As I’m sure you are aware, the elevated portion of Interstate 81, which runs north-south through downtown Syracuse, is nearing the end of its useful life. State and federal officials are now determining a solution for fixing this important thoroughfare. It’s a decision that will impact Central New Yorkers for many decades.
With this in mind, I mailed a survey to all of my constituents of the 50th Senate District to gather their input on the future of I-81. Then in early October, I mailed a letter to members of the business community to also request their participation in this survey, as I-81 will, no doubt, impact their business and the overall economy for years to come.
The survey is now closed.
To date, 168 members of the Central New York business community completed the I-81 survey below. The results are as follows:
47% want to construct a new I-81 viaduct or repair the existing one
21% want to remove the existing viaduct and construct a street-level boulevard only through Syracuse
2% want to remove the existing viaduct and construct a tunnel only through Syracuse
30% want to remove the existing viaduct and replace it with a street-level boulevard for downtown access, with a tunnel under the boulevard for interstate north-south traffic through Syracuse
Furthermore, 77% of the survey respondents, to date, think it is important to maintain a north-south throroughfare, at interstate speed, through the City of Syracuse. Just 23% do not think a thoroughfare is important.
The percentages shown in the above results are almost identical to the results of the survey that was sent to the residents of my Senate District.
Thank you, again, for having completed this short survey to share your vision for I-81 and to help shape our community's future. Your responses will be kept confidential.
On September 23, 2014, INFICON, Inc. broke ground on the planned expansion of its manufacturing operations in East Syracuse. State Senator John A. DeFrancisco joined other elected officials and community and business leaders for the ceremony, and he spoke about the signicance of the project during the groundbreaking ceremony.
INFICON, a producer of sensor technologies, will invest $20 million to build an addition to its existing facility, resulting in the creation of 40 new high-paying jobs and the retention of 240 existing jobs. New York State is providing INFICON with a $1 million grant.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco held a press conference on Wednesday, September 24, 2014, at the State Office Building in Syracuse to discuss the final results of his I-81 survey. The survey asked people living in Senator DeFrancisco’s district to share their thoughts on the future of I-81.The survey, which was mailed last month to constituents of the 50th Senate District, provided four main options for addressing the critical infrastructure needs of Interstate 81.
Chairman of the New York State Senate Finance Committee John A. DeFrancisco today (9/22/14) warned constituents of proposed legislation, sponsored by New York City Democrat Gustavo Rivera, that would give illegal immigrants the right to vote and hold office in New York State. The bill is likely to become law, if New York City democrats were to win control of the State Senate in November.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco helped celebrate the 25th anniversary of the New York Relay Service on September 15, 2014. The New York Relay Service is a specialized call center located in Syracuse for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Senator DeFrancisco is pictured with Joline Harris, Marybetth Mothersell and Assemblyman William Magnarelli. During the celebration, Senator DeFrancisco presented the New York Relay Service with a proclamation to recognize the center's milestone.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco held his 10th annual Senior Fair on September 16, 2014. Senator DeFrancisco is pictured with Mickey Vendetti and Mickey's son, long-time providers of the musical entertainment at the Senior Fair.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco was honored to receive the Accomplished Professional Award from the Eldercare Foundation during the annual "Gift of Age" cabaret on September 12, 2014, at the OnCenter. Senator DeFrancisco was presented the award for his consistent advocacy of seniors and the elderly. Senator DeFrancisco is pictured with Dr. Thomas Dennison of VNA Homecare and Cathy James, CEO of the Alzheimer's Association, Central New York.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco helped kick off Festa Italiana during a press conference on the steps of Syracuse City Hall on September 12, 2014. Festa Italiana features a vast variety of great Italian foods, musical acts and entertainment. An Italian flag-raising ceremony was held at City Hall.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco is pictured with rapper, Pitbull, at the 2014 New York State Fair.
Senator DeFrancisco has been referred to as the "pit bull" for his strong advocacy style. He also recently was advertised as John "The Pit Bull" DeFrancisco in his boxing match against Ray Rinaldi, called the Fight for a Future, to raise funds for youth athletic programs.
Now the pitbulls have met. However, there is no truth to the rumor that Senator DeFrancisco is going to launch a singing career.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco helped celebrate the opening of Solvay Bank in DeWitt with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 10, 2014. The bank branch is located on East Genesee Street near the Aldi supermarket.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco is pictured with Judge Michael Hanuszczak and Director Terri Gooley of the Onondaga County Family Treatment Court. On September 10, 2014, a special ceremony was held to celebrate the court's 10th anniversary. Senator DeFrancisco presented a Citation to recognize the court for its positive impact on families within the community.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco spoke during the Veterans Ceremony at the 2014 Great New York Fair on August 28, 2014. Senator DeFrancisco, who is a veteran of the United States Air Force, recognized military members for their invaluable sacrifices and contributions to our county.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco presented 16-year-old Baldwinsville singer, Julia Goodwin, with a Proclamation during a special event at Paper Mill Island on August 26, 2014. Julia was honored for her musical talent and success on the hit televison program, "America's Got Talent." Julia had advanced to AGT's live show at Radio City Music Hall before being eliminated. Senator DeFrancisco joined other state and local officials for the special event.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco is pictured with Emma L. Johnston, the 2014 Syracuse Volunteer Citizen of the Year award recipient. Ms. Johnston was one of the founders of PEACE, Inc. and has been actively involved in several other local charitable organizations throughout her life.
Ms. Johnston received her award on August 25th at the Emma L. Johnston Southside PEACE Family Resource Center in Syracuse. The award is given out by Syracuse Media Group and Direct Energy.
Senator DeFrancisco presented Ms. Johnston with a proclamation to honor her for all her work, upon the occasion of being named the Syracuse Volunteer Citizen of the Year.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco made a stop at the Future of Nursing New York State Action Coalition booth at the 2014 Great New York State Fair. He is pictured with Carolyn McCauliffe, Megan Brandt, Cindy Campagni, and Kathy Truax. The booth is located in the Health and Sciences building.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco attended the grand opening gala for Fox Toyota and Subaru in Auburn on August 21, 2014. Senator DeFrancisco is pictured next to Bill Fox and Jane Fox, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new business, 188 Grand Avenue in Auburn.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco is pictured pedaling a specially-made stationary bike equipped with a blender to make fruit and vegetable smoothies -- at the New York State Fairgrounds on August 21, 2014. The initiative is the result of a partnership between 4-H Youth Development and United Healltcare to teach individuals and families about the importance of healthy eating and regular excercise.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco helped kick off the 2014 Great New York State Fair by partaking in the official ribbon-cutting ceremony on opening day, Thursday, August 21, 2014. Senator DeFrancisco is pictured with Governor Cuomo and other elected officials throughout Central New York in the cattle building at the State Fairgrounds.