The Mohawk Valley Welcome Center, the Thruway rest area so nice they built it twice, has now become an issue in the race for governor in New York.
CBS6 broke the news in our 'You Paid For It" reports a year ago. After opening the new rest area west of Fultonville to great fanfare, it was quickly closed, ripped apart and rebuilt, costing taxpayers an additional $4.5 million on top of the original construction price.
CBS6 met Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro at the site on Tuesday.
"It's not a question of whether we should have nice rest areas," he said. "It's that there are real needs. Deteriorating infrastructure. The investment in roads and bridges across the state of New York that really need the focus. Fifteen-hundred people would have to pay their income taxes to pay for the nearly $12 million to build and rebuild this particular rest area. It's about priorities and ensuring overtaxed New Yorkers don't have their money wasted."
There are other welcome centers being built around the state, including one for $18 million on the same site as the existing New Baltimore Service Area.
CBS6 reached out to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's campaign for reaction but did not hear back.