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Politics & Government

Syracuse and Cicero Agree to Share Grant Application Services

Scott Willis

Two local governments have found another way to share services without a mandate from the state.  Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has agreed to offer the city’s grant application services to the Town of Cicero.  Town Supervisor Mark Venesky says while Cicero might qualify for state, federal, or foundation grant money for social and infrastructure programs, the town couldn’t afford contractors to look into it.

I wasn't happy with the cost.  Some of these people wanted an hourly rate, plus a piece of anything they got us.  There was no guarantee they would get us anything.  So, I it was kind of a stroke of luck  that the mayor and I came together on this to create a win-win here.”        

The arrangement will allow Cicero to employ grant writers from the Syracuse Bureau of Research. Miner says the program will last one year, then be opened for renewal or cancellation as both governments see fit.

Credit Scott Willis / WAER News
Mayor Miner and Supervisor Venesky outline the reasoning behind the new partnership.

“When the grant department applies for a grant, all of the time put into that application process will be billed out.  The Town of Cicero will be sent that bill.  After a year, this will be evaluated to see if this was a successful model or not.” 

The sharing of grant services was arranged between the two governments, and did not require input from the county.  It is unclear whether incoming mayor Ben Walsh will approve of the program, but Venesky says it will be pushed through in the final days of Mayor Miner’s administration.

 “Why would we put politics into it?  Why would we say, 'well, let's wait for the next mayor.'  I'm sure he's a great guy with great ideas, so I've heard.  But this is a way to benefit the taxpayers in the Town of Cicero and the City of Syracuse now.  Why wouldn't we do it?  It just makes sense to me.” 

Both Miner and Venesky expressed confidence the agreement will aid the government of Cicero as well as lower costs for Syracuse.