City of Lockport has credit rating downgraded

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) – A bond rating firm has cut the City of Lockport’s credit rating to the lowest investment grade.

The downgrade comes just a few days after an audit by the State Comptroller’s Office found the city’s accounting records were in such poor condition that “city officials were in the dark about the true severity of their fiscal problems.”

That will lead the city to run out of cash by winter and a $4.6 million deficit. Mayor Anne McCaffrey hopes to borrow $5 million from the state to keep city finances afloat.

The downgrade will affect interest rates when the city borrows money.

To save money, the Common Council will vote to approve a plan to hire an outside ambulance service at its next meeting September 3, according to the Lockport Union Sun and Journal. The city hopes using either Twin City or Rural Metro will reduce the costs of fire department overtime.

Currently, the city-run ambulance service is run by firefighters, but Mayor McCaffrey says the service costs a million dollars to run and only brings in $600,000 in revenue.

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