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New Rochelle Passes 2012 Budget, Raises Refuse Fee

Twenty-seven positions will be eliminated next year.

The New Rochelle City Council adopted its 2012 budget Tuesday, wrapping up a month of discussions and difficult decisions.

The general fund spending will be $108,322,635, resulting in a tax rate of $185.53 per $1,000 assessed value.

Because of lower than expected final state insurance costs, the council was able to trim the tax rate from $186.23 per $1,000 assessed value as originally proposed.

Six fire fighter jobs were reinstated, along with keeping Ladder 12 Company on Webster Avenue open. Also saved were two community service officers for the police department and 18 part-time school crossing guards. The crossing guards are financed only through June, however. The loss of a recreation department supervisor position for the Office for the Aging was spared.

The city had originally proposed the reduction of 54 full- and part-time positions. The final number of jobs eliminated was 27, mostly through attrition and by not filling vacant jobs.

Calling the talks "a season of hard choices," Mayor Noam Bramson said he took no pleasure in the budget.

A last-minute addition of a $100,000 development financing consultant and the addition of larger utility repair fees lowered the amount of money the city was going to put into its undesignated fund balance from $140,000 to $96,051. The fund balance currently has about $2 million.

Development Commissioner Michael Freimuth was asked, at a previous meeting, to look into adding a position in his department that could bring more retail businesses to the city.

He told the council that a better idea would be engaging a consultant to do cost benefit analysis on potential projects.

"We would pay a fee," Freimuth said, "but they would go out in the marketplace and get us the best deal."

A point of contention during the budget discussions was the increase in the refuse tax from $66 per unit to $223, except for qualifying seniors who will remain at $30.

That lead to the only two votes against adopting the budget—Councilmen Louis Trangucci, R-District 1, and Richard St. Paul, R-District 4.

Billy December 14, 2011 at 07:55 PM
What a bad budget for the homeowner and its a shame that Bramson didn't have the courage to cut ANY positions down at city hall. He needs to stand up to the unions but instead lies in bed with them. Why is it that year after year NR passes structurally unbalanced budgets that leave the decision making to the next year? Talk about kicking the can down the road, I think Bramson's already kicked it over the hills and through the woods and then down 95 somewhere. Eventually its going to come back up the Hutch and get stuck in New Rochelle, just a matter of time but by then Bramson will have fled.
Billy L December 14, 2011 at 09:18 PM
This is disgusting. This is why I bought and moved into a multi-family house. My tenants will be paying this increase, not me. They got what they voted for.
Billy December 19, 2011 at 07:22 PM
In a perfect world you'd be able to recoup the money, but not always and if you raise the rent too much then they move out, Its a balancing act but the higher taxes go, the less likely you'll be able to get it back from the tenants.
Billy December 22, 2011 at 09:20 PM
Has anyone done the math on this? I did & the regardless of the numbers in this story, everyone's taxes are going up 10%. and that somehow falls in line w/Gov. Cuomo's 2% tax cap. Can anyone (& I mean anyone) help me with the math on this? My calculator says that's 5 times what we should be paying. Who got a 10% raise this year? Did anyone NOT get a raise this year? Bramson's really out of touch with reality, but I guess he's got a mandate after collecting 16% of the registered vote. LOL Thanks Noam & I hope Nita gives a raise this year so you can pay your taxes.
Billy January 04, 2012 at 09:52 PM
ArtDeco- did you get your tax bill? I hear the multi-family properties got hit really hard with the garbage tax. Hope you're able to recover.

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