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      City of Syracuse and Onondaga County merge planning agencies

      The County and City Planning Agencies merged to form one agency after years of attempts in a move to streamline local government.

      Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney signed legislation in to law during a ceremony Wednesday, making them one agency.

      While they say it wasn't easy to implement the changes, the consolidation will make the process for new development more streamlined.

      "These things while they look and sound easy to do are tremendously difficult when you have governments that have been in separate silos for 30, 40 years," Miner said. "Putting them together is a lot of red tape that you have to cut through and then paste back together."

      Both agencies have cooperated on many projects, so they say this will only make it easier to get things done.

      "We cannot continue to operate as a system of separate individual towns, separate individual villages, and a separate city government. We are only going to rise together," said Mahoney.

      Both Mahoney and Miner said they were pleased with the high level of cooperation in getting this merger done.

      Andrew Maxwell, the current director of Syracuse's Planning Department, will lead the new agency.