Parking Issues Threaten To Hold Up Hospital Expansion

Parking Issues Threaten To Hold Up Hospital Expansion

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Will parking issues hold up a $7.5 million medical office building for Alexandria Bay's River Hospital?

River Hospital in Alexandria Bay wants to build a new medical office building on the hospital's campus. It would house many of the hospital's existing services.

"The current clinic which is in modular buildings, the PTS program, mental health program, which is currently in an old building on the site where the new facility is going to go," hospital board chair Joseph Russell said.

The plan is to move or demolish the buildings that these services are housed in now. 

There's one thing standing in the way of starting this project: parking.

The new building would create 20 more spots on the hospital's campus, but that's not enough to meet village rules. 

That's why the hospital is asking the village of Alexandria Bay's zoning board of appeals for a parking variance. This would allow the project to continue even though the hospital's on site parking is less than what the village requires.

The zoning board heard both sides of the issue when it met Thursday night.

"By doing this project, we're actually increasing our available parking," Russell said, "so for that reason we think it's kind of a no-brainier they should give us the variance."

But some village residents are not happy with the proposal and they think it won't solve anything.

"There's already a problem there with parking and the traffic getting in and out of the hospital," said attorney Matthew Norfolk, who's representing a village resident. "And this proposal, my client's position is it's going to exasperate those issues."

The zoning board will meet again March 1.

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