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.
Through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), New Rochelle has been awarded nearly $37 million over two years to address the impacts of the COVID pandemic and “build back better.” Last night, the City Administration presented a proposed plan of action for utilizing our ARPA allocation. In addition to complying with the ARPA’s guidelines and restrictions, this plan is also designed to “(1) avoid duplication with Federal, State, and County programming; (2) achieve a whole-of-community, not just governmental, recovery; (3) prioritize one-time expenditures with sustained, long-term impact; and (4) reach for transformative opportunities that might be unattainable without the ARPA’s unique infusion of resources.” Read the whole plan here, as well as backup documentation related to green infrastructure, social infrastructure, and economic infrastructure. The City Council will consider this proposal in the context of our 2022 budget.
The City’s just-released annual comprehensive financial report and independent audit shows a (surprisingly, given the pandemic) positive fiscal picture for New Rochelle, with COVID-related revenue decreases offset by spending reductions. A healthy fund balance, retirement of debt, and federal rescue aid should provide a solid foundation for essential City operations and infrastructure investments going forward. This fiscal foundation will be further strengthened by new revenue from economic development. More reasons to be bullish about New Rochelle’s future. Here’s the full report.
The COVID relief package approved this week by Congress includes a wide range of positive features to help struggling families and businesses get back on their feet and to advance public health. Among other things, it could cut child poverty in half, a remarkable achievement.
Beyond these broad national impacts, the State and local aid provisions of the bill are highly significant to New Rochelle. Our city will receive approximately $36 million in direct aid, spread over two years. This assistance will enable New Rochelle to recoup COVID-related expenses and revenue losses, while also positioning our community as a whole for sustained recovery and resilience.
The precise use of our aid must fit certain limited categories defined in the legislation — we can’t spend the money on just anything. In the weeks ahead, the City Council and Administration will carefully review these parameters in order to ensure that federal assistance is used most effectively and equitably.
I thank President Biden, Majority Leader Schumer, and our entire federal delegation for their leadership on this critical priority.
As the first city in America to face a community outbreak of COVID, New Rochelle knows well the impact of the pandemic on municipal finances. That’s why we are joining 425 other cities, blue and red, in calling on Congress to provide direct fiscal relief. #AmericanRescuePlan
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.