Electric Service Agreement with Sustainable Westchester Reached

By Stephen E. Lipken

New Rochelle Mayor Yadira Ramos-Herbert (photo on left) called the February 20th Regular Legislative Meeting to order, citing the Proposed Resolution Approving and Adopting the 2024 New Rochelle Events Schedule and Budget, in which City Manager Kathleen Gill mentioned addition of Muslim and Jewish Heritage Celebrations.

A Resolution was passed, authorizing Gill to execute an Electric Service Agreement with Sustainable Westchester (SW), continuing services though period ending October 31, 2024.

Economic Development Manager Todd Castaldo explained the agreement.  “Since the beginning of our relationship with SW, we have implemented several of these programs,” Castaldo began.  “Currently, we are a member of the Westchester Power Program, an electricity purchasing program to provide electricity at stable rates from both traditional and renewable sources.  

“Residents are automatically opted into the program but have the ability to opt out at any time. Since the contract began, Westchester Power rates have almost always been higher than Con Edison’s traditional rates.   

“One option to address these issues is for the City to issue an RFP in the next few months.  By issuing an RFP the City can include terms more favorable to New Rochelle residents.”

Next, because of increased security concerns related to the war in Israel, the Police Department has provided police presence around synagogues, temples, and other Jewish institutions within New Rochelle.

Beginning on October 13, 2023, the department augmented this additional coverage with a dedicated patrol car and security posts each weekday. The additional assignments are staffed 

by police officers and detectives on overtime duty so as not to have a diminution in police services throughout the city.

In order to continue to maintain present staffing through June 2024 relative to the ongoing security concern, an increase to the Police overtime budget is required.  Therefore, an increase in funds in the amount of $200,000 relative to the Police Department overtime budget was authorized.