NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The New Rochelle City Council Tuesday night passed a $153 million 2013 city budget that maintains night firefighter coverage levels but cuts two police positions.
The cuts were based on recommendations of the city’s Citizens Panel on Sustainable Budgets.
The city will now spend $300,000 to keep 27 firefighters on duty at night, rather than the originally proposed 24.
New Rochelle firefighter union president Byron Gray said the budget keeps an adequate number of firemen on duty. “It’s still not ideal, but at least it’s not reduced as originally thought,” he said.
The city will spend $250,000 on curbside pickup of unbagged leaves, which was discussed as a possible cut during the budget process.
The city will increase fees at the city marina and for the parks and recreation tennis program, in order to pay for the fire coverage and leaf pickup.
The city expects to collect $125,000 in marina fees, $10,000 in tennis fees and see $150,000 in health insurance savings. It also will use $650,000 between its reserves and fund balance.
The budget preserves most of the city's services and includes a 6.99 percent property tax-rate increase, City Manager Charles Strome and Finance Commissioner Howard Rattner said when the budget was presented in November.
Strome said the tax increase for the average homeowner will be $207, or about 1 percent of the homeowner’s total tax bill, which includes county and school district taxes.
The budget goes into effect Jan. 1.