County Executive Joanie Mahoney

  Progress continues on Onondaga County’s Amphitheater project…despite winter weather and environmental concerns.  WAER’s Chris Bolt reports local contractors can also find out how to get involved tonight.

Dredging of Onondaga Lake Concludes One Year Ahead of Schedule

Nov 3, 2014
elected officials gather around a podium at the Onondaga Lake shore to announce that dredging of the lake has finished ahead of schedule
John Smith / WAER News

Politicians and scientists from around Central New York gathered Monday to mark a major milestone in the restoration of Onondaga Lake. Honeywell, which has been overseeing the lake’s restoration, announced that the dredging of the lake has been completed one year ahead of schedule. 

This comes after decades of concern regarding contamination levels in the lake. SUNY-ESF president Doctor Quentin Wheeler put the importance of the newly dredged lake in perspective: 

 

Scott Willis / WAER News

Spending will decrease, taxes rates will fall, and water and sewer rates will go up if Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney’s budget goes through as is.  She delivered her $1.24 billion spending plan Monday to lawmakers.    Mahoney says the property tax levy will drop by 1.2 percent, to a historic low.  

Scott Willis / WAER News

Ground was broken Friday on a facility in a rural area of DeWitt that’s expected to bring more of Hollywood to Onondaga County.  In fact, the Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries already has a tenant.

    During the state of the county address earlier this year, California-based film and TV company “The Film House” announced it will relocate its headquarters, production, post production, and distribution operations to the facility.  President and CEO Ryan Johnson was on hand for the groundbreaking. 

"Not only will we get to work with this first kind of educational institution that will drive production and innovations globally, it will help train and develop our future workforce so  we can continue to grow in Syracuse and  build the film industry in Upstate New York."

Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy was among the officials turning over the first symbolic shovels of dirt.

 

  Justin Steele is director of the upcoming film “The Opium War,” which will be filmed and produced in Central New York using the hub’s resources.  But Onondaga County executive Joanie Mahoney says the hub goes beyond the film industry. 

  15 million dollars in state money will build and equip the facility at the Collamer Business Park, but officials say that should leverage 150 million dollars in private investment over seven years.  The project is expected to create 350 permanent, high-tech jobs and 150 construction jobs.  

WHAT'S NEXT FOR LT. GOV. DUFFY?

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  People who visit or take their families to Onondaga County’s Rosamond Gifford Zoo can make a day of it.  The might not have been the case when it first opened 100 years ago.  It’s grown a bit, from what Joanie Mahoney calls modest beginnings.

“A couple of bears and a few waterfowl, and it was four acres.  To put that into perspective for you who are here to see the animals at the zoo, we’re now on 43 acres with 700 animals, so there has been a lot that has happened in the last 100 years.”

Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse's Rosamond Gifford Zoo is mapping out its future while celebrating its 100th anniversary.  Officials Tuesday unveiled a 20-year strategic master plan that includes a combination of short and long term projects and a business plan.  

 County Executive Joanie Mahoney says the zoo has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a four acre plot with a few animals to 43 acres with more than 700. 

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Just a day after finding out details of this summer's Jazzfest, Onondaga County and Galaxy Communications announced on Tuesday a new festival for Central New York families to attend.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse-area tourism officials say the proposed Destiny USA hotel is a great step for generating interest and economic growth in the area.   Destiny officials sent a letter to the county executive and mayor expressing their intentions to build a $75 million, 252-room hotel as part of their master plan.  Convention and Visitors Bureau President David Holder says Destiny as a destination appears to be coming to fruition, and there are still untapped markets.   He says the area is ready for another hotel.

 

ONONDAGA COUNTY WEIGHS IN

Scott Willis / WAER News

Governor Andrew Cuomo joined local officials Wednesday in Solvay to unveil details of a plan to revitalize the western side of Onondaga Lake.  

The $100 million project will include a 75-hundred seat lakefront concert pavilion across from the state fairgrounds.  Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney says it fits into the larger picture of the lake’s rebirth.   

The announcement of the project is part of Governor Cuomo's proposed budget, and comes after a plan to build a sports stadium in Downtown Syracuse fell through due to concerns from Mayor Stephanie Miner.