Onondaga Lake plan could transform Solvay, neighboring communities

<font size="2">Governor Cuomo in Solvay</font>

The areas surrounding Onondaga Lake could be transformed thanks to a $30 million plan to revitalize the neighboring community.

Governor Andrew Cuomo was in Solvay Wednesday morning to unveil details of the Onondaga Lake Revitalization program designed to have a major economic impact in Onondaga County and throughout the region. "Today is a new day. This project is just the cherry on the cake...Onondaga Lake is clean," Cuomo said.

The money will support Brownfield remediation projects, infrastructure investments to encourage new housing and business opportunities, and enhancements to the Onondaga lakefront that will increase access and provide new recreational opportunities for New Yorkers and visitors. "These projects will help boost the local tourism industry and make the area a premier destination to attract new business and enhance the lives of residents - growing the whole region of Central New York," Cuomo said.

The first phase of the program includes project totaling $100.3 million. It would be funded by $30 million from the state as well as resources from the federal government. Onondaga County would contribute $2.5 million to the project. That money will come from the new gaming agreement with the Turning Stone Casino.

The plan includes $50 million for the construction of a "Lakehouse Concert Pavilion" Performance Arts Center. It would be located across from the New York State Fairgrounds in the Village of Solvay. The indoor pavilion would seat up to 7,500 people and include a lawn area located on a former landfill overlooking the lake. It would also include $20 million for infrastructure improvements including changes to wastewater treatment facilities and Brownfield clean-up to open manufacturing sites for future business development. In addition, $10 million would be used for housing projects in Solvay, including $5 for the construction of a new senior housing facility, $5 million for leveraging against public/private funding of new housing projects and the rehabilitation of existing housing projects.

Other highlights of the plan include:

- $1.2 million to enhance the intersection of Milton Ave and Bridge Street in the heart of the Solvay business district

- $600,000 to make streetscape enhancements from Cogswell Ave to Bailey Street in Solvay

- $2 million for the demolition of blighted properties in targeted area of Solvay

- $2 million in matching grants of up to $20,000 for residential homeowner improvements

- $2 million in matching grants of up to $25,000 for business façade improvements on Milton Ave, Bridge Street, or Charles Ave

- $1 million for a competitive grant program for new businesses that open in the targeted economic development zone

The project also designates $7 million for Bridge Street streetscape improvements to link the Fair to the Lakefront. The Onondaga Creekwalk would be completed with $3 million to create an existing loop along the lake connecting the communities of Liverpool, Solvay, Lakeland and the City of Syracuse.

In addition, $1 million would be used to create water taxi docks would be created at Onondaga Lake Park, Syracuse Inner Harbor and the Honeywell boat landing to allow water taxi travel to and from the Performing Arts Center. The five water taxis would cost $500,000.

The second phase of the project includes:

- $7.5 million for the reconstruction of Milton Avenue from the City of Syracuse to Camillus.

- $5 million for exterior improvements to the New York State Fairgrounds Campus like signage, streetscapes, and bicycle access

- $2.5 million for wastewater treatment improvements to the New York State Fair that will incorporate green infrastructure and upgrade existing gray infrastructure.

"Once a dumping ground for industry of a bygone age, Onondaga Lake is being reborn as a true anchor asset for the communities that surround it," said Robert Simpson, President & CEO, CenterState CEO. "Today's announcement continues Governor Cuomo's substantial investments to improve public access to our Lake and leverage the transformative potential of our waterfront."