Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hotel Utica Countdown: H+8

We're now eight days past Mayor David Roefaro's deadline for"reaching consensus on"...the Hotel Utica fiasco.

Servicing the Hotel's debt costs the city $1315 a day, so another $10,520 in desperately needed public funds have vanished into the ether since Mr. Roefaro's 90-day deadline was reached. That's on top of the millions of dollars the project has already consumed.

For some more background, check out Joe Kelly's interview with the Hotel Utica's General Manager over at

Update: This is kinda related to the "Observer-Dispatch Deathwatch" below, but a kind emailer points out that the only outlets of any kind covering Mr. Roefaro's inability to handle the Hotel Utica issue are all online. None of the traditional news outlets, be it the OD, WKTV, or what passes for news at the local radio stations, have done anything on the issue for months.

What I find particularly interesting is that CNY Homepage is produced by the broadcast group that owns WUTR, WFXV, and WPNY, none of which could realistically be described as "news" outlets. I believe the last locally produced newscast on any of those stations happened back in 2005, just before their ownership consolidated operations at the former WUTR studios on Smith Hill. It's unfortunate that the area's population collapse made that consolidation necessary, but I think it's notable that the low cost of distributing content via the internet has, to an extent, once gain made them a viable news source.