Albany, NY (WIBX) - State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is implementing a new early warning system to identify cities struggling financially.

According to DiNapoli, the system uses nine financial indicators, including cash on hand, population trends and tax assessment growth to classify communities. Using these factors, scores will calculated and used to classify communities in either "significant financial stress," "moderate financial distress" or "nearing financial distress."

He says the program "will identify those headed down the path to financial crisis sooner and give local officials and the public sufficient time to discuss options."

Since 1980, Utica has lost 18 percent of its population, while the poverty rate has ballooned to 29 percent, more than double the state average of 14.2 percent.

The warning system will be reviewed by officials, and if accepted will be implemented starting December 31st.

For more information regarding the program, click here.