NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – City park maintenance staffing, equipment purchases, marina fees, building regulations and city infrastructure were among the topics touched on during a discussion Tuesday of the proposed New Rochelle city budget for 2013.
The $153,551,034 proposed budget would preserve most of the city's services and require a 5.57 percent property tax levy increase, City Manager Charles Strome and Finance Commissioner Howard Rattner said during the document’s official presentation Nov. 14.
The proposed budget would not provide enough funding to maintain playground equipment at city parks, New Rochelle Parks and Recreation Commissioner Bill Zimmermann said.
Staffing could go down to one at City Park from four workers, the number needed to keep up the park, he said. The $13 million park needs to be properly managed and maintained, Zimmermann said.
New Rochelle could save money because the area now has astroturf material, which doesn’t require weekly landscaping, District One Council member Louis Trangucci said.
But adequate staff was still needed because some areas still need landscaping, Zimmermann said.
The council also wanted more information before it considers raising fees for residents to use boats at its marina. The figures will be presented at the its Dec. 4 meeting.
The council said information it requested from the Fire Department about incidents at night was inconsistent with the department's presentation Nov. 15. The council said it will further discuss this issue with the Fire Department.
The city hopes to prevent a $1.5 million shortfall through property tax increases and reductions in city expenses. The proposed real estate tax levy increase of 5.57 percent would equal a 6.99 percent tax rate increase because the city’s tax base decreased by $3.6 million this year, Strome said during a briefing Nov. 9.
The tax increase for the average homeowner would be $207, or about 1 percent of the total tax bill, he said.
The public can comment on the budget proposal at a hearing Dec. 4. The council will be able to make changes before possibly voting on the budget Dec. 11. It goes into effect Jan. 1.
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