020, and announced new programs and initiatives to help recover and revitalize the area, including:
- The first-in-the-nation Boost Oneida County program, which will provide incentive for vaccination and support local small businesses by using app-based technology to distribute federal recovery money directly into the hands of residents.
- Forming a committee of the county’s religious leaders to plan a COVID-19 memorial.
- Developing a food emporium in the county’s refurbished REA Wing at Union Station in Utica that will feature high-quality selections of artisan and ethnic products, freshly made prepared foods and local products.
- A long-term Main Street revitalization plan that will work as a 50-50 match with the county and local municipalities and include complete street designs, parking, streetscapes, façade programs, public space design and entrance way development.
- Assessing the availability and reliability of the broadband services to bring the internet to every corner of the county.
- Leveraging the partnership between the county, the City of Rome and Mohawk Valley EDGE to install the high-tech infrastructure necessary to form a “smart city” in the Woodhaven corridor.
- Capitalizing on the county’s partnership with Cree-Wolfspeed to convert 50% of the county government fleet to electric vehicles by 2031 and update the county’s electric vehicle charging station plan.