Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente delivered his 15th State of the County Address last week.

Picente outlined several new initiatives for Oneida County in 2021.

Picente says county government is pledging to convert 50 percent of its fleet to electric vehicles by 2031. He says the county will also be updating its Electric Vehicle Charging Station Plan and begin to implement the infrastructure necessary to embrace the technology.

The Count Executive announced an initiative to continue the transformation of the REA Wing at Union Station into a unique downtown food destination.

He says building off the success of the Oneida County Public Market, a food emporium will feature high-quality selections of artisan and ethnic products, freshly-made prepared foods and local produce.

Picente says housing is the key to our community’s future and the Vision 2020 Housing Committee has made a series of recommendations to create new housing stock and he will champion those recommendations in 2021.

Picente says one of the clearest infrastructure challenges highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic is the need to improve access to high-speed broadband.

He says the County will complete a broadband mapping project this year that paves the way to install the appropriate infrastructure

Picente is also launching the Boost Oneida County Program to encourage residents to get a COVIID-19 vaccine. The program will provide a cash incentive to get residents to roll up their sleeves and get a shot.

When they get a shot, people will get that incentive to be used to boost struggling small businesses by encouraging local spending.

And Picente has asked the county’s religious leaders to head the Oneida County COVID-19 Memorial Committee.

“These last 12 months have been challenging for everyone to say the least, but through it all, we channeled our history as a people, determined not to let this or any crisis define us,” Picente said. “Our goals and vision should not be based on how this pandemic will impact us, but rather how we will continue to invest, build and grow a better Oneida County for generations to come.”

You can read Picente’s full State of the County address at ocgov.net.

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