About an hour north of Albany and just before you enter the Adirondack Park lies this rest area -- a $16 million newly-renovated oasis for drivers on the Northway.
Republican candidate for lieutenant governor Julie Killian wonders why it's even here.
“It's a matter of prioritizing. It's also a matter of Andrew Cuomo skirting the rules, breaking the law with no regard for taxpayer dollars,” she said.
Killian is running with Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro. She admits the new rest area, with its walk of fame, kid's playground and organic vending machines is beautiful. But she wonders about the cost.
“My concern is the cost and the waste of taxpayer dollars. It was originally intended to cost about $2 million for a renovation and it ended up costing $16 million and no one seems to know how that happened,” she said.
The money for the project was initially secured by a Republican lawmaker -- Senator Betty Little. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office in a statement said the money for the full renovation came from program designed to boost the tourism industry:
To be clear, the welcome center was budgeted for in 2017-18 budget. We celebrate our unprecedented investments in upstate and believe New Yorkers will see right through these silly political attacks.
The Molinaro campaign nevertheless is seeking examples of misspent state funds. They've created a website meant to encourage people to provide documents showing waste.
“The website that we started -- Cuomo Leaks -- was not started because we wanted to find things, but because so many people were calling us,” said Killian.
As for tourism spending, Killian says upstate needs more than that.
“We need to focus more on our agriculture support. That's one of the prime businesses in New York. Bottom line is lower taxes, get rid of corruption and stop wasting taxpayer dollars,” she said.
Cuomo is seeking a third term this year.