Utica’s Money Woes: A New Idea

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Utica's Money Woes_ A New Idea_-8103248318054317709

            As the dustsettled at last night’s special common council meeting, the Bank of Uticastepped up to aid the city. But for some it raised the question of how toprevent a financial crisis from happening again. One councilmember is proposinglegislation to do just that.

            FrankVescera says, “The legislation will prevent the co-mingling offunds and provide for a dedicated account for the school system tax collectionfunds. The interest garnered from that fund would obviously belong to the city,but the principle can’t be touched unless payment is made to the schooldistrict.”

            Part of the problem was the city is waiting on ten milliondollars in state aid through a program called aid and incentive formunicipalities. Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi is now asking the governor to lookinto the immediate release of that aid. Otherwise the city will have to waituntil March 31st.  Council Member Frank Vescerasays he has support for the new legislation and one councilmember that agreeswith his idea.

            Council Member Samantha Colosimo-Testa says, “That way you’renot strapped in terms of having to get our state relief a little earlier andbasically it just gives us a little more organization to where the money shouldgo and what we use it for.”

            CouncilmenVescera says the third part of his legislation will be to change the budgetaryyear from April first to June first.

            “Thecity budget and the state budget are the same, April first. If we move thebudget, our budget to June it will take away a lot of the uncertainty thatexists with how much money we’re getting or not getting from the state.”

            Vescera says he hopes to propose this legislation at the nextcommon council meeting in March.

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