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New Rochelle Council Rules Budget Can Meet Tax Cap After Cuts

Photo Credit: Filed

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- The City of New Rochelle's 2014 budget will be able to meet the state tax levy cap after cuts, the City Council concluded on Tuesday afternoon.

Though the final adoption will not be made until Dec. 17, the Council has determined it is possible using some of City Manager Charles Strome's suggestions.

These suggestions would cut $1 million from the budget, according to Strome.

The cuts Strome has suggested come from the now defunct Forest City Echo Bay project, changes in government worker health insurance and bonding a $290,000 capital improvement project instead of using city funds.

The Council also adopted a proposed bill that would change the water rate base for fire hydrants. As opposed to including the fee in the water bills of property owners, which does not affect tax-exempt entities, the rate will be split amongst all water users by usage. 

This is due, largely, to the city receiving its water from a private company: United Water.

Mayor Noam Bramson explained there is a portion of water service that deals with Public Safety in hydrants and fire suppression. In most places in New York, those charges are incorporated via a water rate base, and are not segregated out.

"When you have private water in places like New Rochelle, those public safety costs have been separated out and charge to the municipality," he said. "Only taxpayers pay it. We decided to take charge and make our situation similar to the taxpayer, and so the cost will be distributed across all water users."

The Council will hold its final meeting of the calendar year on Tuesday, Dec. 17, when it will make a final adoption of the budget.


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