SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — On Friday, City of Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh gave residents an update on the impact coronavirus has had on the city’s services.
“We have officially entered into Phase 1. It’s a positive step and one we all worked very hard for,” said Mayor Walsh, thanking residents for their diligent safety precautions during the pandemic. He urged residents to continue those practices as health and safety are the top priority.
The City of Syracuse has 52.5% of Onondaga’s COVID-19 cases. This is largely due to senior living facilities and the proactive testing occurring. Mayor Walsh said the city is cooperating with the county to proactively test neighborhoods and demographics that may be under-tested.
The Onondaga County Mobile Testing site started at the Onondaga County WIC site on Thursday to encourage residents in the neighborhood to get tested, regardless of symptoms.
The city continues to see a steady decrease in overall crime. Violent crimes were down 13% while property crimes were unchanged.
City of Syracuse Police continues to respond to 911 calls about violations of the Governor’s Executive Orders. This week 518 calls were placed. 444 of those calls were placed because of public gatherings. 74 were for businesses. Police strategy continues to be inform first. Mayor Walsh said most residents comply once police educate them on the policies to keep their distance.
City Hall will shine bright in blue this week in honor of National Police Week.
CITY PARKS & PARKING
With the launch of Phase 1, the City of Syracuse is opening tennis courts beginning Friday and its golf courses beginning Saturday.
Policy changes have been put into place to mitigate risk at Burnet Park and Sunnycrest golf courses.
- Tee times must be reserved in advance by calling ahead
- Cash will no longer be accepted. Golfers will have to pay with credit.
- One transaction per group will be accepted.
- Clubhouses remain closed.
Formerly known as Perseverance Park, Salina Plaza is 95% complete. The park on the corner of Salina Street and Fayette Street features new benches and tables, a great community space.
The City of Syracuse will resume collecting tolls for parking meters in Downtown on Monday. They are also working with the Downtown Committee on changes to parking regulations to accommodate curbside pickup at its retail and restaurants.
The City of Syracuse Department of Water will begin a major water main infrastructure project on Sunday, May 17 at the intersection of Martin Luther King Boulevard and South Salina Street on the City’s near south side. The department expects to complete the planned water main repair by Sunday, May 24.
During the project, traffic will be detoured around the Martin Luther King Boulevard and South Salina Street intersection using South State Street and Cortland Avenue. Martin Luther King Boulevard will be closed between Alexander Avenue and South State Street, and on South Salina Street between Cortland Avenue and West Kennedy Street. Detours will be posted, and local traffic will be permitted from Alexander Avenue to Cortland Avenue. Pedestrian access will only be available within the local traffic area.
For most of the customers in the project area, the Water Department expects the work to create a disruption in water service of up to 24 hours beginning on Wednesday, May 20 at 9 a.m. The department is providing information to affected residents and property owners regarding the disruptions, including special notification to a small number of customers who may experience a longer shutoff.
This project is ahead of the road reconstruction project set to take place on South Salina Street and State Street.
FOCUS ON SMALL BUSINESSES
The City of Syracuse is working to secure more funding for its emergency relief loan program for small businesses.
In a survey of about 100 businesses done by the city, 27% of small businesses were approved for relief programs like the PPP program. There was some misunderstanding by sole proprietors. They thought they were ineligible for funding. Mayor Walsh said this is not the case and anyone who would like assistance and clarification can reach out to his office.
Mayor Walsh stressed the need for small business owners to reopen safely. He encouraged those who are not allowed to open in Phase 1 to start looking at New York State’s guidelines for reopening and building a plan so when they are ready to open they can do so with the best safety policies in place.
He added residents shouldn’t let their guard down now. Social distancing and wearing a mask in public, as well as hand washing and frequent disinfecting, should continue.
“This isn’t going to go away anytime soon. So settle in and stay resolved and continue to take care of each other,” said Mayor Walsh.
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