The text of this memo may be a little dull, but the effect of its recommendations would be pretty exciting: rebuilding New Rochelle’s infrastructure (or at least starting to.)
While New Rochelle’s budget and workforce are lean across the board, infrastructure is the City’s most severely and chronically underfunded municipal priority. Our deteriorating physical condition impacts everything from public safety, to property values, to our ability to attract economic development.
In this recent blog post, I reported on the Council’s decision to increase the City’s road paving budget. That was a positive step, but a one-time allocation to a single need is insufficient. What’s really needed is a comprehensive and consistent policy of investment.
With such a policy, we’ll be in a better position to fix existing assets from pavement to sewer lines. And we’ll be in a better position to shape the city of the future, from road redesigns to park enhancements. That’s the intent of my memo.
To be honest, even with these recommendations implemented, our infrastructure resources will still cover only a small fraction of need, but I’ll take incremental progress any day of the week, and this would be a big step toward giving New Rochelle a stronger physical foundation over time.
The City Council discussed this subject during our meeting last night, and I was very pleased by the broad, positive support that was offered. There is a growing consensus among City leaders (and, I think, in our community as a whole) that current levels of infrastructure investment are simply unsustainable, and it’s time now to do something about it.
Read the whole memo for more.