Category Archives: Bedford Hills

Housing Inventory Tracking | Bedford Hills Real Estate

I love Bill McBride’s Calculated Risk blog

Update: Watching existing home “for sale” inventory is very helpful. As an example, the increase in inventory in late 2005 helped me call the top for housing.

And the decrease in inventory eventually helped me correctly call the bottom for house prices in early 2012, see: The Housing Bottom is Here.

And in 2015, it appeared the inventory build in several markets was ending, and that boosted price increases.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but watching inventory helps understand the housing market.

Inventory, on a national basis, was unchanged year-over-year (YoY) in July, this followed 37 consecutive months with a YoY decline.

The graph below shows the YoY change for non-contingent inventory in Houston, Las Vegas, Sacramento (through August) and also Phoenix (through July) and total existing home inventory as reported by the NAR (through July).


Click on graph for larger image.

This shows the YoY change in inventory for Houston, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Sacramento.  The black line is the year-over-year change in inventory as reported by the NAR.

Note that inventory in Sacramento was up 22% year-over-year in July (inventory was still very low), and has increased YoY for eleven consecutive months.

Also note that inventory was up 20% YoY in Las Vegas in August (red), the second consecutive month with a YoY increase.

Houston is a special case, and inventory was up for several years due to lower oil prices, but declined YoY recently as oil prices increased.  Inventory was up slightly in Houston in August (but the YoY change might be distorted by Hurricane Harvey last year).

Inventory is a key for the housing market, and I am watching inventory for the impact of the new tax law and higher mortgage rates on housing.   I expect national inventory will be up YoY at the end of 2018 (but still be low).

This is not comparable to late 2005 when inventory increased sharply signaling the end of the housing bubble, but it does appear that inventory is bottoming nationally (but still very low).



Home prices make the biggest jump in four years | Bedford Hills Real Estate

It is a seller’s market, undeniably. The supply of homes for sale is low, demand is high, and now prices are heating up even more. But sellers today see more reasons to stay put than to profit.

Home prices jumped 7.1 percent annually in May, according to a new report from CoreLogic. That’s the biggest jump in four years. Annual price gains had been shrinking slightly, as mortgage rates rose, but apparently higher rates are not hurting demand. They are, however, exacerbating the already critical supply shortage.

“During the first quarter, we found that about 50 percent of all existing homeowners had a mortgage rate of 3.75 percent or less,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “May’s mortgage rates averaged a seven-year high of 4.6 percent, with an increasing number of homeowners keeping the low-rate loans they currently have, rather than sell and buy another home that would carry a higher interest rate.”

Rising costs could hurt entry level housing supply

Rising costs could hurt entry level housing supply  

If mortgage rates were to rise further, fewer homeowners would want to move. In fact, if today’s homeowners just considering a move were faced with a mortgage rate 1 percentage point higher than their current one, 24 percent would not move, according to a survey by John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Thirty-six percent said they “may not” move. The average rate on the 30-year fixed is now slightly more than 1 percentage point higher than the lows following the recession.

The median price of an existing home sold in May was $264,800, according to the National Association of Realtors. Of course, all real estate is local, and certain markets are hotter than others. Seattle, Denver, and San Francisco continue to see some of the biggest price gains, as they also have the leanest supply.

The supply of homes for sale has been dropping on an annual basis for the past 36 months, according to the National Association of Realtors. The shortage is most acute at the lower end of the market, where demand is highest and where investors bought thousands of distressed properties during the housing crash, turning them into lucrative rentals.

Younger potential buyers have already delayed homeownership due to the recession and high levels of student loan debt. They have also been hampered by high rents, making it more difficult to save for a downpayment.

Higher rents, combined with higher home prices, are the number one reason for the decline in young homeowners, followed by lower marriage and fertility rates, according to a recent study by Freddie Mac.

“Historically low mortgage rates and increasingly favorable employment conditions should have generated a far greater number of home purchases by young adults, especially in the last five years,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Unfortunately, home-price and rent growth above incomes — driven primarily by a severe shortage of housing supply — have been too high of a hurdle for many would-be buyers to clear.”

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Mortgage Rates Move Up to Highest Level in Seven Years | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB:FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that after plateauing in recent weeks, mortgage rates reversed course and reached a new high last seen eight years ago.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says the 30-year fixed mortgage rate edged up to 4.61 percent, which matches the highest level since May 19, 2011. “Healthy consumer spending and higher commodity prices spooked the bond markets and led to higher mortgage rates over the past week,” he said. “Not only are buyers facing higher borrowing costs, gas prices are currently at four-year highs just as we enter the important peak home sales season.”

Added Khater, “While this year’s higher mortgage rates have not caused much of a ripple in the strong demand levels for buying a home seen in most markets, inflationary pressures and the prospect of rates approaching 5 percent could begin to hit the psyche of some prospective buyers.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.61 percent with an average 0.4 point for the week ending May 17, 2018, up from last week when it averaged 4.55 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.02 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.08 percent with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.01 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.27 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.82 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.77 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.13 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

U.S. construction spending barely rises | Bedford Hills Real Estate

U.S. construction spending rose less than expected in February amid a steep decline in investment in public construction projects.

The Commerce Department said on Monday construction spending edged up 0.1 percent after being unchanged in January.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending accelerating 0.5 percent in February. Construction spending increased 3.0 percent on a year-on-year basis.

February’s marginal increase in construction spending could have implications for first-quarter gross domestic product growth estimates, which are mostly below a 2 percent annualized rate.

In February, spending on public construction projects tumbled 2.1 percent, almost reversing January’s 2.3 percent rise. February’s drop was the largest since June 2017.

Spending on federal government construction projects plunged 11.9 percent, the biggest decline since October 2004, after surging 13.4 percent in January.

State and local government construction outlays fell 1.0 percent after rising 1.3 percent in January.

Spending on private construction projects increased 0.7 percent after falling 0.7 percent in January. Outlays on private residential projects edged up 0.1 percent to the highest level since January 2007. They rose 0.1 percent in January.

Spending on nonresidential structures rebounded 1.5 percent in February after dropping 1.7 percent in the prior month.


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Construction spending at all time high | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Construction spending in the US was unchanged at an all-time high of USD 1.26 trillion in January 2018, following an upwardly revised 0.8 percent increase in December and missing market expectations of 0.3 percent. Spending on private construction fell 0.5 percent to USD 962.7 billion after hitting a record high of USD 967.9 billion in the previous month, due to a decline in nonresidential projects (-1.5 percent). Meanwhile, outlays on public construction projects increased 1.8 percent to USD 300.0 billion in January, the highest level since August 2015, as spending on federal government construction projects surged 14.9 percent to the highest level since September 2011 and that on state and local government construction rose 0.5 percent to a near two-year high. Construction Spending in the United States averaged 0.45 percent from 1964 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 5.90 percent in April of 1978 and a record low of -4.80 percent in February of 1975.

Bedford Hills Nor’easter update

Storm Update – Warming Centers
            Our thanks to the Bedford Hills Fire Department and the Katonah Fire Department for opening their facilities (2d floor of each fire house) as a warming center up to 10 PM tonight.   We ask that you take extra care in driving over there as there are downed trees and wires throughout town.
The forecast for strong wind gusts have proved correct with resulting downed trees and wires in several areas in Town.   There are outages for approximately 1700 NYSEG customers and 100 Con Edison customers.  We have been working with NYSEG and Con Edison to expedite making conditions safe (de-energized lines to allow removal of downed trees/limbs).  NYSEG’s press release (click here) describes the protocol.  Our Highway Department, of course, is working to ensure safe passage on the roads.
Be safe – do not approach any downed wires.  To report power outages, downed lines, utility poles or damaged equipment, for NYSEG call 800-572-1131 or online at and for Con Edison 800-752-6633 (electric) and 914-921-3720 (gas).  Call Bedford Police at 241-3111 or Bedford Highway at 666-7669 to report downed wires or trees blocking roads. We also have been coordinately closely with NYSEG and Con Edison should power outages occur and they activate their storm damage assessment reporting systems.  Our objective is to respond quickly and effectively to the situation.
Also, please do not hesitate to contact me  at or call me at 666-6530.

How Westchester Will Shift Under the Senate Tax Bill | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Pushed through by a single vote in the early hours of Saturday morning, the Senate Republican proposed tax bill was and continues to be divisive. Westchester, like New York City and much of the Northeast and California, is in a unique position to be hit disproportionately hard by the proposed changes. Here’s what you, as a resident of Westchester County, need to know:

Property Taxes

One of the bill’s key features is to place a cap on property tax deductions: $10,000. Fortune estimated the average property tax bill in 2015 to be about $5,500, but in Westchester the average was more than double that. As a result, the average Westchester homeowner under these new provisions would be almost guaranteed to lose thousands of dollars in tax deductions, essentially being federally taxed on income already paid to local taxes.

As a result, the tax revisions as proposed would make it increasingly less affordable to live and own property in Westchester County, dealing a significant blow to the housing and commercial real estate industry. While a chief argument of the tax plan was to foster economic growth by cutting corporate tax rates, it seems unlikely these businesses would choose to spend their newfound funding in municipalities with higher tax rates for both its properties and employees.

Standard and Itemized Deductions

One of the greatest touted benefits of the Republican-drafted tax plan is that it doubles the standard deduction to $12,000. For the approximately two-thirds of U.S. households that take the standard deduction this would be helpful, however high-tax regions (like Westchester) see a greater percentage of taxpayers choosing to itemize their deductions for a larger return. With additional cuts to what can be considered tax deductible, a good chunk of residents may end up losing money on this deal. Speaking of lost deductions…

SALT Deductions

State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions are what allow residents to deduct on their federal taxes the amount they pay in certain local taxes — such as property or estimated sales tax for their purchases made throughout the year — thus reducing their overall taxable incomes and potentially even dropping them down into a lower tax bracket. Taxes paid for local school systems and emergency services are also currently considered tax-deductible, and reduce federally taxable income.

The proposed tax plan would completely eliminate SALT deductions, effectively collecting federal taxes without regard to how much is paid in state and other local (i.e. city) taxes. As the New York Times reports, of the dozen counties with the highest reliance on SALT deductions in the U.S., half are in the NYC Metro area. Westchester specifically is the fifth highest on the list, with 47% of taxpayers taking an average deduction of just over $34,000 — far greater than the $12,000 standard deduction allowable under the proposed plan.

Manhattan, for reference, takes a $64,000 deduction on average, but only 45% of taxpayers utilize the method. Yes, Westchesterites would be harder hit than Manhattanites.


All this results in a large number of Westchester residents paying significantly more in taxes right away. The remainder will likely see a small decrease in taxes for the next decade or so, before provisions in the plan begin shifting the tax burden more heavily onto middle-class incomes, increasing the national deficit by well over $1 trillion. (Yes, “trillion” with a T.)

As a result of a law in place since 2010, that increase in deficit would trigger automatic cuts to spending in Medicare and other social programs, services which many Westchester residents depend on, especially the elderly and those in lower-income households.

Added together, a bulk of Westchester residents would see their federal deductions significantly decreased under the proposed legislation, while simultaneously seeing a corresponding decrease both in the value of their homes and in the availability of public services.

Local politicians on both sides of the aisle have come out in opposition to the Senate tax plan, including Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), County Executive Rob Astorino (R), and County Executive-Elect George Latimer (D), as well as officials from New York City, New Jersey, and the Metro area.

Optimistically, the tax plan is not final. Rather than coming from the House of Representatives and moving to the Senate, the Senate chose to follow House Republicans’ tax bill with one of their own. Even following their narrow victory, this bill will have to be reconciled with the House’s before a revised plan can be sent to the president for ratification. Many House Republicans were displeased with various compromises in the Senate plan, so any final bill may end up bearing little resemblance to what is now being deciphered.


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Declining New Home Size Trend Continues | Bedford Hills Real Estate

After increasing and leveling off in recent years, new single-family home size continued along a general trend of decreasing size during the third quarter of 2017. This change marks a reversal of the trend that had been in place as builders focused on the higher end of the market during the recovery. As the entry-level market expands, NAHB expects typical new home size to fall as well.

According to third quarter 2017 data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, median single-family square floor area was slightly lower at 2,378 square feet. Average (mean) square footage for new single-family homes declined to 2,518 square feet.

On a less volatile one-year moving average, the recent trend of declines in new home size can be see on the graph above, although current readings remain elevated. Since cycle lows (and on a one-year moving average basis), the average size of new single-family homes is 10% higher at 2,620 square feet, while the median size is 14% higher at 2,399 square feet.

The post-recession increase in single-family home size is consistent with the historical pattern coming out of recessions. Typical new home size falls prior to and during a recession as home buyers tighten budgets, and then sizes rise as high-end homebuyers, who face fewer credit constraints, return to the housing market in relatively greater proportions. This pattern was exacerbated during the current business cycle due to market weakness among first-time homebuyers. But the recent declines in size indicate that this part of the cycle has ended, and size will trend lower as builders add more entry-level homes into inventory.

In contrast to single-family patterns, new multifamily apartment size is down compared to the pre-recession period. This is due to the weak for-sale multifamily market and strength for rental demand.


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Bedford NY town news | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Resolution Opposing Repeal of Federal Clean Water Act Rule

The Board will consider, at the recommendation of the Conservation Board, a resolution opposing the repeal, as proposed by the Trump Administration, of a Clean Water Act rule.
Ensuring Compliance at Canine Commons (Dog Park) At the recommendation of the Police Department, Town counsel and B Dog (the resident committee which has supported the park since its inception), we are amending the Town’s law to enable parking enforcement and animal control personnel to issue parking tickets to vehicles at the park which fail to display the permit. A permit is key to safety as it will not be issued absent proof the dog has been vaccinated. In addition the Town has strictly limited the number of out of town permits, and enforcement is necessary to ensure compliance.
Extension of Temporary Parking Rules for Bedford Village
The Board will consider extending through December 31 the temporary changes in parking limits (for example to one-half hour for four spaces fronting shops along the Village Green) to allow the Bedford Village Business Association, residents and others to provide feedback on the changes.   While we believe at least some of the changes have been well received, we wish to provide additional time for consideration.
For the Agenda click here
The Town of Bedford plans on three days of site preparation / construction and road paving between Monday November 20, 2017 and Wednesday November 22, 2017 (inclusive). Roads to be paved at this time include:
– The Village Green in Bedford Village (from Pound Ridge Road to Old Post Road.)
–   Baylis Lane
–  Cherry Street (from Route 35 to the Reyburn Road South entry)
–  North St. in Katonah from Edgemont Road to Greenville Road.)
–  Railroad Ave. from Rte 117 entry to #11 Railroad Ave.)
–  Katonah Memorial Park Parking Lot
Commuters could experience temporary disruptions to traffic and access as paving operations commence. Residents are asked to refrain from parking on these streets as paving proceeds. The precise scheduling of work depends upon weather conditions and the proper operation of paving equipment. Therefore, your patience and understanding are appreciated. Keep in mind that it is possible that Rain Events or Equipment Issues may push back the paving schedule into another week.
If you have any further questions regarding this, contact Bedford Public Works Department at 914-666-7669.
Click here

click here for the policy and application
click here (please note that the calendar is posted on the Town’s website home page usually before the distribution of the e-news and also posted on the Supervisor’s Facebook page, click here
The Town of Bedford and the Veterans Advisory Committee is hosting a donation box for Toys For Tots this year.  New, unwrapped toys can be brought to the drop box located at the Town Hall, 321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills.
U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program:
The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.
The Town Board adopted a resolution in support of the National Wreaths Across America Day.  We thank David Zapsky and Rodger Guest for bringing this to the attention of the Town Board. 
The Town of Bedford wishes to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our Nation, to honor those who continue to serve and to teach our children the value of freedom; The National Wreaths Across America Day carries out the mission to “Remember, Honor and Teach” by promoting wreath-laying ceremonies in cemeteries throughout America; in the words of Karen Worcester, Executive Director of Wreaths Across America, “We are not here to ‘decorate graves.’  We’re here to remember not their deaths, but their lives; the Town of Bedford Veterans Advisory Committee has recommended to the Town Board that the Town of Bedford participate in the National Wreaths Across America Day on December 16, 2017; be it resolved that the Town of Bedford hereby joins with the millions of others across America in participating in the National Wreaths Across America Day on December 16, 2017. Here are links and instruction on how to donate to the local cemeteries:
I am pleased to report that the Open Space proposition passed in Bedford with 62% of votes in favor (2704 votes) (the numbers will be certified by the Board of Elections and we will provide final numbers)

George Latimer was elected as County Executive
Kitley Covill was elected as County Legislator, D2
Chris Burdick was re-elected (unopposed) as Town Supervisor
MaryAnn Carr was re-elected as Councilwoman
Kate Galligan was elected as Councilwoman  Boo Fumagalli was re-elected (unopposed) as Town Clerk
Erik Jacobsen was re-elected (unopposed) as Town Justice
For Bedford election results: click here
For County election results: click here
As earlier reported, the Town of Bedford replaced the crosswalk in front of the Bedford Village Post Office with a raised crosswalk intended to increase visibility and reduce vehicle speed.   As the next step in our plans for the Village Green road, today the Highway Department installed a speed hump in the southbound lane of the road before the entrance to Bedford Presbyterian Church.  We will be paving the road later this fall.
Our thanks to the merchants, the Bedford Historical Society, the Bedford Village Library, the Bedford Fire Department and the Bedford Village Historic District Review Commission (who originally proposed safety measures some 10 years ago) all of whom have been instrumental in moving this project forward.
Our temporary parking rules will remain in effect through November 30, after which we hope that, working with the Bedford Village Business Association and others in the hamlet, we can make permanent some, all or a variation of those rules.   We’d appreciate feedback! 

I am pleased to share Bedford 2020’s annual Progress Report with you.
As you will read in this report, with Bedford 2020 leading the way, our community is making great progress in achieving its climate action goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020 and preserve our natural resources.
Climate action at the local level is more important now than ever before. I am proud to say that our community is a model for just that. Please join me in thanking Bedford 2020 for their leadership and tireless efforts to drive positive change in Bedford, and well beyond.
Included in the report you will find the preliminary budget for 2018.
The Town of Bedford, Bedford 2020 and Energize NY have worked out a deal for residents: get your free or reduced-cost home energy assessment by January 2018, and receive a 10% discount on improvements to make your home more comfortable and to save energy. Energy efficiency improvements also save many homeowners money! Click here for more information.
Just a reminder that there is a vacancy on the Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee for a resident of the Bedford Hills Park District.  Send your resume and a cover letter or e-mail to
I have been working with Con Edison with regard to their safety-driven work on the gas line along Route 117.  Please note as follows:
METAL PLATES The project, which runs from Bedford Hills to Mt. Kisco entails considerable work including the installation of temporary large steel plates which, of course, later will be removed following the completion of the project.  I have brought to Con Edison’s attention resident concerns that in trying to avoid the plates, some motorists steer into the oncoming lane of traffic.  To remedy this safety hazard, Con Edison will be recessing plates so they will lie flush with the road surface.   This will have some impact on the November 15 target completion date.  I appreciate Con Edison’s responsiveness to this safety concern.
Con Edison has advised me as following: “As per our restoration department after consulting with NYSDOT, the restoration of route 117 will take place early spring of 2018. The NYSDOT specification on that road is a two foot cutback on both sides of the trench, filled with an 8 inch base, 2.5 inch binder and 2 inch of super pave top. On route 117 that will encompass curb to center line of the road for the entire trench. For the winter it will remain the way it is now on areas we have completed.”
Con Edison is replacing the gas main on 117 between Norm Avenue and Woodland Road in Bedford Hills. NYSDOT required night work to minimize traffic disruption.  
If you have any questions, please contact Westchester Public Affairs at 1-914-925-6361 or   Click here
  for the UPDATED notice   
After voting for candidates of your choice on November 7, please don’t forget to turn over the ballot.  Including among the several ballot measures is a proposal which the Town Board placed on the ballot with respect to the Open Space tax levy.   Presently the levy is 1% of the amount for the General Fund and Highway Fund.  It raises approximately $200,000 each year for the purpose of acquisition of open space property for active and passive park and recreational uses and for surface and ground water protection.   The proposal would increase the levy by one-quarter of one percent each year beginning in 2019 until 2022 at which point it would remain at 2%.  Comptroller Abraham Zambrano’s estimates that at the end of phase-in the increase would raise $415,838 and the annual cost to the average home owner (with an assessed value of $65,000 or full market value of $665,600 using 2017 State Equalization Rate) would rise from $20.67 to $46.13.   The open space tax levy when first enacted was 3% and was reduced to 1% during the recession.  In proposing the gradual increase to 2%, I noted that the phase-in starting in 2019 would better enable the Town to remain within the property tax cap.  Of course, since the phase-in would not commence until 2019, the 2018 budget is unaffected, the tentative budget for which is tax-cap compliant.  Click here for  the Comptroller’s June 1, 2017 Memorandum to the Board.
Click here
Fall Leaf Collection
This Fall the Town’s Department of Public Works once again will provide service to the community with bulk leaf collection in designated hamlet areas. If your property is in one of these areas, please minimize the amount that leaf piles occupy the roadway edges in order to allow for safe passage of vehicles. As usual, the tentative leaf schedule is posted on the Highway Division page – click here
We certainly are hoping that we don’t have an early snowfall as we’ve had for a couple of Halloweens, but as a reminder, it is illegal to deposit snow from your property into the road or along the edges of the road. Doing so causes road safety issues and can result in traffic accidents and injuries.
The Town Board held its last work session on the 2018 budget before Comptroller Abraham Zambrano, in his capacity as Budget Officer, files the Tentative 2018 Budget with the Town Clerk in accordance with NYS law.  Next month the Town Board will further review the budget, make any revisions and approve same as the Preliminary Budget.  The Board earlier had scheduled a public hearing at the December 5 Town Board meeting before adopting the final 2018 budget.
The Board also continued its consideration of the update of the 10 year Capital Plan.  I announced that we would work to adopt the new plan at the December 19 Town Board meeting to facilitate first quarter 2018 projects and programs dependent upon adoption of the new plan.
THE CONSERVATION 2017 GREEN AWARDS recognized organizations and individuals who have made a difference in our hamlets by embracing several initiatives they are passionate about.  The organizations recognized were Bedford Hills Live who has been working tirelessly toward the revitalization of  downtown  Bedford Hills; The Westchester Land Trust and Douglass DeCandia coordinates the Farm Growing Program for the Food Bank for Westchester; Fox Lane High School Student s Win Envirothon Hudson Valley Regional Competition, the Envirothon is a national environmental science competition sponsored by Canon U.S.A., the US Forest Service, the Canadian Forestry Association, and the National Association of Conservation Districts – the impressive Fox Lane team consists of Seniors Asha Grossberndt, Dylan Grant, and Natalie Colao, Junior Ethan Gatfield and Sophomore Cerina Karr.  They dedicated hours of preparation in addition to existing school work, sports, and clubs, and have represented our community with dignity and class.  Their passion and commitment to environmental sustainability serves as a model for us all; Ben Antin, Fox Lane High School “The Plastic Bag Project” – his creative concept involved obtaining student signatures (#) in support of a plastic bag ban in Bedford and Mt. Kisco and arranging the preview of a film at the school describing the impact plastic has on our environment, “Bag It” ;  Energize Bedford, the “Energize Bedford” campaign evaluated wasted energy use, level of comfort, costs and green solutions for 200 homes in Bedford, the highest number of assessments in New York state.
For the Thursday, October 19, Meeting minutes, click here
Click here for the flyer.
Continuing our section on leaf blowers, click here for more information
Several municipalities in Westchester County and other municipalities throughout the state and the Nation regulate the use of leaf blowers.  The regulations range from seasonal bans to full or partial prohibition.  Concerns regarding leaf blowers, among others, are noise, pollution, dust, spread of plant disease, removal of top soil.  We are considering regulation which would take effect in 2018.  We are evaluating regulations from other communities, but before developing any specific proposal, are soliciting input.  Following the busy Fall season for landscapers, we will meet with them in December to begin a conversation and address concerns, as their livelihood would be affected   As we move ahead, I will be providing updates. Of course, we wish to hear from residents of the Town and businesses who may be affected and will provide ample opportunity for views to be expressed.   Please let us know yours.
Leaf Blower Use – Please Be Considerate
And in the meantime…. please be considerate on the use of leaf blowers – and if you use a landscaper, please ask your landscaper to be considerate as well.   You and, as applicable, your landscaper might consider alternatives to the use of leaf blowing such as mowing over them to create nutritious mulch for your lawn   Please also consider the following:
          * Reduce noise by running blowers at the lowest throttle speed and for the minimum time needed.
            * Run blowers one at a time and do not idle for more than one minute.
            * Consider using electric blowers, which are quieter and less polluting (the price of electric mowers has come down quite a bit and their power has increased)
            * Use rakes or clean-up garden beds by hand.
            * On pavement and driveways, do final clean-up with a broom.
            * Be courteous and don’t blow near people and pets.
            * Avoid blowing debris into neighbors’ yards, the street and towards windows and doors.
You may not be aware that some town officials and departments are on social media. These pages provide valuable information to town residents such as road closures, upcoming special events, board meeting schedules, etc.
Please give our pages a “like” by clicking on the links below:
Bedford Police Department, New York:
My key objectives in developing the 2018 Town budget is to stay within the New York Property Tax Cap while continuing to provide a high level of services, provide for need capital improvements and repairs and remain on a strong financial footing. 
At the outset of the budget preparation, I instructed the Town’s department heads to submit proposed budgets which showed no increase over their 2017 appropriations except for contractual increases.   The budget preparation process entailed meetings which Comptroller Abraham Zambrano and I held with each department head at which we identified areas where additional funding would be needed – as summarized below.   I commend our able department heads and staff who have worked hard to exercise budgetary constraint.  Following work sessions which Comptroller Zambrano and I have had with department heads, the Town Board has met in work session with them.   The Board will meet again on October 17 in work session after which Comptroller Zambrano, whom I have appointed Budget Officer for the 2018 budget, will file the tentative budget with the Town Clerk, as required under law.  I will provide the highlights of the budget at that time.
2018 is a big year as it represents the ten-year mark of the Town committing to communitywide climate action goals. There is a need and major opportunity in 2018 for the Town to assess how far we’ve come in addressing the measures laid out in the Climate Action Plan; report progress/achievements to the Bedford community, and use this as a platform for establishing new, post-2020 strategic targets.
Bedford 2020 is in a unique position to lead a 2018 greenhouse gas inventory and climate action plan assessment, and to develop a messaging campaign to convey and celebrate the Town’s climate action achievements over the past 10 years to the community:
  • Bedford 2020 leaders directed the baseline and 2014 Bedford greenhouse gas inventories
  • Bedford 2020 created, lead and implemented — in partnership with the Town — majority of the community programs established to address the measures in the Climate Action Plan
  • Bedford 2020’s primary expertise is outreach and communications to the community on climate action issues, programs and progress
Implementation of the Town’s Climate Action Plan is achieving significant cost savings to residents and businesses reducing energy use while cutting greenhouse gas emissions.   We’re also saving tax dollars in reducing the Town’s energy costs.  
Traffic Safety Working Group Supplemental Resolution
The Town Board voted adopted a supplemental resolution to clarify certain matters, including the terms for and number of resident members of the TSWG and designation of the Supervisor as chairman.  If at all possible a resident from each of the three hamlets will be appointed each with a term of three years.  For the full resolution click 

New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) and Sustainable Westchester Pledge on Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV) 
The Town Board approved the adoption of the ZEV Pledge as the Gold Tier making Bedford the first community in Westchester County to do so.  The NYLCV and Sustainable Westchester have called upon municipal leaders to adopt a pledge to integrate into municipal fleets ZEVs, which include battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell and plug-in hybrids.  This pertain to purchases or leases by the end of 2020 of new light-duty ZEV vehicles.   The tiers are:
1. Tier 1: Gold Pledge – 10% of light-duty fleet.
2. Tier 2:  Silver Pledge – 5% of light-duty fleet
3. Tier 3:  Bronze Pledge – evaluate opportunities to include ZEVs in future.
I have identified at least two vehicles in our fleet of 14 light duty vehicles which under the Town’s Capital Plan are scheduled for replacement by the end of 2020 and which can be replaced with mission-compatible and highly cost-efficient ZEVs.  We anticipate that meeting the pledge both will reduce vehicle operating costs while bringing Bedford closer to meeting our Climate Action Plan goals.
Resolution in Support of the National Wreaths Across America Day
December 16, 2017
The Town Board adopted a resolution in support of the National Wreaths Across America Day.  We thank David Zapsky and Rodger Guest for bringing this to the attention of the Town Board. 
The Town of Bedford wishes to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our Nation, to honor those who continue to serve and to teach our children the value of freedom; The National Wreaths Across America Day carries out the mission to “Remember, Honor and Teach” by promoting wreath-laying ceremonies in cemeteries throughout America; in the words of Karen Worcester, Executive Director of Wreaths Across America, “We are not here to ‘decorate graves.’  We’re here to remember not their deaths, but their lives; the Town of Bedford Veterans Advisory Committee has recommended to the Town Board that the Town of Bedford participate in the National Wreaths Across America Day on December 16, 2017; be it resolved that the Town of Bedford hereby joins with the millions of others across America in participating in the National Wreaths Across America Day on December 16, 2017.
Appointments to Boards & Commissions   
The Town Board is very grateful for the service of so many civic-minded residents to help our community.  We thank those whom the Town Board re-appointed at our October 3meeting:
Drew Marchiano and Andy Guich were re-appointed to the Traffic Safety Working Group; Meghan Bazaar was re-appointed to the Katonah District Review Commission; Rosemary Lee was re-appointed to the Open Space Committee
2018 Town Operating Budget, Bedford Hills Train Station Agreement, and an Introduction to the Chairman of the Veterans Advisory Committee, David Zapsky
Click here
The Town of Bedford is always looking to appoint members to several of our Boards, Commissions and Committees as we look to fill vacancies as quickly as possible. We are committed to bringing these Boards together with residents that have a strong skill set.
If you are interested in serving on any of our Boards, Commissions or Committees, please submit letters of interest and resumes to Supervisor Chris Burdick at Email submissions are preferred; however you can mail hard copies to Supervisor Chris Burdick, Town of Bedford, 321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills, New York 10507.  In your submission, please indicate all appointments that may potentially be of interest to you.
You may apply at any time, regardless of whether there is a current or upcoming vacancy, as vacancies occur periodically throughout the year.

Click here
MTA Lease for Bedford Hills Train Station    After my negotiations for several months with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, we received in final form a new lease to the train station on terms favorable to the Town.   The lease is for 25 years (rather than 20 as MTA originally proposed); provides a use clause to allow the Town to use the station as it presently is being used for Town and community activities; requires a least payment of $1 per year (waived); and right to convert the lease to a market rate lease in the event of non-municipal use of the station.    The Board authorized me to sign the lease on behalf of the Town.  The next step is approval by the Board of Directors of the MTA.   We’re delighted that we are retaining the station, its parking and its surrounding area for Town and community use.
Proposal for Municipal Parking in Bedford Village   The Town Board is considering acquiring vacant parcels off of Court Road which are owned by the Bedford Presbyterian Church.  The purpose of the acquisition would be for development of municipal parking to serve the hamlet center.   The Town Board approved my request to authorize a Phase II environmental assessment of the parcels as part of our due diligence.  Environmental Planning & Management (EPM) to perform a Phase II environmental assessment following the Phase I assessment recently completed.  The cost is for a not to exceed fee of $14,815.  Comptroller Zambrano advises the Board that there are funds available in the capital project for Bedford Village parking previously established.  The Church has authorized our performing the assessment.   Should the results of the environmental assessment allow for the Town to proceed, we would hold a meeting with the community in Bedford Village for input on the proposal.
Authorization to Re-Issue Request for Proposal for Solar Installations; Bid Requests for Carports at Police Station    This summer the Town had issued a Request for Proposals for solar installations not only in connection with carports for the Police Station, but at the option of any firm submitting a proposal other suitable Town-owned locations.  At the same time we sought bids for the construction of the planned carport for the Police Station, which we wish to provide in the renovation project regardless of whether we proceed with solar panels atop the carport.  There were no proposals submitted nor any bids submitted.   I was advised that it is likely that no proposals were submitted due to uncertainty regarding NYS incentives available to solar developers.  The NYS Public Service Commission on September 14 issued an “Implementation Order” which bears directly upon NYS financial incentives to solar developers.   Some details remain to be settled, which are expected soon.  As such, it appears that if we were to issue the RFP and re-issue the bid requests at the end of September or early October and provide sufficient time for submissions, we may find interest among developers/contractors.   The Board approved authorizing me to proceed.
Phase 2 of KVIS Beautification Plan   The Board approved phase 2 of the superb beautification plan for Katonah Avenue in front of the train station.  The first phase was completed last year with the Town providing park personnel for the plantings and KVIS providing professionally prepared planting plans and $12,000 in plant material.  This covered the area from Edgemont to the stairs to the station.  Phase 2 covers from the fire hydrant to the gazebo.  This will entail from $8,000 to $10,000 in plant material KVIS will donate and over $8,000 in Town furnished labor.  We thank KVIS for making this partnership possible to move ahead with a significant beautification of Katonah Avenue.
Temporary Parking Rule Changes on Village Green, Bedford Village   Crews began construction this past Monday to provide a raised crosswalk.   The project, which may take as much as a month, temporarily takes out of service 10 to 12 parking spaces.   To ease the impact on patrons, customers and businesses, the Town Board adopted a resolution providing temporary changes in the parking rules in the hamlet center, including a reduction in the parking time limit to 30 minutes from 1 hour for eight parking spaces from Court Road towards the entrance to the fire station and an increase from 1 hour to 2 hours for the next three spaces.  It also provides an increase from 1 hour to 2 hours for two spaces in front of the Bedford Playhouse building.   We’re interested in feedback from the community to help us determine whether after the project is completed, we might keep the changes in place.   Our thanks to the Bedford Presbyterian Church for their generosity in allowing the public to use during the course of the construction project parking in the Church lot behind the Church.  We ask the cooperation of business owners and their employees to use such parking or street parking on Court Road (those spaces further toward BVES which do not have a limit).
Are you interested in bringing the benefits of more low-cost clean energy to residents and small commercial property owners in your community? Due to popular demand, Solarize Westchester campaigns are returning! Click 
here for more information.
The Town of Bedford is replacing the crosswalk in front of the Bedford Village Post Office with a raised crosswalk intended to increase visibility and reduce vehicle speed.  To facilitate the maximum flow of traffic for the duration of the project, the Town will need to utilize thirteen (13) curbside parking spaces both near and in front of the Bedford Village Post Office and across the street at the Village Green. Additional parking will be provided in the Presbyterian Church Parking Lot to mitigate the loss of spots. 
ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE BROADBAND (Altice USA asked we share the following information)
Altice USA is pleased to announce the launch of Economy Internet, an affordable option for fast, high quality Optimum Internet connectivity at home for households that qualify for the National School Lunch Program and senior citizens that qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  This service is available to new Optimum Internet customers.
Details of the service can be found at

Bedford 2020 now has compost bins available for Town residents who want to collect organic kitchen waste and take it to the Town Recycling Center.  For $25 you can purchase 2 bins and a roll of compostable bag liners for $5. Click here for a brief instructional video and more information
The Town of Bedford Public Works Department is replacing the crosswalk in front of the Bedford Village Post Office with another constructed of masonry pavers. It will be a raised crosswalk intended to increase visibility and reduce vehicle speed.  The Contractor that the Town is employing expects to begin work on the project on Monday, September 18, 2017. It is estimated that the project will last until October 18, 2017 (Depending on weather conditions.)
We hope to begin work at 7:00 AM and stop work at 3:30 PM each day (Mon-Fri).  The Town of Bedford expects to keep two lanes of traffic open at this location for the strong majority of the project. If only one lane is open, this will not occur during rush hour and will be managed by flaggers to allow for alternating traffic. The work will be staged to start on the side of the street by the fire house and end at the Green, with approximately one third of the street closed at a time. The sidewalk will remain open.
In order to facilitate the maximum flow of traffic for the duration of the project, the town will need to utilize 13 curbside parking spaces both near and in front of the Bedford Village Post Office and across the street at the Village Green. Additional parking will be provided in the Presbyterian Church Parking Lot to mitigate the loss of spots. Signs will be in place informing people that the parking at the Church Parking Lot is available.
Parking rules will be changed as follows: a reduction from one hour to thirty minutes in parking from Court Road towards the entrance to the fire house for eight spots, and from one hour to two hours for the next three spots.  These measures are being taken to better accommodate needs of the businesses during the construction period.
Fall is right around the corner and with it the unofficial start of the flu season.  Attached you will find information on the 2017-2018 influenza vaccine.  Please follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations for flu prevention and treatment:
a. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
b. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.  Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
c. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.  Germs spread this way.
d. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
4)     STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK until at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100 degrees+) or signs of a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine).
Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
For more information on seasonal flu, you can go to the CDC website at .
We’re pleased that the paving of a portion of I-684 running through Bedford (from 172 to Harris Road) is proceeding on schedule and is going well.   As you may know, we are pressing for funding to put in place for paving the remaining Bedford portion in 2018.
   The Board approved a Take It or Leave it event in Parking Lot 8 in Bedford Hills from 9 AM to 12 PM every other Saturday between the months of May and October each year, starting as early as this October. The event is modeled after similar programs in other communities, and allows residents to drop off unwanted household items that are still in good/working condition, or pick up and repurpose some. B2020 is providing a 12′ x 16′ shed in the corner of Lot 8 for this purpose. The location will not eliminate any parking spots.  Volunteers organized and managed by B2020 will run the program. The event is an excellent way to recycle and reuse items, and reduce consumption and waste. This program will preserve natural resources, reduce waste, and save residents money.  This is another example of a well thought out program by B2020.  Our thanks to Bedford 2020’s Peter Kuniholm who worked with Public Works Commissioner Kevin Winn to make this a reality.        
A number of residents have reported bear sightings.  “Wow, a bear!” may be our first reaction, but here are some safety tips, click here.  And click here to see a picture of a bear that was taken and shared with us by a resident.
I wish to augment the below information (e-news 8/25) with the following request for motorists:
Sharing the road d with bicyclists
When parked on the street, check for bicyclists approaching from behind you before opening your car door.
Always exercise due care to avoid colliding with any person walking or bicycling.
Always be vigilant when pedestrians are present, especially those with visual or physical impairments.
Bicyclists are fully entitled to use the road and have the right to “take the lane” by positioning themselves at or near the center of the lane when needed to avoid hazards or if the lane is too narrow  to safely travel side by side with motorists.
Pass bicycles only when necessary and safe: pass to the left of the bicycle at a safe distance until safely clear. When in doubt, wait until you can pass at a safe speed. Before making a right turn, let bicyclists clear the intersection. When turning left or entering a roadway, yield to oncoming bicyclists as you would to any vehicle.
 Some of you may have heard of the tragic death earlier this month of a cyclist in Stony Point.  Another was killed yesterday.  We also are concerned about the safety of walkers and pedestrians.  While we implore drivers to observe speed limits and other rules of the road, we also wish to share with you rules and tips for cyclists and pedestrians some of which a Bedford resident compiled and sent to me.
New York State law mandates the following related to cyclists:
  1. Travel WITH traffic (i.e. on the same side of the road) and obey all vehicle laws (stop at stop lights, etc.)
  2. Are not allowed on sidewalks
  3. Helmets (protective head gear) are required
  4. No headphones, ear buds, or other noise cancelling devices are allowed in more than 1 ear.
  5.  Horn/bell audible for 100 feet
  6. Lighting required a half hour before dusk until a half hour after dawn.
  7. Cyclists are required to use appropriate hand signals.


  1. Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk always walk facing traffic.
  2. Dress to be seen. Brightly colored clothing makes it easier for drivers to see you during the daytime. At night, wear special reflective material on your shoes, cap or jacket to reflect the headlights of cars coming towards you.


  1.  Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks.
  2.  Stop at the curb, or the edge of the road.
  3.  Stop and look left, then right, then left again, before you step into the street.
  4.  If you see a car, wait until it goes by. Then look left, right and left again until no cars are coming.
  5.  Keep looking for cars while you are crossing, and remember, Walk. Don’t run.
  6.  If a car is parked where you are crossing, make sure there is no driver in the car. Then go to the edge of the car and look left-right-left until no cars are coming.
Septic pump out – if you haven’t done it within the last five years, the law requires you do so. And, if you have a problem with your system, please check out the Town’s Septic System Repair and Replacement program to deal with failing septic systems. The program allows Bedford property owners in the Croton Watershed (about 85% of the Town’s land area) for a 50% reimbursement of repair/replacement costs. If you have a failing septic system, contact the Planning Department at 666-4434 for further information or visit our website.
Click here and enter location you would like information about.

Hurricanes and Tropical storms can wreak havoc in many ways, with lashing winds, torrential rains, and inundating storm surges.
Prepare for a hurricane by stocking up on food, water, protective clothing, medications, batteries, flashlights, important documents, road maps, and a full tank of gasoline.
As a storm unfolds listen to local authorities on radio or television (battery operated in the event of an outage). Evacuation routes often close as a storm develops. Dedicated professionals and improved technology have made hurricane forecasting more accurate than ever before-but it’s far from precise.
If forced to weather a storm, get inside the most secure building possible and stay away from windows.
Avoid downed wires – they can be live.  Report downed wires to your local utilities.  In the case of an emergency call 911. Click here for more information regarding hurricane and tropical storm preparedness.
The Town will be updating their Electric Vehicle charging stations as they are outdated and will install an additional charging station in Bedford Village Memorial Park. They will also be entering into an agreement with ChargePoint.  The Town appreciates members of the community and Bedford 2020 for supporting the Town’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions.  The Town is grateful for all the work done by Town resident Andrew Kohler toward this effort for the last six months.  The Town also thanks Ellen Calves of Bedford 2020 for the organizations efforts towards reducing carbon emissions and supporting the use of electric vehicles. The charging stations will be serviced by ChargePoint, a global organization dedicated to servicing the chargers.   Comptroller Abraham Zambrano gave the locations of the stations and also gave two price quotes, one for the replacement of the existing five charging stations, and one for the installment of the new one. The total project is budgeted at $100,140. The Town will use $30,000 of an existing 2016 fund earmarked for the repair of the stations and $70,140 out of the general fund for the remainder of the funding. The details of how the Town will charge for the use of the electricity and as well as timed use of the stations are still being worked out as well as parking costs. A profit and loss (PNL) report will be provided by the end of September.
The sidewalk on Court Road will be replaced.  The sidewalk is 30 years old and has deteriorated over time.  The new sidewalk will also be wider. The sidewalk will run from Route 22 to the elementary school. The sidewalk will be replaced with the same brick and concrete pattern that currently exists. The low bidder, Lascon Inc., is familiar with the scope and has provided good references for similar projects. The contract value will be the base bid of $55,150 plus a not to exceed value of $12,750, for a total not to exceed value of $67,900.
The Town will be purchasing 30 cluster replacement recycling and waste receptacles from Kettle Creek Corporation, 18 stainless steel tops for existing Victor Stanley Receptacles and labels for stainless tops.  The existing receptacles are 20 years old and have been durable and have stood the test of time. The total projected expenditure is $52,128.80. Funds are proposed to be drawn the Capital budget ($40,000) line and from the General Fund balance ($12,128.80).
Gateway signs – the signs and poles have been received and the sign company is making up an adapter for the post hole size issue that occurred during fabrication. It is anticipated that the signs will be installed in September.
Traffic Calming
  • The raised crosswalk is planned for September. Acocella contracting will be performing the work. DPW will communicate with store owners, the Chamber, and BVHDRC before the work occurs.
  • Paving of the Village Green and installation of the speed hump will occur in October or November.
Street Lights – 11 have been ordered and are expected to be delivered by the end of September. DPW plans to replace all of the ones in the brick sidewalk between Court Road and 172, and then several on the Village Green this year. Another 11 +/- have been included in the capital plan for next year, and can be scheduled once the plan is approved
Court Road Sidewalk – Replacement is planned to start by the end of August. DPW will communicate with store owners, the Chamber, and BVHDRC before the work occurs.
Route 22 Sidewalk north of Court Road – likely to be budgeted for and replaced in 2018.
August 15 (7:15 PM)
Overview & Discussion of Comptroller’s suggestions on possible expense reductions and non-tax revenue sources
September 5 (7:15 PM)
Town Board review of proposed 2018 budget for Police
September 19 (7:15 PM)
Town Board review of proposed 2018 budget for Lighting and Water Districts, Public Works and Building Departments and Libraries
October 3 (7:15 PM)
Town Board review of proposed 2018 budget for Recreation & Parks Departments and all other Departments; discussion of tentative 2018 budget.
October 17 (7:15 PM)
Town Board further review of tentative 2018 budget; note that Budget Officer is to finalize tentative budget and file tentative budget in office of the Town Clerk prior to October 30. The Town Clerk is to formally present tentative budget to the Town Board prior to November 10. The Town Board may call upon any Department Head to discuss the tentative budget and any estimates submitted.
November 9 (7:15 PM)
Town Board consideration of any revisions in tentative 2018 budget – holding of a public hearing is optional before adoption of preliminary 2018 budget.
November 21
Adoption of preliminary 2018 budget based on any revisions in the tentative 2018 budget. The preliminary budget shall be filed in the office of the Town Clerk and reproduced for public distribution as directed by the Town Board.
December 5
Town Board to hold public hearing, make revisions to the preliminary budget and adopt the final 2018 budget. The Town must comply with all notice requirements in Town Law §108. The hearing may be adjourned if necessary, but may not go beyond December 15. The final budget must be adopted prior to December 20.
We are pleased that the Police Station project is proceeding well.  As you may know, the project consists of the “gut renovation” of the existing police station building, the construction of a 4300 sq. ft. addition (increasing total square footages to approximately 11,000 sq. ft., updated learning/training facilities, and an updated infrastructure designed to keep the department operating to its fullest potential for years to come The last of the footings were poured on Tuesday, and we expect to be done with the foundation next week.

The Town has been working assiduously to develop new parking in the hamlet.   At the Town’s expense we commissioned in 2015 a concept parking plan which offered ways to significantly increase parking at the Bedford Playhouse building (at relatively minor cost), increase parking on Court Road (this was implemented with an increase of 11 spaces with no time limit) and maps out a municipal parking lot on vacant property which the Presbyterian Church owns off of Court Road.   Click here for the concept plan.   The Town is awaiting the results of a Phase I Environmental Assessment of the Church’s property.  The Town Board made provision in its 2016 Capital Plan for the acquisition and development of the property.
Due to bridge construction work, traffic on the southbound Sprain Brook Parkway will be shifted to the northbound roadway, reducing the Parkway from three to two lanes in each direction. This shift is expected to begin on August 21, 2017 and last until November 20, 2017. The shift will occur south of Route 100C, continue for one-half of a mile, then shift back north of Interstate 287. This traffic shift and lane reduction is necessary to perform the bridge replacement.
For more information you may contact the NYSDOT Construction Field Office at: 914-345-6180.  For trip planning and current roadway conditions, call 511 or visit
Significant traffic delays are anticipated
Given that it does not appear that the County enforces the County’s Anti-Idling Law (click here for the text of the law) (at least in Bedford), a number of Bedford residents have asked the Town to step in.   Working with Police Chief Padilla and Town’s counsel, we have determined that parking enforcement officers have the authority to enforce the law.   The Chief is developing a plan for such enforcement without diverting significantly from parking enforcement duties.
I thought that you might enjoy seeing the first Calendar of Local Equine Events from Bedford Loves Horses. If you know of area equine events that you’d like added to our calendar during the year, just let them know via ‘Contact Us’ on their website by clicking here.
The Town of Bedford earlier this week was served with a Summons in a Civil Action in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York brought by Fair Housing Justice Center, Inc. and Westchester Residential Opportunities, Inc. alleging that the Town and Blue Mountain Housing Development Corp. are administering the Town’s “middle-income” housing units in a manner which “subjects African American applicants to longer waiting periods for such housing.” Click here for a copy of the Summons. The Town of Bedford is committed to providing and assisting in the provision of affordable and accessible housing for all persons. Similarly the mission of the Blue Mountain Housing Development Corporation is to promote the social welfare, common good and general welfare by enabling and facilitating the creation and preservation of affordable housing in the Town of Bedford. The Town of Bedford recently adopted the Affordable Housing model code provisions. The Town has also actively participated in the provision of affordable and accessible housing within the Town of Bedford by participating in and donating Town property, with respect to the development of the Antioch Church property which will provide 12 affordable affirmatively furthering fair housing units. The Town disputes the claim in the lawsuit that it has violated any provisions of the Fair Housing Act, or that it acts in a discriminatory manner with respect to housing or any other policies. As a result, the Town intends to vigorously defend its rights with respect to this action.
The Board adopted a resolution in support of the plans of Bedford Union Cemetery, a not-for-profit cemetery on Clinton Road in Bedford Hills (near the Rippowam Cisqua campus), to expand.   The Cemetery is running out of space for burial plots and wishes to acquire property adjacent to it in a phased expansion of the existing cemetery. Click here for a copy of the resolution.
To improve safety at the Lawrence Circle in Katonah, the Traffic Safety Committee requested shrub removals at 2 intersections by Lawrence Circle to improve drivers’ line of sight.  Three shrubs were removed and transplanted elsewhere and two shrubs were removed and disposed of.
Additionally, it was requested that minor tree branch trimming be performed as well as pruning back a large shrub for greater sight lines.
I contacted NYPIRG to discuss our displeasure with their canvassing methods. I spoke to Brenden Colling, Statewide Outreach Director. He apologized for any aggressive canvassing methods which residents have encountered, is speaking to their canvassers to let them know that such methods are unacceptable and has provided his direct contact information and invites anyone with an issue or problem to feel free to contact him: (212) 349-6460 x 1180;
As I mentioned previously, the Town Board has asked the Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee (RPAC) to thoroughly review the proposal (below is from my June 2 explaining the process).  I take responsibility for this taking longer than anticipated, because I have asked that all reports and studies be in writing, as all concerned are entitled to the documents themselves rather than a recap, summary or synthesis of them.   I anticipate that the RPAC will be submitting a memorandum to the Town Board regarding the proposal within the next couple of weeks.  [The Family Bike Area Community Proposal can be found by visiting].
Given that it will be delivered to the Town Board while many are on vacation and out of town, I do not consider it appropriate for the Town Board to take action on the recommendations until after Labor Day.   We will post the recommendations and the back-up documents to the Town’s website and give ample advance notice to the community of the date when the matter will be scheduled for Town Board consideration.
                I thank all, whatever your views, for continued patience and understanding. 
Town of Bedford Police Department has received information that residents are being targeted by phone scammers. The caller ID on the calls received by residents show a caller ID identifying the Town of Bedford as the caller. Residents are reminded to not provide any personal information over the phone and to not call numbers provided by the caller. If you receive a call from one of these scammers please hang up. Additional information on phone scams, and what you can do to avoid becoming a victim, can be found on the Federal Trade Commission’s website If you believe you have been targeted, please call the police desk to report it: 914-241-3111.
It certainly does seem that nearly every time the lights flicker, the traffic light goes out. For those who did not see my reply to some of the replies. I have contacted NYSEG and the Regional Director of NYS Department of Transportation several times to ask them to address what is a recurring problem. I, too, had thought that deploying police officers to set cones and direct traffic would be a relatively easy solution. However, doing so puts the officers at risk of getting hit by drivers who cannot see them at this very busy intersection. Rather, the Town acts as promptly as possible to provide emergency power to the lights. The Town uses its own generator and deploys it with Department of Public Works employees to power the traffic lights until NYSEG restores power. I should mention that we have our own 24/7 police force so calling police dispatch gets prompt attention. For a longer term solution, I am arranging a meeting with the Regional Director of NYS DOT with this problem high on our list.
It was pointed out that cars coming out of DeCicco parking lot on the Arroway side frequently make a left turn, violating the “No Left Turn” sign. There also is concern that tree/vegetation may be blocking the line of sight. We are doing/have done the following:
1. Our Police Department will be ramping up enforcement.
2. We checked and did not find that the tree/vegetation is blocking the line of sign.
3. Public Works Commissioner Kevin Winn is having two new signs installed (7/21) to provide enhanced reliability.
I was asked about addressing the difficulty of crossing over from Cottage to Valley (the crosswalk at New Street not being easily accessible due to the guardrail). We will stripe a 4′ shoulder using a white fog line on Valley between Cottage Place and New St. This would guide cars toward the middle of the road and allow pedestrians and cyclists to carefully use the south side of the road to walk to New Street and cross to the sidewalk.
For information on parking at the Town of Bedford Offices During Police Department Construction click here 

Please click here for the discussion of the Town’s paving policy and the list of roads to be paved in 2017.
Customers can report power interruptions or service problems, view service restoration information and our outage map on line at as well as on their mobile device or by calling   1-800-75-coned.
Town of Bedford residents can choose to dispose of their solid organic waste at the Town Recycling Center via Community Compost, a new program brought to you by Bedford 2020 and the Town of Bedford. Community Compost can accept a wide range of materials including meat, dairy, paper towels, teabags, fruits, vegetables and more. Residents can sign up for this program by paying a one-time fee of $25. They will receive training and a compost kit with a small bucket (1.6 gal), perfect for easy kitchen access, and a large bucket (7 gal), with a sealable lid for storage outside the home and transport. Participants will drop-off their organic waste to the Town Recycling Center, located on Railroad Avenue, on Saturdays between 8am and 3:00pm. To learn more about Community Compost or to sign up for the program visit or contact Bedford 2020 at (914) 620-2411. 2017
Phase I Environmental Studies to Be Performed Bedford Village Parking
The Town Board authorized a Phase I environmental review of property off of Court Road owned by The Presbyterian Church which the Town is interested in acquiring for municipal parking.
Open Space
The Town Board will consider a request to authorize a Phase I environmental review of property bounded by Route 172/Route 22, Crush Road and Country Kids Lane for possible acquisition for open space, as recommended by the Open Space Committee.
Working with real estate brokers and some members of the horse community, we have developed FAQs for owners or prospective purchasers which we hope you’ll find helpful. We’re also looking at possible revisions in the Town Code related to horses to make it easier for owners of horse properties. Please click here for the “Horse Friendly Message,” the FAQ’s link is included in the message.
Several residents have expressed concern about the noise, dust and other impacts created by leaf blowers. You may have seen letters to the editor of the Record Review advocating regulation of blowers. .A number of communities in Westchester County and in New York State have adopted local laws regulating blowers and other power equipment. I would like to approach the matter in a deliberative manner in which all views are considered. We need to listen and weigh all concerns; ranging from those who would ban the use of gas powered leaf blowers to those who want no hand of government in the matter. Bedford 2020 has concerns about the significant emissions from gas powered leaf blowers and the topsoil which it carries away. Residents complain about the noise. On the other hand some homeowners object to the enactment of any local law which deprives them of choice in tending to their landscaping. Many landscapers are opposed to any regulation which adversely affects their livelihood or imposes significant capital outlays for new equipment. Over the next few weeks we’ll be considering the means for a thoughtful and calm discussion with the community, landscapers and other interested parties regarding the matter. I’ll keep you posted.
We’re working with Bedford 2020 at ways to reduce the noise and pollution emanating from leaf blowers, especially gasoline powered blowers. This may begin with recommended “Best Practices” for homeowners explaining how leaf blowers might be avoided altogether – better for your lawn and landscaping, better for the environment and easier on your and your neighbors’ ears.
Please consider your neighbor when you go to work with your lawn mower or weed whacker (or your lawn service uses them). We realize that your busy schedule makes it difficult to find time to get work done on your property. We all try to squeeze in time to do it. But please not too early and not too late. Our Town Code does not permit high noise activities, such as these, before 8 AM or after sunset.
The Town’s financial operations for the year ended December 31, 2016.Click here for the audited financial statements that have been prepared by PKF O’Connor Davies LLC. In addition to the Town’s audited financials, click here for the results of the review of the Town’s Justice Court. Among the highlights are that the Town spent less than the adopted 2016 budget and revenues in most areas were higher than budgeted, resulting in a substantial increase in General Fund balances (over $1.1 million) and in Highway Fund balances (over $400,000). The Town Board adopted a policy last year which states in part “The Town of Bedford finances will be managed so as to maintain balances of the various funds at levels sufficient to mitigate current and future risks, such as revenue shortfalls, unanticipated expenditures, stabilization of tax rates and user fees, protection of the Town’s creditworthiness, and to provide for adequate cash flow needs.” The General Fund balance now is at approximately 35% of 2017 budgeted expenditures and the Highway Fund balance at approximately 20% of 2017 budgeted expenditures. The Town Board believes that such levels are responsible, prudent and not excessive.
Applications are now being accepted for more than 30 new, fair and affordable homes in Westchester. These homes are single-family properties and condominiums, ranging in size, from one to five bedrooms. All of the homes are in good condition and located in the following communities: Bedford, Buchanan, Cortlandt, Harrison, Lewisboro, Mount Pleasant, North Castle, Pelham Manor, Peekskill, Pound Ridge, Somers, and Yorktown. “The county is pleased to offer these homes at discounted prices to families that want to live in Westchester County, but may not have been able to afford it in the past,” said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “I urge anyone who is interested to apply to purchase these homes.” Westchester County purchased these homes at market value and is selling them at affordable prices to qualified individuals and families. The price for fair and affordable homes range $125,000 to $300,000. Qualifications for buyers to purchase an affordable home include:
  • A household income at or less than 80% of the Area Median Income for Westchester County: $60,400 for a one-person household; $69,000 for a two-person household; $77,650 for a three-person household; $86,250 for a four-person household ; $93,150 for a five-person household.
  • Households must also have savings for a down payment and closing costs, satisfactory credit, and incomes sufficient to carry the monthly mortgage payments.
These 30-plus homes are among the 790 units that the county is developing in accordance with the 2009 housing settlement. The settlement permitted the county to satisfy up to 25% of the required 750 units with existing housing. The properties will remain affordable for 50 years. Information on each unit is available on the county’s Homeseeker website at click here,where interested families can view the information, download the application and sign up to receive information on additional properties and open houses. The county’s housing marketing consultant, the Housing Action Council (HAC), is handling the marketing of each unit. Rose Noonan, executive director of the HAC, said the available homes have a number of options for potential buyers, such as proximity to public transportation, amount of yard space, and communities with a pool or near a lake. “There are also the condominiums with amenities and common areas cared for by management companies,” said Noonan. “Each home has its own style ranging from townhomes and flats to raised ranches to Cape Cod style and colonials.” The HAC is a not-for-profit organization that helps the county identify and qualify prospective purchasers. As a member of the New York Mortgage Coalition, the HAC also provides homeownership counseling and assists buyers through the mortgage approval process. The buyers will be selected through a lottery process. Applications will be accepted through April 24, after which public lotteries will be held for each property. Buyers can expect to be in their homes by the end of the year. For additional information about the homes and their communities, contact the HAC at (914) 332-4144 or or go to click here.
The Town of Bedford is pleased to announce that in response to requests from members of the community, the Town is providing mobile paper shredder events in 2017:
  • September 16, and November 18 at the Town Recycling Center at 343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
At the event, a Mobile Shredding Truck will securely destroy documents. The company’s customer service professionals never physically touch your documents so the entire process is “touch-free”. The company can shred paper, paper clips, rubber bands, staples and even the black clips. They cannot shred 3-ring binders, or anything that is non paper (CDs, tapes, DVDs, hard drives, etc…).There will be no charge to residents for the service.
Click here for our projections prepared by our Town Comptroller Abe Zambrano.
Please take a few minutes to review our 2016 Annual Report, which summarizes what your Town government did to serve the community in 2016. You’ll find a department by department summary of continuing to provide a high level of service and highlights of improvements made. Click here.
A new program offered by the NY AG’s Office. The program will provide up to $40k to homeowners facing foreclosure due to delinquent mortgage payments, property taxes or maintenance fees. If they qualify, they do not need to pay it back monthly. It is paid back if the homeowner refinances or sells the house over the life of the loan. Westchester Residential Opportunities Inc. (WRO) is designated to process the application from their office. Homeowners can call Veronica Raphael, Director of Foreclosure Prevention to see if they qualify for this program. 914-428-4507 x334 or
Please be advised that during the renovation work at the Police Station, parking at both 425 Cherry Street and 321 Bedford Road will be limited. Please note that starting on Monday, February 6, there will be “Resident Parking Only” for certain spaces in the parking lots. We would also strongly recommend that if you need to visit the Town Offices, you consider doing so on a day other than when the Justice Court is in session. For the Justice Court schedule and other information regarding parking, please click here .
I have been working with Public Works Commissioner Kevin Winn and Police Chief Mel Padilla to address the danger posed with power outages knocking out the traffic lights at the three major intersections in Katonah: Routes 35 and 22, Route 35 and the I-684 overpass and Route 25 and Woodbridge Road. As was recognized in the discussion of the outage, posting officers either to direct traffic or place flares in a multi lane highway with additional turning lanes in dark rainy/icing conditions is extremely dangerous (especially with some careless, heedless drivers disregarding the intersections and basic traffic law). We are exploring other means of addressing the problem. Because there have been previous incidences of power outages at these locations, I have contacted NYSEG to ask what measures NYSEG is taking to “harden” the circuit which power the traffic lights. I have also asked whether there might be a “dual feed” whereby if one circuit goes down, another circuit might pick up the load. It’s not a likelihood, but I still felt I should ask. I also placed a call to the regional office of the NYS Department of Transportation to discuss our concerns, given that the traffic lights are owned by and the responsibility of DOT. Most important is getting the traffic lights back into operation as quickly as possible. Given that FEMA did not grant our post-Sandy request for funding generators, we purchased them ourselves. The generators are portable and may be used in emergency situations throughout town. As such, the generators are not fixed in a given location but are transported from safe storage to where most needed. Commissioner Winn and Chief Padilla are instituting new procedures for mobilizing the generators more quickly. They are confident that doing so should significantly reduce the time that the traffic lights are out.
To report an outage or an electrical emergency, please call us at1.800.572.1131 or go to our Emergency Preparedness web page, “Outage Central,” at click here
You can sign up for Outage Alerts to receive notifications regarding power outages and the estimated restoration time here NYSEG urges customers to stay away from downed power lines – even lines that appear dead can be deadly. NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed power lines or other hazardous conditions.


-outages and emergencies You can sign up for text alerts from NYSEG by going to click here and from Con Edison by going to click here. In addition, here is some useful information if you need to contact either NYSEG or Con Edison. Both NYSEG and Con Edison encourage customers with special needs to enroll in special services for them. “NYSEG is committed to providing their customers with safe, reliable energy delivery. They also offer many services for special need customers, including: Special Identification for households where everyone is elderly, blind or disabled. Large print, sight-saver Bills for visually-impaired customers. Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) grants NYSEG’s Energy Assistance Program (EAP) Project SHARE emergency energy assistance program. If you or someone in your household relies on life-sustaining equipment, you should contact NYSEG immediately! How to call NYSEG: Electricity interruptions or emergencies: 1.800.572.1131 (24 hours a day, every day) Customer relations center: 1.800.572.1111 Payment arrangements: 1.888.315.1755 Hearing and speech-impaired: Dial 711 (New York Relay Service)” Message from Con Edison: Customer Central Special Services Safety for Special Customers: It is important that we have a record of everyone who uses electrically operated life-support equipment or has medical hardships so we can contact them in an emergency. To learn more and complete the survey, please visit the link below. You can also let us know by calling 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633). Con Edison customers can enroll for this service by visiting
I would like to take this opportunity to urge residents to check their smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
Warns Customers Not To Fall for Scam Callers Refer Suspicious Calls to Police or 1-800-75CONED NEW YORK- Con Edison is warning customers not to fall for scams in which a caller threatens a service turnoff unless the customer purchases a pre-paid card or arranges for a transfer via MoneyGram to pay a bill. These callers are not from Con Edison and Con Edison does not accept payments of electric or gas bills by pre-paid debit cards, or by MoneyGram or similar transfers. The company has recently seen a spike in reports from customers who were contacted by the scammers. Con Edison believes the scammers are calling customers randomly, not targeting just those who owe back payments. The company has received complaints from residential and business customers. The scammers sometimes even tell the customer about a store near the customer’s home that sells pre-paid cards. The scammer instructs the customer to pay cash to put money on the card and to then provide the number on the card to the person who called. Once the customer provides the scammer with the card number, the scammer steals the money on the card. There have even been reports of these scammers making a Con Edison phone number show up on the customer’s caller ID. With MoneyGram, scammers may ask a customer to provide money from a bank account, credit card or debit card by going online or to a specified location. The money goes into someone else’s bank account or is available for the receiver to pick up in cash. Be alert if anyone asks you by telephone to arrange for pre-paid debit cards or a MoneyGram transfer as payment for your bill, or to send money to an out-of-state address. Never arrange payment or divulge account or personal information, including debit or credit card information, over the telephone, unless you are certain you are speaking to a Con Edison representative. Anyone who feels they may have been a target of an impostor or a payment scam should call their local police department. They may also call Con Edison at 1-800-75CONED. Con Edison’s website, click here, offers a variety of approved and convenient options for bill payment.
Over the last couple of years, I have brought together about quarterly the chiefs of our fire departments and the president of the Katonah Bedford Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps to discuss matters of mutual concern. Results of some of the last couple of meetings was the Town agreeing to assume the expense of a larger monitor and certain other improvements to the OEM center housed on the second floor of the Bedford Hills Fire House. In addition, we have discussed ways to reduce false alarms which result in unnecessary deployment of emergency forces and unnecessary charges to property owners.
A regular reader of this weekly newsletter asked why I repeat certain posts from week to week. I do so because not everyone reads my newsletter on a weekly basis, much information provided remains relevant and I wish to continue to alert the community about it. In response to the comment, however, you will see that I’ve divided the newsletter into two sections “New Posts” and “Continuing Posts”. Both sections are relevant and, I believe, worthy of review. I wish to thank readers for making suggestions and comments; over the years, I’ve not only changed format but added content based on them (for example, why the flags are flown at half-staff.
Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Town of Bedford, 321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills, NY 10507

Pulte net income up in Q3 | Bedford Hills Real Estate

PulteGroup, Inc., Atlanta (NYSE:PHM) on Tuesday reported net income of $178 million, or $0.58 per share. for its third quarter ended September 30, 2017. The gain, which included an insurance related charge of $5 million, compared with net income of $128 million, or $0.37 per share in the prior-year quarter. Earnings per share missed analyst expectations of a gain of $0.59.

Home sale revenues for the third quarter increased 9% over the prior year to $2.1 billion. Higher revenues for the period were driven by a 2% increase in deliveries to 5,151 homes, combined with a 7%, or $25,000, increase in average sales price to $399,000.

Home sale gross margin for the third quarter was 23.9%, down 80 basis points from the prior year, but is up 50 basis points from the second quarter 2017 adjusted gross margin of 23.4%. Home building SG&A expense for the quarter of $237 million, or 11.6% of home sale revenues, included a $5 million charge associated with the resolution of certain insurance matters. Prior year SG&A of $251 million, or 13.3% of home sale revenues, included approximately $12 million of charges for certain restructuring costs and shareholder activities.

Net new orders for the third quarter increased 11% to 5,300 homes, while the value of new orders increased 23% over the prior year to $2.3 billion. The company operated out of 778 communities for the third quarter, which is up 10% over the third quarter of 2016.

Ending backlog for the quarter was up 15% over the prior year to 10,823 homes, as backlog value gained 26% to $4.7 billion. The average price of homes in backlog increased 10% over the prior year to $431,000, which is a 10 year high for the company.

The company’s financial services operations reported third quarter pretax income of $18 million compared with $21 million in 2016. The decrease in pretax income for the period was primarily the result of a more competitive operating environment which impacted pricing during the period. Mortgage capture rate for the quarter was 80%, compared with 81% in the prior year.

“We continue to be extremely pleased with the strength of homebuyer demand and the sustained course of the housing recovery,” said Ryan Marshall, President and CEO of PulteGroup. “Despite the disruptions caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, our 11% increase in year-over-year orders for the quarter points to the health of the market, while the 15% increase in our backlog puts us in an excellent position to deliver strong fourth quarter and full-year financial results.”

“Fueled by growing demand among first-time buyers and supported by a strong economy, high employment, and historically low interest rates, U.S. new home sales for 2017 are expected to grow a healthy 5% to 10% over last year,” added Marshall. “We remain optimistic about the strength of future housing demand, as the current housing cycle moves into its seventh year of growth.”


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