The contractor working on the Nexus Center in downtown Utica is suing the Upper Mohawk Valley Auditorium Authority and Oneida County for at least $10.4 million for work completed on the project.
The lawsuit, filed in state Supreme Court in Oneida County, concerns the 170,000-square-foot athletic facility adjacent to the Adirondack Bank Center on Route 5S in Utica. The $50 million Nexus Center is expected to hold four ice rinks, locker rooms, spectator seating and other amenities for youth tournaments when complete.
Construction on the project has been halted since May due to the coronavirus pandemic and concerns over cash flow. The contractor, Hueber-Breuer of Syracuse, is seeking the amount owed for completed construction, as well as interest since July 6.
The contract between the Aud Authority and Hueber-Breuer allowed work to be suspended for 90 days, according to the lawsuit.
Hueber-Breuer did not respond to a request for comment.
So far, the county has paid $9.7 million of $18.1 million owed to the contractor on behalf of the Aud Authority, according to the lawsuit. The county was being reimbursed by the state for up to $22 million in payments, as a result of a grant through Empire State Development.
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. said the county has fronted the money for similar large scale projects, such as the redevelopment of the Adirondack Bank Center, on behalf of the Aud Authority before state reimbursement.
When COVID-19 hit, the county wasn’t able to continue fronting the