LOCKPORT – The City of Lockport is no longer on the state’s list of fiscally stressed local governments, two years after it nearly ran out of cash.
The State Comptroller’s Office on Thursday confirmed an announcement made at Wednesday’s Common Council meeting by Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey.
In 2013, Lockport first appeared on the watch list as moderately fiscally stressed. It wasn’t rated in 2014 because it failed to complete its financial statements on time, a problem which was highlighted in multiple state and private-sector audits of the city’s books.
Last year, Lockport’s score improved enough that it was deemed “susceptible” to fiscal stress.
This year, it will not appear in any warning categories.
“They’re getting themselves back on solid financial footing,” said Brian Butry, a spokesman for the Comptroller’s Office, who said a statewide list of fiscal stress scores for local governments will be announced next week.
McCaffrey said the result confirms the success of the work done by her, the Common Council, Finance Director Scott A. Schrader and City Treasurer Sue A. Mawhiney in improving Lockport’s finances.
One of the important steps was a special state law passed in 2014 that allowed Lockport to borrow more than $4 million to pay off accumulated deficits, with a 10-year repayment plan for the bonds.
Also, the Comptroller’s Office was required to preapprove the city’s annual budgets for 10 years.
McCaffrey said the proposed 2017 budget will be sent to the Comptroller’s Office and presented to the Council on Oct. 5. The Council’s budget vote is expected Nov. 16.