New Rochelle is launching a comprehensive initiative to promote environmentally-friendly (and quiet) landscaping practices. Partnering with Sustainable Westchester, the American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA), and Quiet Communities Inc. (QCi), and utilizing a $210,000 State grant, the City will begin transitioning to electric equipment for parks maintenance, while encouraging a similar transition among commercial landscapers through education, training, certification, and equipment rebates. This multi-layered strategy is more likely to be successful than a purely regulatory approach, which would face serious enforcement challenges. I am proud that New Rochelle is leading by example. More in this press release.
I am proud that New Rochelle’s early adoption of the NYS Stretch Energy Code was highlighted in a recent virtual summit hosted by Sustainable Westchester @SustWest. (The panel on which I participated begins at about 34:00.) NY Stretch is part of our larger effort to promote environmental and social governance, especially in the context of downtown development. It’s the right thing to do for our community and planet, cuts ongoing operational costs, and makes New Rochelle more attractive to mission-oriented investment.
It’s not a good idea just yet for us to gather in a big crowd at City Hall for a traditional State of the City Address, so, instead, I recorded a message to report on the opportunities and challenges confronting New Rochelle, and on the progress we have made together as a community. Please watch a video of the speech or read my remarks.
Even through the worst of the pandemic, New Rochelle kept making big strides on the essential priorities that will shape our future. When it comes to our economy and our budget, our environment and our neighborhoods, and our commitment to the dignity and worth of all people, we are poised to emerge from the crisis with fresh momentum and a renewed sense of possibility and optimism. The State of our City is strong.
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.
Beechmont Lake this morning. Beautiful!
This evening at 7:00pm, New Rochelle will launch a campaign to encourage clean energy solutions for heating and cooling. Supported by the Urban League of Westchester, Comrie Enterprises, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), this campaign will provide practical information about the benefits of clean heating and cooling technologies, connect contractors to customers, and help residents make the switch to electrification. You can view the virtual launch by registering at www.adoptcleanenergy.earth. More in this press release.