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County Executive McMahon updates Micron and aquarium at State of the County Address

County Executive Ryan McMahon delivers his state of the county address from Storer Auditorium at Onondaga Community College Mar. 15, 2023.
Scott Willis
County Executive Ryan McMahon delivers his State of the County Address from Storer Auditorium at Onondaga Community College March 15, 2023.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced new developments for two major economic development projects Wednesday night at his fifth State of the County Address. As expected, he shared his optimism for the opportunities presented by Micron. McMahon says the semiconductor manufacturer is moving forward with the permitting process at the federal, state and local levels to build its campus in Clay.

"This historic project addresses key economic and national security issues. Micron has set the standard for community engagement and workforce development. The broader impacts of this project present the greatest growth opportunity our community has ever seen," McMahon said to applause.

McMahon also announced some community planning projects to accommodate that growth in a responsible way. Details will be included in a comprehensive plan called "Plan Onondaga" that he says will be finalized in a few weeks. McMahon used the occasion of his speech to update progress on the $85 million aquarium planned for the Inner Harbor.

"I'm excited to share with you, that after a competitive RFP [request for proposals] process, this past December, we awarded the contract to C&S Engineers," McMahon said. "The design is currently at the concept phase, and construction is on schedule to begin later this summer."

McMahon says proposals for an operator for the aquarium are due today. His address also included ongoing and fresh commitments to human service needs. One new initiative sets aside $1.5 million in seed money for a scholarship fund aimed at training nurses to address long wait times in the county’s hospital emergency rooms.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at