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MAYOR PALMIERI ANNOUNCES RIVER HILLS PROPERTIES TO OPEN OFFICE IN DOWNTOWN UTICA

Mayor Robert Palmieri today announced the grand opening of River Hills Properties’ new office location at 54 Franklin Square in Downtown Utica.

Based out of Barneveld, River Hills has recognized all the positive changes happening in Utica and wanted to be a part of the City’s continued revitalization.

Robin Mongeau, Broker and owner of River Hills Properties stated, “It is a most exciting time for the City of Utica and the downtown area in particular and our entire team of professionals wanted to be a part of this transition.”

Mongeau continued, “The Mayor and his staff have been most accommodating in support of our new office at 54 Franklin Square. River Hills Properties is committed to the city and supportive of the downtown area along with the residents and businesses that have shown everyone else "the way" to revitalization”.

Mayor Palmieri stated, “It is exciting that yet another great business is expanding in downtown, and I thank Robin for investing in our City. As a community we welcome River Hills into our Utica family, and I wish them great success.”

 Utica, NY · Public

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It's a Reality: $180M for Quad C in State Budget

The newly minted state budget contains the single largest economic development appropriation the area has ever seen, and the largest in the state’s spending plan.

We already knew it was coming, but the $180 million line item for the Computer Chip commercialization Center at SUNYIT means it’s now set in stone.

“There were skeptics who said, ‘Where’s the money?’” said Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente. “It’s in the budget and there it is. It solidifies the investment and reinforces everything that’s being done.”

The 2014-15 budget was finalized early Tuesday morning.

The newly minted state budget contains the single largest economic development appropriation the area has ever seen, and the largest in the state’s spending plan.

We already knew it was coming, but the $180 million line item for the Computer Chip commercialization Center at SUNYIT means it’s now set in stone.
“There were skeptics who said, ‘Where’s the money?’” said Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente. “It’s in the budget and there it is. It solidifies the investment and reinforces everything that’s being done.”

The 2014-15 budget was finalized early Tuesday morning.

In addition to the $180 million for the Quad-C, there is $1 million for the NUAIR drone testing initiative and $500,000 for new SUNYIT faculty and staff.

State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-Rome, called the economic development funds for the area “significant and important,” and said the budget “treated us better than in the past.”

“I am pleased we were able to deliver,” he said of his efforts, and those of Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, D-Utica. “But we are always going to continue to be aggressive as much as we can and try to do more. We have a lot of challenges, and that’s what we always say when we go out to try and sell our case.”

Area officials also had praise for the budget’s tax breaks for manufacturers, increased funds for infrastructure, and incentives for government consolidation.

“Cities like Utica can build productive partnerships when state government is supportive and listens to its needs,” Utica Mayor Rob Palmieri said. “This budget will help Utica continue on its path to prosperity.”

Drones

The NUAIR initiative received $1 million in the budget, but in recent weeks it also got a commitment of $1.2 million in other state money from a fund created to defend the state’s military installations in the event of a federal Base Realignment and Closure round.

There is an additional $2 million remaining in the Base Realignment fund, and the county can compete for that in the future, Griffo said. Griffiss International Airport was designated at the end of 2013, as one of six locations in the country where unmanned aircraft can be tested for commercial use.

The drone program at Griffiss, which is hoped to bring jobs and businesses to the area, will require millions of dollars more in upcoming years.

NUAIR Executive Director Lawrence Brinker said the program is off to a good start, and said he anticipates his operation to be up and running in May or June.

“People are starting to recognize how important this will be and they are getting behind it,” he said.

A plan first pitched by Cuomo, in which property taxpayers in municipalities that keep increases less than 2 percent will get a rebate for whatever the tax would have been, was approved.

In the following year, the rebate would go to taxpayers in municipalities that are showing clear efforts to consolidate services.

“I think the governor is spot on when it comes to seeing that this is about property taxes,” Picente said.

Follow @OD_Cooper on Twitter or call her at 792-5006.

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