Gov. Cuomo calls the gondola 'an exciting idea,' but doesn't say if it will ever happen

The New York State Fair project appears to be far off the table, for now. (NY State)

It's been nearly a year since New York's Governor announced with much excitement that the state would look to build an aerial gondola in Geddes, however now he will not commit.

The controversial state fair gondola project was originally proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, D-NY, to shuttle concert and fair-goers between the Lakeview Amphitheater and the fairgrounds.

The New York State legislature approved the governor's $15 million dollar allocation for the project, but it never even made it near the construction phase. In June 2017 Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, a Cuomo ally, announced that the Gondola that was supposed to be finished in time for the 2018 summer season, would not be.

"The gondola will just have to wait for a future phase," Mahoney, R-Onondaga, said in June. Instead, money meant for the gondola went towards increasing the size of a new Expo Center.

"We hope to go back to the state legislature during the next budget process to get the funding for [the gondola]" Mahoney said.

However, the governor's budget announcement Tuesday didn't include any funding for the project. On Wednesday, CNYCentral had the opportunity to ask Governor Cuomo via a satellite interview about the status of the proposal.

"The gondola I think is an exciting idea. We said let's move forward with the Expo Center first because the Expo Center has great potential for increasing attendance and economic activity," Cuomo said. "To me, this is all about jobs jobs jobs ... the Expo Center has the greatest potential to stimulate the economy in the shortest period of time and that is what we are looking for."

As CNYCentral tried to ask the governor if the gondola proposal was still on the table at all, a member of the governor's staff hung up the connection. "Brett, we have to run thank you so much," a member of the governor's press office said as the line went dead. The governor was quick to chastise that action. "You can't hang up on a guy in the middle of a question," the governor said.

However the question was not answered. Abbey Fashouer, First Deputy Press Secretary at the governor's office quickly emailed a producer at apologizing. "Please pass along our sincere apologies," Fashouer said. "There was no intention to hang up phone total accident." Fashouer also attempted to pass along an answer to a question that was cut off.

“There is no funding in the 2018-19 State Budget for new projects at the State Fair and no plans, at this point, for a third phase of improvements." Dave Bullard a spokesperson for The Great New York State Fair said. "Our full focus is on completing the new Expo Center and the improvements in the Fair’s largest parking lot.”

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