Statement by Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh on fiscal year 2021-22 budget:
“Today, I signed the budget ordinance for the fiscal year 2021-22 City of Syracuse budget. I thank the Common Council for its timely review and adoption of the budget. I am pleased to see my Administration’s budget enacted to help our residents and City continue their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In anticipation of funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), I signed amendments to address housing challenges worsened by the pandemic. I vetoed the amendment to fund a mural project using ARPA funds for two reasons. I have expressed reservations about the process used to prioritize the project since it was first presented by members of the Common Council. In addition, upon reviewing the ARPA interim guidance issued after the Council’s budget vote, it appears unlikely the project is eligible under the federal guidelines.
I continue to believe arts and culture should be assisted as a part of our recovery plan. I reaffirm my commitment to ensuring the local arts and culture community is provided equitable access to available resources through our recovery plan. I will also ensure that any expenditure using ARPA funds is made in compliance with federal guidelines and allocated, in accordance with the City Charter, as part of an open and transparent process.”