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City of New Rochelle Avoids Layoffs

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - A $1 million decrease in anticipated costs now allows the New Rochelle City Council to avert the proposed layoffs of six firefighters, two community service officers and 18 crossing guards.

City Manager Charles B. Strome, III told members of the City Council during Tuesday's budget work session that the final New York State health insurance rates are expected to be $1 million lower than anticipated.

“This news brings a great relief to our city staff, and a small relief to our 2012 budget,” said Strome. “However, it is a band aid approach to the grave challenges we face in future years," he said. "Until such time that the economy recovers and the state relieves cities of mandated costs, budgetary pressures will continue to mount.”

The 16 percent increase in the proposed budget based on early estimates will actually be closer to 5.5 percent, according to Strome.

New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson is also pleased, but also stressed the importance of keeping the course toward a more permanent fix to the city budget in the future. "It’s good news," said Mayor Bramson via his website. "But we must not confuse a temporary budget reprieve with a long-term solution to the City’s fiscal challenges," he said.

Budget deliberations will continue with a public hearing on December 6 at 7:30 p.m.

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