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Cuomo: Rochester airport’s $40 million facelift to be revealed next fall

Gov. Cuomo unveils transformation of Greater Rochester International airport and other budget highlights.

Governor Andrew Cuomo made a stop in Rochester Tuesday afternoon to discuss Finger Lakes region highlights of the 2018 state budget.

Among those highlights, is $40 million allocated to the revitalization of the Greater Rochester International Airport.

“We’re going to be investing in airports all across Upstate New York,” Cuomo said. “Having a first-rate airport is essential to be a first-rate economy. You look at airports around the world and you see how this country has been asleep.”

The governor said the transformation will make the airport more attractive and, much like airports downstate, which will also be renovated, the Rochester airport will play the role of an economic development center.  

He said the “Middle Class Recovery Act” focuses on cutting $700 in state taxes for middle class families, protecting New Yorkers from rising prescription costs, and a public college "free tuition" program for qualified families.

“Even if they can pay for it, the students will come out with loans $30,000, $40,000, or $50,000 a year that they carry half their life,” Cuomo said.  

Cuomo announced Uber, the long-awaited ridesharing program, will begin running Upstate in 90 days.

“We are also going to attack property taxes,” Cuomo said. “We have a property tax cap that we passed in Albany that caps property taxes at 2 percent. An increase year to year and that’s been great.”

The airport upgrades include new retail and dining options. New security measures will also be brought in, as well as charging stations for mobile devices.

The work is expected to be completed by next fall. You can view sketches of the upgraded airport, here.

Sasha-Ann Simons joined the team at WXXI News in 2015 as a Multimedia Reporter/Producer. She tells stories about the innovation economy and technology in upstate New York and also does general assignment reporting. Sasha-Ann is the host of Arts InFocus, WXXI-TV's weekly arts and culture program. She is also a fill-in host and regular contributor to Need To Know.