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Utica officials preparing for 'worst case scenario' when it comes to ambulance service

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Although they won a three-week reprieve for their ambulance service, Utica city leaders will not spend that time breathing a sigh of relief.

Instead, Mayor David Roefaro has instructed his budget staff to make a 'worst case scenario' plan in the event that, at the end of July, the Appellate Division does not extend the stay, which would allow the city ambulance service to operate until its court case can be heard. The choices are equally unappealing.

"You're looking at possibly massive layoffs or bonding, bonding to get you through the rest of the year. There's just no other way to make up that kind of money," says Roefaro.

At question is the certificate of need required for the city to operate an ambulance service. The city never obtained the document. Its efforts to circumvent the process have been unsuccessful.

The current stay allowing the city to run its ambulances expires at the end of July. At that time, the city is hoping for an extension that would take the city up to the time its court case regarding its ambulance service's future can be heard. That can take up to a year.

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