Oneida County will be providing $300,000 to the Utica Zoo over the next two years to assist the zoo in achieving accreditation.

The funding will help pay for maintenance and rehabilitation costs.

The special funding will be split in disbursements of $150,000 and comes from unanticipated revenue in the county's appropriated fund balance.

The Board of Legislators approved the funding on Wednesday.

The Utica Zoo submitted its accreditation application to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in February and the agency will conduct its physical inspection of the facility this summer.

"The Utica Zoo has been serving the region for more than 100 years, educating the children of our county and bringing joy to families near and far," Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said. "The zoo has made unprecedented strides to correct its financial situation and put itself on a path of growth that will benefit the entire Mohawk Valley. In order to take the next step in its aggressive master plan, it needs our help to supplement the cost of more than 20 years of deferred maintenance to secure its long-sought accreditation. Oneida County is happy to invest in the Utica Zoo to help it achieve this goal."

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