It looks like this is going to be shoved down our throats right now. How can our local leaders turn such a deaf ear to the pulse of the community?
I'm not sure what Utica residents want, but it's pretty clear the suburban areas outside the city do not want to go downtown for medical services. But the city gulped and is willing to eat $680,000 each and every year for 30 years just to pay for the parking garage there. And this is in addition to the $26 million share picked up by the county. Lucky Uticans will get to pay for this twice: Once in their county tax bill and again in their city tax bill!
Parking garages have a notoriously short life, usually less than 40 years. Don't believe me? Take a look at the State Office building at 207 Genesee St. When it was built in the late 1960s, it had a multi-tiered parking garage attached to it. It came down less than 40 years later.... rather, it was taken down after it started falling down all by itself.
So if this is to be looked at as having to be there, it looks like when the bond is paid off, the garage will be due for replacement and you can bet the price will at least double by then.
The answer? Put the proposed downtown hospital and parking garage to a public referendum in the entire county ... since the entire county is going to have the good luck of paying it off, let's ask everybody first.
I'd put 10 to 1 it would not pass a public referendum.
Please take a close look at county government and how things are done there. My opponent has cast her ballot on the side of paying for the parking garage. $26 million dollars is your share.
And please remember this as you cast your ballot on primary day. It's September 12 and again, I am asking for your vote.
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