Miguel Segura, Staff Writer
Local leaders have focused on improving Utica’s infrastructure, but the roads, in many respects, remain damaged.
To keep up with the other improvements, there has been discussion about whether or not repairing the roads is worth the potential financial burden.
According to Utica’s Budget Director Peter Fiorillo, residents will vote to increase the city’s allocation for street paving from $2 million to $5 million on Nov. 8.
“I have been in Utica for the past three years and my biggest complaint about the town has always been the infrastructure of the roads,” said Utica College junior Anthony Crawley. “This is a concern to me because I need my car in order to travel to school and work everyday, however, I can never get to my destination without encountering a pot hole or crack on the pavement.
According to Fiorillo, the money used to fix the roads would come from additional tax increases or cuts in other areas of the budget, including public safety.
It is argued that this renovation would bring economic development because the first thing that people see and feel when they arrive to Utica is its roads. If the town improves, beginning with its roads, people may feel more inclined to invest their money.
Even though it is possible to increase revenue through this method, the city will be forced to fund the money for the construction one way or another.
Some within the Common Council have argued that it’s possible to find the money needed in the budget to cover the cost.
“I do not see how this can possibly be a loss,” said senior Wildris Mendez. “If more money is invested in our roads, the town will become more successful as time progresses because people would be more willing to travel and spend money in our local shopping districts.”
The condition of the roads has impacted some students on campus, including senior Marvin Saint Val, who had issues with his car tires, which he believes were affected by the roads.
“To my understanding, investments have been made for numerous reasons which are in no way beneficial to the population of the town,” Saint Val said. “If money can be invested in the hockey arena, why can’t we focus on the roads that we all utilize daily?”