Several issues were resolved at this month's meeting of the Onondaga County Legislature held Tuesday April 5. A few of this month's resolutions were regarding sewers, conventions, taxes and off-track betting.
For several months, our sewer projects for the lake clean up have been stalled by the Democrat caucus because they wanted a labor friendly Project Labor Agreement (PLA) implemented for all future sewer projects. The latest research done by our County Comptroller, Bob Antonacci, shows that there is not significant savings by implementing a Project Labor Agreement. However, bonding could not be approved without a "yes" vote from at least one Democrat because bonding requires 13 votes and the Republican caucus only has 12 members. As a result, a compromise needed to be reached so that the two projects that have been pending could be approved. The compromise reached is that a Project Labor Agreement will be extended for the Clinton/Lower MIS project and the Harbor Brook project. Therefore the Harbor Brook Improvement Project for $70 million and the $54 million Combined Sewer Abatement Project of Gray and Green Infrastructure were approved. All future projects will be open for any company or contractor to bid without a project labor agreement.
The Legislature also approved a resolution for the Convention and Visitors Bureau to purchase banners, rent spectator seating risers and additional parking spaces for the Women's Bowling Championships starting April 7 and ending in July. Their request was for $117,000 from Room Occupancy Tax collections, not property tax. This convention will be bringing over 60,000 visitors to Syracuse and generating approximately $40 million dollars in spending in Onondaga County. Over $450,000 in Room Occupancy Tax is expected on room stays alone. This is one of the largest events for this area in a long time. In this case, it is well worth spending a little to make this event a great experience for our visitors. If you have an opportunity to get down to the OnCenter, there is no cost to be a spectator and it truly is amazing to see how they have transformed the convention center into a huge bowling alley.