SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The City of Syracuse recently passed a landmark decision to allow Onondaga County officials access to implement green infrastructure on City owned property. The new permission ordinance, enacted by the City Council, allows the County to investigate, plan and construct dozens of projects as part of Onondaga County’s “Save the Rain” program.
City officials have collaborated with the County on a number of green infrastructure projects to date including: parking lot renovations at Pearl Street, City Lot #21 and City Lot# 3, tree planting projects and construction of demonstration areas for porous sidewalks and walkways. The new ordinance is an attempt to streamline the process by which future projects take place and avoid potential delays. Under the previous process projects were reviewed and approved by the Council on an individual basis. The new agreement allows the Council to review several projects collectively and approve work to be conducted on joint City-County projects for the construction season. The result is more flexibility in the implementation of the program allowing projects to be completed faster, efficiently and more economically.
Cooperation with the City is a vital part of the “Save the Rain’ program. Key elements of the green infrastructure plan rely on a City-County partnership to conduct projects on public property. Officials from both the City and County have been meeting bi-weekly to coordinate and identify potential opportunities to include green infrastructure in redevelopment projects. The revised ordinance strategy is a result of both the City and County evaluating program procedures and determining the best approach to simplifying the process.
The County is in the midst of the “Project 50” campaign to construct 50 distinct green infrastructure projects in 2011. The new City ordinance will support “Project 50” efforts with faster turn-a-round and a comprehensive review of City owned projects.
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