Last night, the City Council unanimously authorized a $200,000 expenditure for urgently-needed pothole repair. The funding will enable the City to retain contractors to supplement our very small in-house staff.
The contractors should be able to get working in early to mid-April (it takes a little time to receive and accept bids and then mobilize field crews,) but at least help is on the way. In the meantime, the City will attempt to address the worst locations with our own workers.
Next week, the Council is likely to take an even more significant step by issuing bonds for road resurfacing. The amount of the bond is still being determined, but in rough terms, we will double our typical paving budget. Usually, the City’s road work is covered entirely by a State grant, but the amount of that grant is simply insufficient to maintain a road network as extensive as New Rochelle’s, which means we fall behind just a little bit more each year. This supplementary funding will enable us to play catch-up and provide a longer-term fix for several major roads.
New Rochelle’s City government is very frugal. We watch every penny and are careful about issuing debt, but this strikes me as a necessary and appropriate expenditure that will stabilize vital physical assets, not to mention improve our safety and quality of life.