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A small step to better prepare Onondaga County for Micron's arrival

A sign identifies a flat stretch of snow-covered land as White Pine Commerce Park in the Town of Clay.
Scott Willis
A sign identifies a flat stretch of snow-covered land as White Pine Commerce Park in the Town of Clay.

Micron's upcoming chip manufacturing facility, plus the region's aging infrastructure and anticipated community growth, has Onondaga County officials seeking another worker to lead its capital projects.

The Onondaga County Department of Water Environment Protection, which manages and treats the county's waste water, is asking county legislators to set the salary for a new deputy position at $129,000—the same rate as two other deputies already on staff.

The department's Shannon Harty said the pay rate will help the agency secure a deputy with the right experience to juggle multiple projects, such as the upcoming Micron facility at White Pine in Clay.

"We're taking on more under consolidation," Harty said at a Tuesday county legislature committee meeting. "And now we're going to be adding infrastructure and expansion for White Pine. Infrastructure and expansion and issues to deal with the growth within the community, we need a strong engineer. A seasoned design, program management municipal engineer to run that capital program."

The department's top candidate, who is expected to begin next month, has experience with both municipal capital projects and chip manufacturing plants.

Some members of the Ways and Means Committee raised concerns about adding another person to department leadership while other project management and engineer staffing positions remain open. But the group ultimately approved the new salary, which will now go to the full 17-member legislature for final approval.

Katie Zilcosky is WAER’s All Things Considered host and features reporter. She also co-hosts WAER’s public affairs show Syracuse Speaks. As a reporter, she focuses on technology, poverty, and identity.