Syracuse Urban Renewal Agency Awaits Budget Decision

Common Council will vote on a transfer of funds to SURA’s payroll account

Syracuse Common Council
Copyright Amanda Winograd ©

By Amanda Winograd SYRACUSE (NCC NEWS)  The Syracuse Common Council delayed a vote Monday on a request for funds by SURA, the Syracuse Urban Renewal Agency. The vote was scheduled to take place at Monday’s session, but councilors say they cannot vote until they receive more information from the agency.

SURA’s purpose is to sell and rehabilitate underutilized and/or tax delinquent land and buildings in certain Syracuse neighborhoods.

SURA has asked for $200,000 to be transferred to their payroll account. The Council still has to decide whether or not these funds are necessary.

The state Authorities Budget Office issued a report that SURA has too many people already on the payroll. This report has left Councilor Kathleen Joy unsure that SURA needs more money for their payroll account.

“Reduce your payroll, and then you probably won’t need the money,” Joy said in comments after Monday’s Common Council meeting.

If SURA can produce a plan to reduce the payroll and provide a plan of action for the future, councilors say they are more likely to support it. Councilor Patrick Hogan says that he would be willing to approve the transfer of funds as long as SURA can prove that all payroll employees are truly necessary.

On the other hand, Councilor Lance Denno is completely opposed.

“I do not support it,” said Denno.

SURA has been recognized by the state as inappropriate in structure, according to Denno. Because the employees are working under SURA rather than as civil service employees, they “expand the city’s liability,” he said.

The Council’s vote on this issue has been postponed at least until the Council’s next meeting in November, pending more information from SURA.

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