Ithaca continues to an upstate anomaly. Fueled by Cornell University and Ithaca College, Ithaca has the lowest unemployment rate in the state and had the largest growth in jobs over the past decade.
But with success comes problems, said Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick.
Myrick was in Albany today trying to drum up support for state and federal aid for Ithaca, saying the area’s job growth hasn’t been met with infrastructure improvements.
He said the city is seeking $10 million in federal aid and $3 million in state aid to improve its public transit system. Ithaca hasn’t had enough housing to accommodate its job growth, Myrick said, so people are commuting from farther away.
“Great jobs are good if you can live close enough to them every day,” Myrick said during a visit to Gannett’s Albany Bureau.
He added to meet the housing demand, “We need thousands more units than we have now.”
Myrick, 26, one of the youngest mayors in the country, said the city needs state and federal help to clean up brownfield sites, such as abandoned factories, and turn them into housing complexes. He said the city needs to 2,000 to 3,000 housing units.