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      Neighbors, environmental groups raise concerns over proposed Onondaga Lake amphitheater

      Neighbors and local environmental groups expressed concerns at a public meeting about the proposed amphitheater on Onondaga Lakeâ??s western shore.

      The proposed amphitheater on Onondaga Lake would have seating 17,500 people. Construction could start next year - but some neighbors and environmentalists want more time to study the massive 654 page draft environmental impact statement. At a public hearing on Wednesday, environmentalist Sarah Eckel said she did not like the idea of cleaning up heavily polluted waste beds at the same time amphitheater construction is underway.

      "By putting the amphitheater project before that remediation plan, we're putting the cart before the horse," said Eckel.

      A draft environmental impact statement says health risks would be acceptable but recommended construction workers wear masks. The EIS also says sound from the concerts might be able to be heard more than a mile away - possible affecting some Lakeland neighborhoods.

      "We're talking about twenty to forty concerts over a season, we don't know when that's going to happen, we don't know if it will be on work nights," said lawyer Alma Lowry.

      Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon said the county still has homework to do before the site on the west shore of Onondaga Lake can move forward. McMahon said an amphitheater could help bring in major musical acts that currently bypass the Syracuse area.

      "We have heard from our experts at the Oncenter and SMG that we need something to help draw those acts for the musicians that want to play here. we believe that the amphitheater design would do that," said McMahon.

      The open comment period on the amphitheater proposal continues until August 11. You can leave your comment here.