Utica Council passes budget with 24 cuts in public safety and 9.9% tax increase

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Utica Council passes budget with 24 cuts in public safety and 9.9% tax increase_5606880559184496727

A vote was made Tuesday night to finalize Utica’s budget.

The Common Council passed a budget that included a 9.9% tax increase, which is less than what Mayor Robert Palmieri proposed in his first budget.

In terms of cuts, Councilman at Large, Frank Meola says there will be 12 bodies cut in the Utica Police Department and the Utica Fire Department.

The Council voted 7 in favor of the budget and 2 who voted against.

Council members, Joe Marino and Samantha Colosimo-Testa voted against the proposed budget.

“It’s structurally not what i worked on. I had it down to approximately 5.5%, which is above the 2% that I promised people I would vote for, but I knew that the structure of it was accurate,” said Marino.

PBA President, Sgt. Dominick Nitti says these cuts will also affect ranking in the department.

“We have a Deputy Chief now who is going to be a Captain who’s going to be a Sergeant… We have a Lieutenant who is going to be dropped down to a Patrolman again, that’s two ranks he’s dropping,” said Sgt. Nitti.

“I’m shocked that they would even consider that. The crime on our street is horrible, we need our policemen, we need our firemen, we need less Councilmen. We don’t need six Councilmen. We don’t need three Councilmen at Large,” said Utica Resident, Barbara Ziezio.

Sgt. Nitti says this entire process still isn’t over.

He says he will be contacting the Mayor tomorrow morning to see what kind of negotiations he can work out.

When everything is said and done, the tax increase and cuts will be effective April 1st.

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