Tesla Charging Stations Coming to New Roc Garage

Through a new arrangement negotiated by our Department of Development, Tesla Motors will soon install eight new electric vehicle charging stations at the New Roc garage.

These kinds of public-private partnerships promote sustainability, while helping our city build out the infrastructure of tomorrow.

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Green Infrastructure Coming to New Ro

green-infrastructureWith help from the Long Island Sound Futures Fund (in the form of a $55,000 grant,) the City of New Rochelle will create new standards for green infrastructure with the goal of integrating green features into both public and private development.

Green infrastructure is  broad term that includes things like bioswales, rain gardens, and restored wetlands, all of which help manage storm water run-off and improve water quality.  As an alternative to traditional gray infrastructure like catch basins and storm water lines, green infrastructure is often more attractive and less expensive.

I applaud New Rochelle’s Public Works and Development departments for partnering on this initiative and look forward to the results.

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Mulch Mowing Demonstration This Saturday

LeavesBack in 2013, New Rochelle adopted a new leaf collection policy, providing homeowners with several options: (1) bag or can leaves for weekly pickup; (2) ask landscapers to deliver leaves directly to the City’s disposal site; or (3) mulch mow leaves in place.

While every resident should determine their own preferred course of action, in most cases, mulch mowing will be the most sensible choice.  It provides a free natural fertilizer that helps nourish lawns, it’s no harder to perform than standard lawn mowing, and it saves on all the expense associated with transporting leaves from one location to another.

To learn more about mulch mowing, please consider attending a free workshop this Saturday, November 5th at 3:00pm at Huguenot Park (North Avenue in front of New Rochelle High School.)  A professional landscaper will be on hand to provide a demonstration and answer questions.  You can also obtain more information on the City’s website or by calling 914-235-4029.

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Journal News Covers City Yard Move

Moving the City Yard will open the Echo Bay shoreline to public access and economic development.

Moving the City Yard will open the Echo Bay shoreline to public access and economic development.

Good piece in the Journal News this morning about the relocation of New Rochelle’s public works yard, and what this step means for the future of our waterfront.

As I noted in this prior post, the City Council’s unanimous decision to move the yard is one of the most significant, consequential – and positive – actions we’ve taken in recent years.

Read the whole article here.

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New Ro, Yonkers and White Plains Take Green Cities Commuter Challenge

Mayor Noam Bramson accepts the Green Cities Commuter Challenge.

Mayor Noam Bramson accepts the Green Cities Commuter Challenge.

Last week, I joined the mayors of Yonkers and White Plains, Mike Spano and Tom Roach, to accept New York’s Green Cities Commuter Challenge.

Over the next two years, our three cities will have a friendly competition to see who can achieve the biggest reduction in greenhouse gas emissions among municipal employees.   The competition will be overseen by Metropool, which will also provide important logistical support, including publicly-visible video screens that will display transit and mobility options.

It’s a nice thing to do for three reasons: (1) there’s an intrinsic value to any energy savings we achieve; (2) we set a positive example for other large institutions and businesses; (3) we can better attract residents and investors who care about green practices.

There’s a lot more information in this press release.

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Council Approves City Yard Plan – Big Step Clears Way for Waterfront Improvement

Moving the City Yard will open the Echo Bay shoreline to public access and economic development.

Moving the City Yard will open the Echo Bay shoreline to public access, environmental improvements, and economic development.

Last night, after many years of intense debate, the New Rochelle City Council came together on a unanimous, bipartisan basis to approve a location and to dedicate funding for a new Public Works Operations Center (or “City Yard.”)

Through a public-private partnership, the City Yard will be situated in the ground level of a new structure at the Home Depot/Costco retail complex.  The upper levels of this same structure will be devoted to commercial uses.  A smaller portion of our public works activities will be sited remotely along Beechwood Avenue in the West End, mainly on property already owned by the City.

This is a very significant step for two reasons:

First, it is a necessary and overdue investment in critical infrastructure. 

Our existing City Yard is in deplorable condition and requires a constant stream of emergency appropriations to keep it up and running.   Think of it like a beat-up old car with 200,000 miles on the odometer – risky to drive and urgently needing replacement.  The new City Yard will enable us to deliver essential public works services efficiently and effectively for decades to come.

Second, it opens the Echo Bay waterfront for public access, environmental improvements, and economic development. 

The existing City Yard was sited on East Main Street a century ago, at a time when the shoreline was seen as an industrial access point, but no rational person would choose to put a public works facility on the waterfront today, where it completely blocks access to Long Island Sound.  The City Yard has been the principal obstacle to positive changes at Echo Bay.  Now this obstacle is being swept away, allowing us to activate the waterfront for higher and better uses.

The total price tag, a combination of debt and lease payments, comes to about $1.5 million per year.  But because development on Echo Bay and on the upper levels of the Yard structure will generate new revenue, the net cost to taxpayers will be lower – and certainly a lot lower than rebuilding the Yard where it is today.  In short, in addition to making good planning sense, this is a fiscally responsible move, too.

I congratulate and thank our professional staff and all the members of the City Council, Democrats and Republicans, for addressing this vital issue.

And I look forward to the day – now just about 18 months distant – when it will be possible to stand on US 1, look to the south, and – for the first time in our lives – see an unobstructed view of the shore.

 

 

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