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Huge News: New Ro Receives $12 Million Federal Grant for LINC Project

Big, big news.  New Rochelle has been awarded a $12 million federal grant for the LINC project.

The LINC is among the most significant and transformative initiatives in New Rochelle’s history. By repurposing a portion of Memorial Highway (and its overpass extension to I-95) into a linear park, the LINC will bind together the Lincoln Avenue neighborhood with New Rochelle’s burgeoning downtown — enabling better, safer access to transit and employment, while also creating an expansive new open space and recreational amenity for tens of thousands of residents.  Combining our federal award with State dollars already allocated to the LINC through the DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative), the City is now in a position to fully implement this exciting vision.

Memorial Highway in its current form is a classic example of a car-centric planning disaster — a six-lane overbuilt thoroughfare, originally intended to connect the New England Thruway with the Hutchinson River and Cross County Parkways, but instead simply dumping excess traffic into local roads never designed to accept it.  Even worse, it is emblematic of the injustice visited upon many Black and Brown neighborhoods around the country that were either bulldozed or severed from their surroundings by acres of concrete.  The LINC presents a rare opportunity to heal a historic wound and build a better, more equitable future for everyone in New Rochelle.

The federal RAISE program, the source of our grant, is highly-competitive; only a fraction of applications from the entire nation receive awards.  New Rochelle’s win is, therefore, a powerful vote of confidence in the project and in our community.  I am deeply grateful for the leadership of President Biden and Secretary Buttigieg and for the exceptional advocacy of our federal delegation, led by Senator Schumer, who championed New Rochelle’s grant application, with strong support from Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Bowman.

Thank you also to the City’s planning and development team.  Their persistence and hard work were instrumental in New Rochelle putting forward a compelling application and making the best possible case to federal officials.

There’s more about this announcement in the Journal News, and here’s additional information about the LINC.

Downtown at Dusk

 

New Rochelle’s burgeoning downtown looks gorgeous at dusk, with Long Island Sound to the left and the distant towers of Manhattan just visible on the horizon.  And yet as pretty as this photo may be, it doesn’t quite do justice to the in-person, breathtaking depth and beauty of the scene, as viewed from the rooftop of the Standard on Lecount Place.  I couldn’t be more excited about the growing energy and life of our city’s core, and it’s only going to get better.

City Manager Proposes Draft Budget for 2022

City Manager Chuck Strome’s draft budget for 2022 proposes enhanced investments in infrastructure and public safety staffing, while adhering to the State property tax cap.  Here’s a little more detail, as well as links to a presentation and the proposed budget itself.  The City Council will review the document during the weeks ahead and will have an opportunity to consider potential amendments prior to adopting a final budget in mid-December.

Everyone Deserves a Happy Thanksgiving

Thank you to Stop and Shop for a generous donation of 1,200 turkeys to HOPE Community Services and Feeding Westchester.  And thank you also to the NRPD and New Rochelle’s Parks & Rec staff for helping to transport the birds.  Everyone deserves a Happy Thanksgiving, and this donation will make a difference to many families in our city and region.

The BID is a BFD

For years now, “infrastructure week” has been a jokey shorthand for Washington’s inability to address big challenges.  That changed last night, when the House of Representatives approved the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, an ambitious $1 trillion package of essential investments in our nation’s future, including transportation, clean energy, climate resilience, and broadband.  Here’s detail.

President Biden, Speak Pelosi, and Senator Schumer deserve enormous credit for shepherding this once-in-a-generation plan through Congress, as do the Representatives and Senators who persevered through difficult negotiations to reach common ground.

The work isn’t done.  It’s essential now to follow up with a companion package that aims to expand economic opportunity, strengthen families, and further address the climate crisis.

But there’s no denying this is a big deal that will make a positive difference here in New Rochelle and in communities all across America, while demonstrating that principled, results-oriented national leadership really matters.

Congratulations to George, Tim, and Damon

Congratulations to George Latimer, Tim Idoni, and Damon Maher on their victories in yesterday’s Westchester County election.  And congratulations also to all the candidates around our region who prevailed in their contests, including Terry Clements and Catherine Parker, who represent portions of New Rochelle and ran unopposed.  I am grateful for the opportunity to continue working with these outstanding public servants.  Full results here.

Penn Access on Track

It’s all systems go for Penn Access, the regional transit initiative that will link Metro-North’s New Haven line to Penn Station.  When the project is completed in about five years, New Rochelle will be an especially big beneficiary, boasting the closest station to NYC with direct service to both the east and west sides of Manhattan.  This week, local leaders received a briefing on the project from County Executive George Latimer and Metro-North officials.  I was pleased to join colleagues at every level of government in full support.  Here’s video of our press conference (my comments begin at about 17:45), and there’s more information in this release.

Heavy Rain Forecast for Tonight and Tomorrow

I’ve just sent the following message citywide.  Please use caution during the storm and stay safe.

Good afternoon. This is the City of New Rochelle with a storm alert.

Para espanol, oprima numero uno. 

Heavy rain is forecast for our area, beginning this evening, then intensifying early tomorrow morning and continuing through tomorrow afternoon, with the possibility of flash floods.

We urge residents to avoid unnecessary travel and use caution, particularly during tomorrow’s rush hour, when the storm may be especially intense.

The City has already cleared culverts and catch basins in flood prone areas and will continue monitoring conditions. Additional bulletins will follow, if warranted.

Meanwhile, some of us are still recovering from the remains of Hurricane Ida. If you have not applied for FEMA disaster assistance, the deadline is Monday December 6. The City webpage www.newrochelleny.com/idarecovery has more information.

And for the latest on the current storm, visit newrochelleny.com/stormupdates.

This has been Mayor Noam Bramson.  Thank you for listening, and stay safe. 

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