Saying the health and safety of Utica residents are the top priorities of his administration, Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri says the city will be reducing its workforce to only essential employees.

Palmieri says the directive will go into effect on Monday and remain in place until at least April 15th.

He says essential services like public safety and infrastructure will continue to be delivered to residents.

City Hall will remain closed to the public until further notice.

Residents can contact City Departments with any inquires by e-mail or telephone.

The Utica Common Council has approved a new budget for 2020-21.

The vote was unanimous.

The $72.5 million dollar spending plan carries a 1.89 percent property tax increase.

Friday’s Council meeting was conducted via teleconference due to concerns over the coronavirus.