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Cuomo says state could invest another $50M in NYS Fair

Ellen Abbott

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has named a committee to come up with proposals for another big state investment in the New York State Fair.

At the fairgrounds Wednesday, the governor said he wants to build on the $50 million the state invested this year into the fair’s infrastructure. Cuomo tasked a group headed by Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney and Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball, to come up with ideas he can bring to Albany.

"Give me a plan, if it works, I’ll put in the State of the State [address]. If it works, I’m willing to advocate that the New York State Legislature invest another $50 million in the state fair,” Cuomo said.

When Cuomo originally discussed investing $50 million in the fair a year ago, there was talk of an ice-plex, an expo center and an equestrian Center -- things that would make the fairgrounds more of a year-round venue. He says those plans took a back seat when the state realized how much work had to be done on the infrastructure.

Cuomo says it’s up to the task force to determine if those ideas return to the fair’s redesign narrative.

“Yes it’s a lot of money. It was a lot of money last year. But it’s an investment. And it’s an investment in Upstate New York. It’s an investment in a place, that’s been a desert of investment for too many years, that was overlooked by the state for too many years,” said the governor.

Mahoney says one of her priorities will be creating a better synergy between the fair and the Onondaga Lake Amphitheater, which opened this summer, but was plagued at times by transportation issues.