VERONA — In a broad and sweeping speech, Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. delivered the county’s first in-person state address in two years Wednesday at the Shenendoah Club House at the Turning Stone. Resort Casino.
From there, the county executive outlined their thoughts on economic development accomplishments during the coronavirus pandemic (the reason for the in-person address hiatus) and their vision for the next few years with plans for several million dollars in progress and to come in Utica and Rome.
Discussing economic development work over the past two years, Picente said:
• “Not only have we remained open, but we have advanced our generational projects. With the Nexus Center (currently under construction in Utica), we have overcome obstacles to stay on track and look forward to its completion this year. (In Rome), the Innovare Advancement Center has been completed and is now in full swing, and soon Skydome will be too, consolidating our place as a leader in research into unmanned aerial vehicles, artificial intelligence and quantum computing across the country,” Picente said, “and finally, what was once the dream of nanotechnology here in Oneida County is now a reality with the official opening of Wolfspeed (in Marcy) within weeks. only.
• Mohawk Valley Health System’s Wynn Hospital in Utica will be completed next year, and with it, a new parking lot, the county executive said, adding, “These projects are transforming Oneida County – our economy, our health system and our future. It is imperative that our work, in collaboration with our partners, continues on these projects.
• Picente further highlighted the county’s commitment to provide $3 million for a new women’s maternity surgical center at Rome Health.
“This center will improve the hospital’s ability to manage complex and high-risk pregnancies. This investment of federal stimulus funds will help this project reach new heights,” he said.
“We are proud to be one of only two ‘Best Maternity Hospitals’ in the state. Funding a dedicated cesarean section suite will allow Rome Health to take another step forward in advancing our plan. bold for the future,” said Rome Health President and CEO AnneMarie Czyz, EdD., RN, NEA-BC, in a separate statement, “While navigating the pandemic, we opened our new medical center , became a nationally accredited bariatric center and invested in revolutionary 7D technology for spinal surgery.”
The hospital plans to renovate 2,000 square feet of existing space and convert it into a modern operating theater adjacent to the maternity ward to improve patient safety and optimize the hospital’s existing operating theaters on the first floor.
“Although the hospital’s C-section rate is better than the state average, the hospital’s overall obstetrics volume increased 28.5% between 2020 and 2021 with reduced access to care in the neighboring communities and designation of the hospital as one of only two ‘Best Maternity Hospitals’ in the state,” a hospital statement noted.
In reaction to the news, Rome Mayor Jacqueline Izzo said she’s delighted the county is supporting Rome Health – and the Rome community – in this way.
She also pointed to Picente’s remarks about the construction of a new YMCA site at the Woodhaven site in Rome saying, “It’s more of a testament that the community is solidly behind this. … This will allow the Y to modernize and grow,” among other developments from Rome.
“Over the past few years in Rome, we have seen significant investment in new accommodation at Woodhaven and Air City Lofts to meet the demands for increasing opportunities at Griffiss Business & Technology Park. To serve this growing community, we have made a financial commitment to the creation of a new YMCA in Woodhaven near Griffiss. Oneida County is proud to be a partner and today I am announcing a $2 million commitment to the project,” Picente had said, “To see progress in Rome with Air City Lofts, the Innovare Advancement Center, Skydome, the new MVCC Campus and other new housing developments have been exciting and the County is proud to spearhead these significant investments while working side-by-side with Mayor (Jacqueline) Izzo.
Regional tourist attraction
Looking forward, Picente said tourism will be key to Utica’s revitalization, primarily with the ongoing development of an area dubbed the “U-District” surrounding the Adirondack Bank Center (The AUD).
The “U-District” concept focused on sports and entertainment was launched about five years ago.
“The movement on the… Nexus (Center) inspired me to look at the U-District differently. Clearly we have had great success with the Adirondack Bank Center and we know it will only get better. But really, it encompasses all of Bagg’s Square and we have to think of it in those terms. Today, I propose a U-District Redevelopment Corporation to streamline, direct, and facilitate public and private investment in this area. This district, focused on sports, arts, entertainment and technology, will be completed by two flagship investments. The redevelopment of the county-owned Insight House on one side and the creation of the REA Wing Food Emporium on the other,” Picente added.
However, “…to truly realize the potential of the U-District, we need to move the rest of the area forward. The county will, through this district, stimulate public and private investment. I see the potential in this area of ‘Utica. We need to make the vital connections between these iconic county-owned assets and the rest of the neighborhood,” Picente said.
He continued, “One of the first projects we’ll be discussing is security, lighting, parking, and landscaping issues around the Nexus Center. This one-of-a-kind new facility, which is already booked through March 2023, is currently facing an urban hell. Partly the result of neglect, the area as it currently stands would spell disaster for visitors. This is unacceptable. We will continue the County’s investment and commitment to Nexus and the District in providing these vital amenities and safety measures. »
In a reaction to the speech, Mohawk Valley Garden President Robert Esche said he was pleased to hear Picente’s commitment to further developing the U-District. “It shows the enthusiasm for the region. … It’s amazing for him to double like that.
Utica City Mayor Robert Palmieri was unable to attend the address but will review the county address, according to a city spokesperson. The mayor’s comment was not available at the time of writing this report.
Meaning of address
It was the first time the county’s address was spoken on the homeland of the Oneida Nation, according to Oneida Indian Nation representative Ray Halbritter, who added that it was a testament to partnership and recognition of efforts. county’s ongoing revitalization, which is a team effort.
Referencing a Native American saying, Halbritter said, “One finger cannot lift multiple petals, a whole hand is required to do so.
In Picente’s remarks, he apparently responded with sacred sentiment to the Oneida people, “this partnership not only strengthens this region through the seventh generation, it will last seven generations and beyond because we know we are stronger. together”.
See the full text of the address here: https://romesentinel.com/stories/state-of-oneida-county-address-april-6-2022,132341?