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City to receive state funding to combat poverty

By THOMAS ADAMS - 3/28/2014 4:27:31 PM

The city of Rochester has been allocated $88 million in Aid and Incentives for Municipalities, and will get an additional $6 million for initiatives to reduce its poverty rate, officials announced Friday.

“This appropriation is being made available in direct response to the city’s need for additional funding to combat its chronically high poverty rate,” Sen. Joseph Robach, R-Greece, and Assemblyman Joseph Morelle, D-Irondequoit, said in a joint statement.

City leaders have lobbied the state for the last several years for more AIM funding. Rochester traditionally gets less than Buffalo and Syracuse.

“This is the first time since 2008 that the city has seen a non-spin up unrestricted aid increase, despite the efforts of several previous mayors,” Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said in a statement released late Friday afternoon. “I am very grateful that our message got through this year with significant results.

“This is not the end of our efforts to secure increased funding from Albany.  We will continue to seek out programmatic and competitive funding from a multitude of state departments. While I am deeply appreciative, I also want to make clear that we have not given up the fight for AIM aid parity and a need-based AIM aid formula in the next budget year. “

The news came as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders worked to hammer out details in the 2014-15 state budget due Monday.

“This action is a step in the right direction toward resolving the historic disparities within the AIM funding formula and will greatly assist the city in addressing this year’s fiscal challenges,” Robach and Morelle said.

Budget bills need to be printed by midnight for an on-time budget to be presented Monday, the last day of the state’s 2013-14 fiscal year. The budget has been on time the last three years.

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