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Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri: state report says Utica financial condition greatly improved

Photo credit: Twitter page of Robert M. Palmieri

UTICA, N.Y. — The City of Utica’s financial-recovery plan has “greatly improved and stabilized the City’s financial condition,” Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri contends, citing a report from the New York State Financial Restructuring Board (FRB).

The FRB report indicated that “continued spending restraint and prudent financial planning should allow the city to maintain a solid footing for years to come,” Palmieri’s office said in a news release.

At the same time, the report also indicated that Utica has “excelled in finding internal efficiencies,” such as a 17 percent reduction in the city’s workforce, since the start of Palmieri’s tenure as mayor.


Palmieri’s office also cites the FRB report as encouraging the city to seek further opportunities for shared services, but also recognizes that the city “has a solid history of sharing services with governmental neighbors, including Oneida County.”

Besides the assessment of Utica’s financial situation, the FRB also awarded the city a grant up to $500,000 to assist in implementing “efficiency” projects to lower the cost of maintaining traffic-signal infrastructure, Palmieri’s office said.

Utica had indicated a “need for assistance” in the increased cost of maintenance of traffic signals, devices, and lights, it added.

In addition, the FRB report recommended the city develop a parks and recreation master plan to assess long-term capital and operating priorities for which the FRB will provide a grant up to $250,000.

 “I thank Governor Cuomo and the Financial Restructuring Board staff for their time and dedication in thoroughly reviewing Utica’s financial operation. I am pleased with the findings as it validates the tough decisions we made to stabilize and improve our financial condition while giving us valuable recommendations to consider moving forward,” Palmieri said in the release.

He also acknowledged the FRB’s grant funding, “especially for traffic signal maintenance,” which will help Utica lower costs “for the long and short term.”

Palmieri in 2014 signed a resolution requesting the FRB provide a “comprehensive” review of the City of Utica’s operations, finances and practices.

Prior to 2012, Utica had reduced its fund balance from over $5 million to a negative figure to fill budget gaps. The city had “nearly depleted” certain reserves, such as the water capital-improvement trust, to support operations, Palmieri’s office said.

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