New Rochelle City Manager Chuck Strome has released a draft budget for 2018, a $190 million plan that reflects our community’s improving economy and fiscal health. Here’s the full document, and here’s a press release summarizing the contents. Budget highlights include:
• New investments in public safety, continuing a phased, multi-year increase in Police staffing and Fire operational manning;
• Continued execution of the City’s 10-year capital program, the largest infrastructure investment in New Rochelle’s history;
• A robust fund balance (basically our savings account/rainy day fund) of about $15.4 million, which will help stabilize future budgets and protect or improve our bond rating;
• A dramatic increase in anticipated building permit revenue, up to $6.2 million from just $1.4 million in 2016, reflecting the rapid acceleration of our downtown development efforts; and
• A proposed tax levy that falls within the New York State property tax cap — up 2.03% or about $73 a year for the typical homeowner.
Now it is up to the City Council to discuss the budget in detail, receive presentations from various departments, welcome public comments, and — possibly — make amendments prior to approval of a final budget next month.