Submits letter to politicians on the Downtown Utica / Oneida County Hospital Concept...
From: Linda K. Paciello, Ph.D.
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2016 8:27 AM
To: Brian Miller, Oneida County, James M. D'Onofrio, R-15, Oneida County, County Executive Anthony Picente, Assemblyman Brindisi, Senator Kemp Hannon, Utica Mayor Palmieri, Assemblyman Schimminger, and RoAnn Destito, NYS OGS
Subject: Downtown Utica Hospital
To Whom It May Concern: The Mohawk Valley Health System has decided to build a new hospital in downtown Utica. I am asking that you do not support this facility for the following reasons.
1. Promoting the building of a new hospital in downtown Utica is nothing more than a disguised urban renewal project. Information was released on 6/4/16, stating that the city of Utica has applied for a 10 million dollar grant. This is to “advance the Mohawk Valley Health Systems Downtown medical campus project as the anchor to an incipient innovation district while addressing concentrated poverty and crushing blight.” And, to “modernize infrastructure to maximize the growth and impact of private sector investment in the urban core.” Building in downtown will mean disrupting at least 39 property owners that make up 77 properties. There has been no estimate given publically of how much money this will remove from the tax rolls. There has also been discussion that they might have to take the existing police station and re-build elsewhere. Again, no public estimate of the cost for a new building.
2. Sometime in the spring of 2016, there was a major sink hole located approximately where the entrance to this new facility would be located. This brings into question whether the existing infrastructure (water pipes, sewer) could handle the amount that a new hospital would need. On August 8/30 a water pipe broke that serviced Hotel Utica and the water had to be shut off. This is the same area that they want to build the new hospital.
3. There is much thought expressed that putting a new hospital in downtown Utica will bring in new businesses. If this were true, then there should have been businesses surrounding the three existing hospitals. While there are some, many come and go on a regular basis because this is a small community.
4. Several officials have stated that the new hospital will be “more centrally located”. If you calculate the distance from all the surrounding villages and towns around Utica it is between 5 and 7 miles to the existing hospitals. To place this facility in downtown Utica will mean that some of the outlying villages will be between 10 and 12 miles from the facility.
5. Although there is a four lane road that will be at the entrance to this new facility, it was announced that they would have to make improvements to this road as well. In order to reach the proposed hospital, emergency vehicles will have to navigate narrow existing city streets. Currently, the roads to the three hospitals have four lane access.
6. The proposal for this new facility has not included any new use for existing buildings.
7. The St. Luke’s campus has a power plant that not only supplies electricity to the hospital but to a nearby college. There has been no information given about this facility.
8. Public information has been sketchy. Information was given was that they needed 34 acres, now it is 25. The number of businesses or properties that would be taken has changed. There was supposed to be question and answer forums and these have not been forthcoming.
9. Another lame excuse for a new hospital is “every patient would have an individual room.” This could be accomplished just by simply only using each room as a single room.
10. The existing hospitals have had millions of dollars of renovation over the years. The St. Luke’s campus is a beautiful well kept building. Perhaps the approval committee should do a physical inspection for themselves. The infrastructures of the buildings (wiring, plumbing) probably need some work/upgrading, but that exists for every building.
11. Recently, there was a question raised about lead contamination about property adjacent to where they want to build the new hospital. According to records there was a lead smelting plant in this area many years ago.
12. This new facility will be located across from the Utica Memorial Auditorium When there are events at the “Aud” it will create great traffic congestion.
13. There are local doctors who do not agree with the decision for the location of the new hospital and have tried to have their opinions published in the local paper. The paper has refused to publish their opinions. Currently, we have had 17 pediatricians pull out of their association with St. Luke’s. Their reasons convey a covert message that they do not agree with administrative actions.
Thank you for taking the time to read my lengthy letter.
Linda K. Paciello, Ph.D.
New Hartford, NY 13413