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Police and Fire Chiefs, Union heads to meet with Utica Common Council Saturday

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Saturday is the big day for public safety and city government in Utica, as the Common Council meets with the police and fire chiefs, along with union leadership.

Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri has proposed sweeping cuts to both departments in order to produce a structurally sound, balanced budget.

The head of the fire department union and the fire chief both say that they may have to close a firehouse in order to restructure the department if the currently proposed level of cuts goes through.

"Any cuts to our daily manning, we don't have a large staff that sits in an office. Every one of our guys puts on boots and goes into a fire," said President of Local 32 Union Robert Wenner. "If you make a cut to our bottom line, if you cut our staffing, there is a change in the way we're going to do daily operations."

The head of the police department union says he's hoping to learn an exact figure of how much money the city's looking for from them.

PBA President Dominick Nitti says the city and union are also negotiating in an attempt to avoid filing a grievance over the city taking back some take-home cars.

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