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"Use It or Lose It" could cause Creekwalk funds slip away

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Ellen Abbott/WRVO
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The city of Syracuse could be penalized for coming in under-budget in the Creekwalk Project. U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer was in Syracuse Tuesday and promised to try help cut through red tape.The city originally had $1.9 million in federal funds to construct the Creekwalk, which winds it's way from downtown Syracuse to Onondaga Lake.  But only $700,000 was used.  Under the federal Use It or Lose it program the remaining $1.2 million will be lost if it isn't used by the end of the year, unless the money is re-authorized.

"It's federal bureaucracy gone amuck.  Because what would usually happen is the city would be allowed to use this to go on to phase two of the Creekwalk  and do these kinds of mitigation project, but under Use It or Lose It, you need to reapply."  

Schumer says he'll push the state and federal transportation departments to get the paperwork done in time.  The $1.2 million would also pay for flood mitigation projects that would remove more than 100 homeowners from a flood map that hikes their homeowners insurance thousands of dollars.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.