SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — While it’s just a proposal right now, the idea of building an aquarium in Syracuse is certainly a hot topic.

“Over the past six months, I don’t think I’ve gone anywhere that people have not brought up, you’re not voting for that aquarium are you,” explained Onondaga County Legislator Peggy Chase.

Those in favor of the aquarium say it will support the tourism economy in the area and bring in a lot of money. The project has an 85-million-dollar price tag. Onondaga County Legislator Mary Kuhn said there needs to be more transparency about the project and would like the money to address poverty in the area.

“Everybody knows what’s happening with inflation right now,” Kuhn said. “Groceries are high, gas is high, rents are out of control, clothing is out of control. We have one opportunity here to really address issues of poverty.”

Charles Pierce-El lives on the Southside of Syracuse. He doesn’t want an aquarium in the city and shared what he would like the funding to help in his neighborhood.

“I would like to see small businesses, get some of that build up and lift up their businesses and stuff, where it was taken down,” explained Pierce-El. “A lot of the small businesses got destroyed because of 81 in the first place.”

We reached out to the County Executive’s office where they pointed out that July 26’s Ways and Means Committee meeting will be the 7th time the proposal has come before the legislature. They also noted there is a website.

Justin Sayles, spokesman for the County Executive said, “The County Executive’s office has had several conversations with legislators who have a genuine interest in understanding the proposal and its viability including with several of Kuhn’s and Chase’s Democratic colleagues.”