Mayor Stephanie Miner is putting together a task force to consider the community and economic impacts of a new sports arena in the city of Syracuse. The mayor put the issue, which has had the town buzzing in recent weeks, in her annual State of the City speech.
"I am neither in favor of a stadium nor against a stadium, but there has to be a process where people can get their questions answered," Miner said.
The mayor says building a new stadium, to potentially replace the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University, is a huge decision that should be made together.
"I think what people should draw from this, is if you’re going to make a once in a generation investment or decision, that you should have a process where people should ask questions and get answers, and it should be transparent.”
That's why she says she wants to gather representatives from local and state governments, SUNY Upstate, Syracuse University and community groups together to talk about it.
"I will be establishing a task force charged with examining this issue and considering what our community needs and expectations are, what appropriate neighborhood economic development might look like, what the current condition of the dome is and what the impact of a new stadium might be," Miner explained.
It was a lack of answers to the mayor's questions that put the skids on a behind the scenes deal to secure state money for a stadium on the city’s east side. Miner expects to announce members of the panel in the next week.
In other highlights from the State of the City address, Miner proposed a Syracuse Main Street Program that would pay for renovations to building facades in certain neighborhoods.
That’s good news for Common Councilor Helen Hudson.
"We have the South Ave. Corridor and the Butternut Corridor," Hudson said. "That’s extremely important to me, because those are the most desolate areas in our city.”
The city will hire a gang director to work with the TRUCE project, a program that tries to get gang members to turn around their lives, and come this summer there will be a parking app that will let you pay for parking without using a meter or pay station. Miner is also proposing a city operations review committee that’ll focus on streamlining city services with an eye towards saving money.