Syracuse university and the City of Syracuse have reached a deal on a new five-year, $7 million service agreement that offsets the cost of city services to the university while also providing funding to adjacent neighborhoods. Officials say the deal shows how the two entities are woven together. SU Chancellor Kent Syverud says if there’s one thing that brings the university and community together, it’s successful sports teams.
"The past two weeks, there really was incredible support in this community for both the men;s and women's basketball teams," Syverud said. "It just reminded me again that the city and region on one hand and the university on the other, truly have a symbiotic relationship. We each benefit from the other, we each are a key part of the life of the other, and therefore, we each should support the other."
Syverud says the university is a powerful economic engine, with nearly $2.2 billion in annual economic impact on the city, county, and region. It’s also a destination for hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. At the same time, SU, as a tax exempt institution, benefits from city fire and police protection, snow removal and other resources. Year one of the agreement provides the city with $800,000 to cover those costs, which mayor Stephanie Miner says will be obvious in the budget she releases to common councilors Friday.
"There's a 60 percent increase in revenue in year one that we're going to put in our budget that we otherwise would not have," Miner said. "In fact, had we not been able top come to a successful resolution, we would have had to put in a zero. So, these numbers have real impact."
That initial $800,000 initial payment will increase $50,000 each year, culminating in a $1 million payment in 2021. The agreement also provides $500,000, or a 20 percent increase in funding for neighborhood support. The boundaries of the service area have been expanded to include the Outer Comstock neighborhood and an area of the city’s south side across I-81 from the university. Mayor Miner says just which organizations will receive funding will likely be decided by mid-summer and approved by the common council.