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Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney Announces Opening of New Round of Save the Rain's Green Improvement Fund Grant Program

Program Provides Green Infrastructure Grants to Businesses and Not-For-Profits in High Priority Areas of the City’s Combined Sewer Area.
Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney today announced that the Save the Rain Green Improvement Fund (GIF) is again accepting applications from businesses and not-for-profits in designated, high priority areas within the City of Syracuse.
“The Save the Rain program has been tremendously successful thanks in large part to businesses and non-profit organizations in our community stepping up and participating in our Green Improvement Fund. I am pleased to announce the new round of funding,” said County Executive Joanie Mahoney.
The Save the Rain Green Improvement Fund (GIF) Program was initiated in March 2010 to provide financial incentive for the installation of green infrastructure projects on eligible privately owned properties (commercial/business/nonprofit owned properties) within the City of Syracuse’s combined sewer system.
Onondaga County declared a temporary hiatus in the application period in March 2013, while revising program elements using the Stormwater Management Model (SWMM). SWMM is an US EPA software platform to determine stormwater runoff in a geographic area and optimize green infrastructure implementation.
County Executive Mahoney added, “The new modeling will allow us to carefully select the GIF projects which will provide us with the greatest amount of capture for the lowest cost, greatly improving our effectiveness and efficiency.”
The GIF program has had tremendous success in reducing stormwater runoff from privately owned property, as well as increased the public visibility and awareness of the Save the Rain program. To date, 38 GIF projects have been completed – an investment of approximately $3.9 million, capturing over 14.2 million gallons of stormwater per year. As GIF projects are successfully implemented, the needed stormwater capture in certain areas is achieved, while others remain priorities for further reduction of runoff.
These recent changes to the GIF program are the result of the Save the Rain program’s success in abating combined sewer overflows in many areas of our community. With that success, all of the County’s green programs are being carefully repositioned to focus new infrastructure only in areas needed by the model. These program modifications include: a revised GIF boundary map with three tiers of priority funding locations, releasing a GIF calculator tool to assist applicants in developing grant award requests, and a program description and application revised to incorporate these changes.
Annual evaluation of green infrastructure geographic priorities will continue to ensure that we are meeting our environmental goals and efficiently allocating funding to priority areas. For more information on the GIF program and completed GIF projects, please visit the GIF Program page.
View Press Release (PDF)- July 10, 2013

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