City of Utica receives state aid early

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The roughly $10.5 million state aid payment headed for the city of Utica in late March got here early, Thursday morning, March 8, thanks to some pleading by state lawmakers on behalf of a broke city.

"They're having issues meeting some of their short term financial obligations," said Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi. "They couldn't make payroll. They're in dire straits right now and they needed some funding immediately to meet those needs."

Brindisi and Senator Joseph Griffo pleaded the city's case to the governor and his budget director. The early arrival of the check means that the $8 million short-term loan the city took out from Bank of Utica at an interest rate of a quarter of a percent just got shorter.

"The money we received and we borrowed, that'll be paid back within a week," said Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri.

The roughly $2.5 million remaining from the state aid payment will go into the city's general fund.

The common council has until March 20 to modify and pass a budget. For now, the city is doing everything in its power to cut corners, regardless of how minor the savings.

"There's memos going out just to use black and white copying instead of color. We're looking to pinch pennies every way," says Palmieri.

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