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Senator wants federal money for Syracuse development

Ellen Abbott

Senator Charles Schumer is hoping some federal dollars will help keep the Inner Harbor development project in Syracuse moving ahead.  He's personally requesting that the federal Economic Development Administration approve a $2 million grant for the project.

Schumer said in Syracuse Wednesday that he hopes his influence can offer a boost the next phase of the development.

"The city of Syracuse plans to apply for a much needed $2 million dollars EDA public works and economic development investments grant.  And that would build the infrastructure at this 28-acre site, that will stand as a framework.  Once the infrastructure is built then you'll get commercial development, residential development and everything we need," said the senator.

Schumer says funds like these shouldn't get cut as the federal government grapples with a deficit.

"One of the reasons we have a budget deficit, not the only one, is that the economy is so slow, which means, revenues and taxes are lower because there are fewer jobs, less economic activity, and costs are higher, more unemployment insurance, more food stamps," said Schumer.  "So this actually will save the federal government money if it's successful down the road."

The city's application will be submitted by the end of the year, and Schumer expects an answer in three to six months.  Phase one of the plan that straddles the Inner Harbor, involved removal of 100,000 yards of  contaminated soil by the COR Development company.  The $350 million project includes commercial and residential components as well as a public space.

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.