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Thursday, September 3, 2015

A review of capital projects completed in recent years in the city of Lockport found that over $700,000 the city had allocated to those projects disappeared.

The projects themselves were done, but used money from the city's general, water, sewer and refuse funds instead of the $724,444.16 the city had borrowed in 2012 specifically for the projects, which included $386,458 in roof repairs, $90,250 for a storm sewer on Tudor Lane, $66,128 in demolition, $40,926 for a harbor project study, and numerous smaller items. In all, nearly 40 projects had funds remaining in their specially created accounts.

Now those funds are going to be returned to where they belong, including $491,438 going back into the general fund and $146,311 going back to the sewer fund.

In 2014, the city incurred layoffs and asked for help from the state in order to not finish the year in the red. Officials say had the money it borrowed been used correctly, at least some of those financial issues from 2014 could have been avoided.

The fire department was the hardest hit when layoffs became an option and now officials in the fire department's union are hoping that the money having been found, they can get some of their employees back to work.

On Wednesday, the Common Council also voted to re-establish a debt-funded Municipal Roof Repair project to repair structures at Willow Street and Outwater parks. The city had been awarded $150,000 from the state to complete the projects according to Mayor Anne McCaffrety. Work is expected to begin in 2016.

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