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Syracuse wins right to redevelop its Inner Harbor

Syracuse will now get to redevelop its inner harbor, thanks to a vote to give it the right to the land by New York's Thruway Authority.  Rick Moriarty reports for the Post-Standard that Thruway ownership of the parcel had made it hard to redevelop the strip of land:

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, who attended the board’s meeting in New York City, called the vote a “milestone” in the harbor’s development. She said the city should be able to find a developer before the deadline. “If we can’t get it done in two years and six months, then we can’t get it done,” she said. If the city sells the property, money raised from the sale would go to the authority, minus any costs incurred by the city in connection with the development.

Cuomo and union deals

Colby Hamilton reports at WNYC's The Empire that the governor and union are offering "mixed signals" about recent deals to shake up pension packages to save the state cash:

For some, the recent deals were an indication labor is willing to hit the reset button and modernize the pension system. With state revenues down and little political will to raise taxes, the argument goes, unions and their allies in Albany will bow to the highly popular governor on the creation of a new pension tier to be applied to future state hires. The unions will then spend the decades following trying to claw back what they can from the old system. Others in labor, like CSEA’s spokesman Steve Madarasz, say the compromises now mean unions will be unwilling to meet the governor on his pension terms later. “What he’s put forward is not in the best interest of our members or the general public,” Mandarasz said.

Meanwhile Jon Campbell reports for Gannett that the deal between the governor and the Public Employees Federation means that legislators will have to return to the Capitol - SHOCK AND HORROR - during their summer vacation:

When the Legislature does return, lawmakers will be faced with several issues that were unresolved when they left Albany in June, including a last-ditch push for independent redistricting and a new report moving the state closer to allowing hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. The most pressing issue, however, is expected to be a bill that establishes a health-care exchange plan that would put the state in compliance with the federal Affordable Care Act.

Rail funding

A billion dollars worth of federal high-speed rail funding has been redirected to flood relief, reports Eric Jaffe at Infrastructurist.

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