UTICA - With more than 40 amendments on the table, and now a time crunch, the Utica Common Council struggles to come to an agreement on the city's upcoming budget.

One of the largest issues on the table includes the $500,000 of funding needs for the city-approved paving plan. Councilman-at-large Ed Bucciero says it's nearly impossible to move forward with the groundwork without clear answers from Mayor Rob Palmieri.

"My information that I've gotten from sources within the city say that we'll be short $500,000 to meet the $5 million that we promised the people we would spend," Bucciero said. "I've been trying to get clarification from the administration."

Bucciero says if he's wrong and the money is in the paving plan capital fund, the Board of Estimate and Apportionment can reverse all the amendments.

Councilwoman Samatha Colosimo-Testa says that there are unknowns that have left the group searching for where the funding is coming from.

"If you look at our budget, it says revenues are coming from the capital trust and the expenditures are closing the gap, so theres not an excess of $500,000; it's an even amount of money;" Colosimo-Testa says. "So, if you look at the paving plan, it's $500,000 short, so if the mayor has an explanation to where that money is coming from, we'll be able to move forward come Monday."

Even with the uncertainties, some positive momentum was made tonight. The council approved amendments allocating $25,000 thousand to the Police Equipment Auto Fund to refurbish the Utica Police armadillo, as well as approving just over $20,000 to the Fire Prevention Fund on top of repairing area fire houses.

Should the clock tick down on Monday without a 'yes', the city will have to accept Palmieri's budget layout as is.


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