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New Rochelle City Manager Charles Strome III today released his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2021. Despite the tremendous economic pressure and uncertainty caused by the global pandemic the $237 million budget provides a balanced budget while maintaining service levels. The proposed tax levy increase is 3.38% in compliance with New York State tax cap legislation. The average homeowner will see an increase of $134, equating to less than $12 per month.
“This proposed budget is a responsible financial plan that maintains our public safety departments and preserves essential services while recognizing the eroded economic conditions we have experienced over these past nine months,” said City Manager Strome. “Thanks to the sound financial budgeting and planning of prior years, the revenue losses in sales tax, parking violations, state aid and investment earnings- which could have been devastating- have been offset by a healthy fund balance.”
The 2021 budget calls for the addition of four police officers to meet New York State mandated bail reform/discovery law responsibilities, and maintains the minimum manning of firefighters. The City’s infrastructure will be supported with sanitary sewer and storm drain enhancements, and the continuation of the 10-year capital plan. Economic development will progress with DRI-funded projects and Complete Streets, and critical technology upgrades will support document management and policing.
Union contractual obligations for employee salaries, health insurance and pension increases account for the remainder of the rise in expenses included in the proposed budget. These increases will be funded by tax revenue, fees, grant funding and anticipated increases in one-time revenue streams generated from the City’s development program.
“All governments, businesses and households have been impacted by the financial adversity caused by the pandemic, and economic uncertainty continues,” Strome concluded. “This budget represents a prudent and cautious approach to the year ahead.”
Copies of the proposed budget are available in the City Clerk’s office, at the New Rochelle Public Library and on the City’s website www.newrochelleny.com. The City Council will conduct budget review meetings in November and December and hold a public hearing on December 1st in advance of the adoption of a tax rate in December.