February 28, 2018
Utica, NY – To help property owners affected by Downtown Utica’s regional healthcare campus project take into account relocation assistance and other recent developments, Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) has announced an extension of the deadline for responding to purchase option agreements. MVHS, working through Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC (BSK), the law firm handling the property acquisition process, has extended the due date for the purchase option agreements to Thursday, March 15, 2018. The previous due date was Wednesday, February 28, 2018.
At a news conference on February 6, MVHS officials, joined by representatives of Oneida County, City of Utica, The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties and Mohawk Valley EDGE, announced that MVHS will provide up to $1 million in relocation funding for affected property owners in the project footprint, to better support businesses looking to relocate within the City of Utica or Oneida County. MVHS officials also announced that property owners in the footprint of the new campus will not be responsible for addressing environmental issues caused by previous owners.
“We revised the contracts for the property owners to reflect the additional details of relocation assistance and remediation,” noted Robert Scholefield, MS, RN, executive vice president/COO for MVHS. “We will continue to work with the property owners to ensure they have sufficient time to review their offer, ask questions and make an informed decision.”
A majority of the property owners have allowed certified appraisers, contracted by MVHS, to appraise their properties. The completed appraisals were approved by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) and the property owners have received purchase option agreements. There are four property owners that did not allow access to their buildings, so a full appraisal could not be submitted and approved by DASNY.
“Last week, MVHS made the decision to send a purchase option agreement to the four property owners who have not let us in their buildings,” commented Scholefield. “The purchase option is based on a partial appraisal of the exterior of their buildings. We are hopeful that this step will help to generate discussion between those owners and MVHS. We’d like to be allowed to do a complete appraisal and provide a more accurate offer for their property. All 35 property owners have received purchase option agreements, including the four with partial appraisals.”
The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties is interviewing finalists for a full-time project coordinator who will help affected businesses identify potential options and additional support for relocation. Funded by The Community Foundation, the coordinator position will act as a community liaison for a project work group comprising the Governor’s Office, Oneida County, City of Utica, Mohawk Valley EDGE, MVHS and The Community Foundation. The work group and coordinator will support and coordinate community engagement to ensure continued progress for the project.