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With COVID Rates Rising, Keep Thanksgiving Gatherings Small

I just sent the following message citywide.  As much as we all want to gather with family and friends for Thanksgiving, it’s important to keep this season’s celebrations small.  May we be thankful for our blessings, even at this time of challenge, and look forward with hope to better days ahead.

This is Mayor Noam Bramson with a public health update.

Para espanol, oprima numero uno.

COVID rates continue to rise in our city and region, so as we approach Thanksgiving, let’s show our gratitude for medical workers, first responders, and others on the front line, by keeping our in-person holiday celebrations small, and connecting with extended family by phone or video, instead.

Act wisely and responsibly to protect yourself, your loved ones, and our community. Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Stay home if you’re sick. And for a free test, call 1-888-364-3065.

For more information, visit www.newrochelleny.com/coronavirus.

Finally, a reminder about this week’s DPW holiday schedule. There will be no garbage pickup on Thursday or Friday. Citywide comingled pickup will occur tomorrow, Wednesday, as usual.

Thank you for listening, and, even in this challenging season, let’s all be mindful of our blessings and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

County Delivers PPE

Thank you to County Executive George Latimer and his team for delivering hand sanitizer and masks to New Rochelle City Hall last week.  As we look ahead to a potentially challenging winter, supplies of PPE will help the City safeguard essential workers and support community organizations.

Yellow COVID Zone Established in New Rochelle

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New York State has established a yellow COVID zone in portions of New Rochelle.  A few moments ago, I sent the following message citywide:

This is Mayor Noam Bramson with an important public health update.

Today, New York State established a yellow COVID zone in parts of New Rochelle and in several other communities of Westchester. New Rochelle’s zone covers about half of the 10801 zip code and a portion of the 10805 zip code.   For a detailed map, please visit newrochelleny.com/coronavirus.

Within the yellow zone, restaurant dining is limited to 4 people per table, houses of worship are limited to 50% capacity, and non-residential gatherings are restricted to a maximum of 25 people. Remember that gatherings at private homes are already limited to a maximum of ten people state-wide. Information on public school impacts will come directly from the School District. For a full description, please visit forward.ny.gov.

Starting Monday, City Hall will be closed to the public, except by appointment. Multiple services will remain available online.

The creation of a yellow zone should serve as a significant warning to residents in all neighborhoods of New Rochelle that COVID rates are rising fast, and that further restrictions will be necessary if we cannot bring the virus under control.

Take responsible action. Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands frequently. And avoid non-essential contact. Stay home if you’re sick, and get tested if you think you may have been exposed.

Free coronavirus tests are still available at the drive-thru center at Glen Island and at the walk-thru center on Guion Place by Montefiore Hospital. To schedule a test, call 1-888-364-3065.

To report violations of COVID restrictions, call the City Manager’s office at 914-654-2140 or the State hotline at 1-833-789-0470.

New Rochelle has faced this challenge before, and we will face it again with determination, calm, and respect for all of our neighbors.

Thank you for listening. Additional bulletins will follow as warranted. And stay healthy.

Drew Days, Rest in Peace

Drew Days, one of New Rochelle High School’s most accomplished and admired graduates, has passed away.  His exceptional legal career was wide-ranging, with a special focus on the defense and expansion of civil rights.  Among many other professional achievements, he rose to become the the Solicitor General of the United States under President Clinton.  Learn more in this obituary.  May Drew Days serve as a lasting source of inspiration to our community and nation, and may he rest in peace.

Free Removal of Hazardous Trees

Do you have an ailing tree on your property that could potentially threaten electric lines if it falls?  Then you may be eligible to have the tree removed for free through Con Edison’s Hazardous Tree Program.  To learn more, email Con Edison at bwlineclearance@coned.com.

During recent storms, collapsing trees have knocked out power for tens of thousands of Westchester residents.  Responsible tree maintenance can help limit future damage, so please take advantage of this free service from Con Ed.

 

COVID Cases Rising

COVID numbers throughout our region are rising at an alarming rate, with more than 200 active cases in New Rochelle as of this writing.  If these trends continue, it seems likely that the State will establish “cluster zones” at several locations around Westchester, with the re-imposition of restrictions on commerce and gatherings.

The trajectory of the virus is in our hands.  If we act responsibly — wearing masks, keeping our distance, washing our hands frequently — then we can control the spread, just as we did in the spring, and avert the disruptive effects of a shutdown.  If we let down our guard, then negative consequences will ensue, including, most importantly, the loss of life.

It is hard to be disciplined after so many months of struggle, when all of us are eager for a return to normal life.  But easing up now will only prolong and intensify the crisis.  Let’s once again rise to the occasion as a community and do the right thing together.

City Manager Proposes 2021 Budget

City Manager Chuck Strome has proposed a budget for 2021.  Despite the significant negative fiscal impacts of the COVID pandemic, the proposed budget maintains current service levels and adheres to the State property tax cap by drawing upon the City’s robust fund balance.  The fund balance (essentially our savings account and rainy day fund) has grown across several years of strong economic performance, and it makes sense to utilize these dollars to cushion the blow of the COVID fiscal shock.  But this is not a sustainable practice over the long-term, which is why federal aid for localities like New Rochelle remains a vital priority.  Here’s the full budget proposal.

In the weeks ahead, the City Council will review the proposed budget carefully and consider potential amendments, with the goal of adopting a final budget in mid-December.

 

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