Syracuse mayor proposes pandemic relief investments in parks, public safety, and digital infrastructure

Mayor Walsh is proposing $1.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to invest in parks facilities, police body-worn camera updates and digital infrastructure. Walsh’s latest pandemic relief proposals, the sixth round since funding became available this summer, will be considered by the Syracuse Common Council in its regular study session on Wednesday, Oct. 20.

“At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Syracuse’s network of parks was a haven for city residents in all seasons. It offered safe space to exercise, spend time with others and simply get away from the stresses of the pandemic. With ARPA funds, I’m pleased to be advancing multiple projects to improve our parks facilities and introduce new amenities and offerings,” said Mayor Walsh. “Our parks are one of Syracuse’s greatest assets, and we have an obligation to protect and improve them.”

  • Cannon Street Community Center – playground and/or fitness stations ($100,000)
  • North Side Parks – extensive community engagement will be held to have community input in deciding the most desired improvements, renovations and construction within the following parks: Lincoln, Schiller, Highland, First Ward, Washington Square, Demong, Union, Grosso, Schlosser, Ashland, Clinton Playlot and Finnegan Park ($300,000)
  • Greenhouse – upgrades and renovations to facility that provides services to all city parks ($300,000)
Schiller Park is one of the north side parks to be considered for improvements using ARPA funds based on community input.

The Administration is proposing to invest in a new permanent stage at Spirit of Jubilee Park to support local music and art performances ($250,000) and a memorial park for minority veterans of the United States Armed Forces ($250,000). These two items were held in the Council’s Parks Recreation and Youth Programs committee.

Mayor Walsh is also asking the Council to authorize $343,000 to purchase an additional 60 body-worn cameras. The expenditure will ensure new officers are equipped with cameras.

In addition, the Mayor is requesting $200,000 for the continued development of the City of Syracuse website, which is undergoing its first reconstruction and update in more than a decade. The funds will be used to complete the rewriting of thousands of pages of digital content currently on the city website, and to digitize city PDF forms to allow more convenient, accessible, and secure self-service online transactions.

During the past four months, the Mayor and Common Council have authorized more than $44 million in pandemic relief expenditures. Investments have occurred in all of the four areas covered in the City’s ARPA strategy: supporting children, families and neighborhoods; transforming infrastructure and public spaces; investing in jobs and economic opportunity; and enhancing government resilience and response.

“The pandemic has revealed the critical need to invest in our parks, public safety and in the city’s digital infrastructure to serve our residents.  With Common Council approval today of more than $1.2 million in American Rescue Plan funding, we will move forward with projects in all three areas.

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