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New Rochelle Submits List of Shovel-Ready Projects for Stimulus Funds

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New Rochelle Submits List of Shovel-Ready Projects for Stimulus Funds

February 27, 2009 - 21:45
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echobaydev.jpgNew Rochelle's City Government has submitted its Stimulus Package Wish List (link opens PDF doc) to Albany in the hopes of getting a slice of New York State's share of the stimulus pie. New York State is expected to get $24 billion of which New Rochelle is asking for a little under $100 million of which it hopes to get a fraction. The City School District of New Rochelle will submit its own request. The preamble from the request follows:

The City of New Rochelle is requesting $97,755,000 to spur economic activity, combat the negative fiscal impacts of the current downturn, and position our community for sustainable growth. The projects and initiatives referenced below would create or save more than 5,500 jobs, preserve or enhance critical infrastructure, protect environmental resources, promote energy efficiency, build affordable housing, and support public safety.

With a population of almost 75,000, New Rochelle is the seventh largest city in New York State and among the most diverse in its ethnic and socio-economic composition. We face a host of challenges related to urban and social policy and to aging infrastructure. New Rochelle has a proven track record of utilizing federal and state aid to advance urgent public objectives and strengthen our regional economy. We have done so in a consistently efficient and transparent fashion and have been awarded the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for fifteen years in a row.

The projects listed herein are prioritized within the categories of Critical Infrastructure, Transit- Oriented Development, Environmental Protection, Energy Efficiency, Homeland Security/Public Safety, Affordable Housing and Recreation and Culture. Each project is shovel ready within ninety days and/or will provide significant economic stimulus to the regional economy.

City of New Rochelle

CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE

DPW MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS CENTER ($25,000,000) - consolidate and relocate the Department of Public Works from its present locations along the waterfront (Pelham Road and Main Street) to an industrial area of New Rochelle (Beechwood Avenue).

DRAINAGE PROJECTS:: INFILTRATION AND INFLOW ($4,750,000) - repair and/or replace damaged infrastructure to mitigate frequent flooding, and infiltration and prevent inflow to the sanitary sewer system.

STREET RESURFACING CITYWIDE/ MAIN STREET/NORTH AVENUE ($8,375,000) - bolster the annual street repairs by addressing problem areas throughout the City including the major economic corridor along Main Street.

MARINA PARKIING DECK REPAIRS ($3,000,000) - make necessary repairs to maintain and increase the useful life of this public facility, support increased use of the marina and spur economic activity.

QUAKER RIDGE ROAD RECONSTRUCTION (None listed) - improve traffic and pedestrian conditions and safety along Quaker Ridge Road.

TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT

NORTH AVENUE STREETSCAPE ($1,200,000) - enhance the physical environment and appearance of the corridor to bolster
its economic viability, as well as support increased foot traffic.

CHURCH//DIVISION GARAGE ( $16,000,000) - construct a parking garage in the heart of the City’s Downtown Business District.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

MARINA DREDGING ($2,000,000) - protect the environment by enhancing bio-diversity, and cleaning the silt and corrosive buildup that negatively impact aquatic life and habitat.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

REPLACEMENT OF WINDOWS AT CITY HALL ($1,750,000) - replace extremely inefficient windows throughout the building.

HOMELAND SECURITY/PUBLIC SAFETY

SECURITY CAMERAS ($190,000) - install 20 cameras in sensitive locations throughout the City, including the New Rochelle Transit Center, the Central Business District, and other areas identified by law enforcement.

RECREATION AND CULTURE

CITY PARK IMPROVEMENTS ($1,500,000) - expand and create multi-use athletic fields and public recreation improvements on a 20 plus acre park which houses three (3) natural grass ball fields, a basketball court, playground, picnic area w/ shelter, a natural turf football/youth soccer stadium and an artificial synthetic turf athletic field complex used primarily for youth/adult and collegiate soccer.

NEW ICE SKATING FACILITY ($8,000,000) - expands on the City Park Improvements by providing a new ice skating facility.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

NEW ROCHELLE HOUSING AUTHORITY REDEVELOPMENT ($24,890,000) - maintain an affordable housing resource in the City of New Rochelle in perpetuity.

NOTE: There was not estimated cost for the Quaker Ridge Project but process of elimination the figure would be about $2.4mm. For some analysis of this package read New Rochelle Lines Up For Its Helping of Pork: $100mm for Skating Rinks, Boat Storage, Soccer Fields, Bike Paths, and "streetscapes".

There are 4 Comments

Nowhere do I see even a hint that the City cares about enlarging the capacity of the sewage treatment plant. They gave permission to operate the sewage plant above its capacity level by approving too much development despite knowing that in the l980's they were told not to add any new connections to it.
The Journal News listed this as a permitted use of stimulus money so why isn't this included? This is in addition to nitrogen removal which is also necessary.

The first two items on the list seem to prove issues in my Federal lawsuits
1. "Bail out" money will be spent CLEANING UP CONTAMINATION ON THE L.I. SOUND SHORELINE.
2. FIXING THE SEWERS
Why should people from California pay to clean up after Con Edison? OR from New Orleans pay to fix New Rochelle's sewers? Why when big corporations screw up they get bailed out at our expense?

The only reason the city yard is #1 on the list is because Noan Bramson doesn't have 5 votes to necessitate bonding for the design phase of the project. Noam is trying to use the stimulus monies to do an end run around the will of council.

The only thing that is shovel ready is the pile of B.S. the city is plopping at our feet. The projections for jobs created and revenue generated are so skewed that perhaps only another politician would believe them. Take Echo Bay for instance. "Support and/or provide 3000 jobs" (that's not including construction). Where in the world are these people going to work? LeCount Square- "generate 1700 jobs" ? Are these all part time/no benefit jobs? Working 3 and 4 hour shifts, none of which you can make a living at. That's NOT responsible job stimulus. Full time jobs , with some benefits is what builds a community. The numbers are skewed. The request package claims "creating" construction jobs, but, the big projects "support or provide" jobs. What's the difference? There IS a difference otherwise it wouldn't be worded that way.
Fiscal benefits? We haven't seen any benefits from the past big projects yet. How is this any different? Ask your district council member. Benefit projections are BEFORE the IDA cuts their deals. As for retail, the school district gets nothing from sales tax revenue. So, if the IDA gives away any property tax revenue, and the schools don't benefit from the sales tax, where is the benefit to us. Taxpayers will pay for the school budget increases, and, we'll have to make up where the IDA's tax abatements left off. Every dollar of stimulus money that even remotely helps any developer is a dollar taken from the taxpayer. They will be stealing from the public to support an ego driven city government. Call them, write them, go to city hall and let them know how you feel. There is plenty of work that needs to be done, to help the city-not developers, that this money could be spent on. Mark my words, you are going to see some truly creative shifting of funds to achive the goals of a power hungry city hall. As with most scandals, just follow the money.

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