Utica Common Councilor requests city audit by outside agency

There’s a new debate brewing at Utica City Hall.

Posted: Mar 28, 2018 5:43 PM
Updated: Mar 29, 2018 9:44 AM

UTICA – There’s a new debate brewing at Utica City Hall.

A member of the Common Council is calling into question the money in the city’s Capital Improvement Trust, or the “Water Trust.” This is the account from when the water system was sold to the Mohawk Valley Water Authority.

According to Utica Comptroller Bill Morehouse, the city of Utica gets $480,000 per year through 2036, and there is back and forth on what the balance is in that account. Democratic Councilor Joe Marino says the bank account should equate to what the budget shows, and in this case, it doesn’t add up.

Morehouse says that one of the amendments being discussed for the city budget was to increase the amount of CIT Fund being used by an additional $450,000, which Morehouse says isn’t possible. A notice from the city’s corporate counsel sent out on Wednesday states that $854,116.38 is the maximum amount (principal and interest) that can be appropriated for the upcoming year’s budget, and the budget already included $750,000, which meant only the remaining $104,116 could be added to that amount.

“As of this year, at that point, we will have $1.7 million,” Morehouse said. “So, you can take 50 percent of that – $850,000, and that’s what was the allowable [amount]. In the original budget, there was $750,000 already proposed, so there was only another $100,000 left.”

“What the audit will show is the transparency that just genuinely does not come out of City Hall,” said Marino, a member of the Common Council’s Finance Committee. “There is a lack of transparency, there is a clear case of shell game going on with our money. And quite frankly, it appears to be one of the most incompetent budget processes I’ve seen in my seven years.”

“There’s no conspiracy at city hall here,” Morehouse said. “There’s no … nobody is hiding anything. We’re here to do what's best for the people and the mayor has done that.”

Marino says the Common Council keeps receiving conflicting information, and he’s requesting that an outside agency handle the audit.

- Click here to view Councilor Joe Marino's letter to Comptroller Bill Morehouse

- Click to view the statement from Comptroller Bill Morehouse

- Click here to view the memorandum from the city's Corporation Counsel

- Click here to view the memorandum from Budget Director Heather Mowat

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 394954

Reported Deaths: 32064
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City21590223123
Nassau419102184
Suffolk414911981
Westchester349121426
Rockland13612668
Orange10744478
Erie7370634
Dutchess4225151
Monroe3833266
Onondaga2897184
Albany2125121
Ulster179086
Oneida167290
Sullivan145345
Putnam133263
Niagara124888
Schenectady81637
Broome72958
Rensselaer55628
Saratoga55514
Columbia47237
Madison35917
Orleans28251
Ontario2689
Steuben26841
Warren26430
Fulton26024
Greene26018
Washington24614
Genesee2385
St. Lawrence2202
Oswego2063
Tompkins1780
Wayne1763
Herkimer1643
Chenango1485
Chemung1442
Tioga14324
Livingston1308
Chautauqua1277
Cattaraugus1246
Cayuga1192
Montgomery1194
Clinton1014
Wyoming955
Delaware914
Jefferson900
Otsego845
Seneca700
Allegany620
Schoharie580
Cortland470
Yates466
Essex420
Franklin320
Lewis300
Schuyler130
Hamilton60
Unassigned00
Utica
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 64°
Oneonta
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 70°
Herkimer
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 64°
Thendara
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 64°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
Menu 2 Go list of takeout dinners & fish fries
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left