Thursday, April 15, 2010


Utica not paid for St. Luke's fire calls reads the headline.

New Hartford police patrol the St. Luke's campus of Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare. The hospital is projected to pay the town $23,000 this year for the service.

The Utica Fire Department responds to alarms, fires and hazmat calls at the St. Luke's campus -- 37 times in 2009, according to city records. The city was paid nothing. . . .

A “gentleman's agreement” between the city and Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare calls for first-responder fire service to be provided free to the hospital's New Hartford campus. Now, it's coming under scrutiny recently as the city seeks additional sources of revenue.

If St. Lukes needs Utica Fire protection, why did it remain in New Hartford?

The Faxton-St Lukes complex contains one of the biggest buildings in the area. It makes sense for Utica to continue handling fire protection since Utica already has the equipment to serve several other comparable complexes. Why should New York Mills residents, or the residents of one of our other nearby villages, have to pay to maintain the hook and ladder and other equipment necessary to service such a large facility? And why should Town of New Hartford taxpayers have to pay one of the nearby villages when service is needed?

And Why would New Hartford want to have this facility within its borders?

It brings in no tax revenue.  The money paid to the Town Police is buying a private security service that Town taxpayers actually subsidize. That practice needs to end.

If anyone gives birth there, or dies there, people have to trek to Butler Hall for the birth and death certificates. The revenues for the certificates go to the Town of New Hartford, but the volume is likely much larger that what Town residents would generate and probably requires Town taxpayers to maintain an additional deputy clerk to issue paperwork for non residents. Why should Town taxpayers pay for an additional position to issue the paperwork for the non-residents?

There are probably more Uticans in that hospital and the St. Luke's home than people from any other local municipality. Many own property in Utica. They should be counted as Uticans in the census, so that proper state and federal funding gets routed to Utica take care of their costs to the City.  They impose no costs on New Hartford.

The Masonic Home saw the value of annexing itself to Utica. Faxton-St. Lukes Healthcare should consider doing likewise.  

The Town could then eliminate a deputy clerk and the cost of sending police patrols into the area. The Hospital could avoid having to pay a separate charge for fire protection.  Utica would  receive increased revenue from the birth and death certificates, and increased state and federal revenue  related to an increased population count -- which could be used to offset the cost of fire protection.  And people needing vital records could conveniently get them from centrally located Utica City Hall, rather than Butler Hall.   

Annexation sounds like a win win win win.


man said...

Let Utica start the Annexation process. I am all for it. The Town of New Hartford does not need this albatross.

Where do I sign the Petition?

Anonymous said...

I live in one of these villages/towns. I am not for annexation. Once you start, it wont stop. And as far as the Utica thing its because all city managers were told to generate revenue. (Hence the UFD ambulance)Its a dying city that cant support the services it has. They have to make money now somehow to justify things. Well, thats to bad. I really dont care. My feeling is UFD would like to take on all the suburban Fire districts. They cant possibly logistically do it, but promises will be made in hopes to get that alminghty dollar to justify the empire being built and sustained. Service will suffer. Any trucks promised to be manned in a suburb will respond to the city as soon as they are needed at a city fire. Ok, then what if there is more need at the place they agreed to protect? There wont be anyone left to call as currently they call the suburbs for help. Remember UFD calls the suburbs... the suburbs dont call UFD! No insult intended. Just facts. There is no easy answer.

If Utica is all upset about Lukes than let NYM's and NH, and YFD all respond together for alarms. They will respond with more equipment to protect that hospital than Utica has on the road. And at least the trucks will be needed and used as most are saying there is too much duplication in the county of fire trucks. Lets see them say that after everyone gets rid of their ladders or has multiple calls and nobody has the truck you need from here to Rome.

Strike, I really value your opinion and all.... but i moved out of Utica cause i dont like how its run. I have no desire to hand over the reins of my current municipality to those fools in city hall. If need be I will continue to move further out as will others. I know what your saying about greater utica and all but i dont feel you would get the support of alot of the suburbs. I will NEVER reside in property located in Utica again. I have no ill will towards its residents or supporters by any means, but I have no pride for that city and i am ashamed of how its political machines conduct themsleves.

Anonymous said...

If Utica wants to save so much money maybe there should have volunteer FD. Keep a few officers as paid employees. Other cities do it.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly what the empire builders at UFD dont want... So hence they need to take on more. Cause lets face it the city aint growing. There assesed evaluation of real propert protected by UFD is almost equal to NH. It could be handled like Geneva with a combination force and they know it. So, they been on this crusade to take on more and more duties and to generate revenue, etc. Its all about the benjamins as well as self exhistance; for the brass as much as the union. This will all get much uglier in the days ahead.