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Hage and Hage Owed More Money For Services

JK Hage Presenting Information To The Finance Committee
Zach Lewis, WIBX

Utica, NY (WIBX) – There’s still money owed to Hage and Hage  Law and Consulting in connection with the GroWest Investigation.

J.K. Hage spoke before the Utica Finance Committee to outline what services he performed totaling $75,437.49 after the completion of the initial GroWest report.

That report was presented August 2, but Hage continued to work from August 3 to December 31 on services pertaining to GroWest, including research and preparation of documents for lawsuits, negotiations with GroWest legal counsel and review of FOIL issues with the city’s Corporation Counsel. In addition, Hage’s firm had conferences with the Corporation Counsel, Urban and Economic Development representatives and consultants and HUD regarding reorganization of UED and a revised 5 Year Consolidated Plan.

Hage discounted the additional months of service by $48,000–that’s $36,000 in a courtesy credit and $12,000 in interest.

“We think we’ve given a lot of value to the city of Utica,” he said. “We’ve done it at a very attractive, very discounted rate. Yes, it’s a lot of money, but a lot less than it would have been for most other law firms to do this work.”

He says the investigation has brought to light that there’s serious money to be had in an aggressive Urban and Economic Development Department and Utica needs to do more to get and use grant funding.

Mayor David Roefaro says common council members got to hear from Hage and see just how beneficial the report was and how needed it was.

“This investigation was crucial to the city of Utica,” he said. “If we didn’t do this, we would have had so many problems of not following through.”

Roefaro says the 5 Year Plan that Hage wrote will details how Utica will spend HUD money and how the city is going to move forward. He says because the 5 Year Plan was required by HUD detailing how money will be spent, HUD will reimburse the city $25,000 to $30,000 for Hage’s service in writing the plan.

The common council is expected to pass transfer of fund legislation to pay the additional Hage bill at the next scheduled full common council meeting.

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