Dialogue about the future of the connective corridor opens

Representatives from Syracuse University, the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County joined business owners in an open discussion on how the connective corridor project can move forward.

The Connective Corridor Program was designed as a way to connect Syracuse University with Downtown and other areas. The beautification of parks and roads, along with sidewalks and a new bike lane was supposed to be a welcome mat for visitors to venture off the hill and discover the City of Syracuse.

The reality of the program was far more painful, especially to businesses and property owners, who were expected to pick up the check when it came to maintaining the corridor. Now, project leaders are asking for the business ownersâ?? input on how the project can move forward, and how things are going to get done.

Foreman Park was a hot topic of discussion, as a city park, it is maintained in the same way other parks are maintained, but when phase one of the connective corridor program planted new greenery and upgraded the infrastructure of the park, it moved the park outside of the citiesâ?? responsibility for maintenance. A small group of business owners took on the burden of cleaning up the park; for now. The long term solution will have to be decided in more meetings. Linda Hartsock is heading the connective corridor program for Syracuse University, and is moderating the discussions.

â??This is really an opportunity to go back to the beginning, a clean slate, and say: What is it that we want to see? What can we do together? How can we make this happen? Letâ??s come to a good compromise,â?? Hartsock said.

Business owners just want all parties to do their part, which Diane Paunovski, owner of Liberty Deli, says will not include them giving in to new taxes.

â??Weâ??re team players. We have a very tight community here among the business owners. Weâ??re not going to let this go. Weâ??re going to stick to our guns when it comes to the assessment,â?? Paunovski said.