Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri's latest budget proposal includes a 3.75% tax increase, or about $3.50 more per month for the average homeowner.

The mayor joined WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning to talk about his $64-million spending plan, just one day after releasing it to the public and the Board of E&A.

Palmieri outlined how it was possible to project a budget with a smaller than expected tax increase, services for residents and how he hopes to grow the economy.

  • ''It was a combination of department heads doing a great job all year.''
  • Meet every two weeks to 'find out where we are'.
  • "Let's no kid ourselves, it's not going to be any easier next year either."
  • On proposing no layoffs: "You can't cut to the point that you no longer have the ability to serve the customers" (city residents).
  • However, the Mayor is looking to eliminate 10 positions through attrition, he said.
  • Palmieri notes that Utica had 630 employees in 2009, and has 510 in 2013.
  • Economic development coming? "I think you're going to see the harbor explode in the next couple of years," Palmieri said.