$100 Million for Upgrades in Ithaca

Improvements to the City of Ithaca

ITHACA (WENY) --  U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was in Ithaca on Tuesday to tour the Commons and hear about plans to upgrade infrastructure and the city's transportation system.  Gillibrand is taking the city's request for federal dollars to Washington D.C.  Ithaca leaders also want to upgrade bus services and create a city-wide bike sharing program.

It's all a part of a larger plan to invest more than a hundred million dollars into the Commons that would include a new hotel, mixed-income apartments, and more commercial space downtown.

"What we're trying to do is nnot just transform Ithaca, but make it better at what it does," says mayor Svante Myrick who spent the day with Gillibrand taking her on a tour of the Commons and to meet with local business owners.  City and county leaders also met at Cinemapolis in the afternoon for a roundtable discussion on how to improve life overall in the region.

"I think it's a really exciting project and one that could revitalize this area and make sure that our businesses will continue to come here and prosper," said Sen. Gillibrand about the improvements to the Commons.

"We have great job numbers, we have a lot of service, we have the best bus system of its size in the country which is fantastic," says Jennifer Dotson, the planning committee chair in Ithaca. "So we're not starting from something that's just so-so. We're starting from something that's great."

Ithaca city leaders plan to get these plans moving forward within the next three to five years.