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State recommends Syracuse implement “Smart Cities” technologies in review of city’s finances

By Eric Reinhardt


The office of Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh says the state’s Financial Restructuring Board (FRB) has reviewed the City’s finances. The FRB’s report “commended” the city’s efforts to improve its fiscal health and made five recommendations for additional improvements. (Eric Reinhardt / BJNN file photo)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The City of Syracuse should implement “Smart Cities” technologies “as envisioned in the Syracuse Surge strategy.”

That’s according to the office of Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, reacting to the results of a review of the city’s finances. The suggestion for implementing technologies is among five primary conclusions from the report.

The New York State Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments (FRB) conducted the review and released the results. Walsh and the Syracuse Common Council in 2018 had requested the review, the mayor’s office said in its Tuesday news release.

The FRB report also includes four additional conclusions and possible grant support for the city to help with implementing the board’s ideas.

It suggests an upgrade to human-capital management capacity, including a new timekeeping system and modernized payroll processes.

The board suggests pursuing additional shared-services programs to lower the cost of providing services and reduce duplication.

It also recommends implementing additional efficiencies programs to reduce local government costs, such as semi-automated waste collection.

Additionally, the FRB suggested the city seek labor and health-care “efficiencies,” per the release.

The FRB report “specifically commended” the steps that the Walsh administration and the Common Council are taking to improve the city’s fiscal health, the city said.

“The FRB’s findings are further validation that we’re on the right path to achieving fiscal sustainability for the city,” Walsh contended. “Working with the Council and with our other government partners, we have initiatives underway in nearly all of the areas that the FRB has identified to improve the city’s fiscal sustainability.”

Walsh, the city administration, and the Common Council will now review the report’s findings. Working with its government partners, the city said it will develop action plans that the FRB can review and consider approval for funding.


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