No Hospital Downtown Suit Against MVHS SEQR Can Advance
The group #NoHospital Downtown says an Albany Supreme Court judge has ruled that a lawsuit against Mohawk Valley Health System's SEQR process for the downtown hospital project has merit.
#NoHospital Downtown co-founder Brett Truett says the City of Utica Planning Board and MVHS must now address the merits of the lawsuit's claims regarding the state environmental quality review of the property.
The City and MVHS had requested that the legal challenge to their SEQR process be thrown out.
Co-founder Jim Brock, added "This is a major setback to the Planning Board and MVHS. The Albany Court's decision means anything MVHS is doing is totally at risk. While it appears NYSDOH has advanced a small portion of funds "promised" by the planned $300M grant, we believe MVHS will not get full State funding until the SEQRA issues are resolved in their favor. We contend, and today we see the court agrees, the SEQR documents and process were flawed."
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new downtown hospital took place on December 12th.
Robert Scholefield, MS, RN, Executive Vice President of Facilities and Real Estate for the Mohawk Valley Health System, issued the following statement:
“Supreme Court Justice L. Michael Mackey released his findings on our challenges to the Article 78/Declaratory Judgment proceeding. Judge Mackey dismissed all portions of the Article 78/Declaratory Judgment proceeding due to procedural inaccuracies with the exception of the challenge to the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process. Overall, this is a very positive ruling as the majority of the proceedings were dismissed, including the challenge that the Site Plan review was not timely. The judge has determined that the Site Plan is valid and we will continue work on the project.
The judge’s determination that the procedure to challenge SEQR was properly followed means the next step would be for the court to hear the SEQR challenge based on the merits of the case.”