Construction of the roundabout in Downtown Utica is still very much underway. Progress is being made, but it seems as if the city is having budgetary issues. The City Clerk sent over notes to the Common Council this weekend, regarding the upcoming council meeting asking for more money for the roundabout project.
The project is set to be completed by the end of October, and Mayor David Roefaro says its right on schedule. However, without the funds, the project might not continue. Councilman Frank Vescera said he received notification from the City Clerk Saturday morning of the budgetary issue. He says they want the Council to guarantee the money, but he says he doesn't know where the money is going to come from. "All of our funds," he says, "have all been drained already. And there are no more little nest eggs to draw from."
Mayor Roefaro says the city is not funding the project and never was. He says they received state and federal funding. Although it is a project going on in the city, it's a project headed by the New York State Department of Transportation. The DOT found problems with underground sewage system that they didn't anticipate and now need more funding. He says that in order to get more money the council must approve it. And if approved, it will be the State DOT asking for the money--which will not come from city funds. He says the DOT will need about $300,000 to finish the project. But without approval from the Council, the project could remain at a standstill. They're set to meet Wednesday September 21st. Vescera says he is going to suggest to the council that discussion move to the Urban and Economic Development Committee before anything is voted on.