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First Half Of Federal Stimulus Money Arrives In Onondaga County

Onondaga County

The first half of federal stimulus money has arrived in Onondaga County, and County Executive Ryan McMahon said they are ready to start on some proposed initiatives. Repaving roads and youth mental health programs are among the projects pretty much set, according to McMahon.

He added his team is finalizing the proposal for a multi-million dollar sports complex. McMahon emphasized that these funds need to be used collaboratively and efficiently.

“These funds are here for one time. They’re not going to be here every year,” said McMahon. “So anything you do needs to stimulate the economy with one-shot type items, not create new legacy costs moving forward. So we’re excited about that. We’ll be working with the legislature.”

Other previously outlined initiatives such as a rural broadband project and anti-poverty programs are still in the works. The stimulus money must be spent by the end of 2024.

In the meantime, Onondaga County will continue to provide support to local restaurants. McMahon said the first round of the county’s gift card matching program appears to be a success.

“Even with the gift cards that they get, the bill’s anywhere between 25-40% over what the gift cards were. So the spend isn’t just two times the gift card amount. It’s been a lot more than that, which is good,” said McMahon.

$175,000 worth of certificates were not cashed from the initial offering, and McMahon plans to reissue those funds sometime next week. He also hopes to distribute a full second round of voucher around Father’s Day.