Mohawk Valley Health System has reached another milestone in the development of a new downtown Utica hospital.

MVHS has begun the New York State Environmental Quality Review process.

The start of the process began with MVHS's formal application for financial assistance from the Oneida County Local Development Corporation.

The application requests an exemption from mortgage tax and tax exempt bonding.

The OCLDC accepted the application at its meeting on Friday.

MVHS President and CEO Scott Perra, said that the SEQR process benefits MVHS, its project partners and the public.

"SEQR enables us to embark on an organized approach to identify and assess a number of detailed project components in order to make informed decisions as we continue to move forward," said Perra.

SEQR requires each New York State agency preparing to spend state dollars on a project to consider environmental impacts equally with social and economic factors.