Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says a new grant from the New York State Department of Health will help decrease the lead poisoning rate in some of Utica's hardest hit areas.

The County Health Department's Lead Primary Prevention Program received a $30,000 bump in funding, which will be used to increase inspections in Cornhill and West Utica.

Picente says the age of housing in those areas creates a higher risk for families there than in other parts of the city.

Since 2009, the program has seen a 30 percent decrease in lead poisoning rates, and the added funds should help the group maintain its momentum.

"The Lead Primary Prevention Program has been successful because the Health Department keeps pushing the envelope of what we can accomplish," Picente said. "The success of this project is not measured in numbers as much as in the lives of children who will grow up healthier."

The additional funding comes after the introduction of iPads to assist field agents in their work, which makes inspecting homes faster.