Cash-strapped Onondaga County spending $1.6 million to upgrade vacant business park

Syracuse, N.Y. – The same day they authorized up to 250 layoffs to deal with a fiscal crisis, Onondaga County legislators today approved spending $1.6 million in hopes of attracting a tenant to the county’s vacant 450-acre business park in Clay.

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The money approved today would pay engineers to design a sewer system for the undeveloped site, including a major pump station and a 4-mile sewer main. The full construction cost for the sewer project would be about $16 million, which would require further authorization from lawmakers.

The expense comes at a time when the county is suffering big deficits caused by the coronavirus. But County Executive Ryan McMahon said the White Pine project will be paid for out of the county sewer fund, which gets money from sewer fees, and won’t affect general operations. Meanwhile, the project could help lure a major new employer, he said.

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