Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) says Oswego County is in a prime position to grow economically, but needs some help improving the infrastructure to do that.
The Democrat, whose district includes Syracuse and part of Oswego County, recently held a roundtable on infrastructure at the Port of Oswego.
Maffei and fellow Rep Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) have helped secure funding for rail improvements at the port. This time the topics of discussion were not only expanding roads and rail lines, but replacing water and sewer lines and better rural broadband access.
"It seems like there's a lot more capacity that we have, but we're held back by various things,” said Maffei. “For instance, the port needs to be dredged. And we've worked hard to get some funding for that, but it's going to do part of the job but not the whole job. So how can we move forward."
At the meeting, the mayors of Oswego and Fulton, representatives from Operation Oswego County, SUNY Oswego, the Shineman Foundation and the Port of Oswego also discussed ways of leveraging the county's assets to create more jobs.
"So what we've done is gathered a number of number of experts in infrastructure here at the port of Oswego, clearly one of the greatest infrastructure assets that the area has, to talk about where we are, what we can do and how I can be helpful in my role as a congressman,” said Maffei. “And also, what we can do together and create some connections here to help move the area forward in terms of rebuilding our infrastructure."
According to Austin Wheelock with Operation Oswego County, the area has seen some job increases recently in some industries, such as food processing. He believes the county's location makes it attractive to companies looking to move products to major cities.