New Rochelle City Council to Discuss Iona Dorms, New Union Contract

Also on the agenda will be a discussion of a study about sharing fire services with the Village of Pelham.

The New Rochelle City Council has dorm occupancy, a study of shared fire services and a new contract for union workers on its plate Tuesday.

The council will meet beginning at 3:45 p.m. and will have a public hearing at 7:30 p.m., followed by Citizens to Be Heard.

The public hearing will be chance for residents to voice their concerns about Iona College's request to extend the increased number of students able to be housed in its dorms by five years.

The rationale is that there was a two-year extension granted when the college discovered it was not in compliance with the city's zoning code, while remaining in compliance with fire codes and state standards. The city's code allowed fewer students in dormitory housing.

The extension, if granted, would be contingent on the approval of a final report by the College-City-Community Planning Committee that includes the recommendation of the extension.

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Union employees could see a new four-year contract if the council approves a collective bargaining agreement with Civil Service Employees Association.

Under the proposed agreement, workers will have a salary freeze for 2012 and 2013 during which there will be no layoffs due to budgetary reasons or program cuts.

For the third and fourth years of the contract, there would be a 2 percent salary increase for both of the years.

One proposed provision would allow new hires, beginning Jan. 1, 2012, to be employed at a salary 10 percent lower than the current step in each grade. The change would only apply to employees hired after the union and city ratified the agreement.

In an effort to find out if the cost of fire protection could be reduced, the city will vote on authorizing a $6,000 study of shared fire services between New Rochelle and the Village of Pelham.

The Pelham Road restaurant has applied for a special permit for a cabaret license and the City Council will consider voting itself lead agency in order to begin the environmental review process required by the state.

The city may issue a permit if the occupany limit does not exceed 250 persons and complies with such requirements as noise abatement and identifying the impact on residences and businesses within a 500-foot radius of the establishment.

The council will likely vote on pending resolutions July 17, at its regular legislative session.

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