Syracuse Common Council Approves Property Sales, Allocates Mental Health Resources

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The Common Council of Syracuse approved the sale of 16 properties to the Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation for a total price of $2,416 Monday afternoon.

The local public authority and independent non-profit – colloquially known as the Greater Syracuse Land Bank – purchases vacant, abandoned, underutilized or tax-delinquent properties. Once the planning, maintenance and redevelopment associated with the property is complete, the GSL sells the property to “responsible” buyers.

Each of the properties sold by the city to the land bank cost $151. As of March 17, the land bank has acquired a total of 2,041 properties and sold 1,154.

The council has also earmarked up to $257,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act to provide crisis mental health services in the city. The deal is with Liberty Resources Inc., which will work with the Syracuse Police Department to provide the service.

The service will ask mental health professionals to respond to calls when a person “exhibits behaviors related to mental health and/or addiction,” the council’s draft agenda wrote.

Liberty Resources has been working with SPD to provide the service since 2021, City Commissioner for Neighborhood and Business Development Michael Collins wrote in a letter to City Clerk Patricia McBride on March 11.

“We found this approach to be effective for all parties involved, but especially for the person in crisis,” Collins wrote. “This reduced the risk of arrests during these incidents; while ensuring that the needs of individuals are taken care of by trained mental health professionals.

In correspondence between Mayor Ben Walsh and Director of Management and Budget Timothy Rudd, Walsh said the initiative came from a committee on policing. The group, which was jointly convened by the city and Onondaga County, was for “alternatives to the police,” Walsh said.

Other business:

The Syracuse Common Council has accepted a $6,500 donation from Syracuse University. The donation will cover overtime for a hazardous materials team needed to monitor the atmosphere inside the Carrier Dome during Monster Jam. The event will take place on April 16 at 7 p.m.

The board has approved payment for Blake Propst, a Syracuse-based bassist, to play Rose Day 2022 at Thornden Park on June 15.

Contact Kyle: | @Kyle_Chouinard

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