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Unclear who will undertake eminent domain to clear way for downtown hospital

It's unclear, even to those involved at the highest levels, who will be responsible for initiating and pursuing eminent domain proceedings in order to compel the sale of property from unwilling owners to make way for MVHS' new downtown Utica hospital.

Posted: Jan 23, 2018 5:48 PM
Updated: Jan 23, 2018 5:57 PM

It's unclear, even to those involved at the highest levels, who will be responsible for initiating and pursuing eminent domain proceedings in order to compel the sale of property from unwilling owners to make way for MVHS' new downtown Utica hospital.

"Normally, the local IDAs would do that. In this particular instance, it would be the Oneida County IDA," said MVHS Chief Operating Officer, Bob Scholefield last week.

But today, the head of the Oneida County Industrial Development Agency said they will not do it.

"IDA won't be doing eminent domain for the hospital. By statute, we cannot do it for medical facilities," says Executive Director, Shawna Papale.

Downtown business owner Joe Cerini, of Citation Services, doesn't care who's asking; the answer, is, "no".

"I'm not planning on even accepting it. I'm willing to go the whole route to eminent domain and be the last one standing," says Cerini.

MVHS officials late Tuesday said they're working with the appropriate parties to determine who will undertake eminent domain proceedings.

Cerini, meanwhile, says he has not yet received an offer from MVHS.

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