NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - The New Rochelle City Council has unanimously approved City Manager Chuck Strome III’s $202 million budget that includes “historic investments into the city’s infrastructure” and will require an override of the state’s tax cap legislation.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, the City Council approved the budget , which includes a tax rate increase of 6.72 percent. The increase of 4.84 percent above the tax cap rate of 1.88 percent is solely to fund capital projects in conjunction with New Rochelle’s 10-year capital plan.
The increase above the tax cap represents less than 1 percent increase of the average household tax bill. The proposed capital plan calls for citywide development and upwards of $150 million for infrastructure updates and improvements.
New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson noted that the budget “reflects (the city’s) improving economic condition, with record-high sales tax receipts and a robust fund balance to provide for fiscal stability going forward.”
“The 10-year infrastructure program, perhaps the most extensive in New Rochelle’s history, will be funded by a one-time property tax increase above the state tax,” he added. “While no one wants to pay (or impose) a penny more in taxes; in my opinion, this is a good deal. In exchange for that 1 percent, we’ll get significant value.”
The spending plan also includes the addition of several city positions in the police and fire departments, the Departments of Public Works and Labor. According to Strome, the budget includes funding to restore 12 positions that were eliminated as a result of prior year’s lean budgets, as well as funding for additional sidewalk cleaning, pothole repairs and contractural obligations.
“As an administration that remains committed to fiscal responsibility, we are constantly faced with making hard decisions - decisions that enable us to provide the best possible services for the lowest possible cost,” Strome wrote in a letter to the City Council. “The city is poised to become a much more sought after place to live and work and an investment by all residents, both current and future, will reap a vibrant city.”
The budget is available in the City Clerk’s office, the New Rochelle Public Library and online .