NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - New Rochelle City Manager Chuck Strome III has released a proposed $202 million budget that includes “historic investments into the city’s infrastructure” and will require an override of the state’s tax cap legislation.
On Thursday, Strome introduced the budget, which represents a potential tax rate increase of 6.72 percent, includes the addition of positions for the police and Department of Public Works. The proposed 10-year capital plan calls for citywide development and upwards of $150 million for infrastructure updates and improvements.
According to Strome, the $149.9 million capital plan includes the relocation of the Public Works facility , fire station upgrades, roadway improvements, more parks and environmental projects. It also includes the replacement of non-functioning and inefficient vehicles at the Public Works, Fire and Police Departments.
“This multi-year investment will benefit our city as a whole, and improve the quality of life for both businesses and residents,” he added.
“This budget is a responsible financial plan that includes funding for the further restoration of public safety services and a robust investment in the city’s infrastructure, while maintaining an adequate rainy day fund. Since the tax cap calculation does not exempt the cost of capital projects - as a number of municipalities have requested - an override is necessary.”
New Rochelle continues to struggle with unfunded mandates, with contractural obligations for employee salaries and health insurance increases accounts for much of the other rising expenses included in Strome’s proposed budget.
If approved by the City Council, the average homeowner in New Rochelle will see an increase of $227 in taxes annually. The increase above the tax cap of 4.84 percent is a one-time increase that will fund the capital plan and equates to an additional $164 annually, less than 1 percent of the average household tax bill.
“As the revitalization of our City continues, the need for adequate City resources will likewise grow. A prudent and cautious approach that recognizes and keeps pace with this demand will enable us to restore and maintain our extraordinary level of service to our citizens,” Strome concluded. “This budget provides the framework for achieving that goal.”
The budget is available in the City Clerk’s office, the New Rochelle Public Library and online . The City Council will host budget review sessions in the next two months, with the intention of adopting the tax rate in December.