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$5 Million Needed to Ease Utica’s Infrastructure Woes

Utica, NY (WIBX) – Utica’s Deputy City Engineer continues to brief the Finance Committee about the city’s looming infrastructure and repair woes.

Armed with a list of 10 properties that the Urban Renewal Agency says need to be demolished, City Engineer Goren Smiljic is asking for $5 million to help rebuild, remediate and demolish some of Utica’s top eyesores and trouble spots.

Citing a summer season of rain, flooding and destructive winds, Smiljic says much of this year’s budget has been spent; he fears the city will not be able to afford to fix the damage another storm may cause without additional money. “We owe it to the public to maintain the system we have”, Smiljic said.

Utica Resident Sandra Lapoint owns property near 1106 Seymour Ave, one of the properties in need of demolition. She told the councilors that bricks and debris continue to fall onto her property, “huge pieces of the building have fallen down, they fell down 10 minutes after we had walked through there”, adding that she is worried that she and her grandchildren will be killed by the failing structure.

In addition to the 10 properties that need to be torn down, the City Engineer says upgrades to the sewer system, as well as creek and ravine repairs need to be addressed before sewage begins backing up into residential homes. The $5 Million Smiljick is asking for includes money that will qualify the City of Utica for additional aid for flood repair and abatement. 

The 10 properties listed by the Urban Renewal Agency for demolition:

  1. 713 Catherine Street (roof, 2nd floor collapse)
  2. 1010 Hess Lane (partial collapse)
  3. 513 Mohawk Street (black mold, fire damage)
  4. 1526 High Street (lead problem)
  5. 1106 Seymour Avenue (partial collapse)
  6. 1005 Park Avenue (partial collapse)
  7. 1535 Sunset Avenue (top portion is falling off)
  8. 1405-1407 Francis Street (general disrepair)
  9. 208-214 Bleecker Street (roof collapse)
  10. 813 Bleecker Street (partial collapse)

The next Utica Common Council meeting is scheduled for October 26th.

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