Utica Comets and Mohawk Valley Garden President Rob Esche was on Keeler this past week discussing the importance of the NEXUS Center being built in downtown Utica, and why the project is deemed essential.

"This should be the most important project going now, more so than anything but the hospital," said Esche. "This will have an instantaneously impact for the area. Two ways of capturing more revenue for small businesses: one, it will Increase population, which takes years to achieve and two, it will bring in foot traffic with discretionary income."

COVID-19 Crisis

The Nexus Center is relying on Oneida County to bond for half of the project, and New York State funding for the other half. Now, in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, how to make those bond payments is a topic County Executive Anthony Picente is currently grappling with. The Oneida County bed tax was expected to cover the bill, but now with vacant hotels in the area due to COVID-19, those funds are falling short. Picente says he's monitoring the situation closely as the project moves forward.

Listen to the complete interview with Esche here:

Submitted by Ron Esche.