Everything from tax credits to incentives for green jobs, from alternative energy projects to direct assistance for local governments, is being considered, elected officials said.Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, and Wrong on all of these. . . These just give money away. We need infrastructure, baby, infrastructure!
State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-Rome, suggested New York state and its counties could benefit from federal assistance with the Medicaid insurance program for the poor, which would “allow us to spend less and hopefully reduce taxes as a result.”Wrong! First, no problem is solved. New York State's Medicaid problem is self-created with the state determining benefits and passing half its share of the costs to the counties. The state either needs to pick up the entire state share or let the counties have control over benefits. Second, its not infrastructure!
One of the first projects officials at every level point to is Oneida County’s $66 million sewer problem.Wrong . . . Because it rewards bad behavior. The County violated the law and the Town of New Hartford was its biggest accomplice and beneficiary of the illegality. Both should pay.
“It’s without a doubt the biggest infrastructure project we’ve had probably in the past 50 years,” Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said.
I propose an alternative project: Utica will be under orders to do something about its combined sewer overflows, the remediation of which could bankrupt the city -- or its citizens when the cost shows up in the city sewer fees. I presume other munis in the region are in the same boat. There was no wrong doing here. Let the Federal Government pick up the tab for separating the old combined storm and sanitary sewers that we find in the older sections of Utica and our villages and/or otherwise bring them into compliance with new standards.
Picente said he’d like to see state Route 840 extend all the way to Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome.
Excellent Idea . . . But I would go farther . . . We need what was dreamed of 40 years ago as the "NuWay" - - - an Interestate highway going south to the southern tier and north to the border. If it were to pass by Griffiss, Griffiss would be that much better positioned to be an inland port.
Excellent Idea . . . as long as they are nicely landscaped, create no visual barriers, and they reestablish the street grid in West Utica.
Improvements to the North/South Arterial in Utica.
Improvements to the state’s rail system are also important, Arcuri said.Excellent Idea . . . But let's be sure that when the rail improvements go through Utica, there is still a STOP in Utica!
“We should be looking statewide to improve rail from Buffalo to New York City through Utica,” he said.
As far as extending Broadband internet goes, there is clearly some wrongheaded thinking on this:
Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce President Frank Elias said he agreed. More individuals or businesses that want fast Internet service could move to outlying areas, he said.Just what we do NOT need to do: encourage more people to leave the cities and plop themselves in the stix where they will demand costly services and expect everyone else to pay for them. We need to encourage people to locate themselves in compact communities where services can be provided at a reasonable cost.
“There could be a migration of tech workers into rural regions and that could spur economic activity,” he said.
Missing from the list: Cleanup of contaminated sites. This needs to be a #1 priority.