UTICA, N.Y. — Oneida County and the City of Utica announced they have forged a shared-services agreement to demolish a building that will “pave the way” for a new entrance to the county’s public market at Union Station.
It will also save taxpayers money in the process, the local governments contend.
Demolition of the Brown building, located at 417-421 Main St. in Utica, began on June 29, and was completed on July 6. Both the county and the city expect the clearing of debris and backfilling of the site to take about two to three weeks.
“The ongoing multi-million-dollar renovation to the REA Wing at Union Station has elevated the status of the Oneida County Public Market and spearheaded a resurgence in downtown Utica,” Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. said in a release. “This current partnership with the City of Utica has enabled us to clear the way for a proper entrance to the market and further improve this regional asset in a cost-effective manner.”
The county-owned Railway Express Agency (REA) Wing houses the Oneida County public market.
The City of Utica Department of Public Works donated the labor for the demolition team and miscellaneous equipment and services, while the county rented heavy equipment, hired the necessary consultants, and is paying the tipping fees. The Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority is hauling away the debris.
The Oneida County Board of Legislators in September 2019 approved the county’s purchase of the property at a cost of $30,000. The total price of the demolition project is estimated at $350,000.
Once the site is cleared and prepared, the area will be utilized to provide improved access to the public market and additional parking.
“Good governance begins with collaboration and building partnerships for the betterment of our community,” Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri said. “In that spirit, the City of Utica entered a shared-services agreement with Oneida County to have our department of public works personnel demolish the Brown Building on Main Street, which will save money for taxpayers. The coordination between the City and Oneida County is a great example of the working relationship municipalities should pursue on behalf of its constituents.”
The demolished building was in “complete disrepair and had sat vacant for decades,” the release stated. It was built in 1893 and used as a storage facility by various companies over the years.