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New Rochelle Lines Up For Its Helping of Pork: $100mm for Skating Rinks, Boat Storage, Soccer Fields, Streetscapes

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New Rochelle Lines Up For Its Helping of Pork: $100mm for Skating Rinks, Boat Storage, Soccer Fields, Streetscapes

February 28, 2009 - 02:32
8 comments

streetscape.jpgThe 7th largest city in New York State has dusted off long dormant or unworkable plans coupled with goodies for multi-million dollar real estate developers and dumped them into a nearly $100 million grab bag of spending initiatives that will do little to stimulate the economy but a lot of keep favored contractors working on the Federal dime while delivering the goods for deep-pocketed developers who have pumped dollars into the Mayor's campaign fund. Mixed in among some genuine infrastructure projects can be found projects to build a skating rink for $8,000,000, a boat storage facility for the cash-strapped yachting crowd, $1,500,000 for soccer fields, basketball courts and picnic tables, more for bike paths and something called "streetscapes" which will apparently be so beautiful that residents will forget they're broke and go shopping on Main Street. This in a City that has given away tens of millions of dollars in the form of tax abatements to encourage big box stories like CostCo and Home Depot to relocate on the old City Dump at the far end of town.

Another is $25,000,000 to build 228 apartments in order to maintain an affordable housing resource in the City of New Rochelle in perpetuity. Yes, you got that right. The plan is build new housing in New Rochelle so poor people can afford to live here until the end of the millennium and beyond. Odd, considering how the biggest problem facing the country right now is people walking away from homes they cannot afford in places like Phoenix and Las Vegas leaving banks with a glut of unwanted homes. So about taking that 25 million dollars, offering 228 low-income families a fistful of first-class plane tickets to the sunny desert southwest, buying them each a new home of their own for $100,000 and pocketing the remainder? These folks get brand new homes free and clear and the city is relieved of having to support people who cannot afford the high cost of living in New York. You think there would be any takers?

One of the projects was submitted to Albany without any price tag at all - just a plan to rebuild a road near a strip mall for some unspecified amount of money. Apparently the plan it see how they get and build as much road as they can afford once the check cleared.

Some of the proposed projects appear to violate Senate Amendment 309 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, otherwise known as the "Stimulus Package". Added by Sen. Thomas Coburn [R-OK], the amendment was intende to ensure that taxpayer money is not lost on wasteful and non-stimulative projects:

None of the amounts appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, art center, and highway beautification project.

Given this, why would the City of New Rochelle submit $9.5 million of requests under the heading "RECREATION AND CULTURE" for such things as playgrounds and a natural turf football stadium?

Why would the City ask for $1.2 million to "enhance the physical environment and appearance" of a road that runs through downtown New Rochelle.

How about $25 million to move a parking lot for trucks from one end of town to the other so a real estate developer can build condos with a water view? The best part, the developer was supposed to break ground this spring but has now backed off those plans due to the bad economy.

The job "creation" figures in the request seem highly unlikely. One project to put up 20 security cameras near the train station for $190,000 is project to employ 5 people. Really? Five people? Really? For how long? A week?

How about $8.4 million to resurface roads throughout the City. This is projected to create a whopping 20 jobs for a period of an incredible 4 months. And then what? These guys are all fired? The good news is they can all afford to retire under this plan; that $8.4 million comes out to an annualized income of one and a quarter million dollars a piece. Heck, who needs the lottery?

UPDATE: the original version of this post said there were 120 units of affordable housing in the proposed list when the document actually said 228; the post was edited to reflect the correct number.

There are 8 Comments

Well, The democrats are having a party and they are using our childrens and grandchildrens futures to pay for it. Thus if they are going to spend a few Trillion why should New Rochelle not line up and get their piece of the pork pie. Nita bring us home some bacon!!!
Obamma has already started up the printing presses so that we will have the money to cover it. So what if the dollar has the value of Lire in a few years from now.
I think New Rochelle has every right to frenzy with the rest of the Citys exoecting their field day full of giveaways.
Now that is only because I do not think we can stop any of this insanity on the part of the Dems. We are in for a huge paying of the piper in short time.

Robert Cox's picture

I saw Andy Spano on Channel 12 News this morning with Brian Conybeare and it sounded like the County IS planning on asking for money for the sewage treatment work that needs to be done. The problem is likely going to be that the it is not shovel-ready.

Speaking of shovel ready
during the mayors show on wvox (march 4th) Mr B said he will be talking with state officials on how to develop some "flexibility" with the time constraints on the stimulus money. Obviously to serve his own agenda, because the money can't be spent on what he wants to spend it on. So far, the money can only go to the things that really help the city and not the developers and he's not happy about that. He's already trying to manipulate things and we don't even have the money yet. I wish there was a way to really track the shenanigans and report to the people. Any suggestions? There are a lot of bright people out there. Let's hear from you.

The problem with reporting is the people you are reporting them to Andrew Cuomo are part of the same political group of hacks.
Just try and get some help from local Assembly Persons and our State Senators they roll their eyes and hold their noses not wanting to make any waves because they need these guys to get re-elected.
The City of New Rochelle is Mal-oderous and those up in Albany think it smells like roses.

there are enough so called shovel ready projects that we can take advantage of immediately. the echo bay idea is terrible -- let abe navasink deal with this from his end. if echo bay finds itself without its present developer, no great loss. I usually support the current administration, but this is a poor choice of likely available funds and is more ego driven than anything else.

we certainly could benefit from a major sewer investment. We could provide some meaningful restoration down main street -- perhaps buy up properties and rent as talked about to artists. We could construct a humane, meaningful day worker site for laborers off union street. Yes, we could and should develop a community ice rink --primary use families; secondary use sports teams (present design at new roc good model. we certainly should not put artificial turf anywhere -- terrible choice and it has some environmental and health concerns. we could clean up our waterfront area; clear up and reconfigure wards acres and more important than most, build a suitable community based facility to honor our veterans now that the armory is off the charts.

how about support for the diocese to keep parochial schools -- follow the bloomberg and bishop nick version in nyc --- come on, our stuffed school system could profit from some space relief.

I could go on and on and so could many of you. let me urge you to send meaningful alternatives to bob cox who i know will get them to noam bramson and the oouncil.

hey one more point -- our new president is a big supporter of a greener and more energy efficient country. i am sure he would love to see the jim killoran tram idea explored as a way to conserve and grow a viable alternative to our traffic and transportation issues.

Jim could use some support on this from Al Tarantino, Lou Trangucci, Ron St Paul, and the others.

echo bay indeed!

I must simply state it this way, "All of the Politicians in the City of New Rochelle (The Mayor, The City Council Members, The City Manager, The Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools and everyone else that gets voted in and appointed by these corrupt politicians, you are all criminals and I hope that the Federal Government launches an investigation for the last 10 years so all of you and your predecessors can spend a long unpleasant time in jail for all the corruption you all have taken part in. And you all know who you are. Sleep with one eye open, because they are coming to get you!" Can’t wait until they take a really close look into certain companies’ financial records and uncover names that at this time I cannot reveal...The hunt is about to begin and this time the people will be the victors.

You're angry and sick people who wish to disrupt positive activity within New Rochelle.

Those who choose to see what is going on are frustrated. If you can't understand that, well you really are the one with the issues. You know nothing about positive activity, for if you did, you would see the everyday things that happen all around us. Many of which go unsupported by the city fathers, unless it's convenient. When the city starts to realize that change and improvement come from within, and not from outsiders pushing overscale development,we, as citizens will witness a true quality of life improvement. So, sit back on your duff and support the status quo while those whom would step up and improve things, for everyone, get to work. You would just be in the way anyway

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