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Utica residents sound off on proposed budget

By PAT BAILEY

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - A public hearing on the proposed Utica City budget took place Wednesday night, drawing an unusually large crowd.
    
Public input hearings generally draw little or no taxpayers.  However, around 30 people showed up to city hall for this one.  Each with an idea on how to improve the budget.

Fifteen people signed up to speak before the council.  Many used the time they were given to tell lawmakers where to cut the budget.
    
The current proposal comes with a 7.43% property tax increase.  Seven police officers also have their jobs on the line.
    
Utica resident, Patricia Hunt, says she doesn't want any officers coming off the streets.

"If it weren't for the police and fire people we have, we could not live there," Hunt said.  "Crime, drugs, are all over no matter what they do. So we can not drop any of that."

Meanwhile, another Utica resident, Mary Diamond, is stressing one word, "cut."

"Now you want to raise my taxes? Doesn't anyone realize we are in a recession? You guys have to cut," Diamond said. "You people know where to cut, cut it, cut it.  I am actually not asking you I am telling you, you work for us, cut."

Utica Common Councilors could vote on the proposed budget as early as Thursday.

 

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