LOCKPORT – The city, whose finances are rated as “moderately stressed” by the State Comptroller’s Office, is planning to seek advice and perhaps money from a state agency.
At a work session Wednesday, the Common Council decided to vote next week on applying to the state Financial Restructuring Board for help. Council President Anne E. McCaffrey said the city could be eligible for up to $5 million in grants or loans by virtue of its state rating.
“If we don’t get the aid, we can still get their advice,” Alderman Patrick W. Schrader said. The board website says it can offer funding if the city follows recommendations the board makes after a state review of the city’s operations.
The state board also can substitute for the usual three-member panel in case of binding contract arbitration with police and fire unions. In Lockport, both unions are working under the terms of expired contracts.
The 2014 city budget laid off 16 workers, including four police officers and eight firefighters, although one of the fire jobs already has been restored.