Category Archives: Bedford

Bedford Town news | Bedford Real Estate

STATUS OF RE-PAVING ROUTE 117 SOUTH OF GREEN LANE
Readers of this column may recall that a few weeks ago, I reported that the NYS Department of Transportation at our urging required Con Edison to restore the surface of Route 117 curb to curb (rather than just the southbound lane, as Con Edison originally reported to us) for the portion of from the residential section of Bedford Hills south to Green Lane.
At that time I also explained that restoration had been complicated due to Mt. Kisco’s water line replacement project which also runs along 117. DOT would not require Con Edison to restore the surface twice – now following its own work and then following the completion of Mt. Kisco’s work. We continue to be concerned about the length of time that the surface has been in very poor and dangerous condition prompting some driers to avoid the rough, rutted surface and drive in the opposing lane of traffic.
When we learned of Mt. Kisco’s project earlier this year, we urged the Village’s engineers to coordinate with their counterparts at Con Edison and with DOT with a view to getting the work done promptly.
Earlier this week I asked DOT and the Village of Mt. Kisco for an update, and received the following reply from Village Manager Ed Brancati:
Supervisor Burdick,
To provide a quick update on our water main replacement:
The Village and our engineers for this project, Delaware Engineering, have developed a plan that significantly minimizes the disturbance to N. Bedford Rd. by keeping much of the work under the northbound sidewalk, but we still need to perform work in the roadway to make a variety of connections across N. Bedford Rd. Our plan is to perform all work in the roadway at the beginning of the job so that we can allow Con Ed to restore the road as quickly as possible.
We have submitted all plans to NYS DOT for their review, have received comments, and provided responses. We have also submitted our plans to WCDOH for their review and are likewise addressing their comments. We have also put the project out to bid with responses due on Thursday July 12th at 10 am and the Board of Trustees will look to award on Monday July 16th. At that point we can begin scheduling the work.
I will continue to keep you informed.
UPDATE ON POLICE STATION RENOVATION PROJECT; CARPORTS
As earlier reported, due to dramatic change in Public Service Commission incentives to solar developers, the Town received no bids for a long term contract in which the value of electricity produced by solar panels on carports would pay for the carports themselves.  We then put it out to bid based on the then carport plans and received a single bid (from the general contractor, Verdi Construction) in excess of $350,000.  The Town Board rejected the bid and approved the recommendations of the project team for new plans which would provide greater flexibility to bidders and potentially lower bids.
With the renovation project between 85 and 90% complete, we intend to avoid delay resulting from the carport bidding and installation.  The project team has developed the following timelines:
  • Bids became available today, July 6 at 11:00 AM.  The bid package can be
  • Walk-through at 9:00 AM on Thursday, July 12 for interested bidders.
  • Bids close at 11:00 AM on Thursday July 26
  • The Town Board will need to award the work to the lowest, responsible bid, as recommended by the project team.  We may schedule a special Town Board meeting rather than wait until the August 14 meeting.
UPDATE ON HYBRIDS AND ELECTRIC CARS
FOR THE TOWN’S OPERATIONS
The Town has had as an objective for over 10 years – beginning under the helm of my predecessor, Lee Roberts – to increase the Town’s use of hybrid and electric cars.  The policy makes sense from both an environmental and taxpayer standpoint.  A summary of the benefits of electric cars is available through the US Department of Energy athttps://www.energy.gov/eere/electricvehicles/electric-vehicle-benefits, explaining that emissions are reduced significantly; operation costs are much lower; and from a national security and price volatility standpoint, electricity in the US nearly 100% domestically produced (as opposed to oil, a significant portion of which is imported).  Under Ms. Roberts, the Town’s passenger car fleet became nearly entirely comprised of highly cost-effective hybrids which have borne out their promise of lower emissions and lower operating costs.  Our staff also is very satisfied with them for serving their required functions.
Going forward, the Town benefits from greater competition, moderated purchase costs and more choice.  The driving range on a single electric charge also has dramatically increased with improvements in battery technology.
The Town was the first municipality in Westchester County to undertake a gold pledge under the New York League of Conservation Voters/Sustainable Westchester challenge to increase further the acquisition and operation of electric or plug-in hybrids. The Gold Pledge . The 10 year Capital Plan which the Town Board adopted in December provides for vehicle replacement, including electric passenger vehicles. We have ordered a Chevrolet Bolt, one of the most highly regarded electric vehicles.  We did well on the purchase price working through the Sustainable Westchester consortium with a $33,970.00 price tag.
NEW & NOTEWORTHY
Bedford Canvas Bags
Newly appointed Reusable Bag Task Force (RTBF) member Rosemary Lee picked up this canvas bag at the Bedford Town House before heading off for vacation. They are $5.00 while supplies last.
PRIOR POSTS OF CONTINUED RELEVANCE
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE JUNE 27
TOWN BOARD MEETING ACTION
Note: The Board scheduled this meeting to consider the request of Police Chief Melvin Padilla regarding certain audio visual equipment and related items for the police station renovation project which could not be held over to the July 17 meeting lest it delay the project.
Conservation Board Application for Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) grant
The Board approved the Conservation Board’s request for authorization to submit an application for a $50,000 UCF planting grant. We thank Conservation Board chairman Simon Skolnik and member Fred Pollack who have been tireless and very successful in pursuing grant opportunities.
Appointments:
Our congratulations and thanks for the service of those whom the Board appointed:
1.    Local Katonah resident Jack DeAlto appointed to the position of
Police Officer.
2.    Sally Corbett appointed to the Drug Abuse Prevention Council for a term
expiring December 31, 2019.
3.    Mary Cassidy appointed to the Traffic Safety Working Group for a term
expiring August 31, 2020.
Change Order for Asphalt (Police Station Renovation Project)
The Board approved a change order in the amount $34,362.88.
Proposal from Entertainment Technologies, Inc (Police Station Renovation Project)
The Board approved the requests from Police Chief Melvin Padilla to (1) accept proposal from Entertainment Technologies, Inc. in the amount of $34,707 from for certain audio visual equipment and related items’ and (2) to authorize initial payment to Entertainment Technologies, Inc. in the amount of $12,000 The Board’s action enables the project to proceed without delay.
No Knock Registry
The Board set a Public Hearing for 7:50 PM on Tuesday, July 17 on proposed amendments to the Town solicitation law to establish a No Knock Registry and to revise approved entities for performing fingerprinting.  The No Knock Registry is in response to concerns of some residents regarding door to door sales.  It prohibits such solicitation to the homes of those residents who complete a request to be listed on a “no knock registry”. The Town Clerk will maintain the registry and provide a simple form. The proposal will not infringe upon political, educational or religious activities.
Corrective Amendments to the Town’s Energize NY Benefit Financing law
At the request of the Energy Improvement Corporation, of which the Town
is a founder and long-standing member, the Board set a Public Hearing
for 7:55 PM on Tuesday, July 17 to adopt corrective amendments to the law (Local Law 9-2017)
Resolution Regarding Algonquin Pipeline
At the request of the Town of North Salem and others, the Board adopted a resolution regarding the Algonquin Pipeline to protect the safety of Bedford’s residents, businesses and institutions as it relates to air emissions regulations developed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, affecting natural gas infrastructure facilities. Resolution
REVISION FOR JULY AND AUGUST 2018
TOWN BOARD MEETING SCHEDULE
Summer months are away months and many of our residents are unable to attend two meetings in July and two in August. The Town Board approved the following changes to these summer month meetings. We have cancelled the July 3 meeting and retained the July 17 meeting which was previously scheduled. We cancelled the August 7 and August 21 meetings and have replaced them with a single meeting to be held on August 14.
THE SUPERVISOR’S SHOW
Each month, we spend a short time chatting with members of the community
on recent activities and/or events that are pertinent to all of us. Take a few minutes to get to know some of your neighbors, and how their community involvement serves us all. If you would like to be on the show, send me an email and pitch yourself or your group!
For the latest Supervisor’s Show:
Green Initiatives, Regulations, and the Recently Adopted Reusable Bag Law
click here
Some photos from the Summer Solstice Yoga
at John Jay Homestead
Saturday June 23, 2018
Many Thanks to The Katonah Village Improvement Society, Deirdre Breen and all of the yogis from our many local studios.
Noteworthy:
Congratulations to the Town of Bedford for being recognized by Westchester County with the 2018 Westchester Eco Award. Thanks and praise to Kevin Winn and the highway department along with Bedford 2020 for working with the carters to create a single stream, to the Town Board for putting it into law, and to our entire community for responsible recycling. According to the data, Bedford has the highest recycling rates in the County. Great work!! “
Single Stream Reycyling:
Summer Fun + Bedford Parks
Summer Fun for Everyone! Bedford Recreation’s Park it in Bedford
Entertainment Series is back this summer! Grab your family, friends, a blanket and park hop with us and enjoy the magic of the summer! It’s Better in Bedford!
Bedford Rd Gas Main replacement from Park Dr South to Barker St
Con Ed has informed us that a that gas main replacement project on Bedford Rd from Park Dr south to Barker St in Mount Kisco is scheduled to start on Monday 7/9.
The information below is from Con Ed:
“We are in the process of requesting night hours with WTMC – same stips that we worked last year – 7p-6a. The linear footage of the project this year is about a 1/3 of the linear footage of the project last year so we anticipate a shorter disturbance period.
We are going to work towards completing construction by 10/15 –
As long as the water main project is completed by then, and all goes well on our end, we should be able to get the roadway re-surfaced before the plants close for the winter.
Feel free to reach out with any questions pertaining to this project.”
Larry Dugan
WCM-Gas
914-789-6886
As the start date nears, Con Ed will provide a work notice as a reminder that we will share here.
THE TOWN OF BEDFORD RECEIVES THE 2018 WESTCHESTER
MUNICIPAL PLANNING FEDERATION AWARD
FOR THE ANTIOCH HOMES PROJECT
On Thursday June 7, The Town of Bedford was honored to receive a planning commendation from the WMPF for our work at Antioch Homes. Antioch Homes, which was competed in 2017, is an example of a creative adaptive reuse, as well as a coordinated effort on the part of our community to provide 12 new affordable housing units in Bedford Hills. The project included
re-purposing the former Antioch Baptist Church into four apartments and construction of two new buildings with four units each. The picture below is of Antioch Homes on Railroad Avenue in Bedford Hills.
From L to R: John Tegeder (WMPF), Andrew Chintz (Blue Mountain
Director), Chris Burdick (Bedford Supervisor), Marion Blount (Antioch Homes
Chair), WMPF representative
REMINDER: TOWN FACILITIES FOR RECYCLING,
YARD WASTE & E-WASTE
Most of the following services are free to Town residents:
Recycling at the Town’s Recycling Center
The Railroad Avenue Recycling Center is located at 343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills, NY 10507. Hours are 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  Carters are obligated to collect single stream recyclables at your property along with trash for all customers. For those who wish to drop off recyclable materials, the Railroad Avenue Recycling Center accepts single stream recyclables (metal, plastic, glass, cardboard and paper). A complete list of single stream materials can be found at http://bedford2020.org/single-stream-recycling/.
Ewaste, Metals, Textiles; Trash Drop Off for Seniors
Residents may bring electronic waste to the Recycling Center, but please note that for CRTs (TVs and old monitors), residents first must obtain from the Town Clerk (8:30 AM to 4:30 PM M-F, 321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills) the coupon after paying a modest fee (to cover the costs to the Town). In addition, the Railroad Avenue Recycling Center accepts e-waste of all kinds (see below for details), bulk metals of all kinds, textiles, and trash for seniors (60+) who purchase Senior Refuse Coupons (book of 5 for $25) at the Town Clerk’s office. Each coupon can be used for up to a 33-gallon trash bag of household refuse (do not include recyclables in the refuse bag).
Beaver Dam Yard Waste and Compost Facility
The Town of Bedford Beaver Dam Compost Facility processes recyclable wood waste and leaves from the Town and provides beneficial reuse of the waste as compost and mulch. The facility provides an extremely cost effective method for this recycling as well as an environmental benefit of local recycling with minimal transportation requirements. It is open for residents to dispose of recyclable wood waste (logs and branches up to 6” diameter, brush, and leaves), as well as pick up wood mulch and leaf compost. This service is free to Town of Bedford residents between 7:30 AM and 3:00 PM Monday to Friday, excluding Town holidays.
Shredder Services
The Town is pleased to provide once again this year mobile paper shredder services at the Town Recycling Center at 343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on March 17, September 15, and November 17. We had such services on March 5 and also during Clean Up weekend at the Crusher Road Highway Facility. A mobile shredder 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.).
Please also refer to the “Recycling Division” page on the Town’s website at
or call the Highway Division at 666-7669 with any questions.
Possible Acquisition from NYC of Community Center Site
As I reported last week, the Community Center of Northern Westchester had contacted me last year regarding plans for an addition to the building it occupies in Katonah. Both the building and the land on which it is situated are owned by New York City, with the NYC Water Board having authority with regard to its disposition.  The Center is seeking a long-term occupancy of the property which is key to its ability to raise funds for the planned addition and to provide certainty regarding its present location.  Lee Roberts and I spoke with NYC DEP Assistant Commissioner David Warne who investigated the matter internally.  In following up on the matter with Mr. Warne earlier this year, he suggested that the Town Board request that NYC convey the property to the Town at $1.00/waived (which would be subject to certain conditions). The solution is ideal both for the Town as well as the Community Center.         I have been working closely with both Lee and Clare Murray, Executive Director of the Community Center to develop the proposal.  The Town Board authorized me to pursue the acquisition. The process will take some time, but DEP has encouraged us. We are cautiously optimistic that approval will be granted following DEP’s review of documents and other submissions (there are several layers and agencies within NYC which must review/approve the conveyance).
Carports for the Police Station Renovation Project  The Board, as recommended, rejected the bid mentioned below for the carports and approved a $16,300 proposal by GPI Engineering to re-design the carports to motivate more competitive bidding including from manufacturers of prefabricated metal carports.  I should mention that the design will allow for later installation of rooftop solar panels should they become economically viable. As mentioned previously, the Board had determined that carports for providing protection to 17 vehicles would prolong the life of the police patrol cars and other vehicles by protecting them from the elements and in addition during winter snowstorms police response time would be affected by the time to clear off vehicles for safe travel.   Before New York State Public Service Commission had revised its incentive program for solar developers, it was a reasonable assumption that the Town would be able to successfully find bidders for installing solar carports at no upfront charge to the Town, but rather financed through federal and state tax and other incentives to the developer and by the Town purchasing electricity from the developer at a reasonable rate.  Following the PSC changes last year, the incentives were not sufficient in the NYSEG service area to be financially viable for developers.  On May 1, 2018 the Town Board authorized releasing bid documents to solicit bids to build the carports. Only one bid was received and it was in the amount of $350,380 from Verdi Construction Company, LLC, the general contractor for the job.  Based on the fact that only one bid was received, Comptroller Abraham Zambrano recommended that the Town Board reject the Verdi bid and authorize the project be re-bid. a proposal to re-design the carports has been obtained from GPI Engineering. We are hopeful that the re-design will result in greater bidder interest including from manufacturers of prefabricated carports.
POTHOLES NYS ROADS AND CLAIMS FOR VEHICLE DAMAGE
For potholes on state roads in our Town, such as Routes 22, 117, 121, 137 and 172 we would suggest that you call NYS’s pothole line at 1-800-POTHOLE.  Also, I’ve been asked whether there might be the possibility of reimbursement for repairs for vehicle damage resulting from potholes or other faulty conditions of NYS roads.  You may consider filing a claim. For information: https://www.dot.ny.gov/divisions/legal-services-division/smallclaims
HURRICANE SEASON HAS OFFICIALLY ARRIVED
We received the following e-mail today from the Westchester County Office of Emergency Management:
As we have all been reminded by the widespread utility outages and damage caused by the most recent nor’easters and high winds, following a harsh winter season, severe weather continues to be the hazard to which we as a County remain the most vulnerable all year round. As we approach the summer months this threat evolves yet again to include brush fires, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, as well as tropical cyclones.
Hurricane Season in the Atlantic officially began today June 1, 2018, and will end on November 30, 2018. The season started early again this year with the formation of Subtropical Storm Alberto on May 25th in the Gulf. Below are two links providing updates on this season’s outlook as well as product and service changes implemented by the National Hurricane Center for 2018.
Be assured that the Town is vigilant in checking emergency plans and procedures that we have in place and in identifying and addressing training, equipment and supply needs.
UPDATED: PAVING OUR STATE ROADS: STILL TRYING TO GET ACTION
I-684
It’s been a long haul trying to persuade New York State to pave the concrete portion of I-684 that runs through Bedford (the same original surface from the late 1960s).  You may remember that in early 2014 shortly after coming into office, I started working with Assembly David Buchwald and then State Senator George Latimer to urge the re-paving of the portion of I-684 which runs through Bedford. We also worked with Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, to press for funds from Washington, since 80% to 90% of the funds to repair our State’s highways comes from the federal government.  Thanks principally to the efforts of Assemblyman Buchwald a portion of the Bedford section was paved (the southerly portion up to Harris Road).  But the portion from Harris Road through a bit north of Exit 6 is in terrible condition. One of our residents who is an engineer and works on major road projects described it in an e-mail earlier this week: “Spring has arrived!! Please take the time to drive northbound and southbound on I-684, including the exit ramps. The pavement deterioration has become very severe in some areas due to the harsh winters. You may see large chucks of concrete in the shoulders that have broken free from the mainline pavement. Perhaps the board can urge the NYSDOT Highway Department to have maintenance crews fill the pot holes in the Katonah corridor as a priority.”
DOT Albany office: 518-457-6195
DOT Region 8 Acting Regional Director Lance MacMillan: 845-431-5750
If you send an e-mail, please consider copying me and our legislators:
State Assemblyman David Buchwald: buchwaldd@assembly.state.ny.us, 914-244-4450
State Senator Shelley Mayer: smayer@nysenate.gov, 518-455-2031
SAVE MONEY AND THE ENVIRONMENT WITH THESE TWO EXCITING SUSTAINABLE WESTCHESTER INITIATIVES!
Nissan Leaf Discount Program
Electric vehicles save money and reduce fossil fuel usage and emissions. Click the link below to see how you can save up to $12,500 on a 2018 all electric Nissan Leaf through the Sustainable Westchester bulk discount program.
Community Solar
Now everyone can be a part of the transition to local, clean solar energy, even if you don’t have access to your roof because you are in an apartment or it’s too shady. Currently in con Ed Territory only. Click Here to sign up for Local solar – and save money on your Con Ed bill!
FOR THE COMMUNITY EVENTS CALENDAR click here 
FOR THE TOWN CALENDAR click here
TO SIGN-UP FOR NIXLE ALERTS click here
PHONE SCAMS – NYSEG
Customers are receiving automated calls from “NYSEG” telling them that their electricity will be shut off later that day.  The customer is instructed to call back to prevent this. The callback numbers, which vary, answer with “NYSEG automated service line,” and prompt you to push 3.
These calls are not from NYSEG and are an attempt to scam residents and businesses.
Some precautions to take to avoid falling victim to a scam:
  • Always type NYSEG’s Web address when making an online payment at nyseg.com. Do not rely on email links. While at nyseg.com, you can also check your account balance and any past-due amount status.
  • When making a payment by phone, always ensure that you are dialing NYSEG phone numbers: 1.800.572.1111 (customer service); 1.888.315.1755 (payment arrangements) or 1.800.600.2275 (self-service line). You can also check your account status by phone.
  • Do not make any payments over the phone to anyone who has contacted you or asked you to dial a different number.
  • Never provide your Social Security number, credit card number or bank information to anyone requesting it (over the phone or in person) unless you initiated the contact and feel confident that the transaction is legitimate.
  • NYSEG does not ask customers to purchase debit cards (like Green Dot cards) to make payments.
  • If you have fallen victim to a scam, immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission and your local police.
MOVING AHEAD WITH OUR COMMITMENT TO
ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Consistent with the Town’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 2020, on October 3, 2017, the Town Board responded to the New York League of Conservation Voters/Sustainable Westchester challenge by being the only municipality in Westchester County to adopt Gold Tier Pledge under which we commit to purchase Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV’s) for at least 10% of our new light-duty municipal fleet purchases by the end of 202 and revisit this level annual to consider adopting a higher purchasing commitment. At its May 1, 2018 Town Board meeting the Town Board approved the purchase of the highly rated Chevy Bolt, which has an excellent driving range of 238 miles on a single charge. The Town is able to purchase the vehicle under procurement through NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services in which the Town may participate.
FOR YOUR NEIGHBOR’S SAKE
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…
IT’S THE LAW: IDLING
Please be reminded that Westchester County regulates the idling time of motor vehicles to not more than three minutes (with certain exceptions – click here for the law. Let’s all obey the law to avoid unnecessary pollution.
NEW YORK STATE ACTION OF STATE AND LOCAL TAX (SALT) DEDUCTIONS
Many have asked us about what action is being taken in response to the December federal tax law revisions which caps SALT tax deductions for federal income tax purposes to $10,000.
The following is brief description of the new law that can be provided to the public regarding the New York budget bill that provides offsets for Federal SALT tax deductions: The New York State Legislature has adopted new state law provisions designed to offset the impact of the recently enacted federal tax limitation on state and local taxes (SALT) to $10,000. Specifically, the legislation creates a vehicle for taxpayers to contribute to certain charitable funds that, in turn, would be applied for local tax purposes. The concept is that, as a charitable contribution, the amount paid by taxpayers who itemize their tax returns could be claimed as a charitable deduction on federal taxes. Under the new law, a New York State tax credit would also be provided on a percentage of each contribution. Under the new law, each taxing jurisdiction, including school districts, villages, towns, cities and counties, is responsible for establishing and managing such charitable funds. The funds collected would then be used by each taxing jurisdiction and applied to the taxing jurisdiction’s annual tax levy. The law also provides a mechanism for the taxpayer to receive a tax credit based upon the amount contributed to a school district’s or other municipal corporation’s charitable fund. The exact procedures for making payments into the charitable funds and receiving a credit against taxes owed are still being formulated.
New York State, by being the first state to enact a “workaround” to ameliorate the limitation on the federal SALT deductions, has positioned itself to be the legal test case for whether such an arrangement will pass legal muster. The Town and other government agencies, school districts and municipalities throughout New York State are in the process of reviewing the proposed bill provisions to determine what action should be taken and whether to implement the provisions of this new law. Similarly, tax experts are in the process of reviewing whether or not these new charitable funds will be treated as legitimate charitable contributions that are deductible for filers who itemize their federal tax returns. New York’s Governor and Legislature appear to believe the provisions are sound. However, a final answer has yet to be obtained and we recommend that you consult with your personal tax consultant before taking any action.
We will keep you advised as the situation develops.
FOR THE APRIL 6, 2018 KATONAH-BEDFORD HILLS SEWER DESIGN STATUS REPORT click here
CABLEVISION/OPTIMUM OUTAGE BILL CREDIT
If you lost Cablevision/Optimum service during the recent storms, you may qualify for a credit on your bill. Cablevision has records by address on power outages. We have been advised that if your outage was for fewer than four hours you would not qualify for a credit. If you the outage was for a longer period of time, you do qualify. You will need to contact them. We suggest that you also provide your service outage period according to your records (be specific with dates and times, to the extent you can).  Call them at 718-860-3513 or via Chat at https://www.optimum.net/support/outage/
VERIZON CUSTOMERS, DID YOU RECEIVE A CREDIT FOLLOWING SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS
 We have contacted our Verizon representative inquiring about a credit for their customers impacted by service interruptions during the March storms. She advises us that if you reported the service interruption to Verizon, you will receive a credit automatically on your bill. We advise that you check your bill.  If you did not receive a credit, please call Verizon customer service at 1-800-Verizon to request it. Also, for customers who did not report the outage, it may not be too late, contact customer service letting them know when you lost service and when it was restored.
NEW BEDFORD VETERANS MEMORIAL
I am pleased to report that the Town Board approved construction of a new Veterans Memorial in Katonah, which will honor the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the men and women from Bedford and around America who served in our military. The Memorial will be located on the Katonah Green, directly across from the Katonah Village Library, and will be funded entirely through private contributions. Information regarding the Memorial can be found at http://www.bedfordny.gov/veterans-advisory-committee/.
JOINT LETTER OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY LEGISLATOR KITLEY S. COVILL AND TOWN SUPERVISORS OF BEDFORD, LEWISBORO, NORTH SALEM, POUND RIDGE AND SOMERS TO NYSEG
click here for the letter
ACTION TAKEN AT THE APRIL 3 TOWN BOARD MEETING
Horse Properties – As scheduled, the Town Board held a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the Zoning Code to allow for a half bath in accessory structures, including barns and stables, the purpose of which is to enable property owners to engage daytime grooms..  The proposed Zoning Code amendment expressly prohibits sleeping facilities and kitchens.  As I mentioned at the outset of the hearing the proposal comes after nearly two years of discussions with horse property owners and others supporting the horse community.  Earlier this year, the Town Board had referred to the Planning Board their petition requesting revisions in the Zoning Code to relax restrictions affecting the horse community. A number of residents spoke on the need to ensure that Bedford is “horse friendly” and we do not continue to lose horse owners.  Following the public hearing the Town Board unanimously adopted the amendments.
Congratulations to Amy Carelli At the recommendation of Police Chief Melvin Padilla, the Town Board approved the appointment of Amy N. Carelli to Police Officer effective on or about April 26, 2018. We are pleased to have Ms. Carelli join the force.
Moving ahead on Electric Vehicles In the first installment of fulfilling the Town’s New York League of Conservation Voters/Sustainable Westchester Gold Pledge on purchase of electric passenger vehicles for its municipal fleet, the Town Board authorized going out to bid for the purchase of a Chevy Bolt, an all-electric vehicle that has received excellent reviews for its range of over 230 miles and durability.
Bedford Village Parking  As I mentioned in this space last week, the Town has been in discussions with the Bedford Presbyterian Church regarding acquiring the Church’s vacant land off of Court Road for the purposes of constructing a municipal parking lot.  Last year environmental evaluation of the site showed no issues. We held a public meeting earlier this year at which comments we received showed positive support. We then commissioned an appraisal of the property which was just concluded this week and shows a fair market value of $150,000.  Following discussions with representatives of the Church, I postponed Town Board consideration of approving an offer, so as to allow time for the Church to obtain its own appraisal – a step which is customary and the right action.
FOR THE SUPERVISOR’S MAY MONTHLY REPORT click here
ENERGIZE BEDFORD CAMPAIGN UPDATE
Bedford 2020 and Energize Bedford’s limited time campaign in partnership with the Town of Bedford drove an increase in energy efficient homes in Bedford. From September 1, 2017- January 15, 2018, we collected more than 70 leads, helped set up 27 assessments and 11 jobs were completed in the 5 month time frame. Although the limited time discount is over, leads are still coming through and homeowners who entered the program during the campaign are working toward completing their projects.
STOP THE BLEED
Paramedics are trained and prepared to operate with law enforcement in active shooter situations. This additional stop the bleed program is intended to provide a level of basic quick action from the public before help arrives. We have certified trainers in this program and want to start offering it up to various public institutions such as schools. Click here for the booklet.
NO PROPOSALS SUBMITTED FOR SOLAR INSTALLATIONS FOR MUNICIPAL FACILITIES
You may recall that last July the Town issued a Request for Proposals for solar panels and other systems for Town facilities. We received no proposals, which we learned was due to the fact that New York State had not settled with the electric industry on incentives and utility obligations regarding solar power provided back to the grid. So, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, the Town went ahead to re-issue an RFP. In late 2017, New York State published guidelines that define the future value of distributed energy resources (a/k/a, the VDER value stack). As of early 2018, solar developers can now use this value stack to estimate future project income from the local utilities, based on specific project locations. We understand that New York’s resolving these future values of solar electricity means that solar developers will be more attracted to investing in potential solar projects such as those in our RFP
The NYS Public Service Commission issued an “implementation order” in September on the “value of distributed energy resources,” following which was substantial work in sorting out valuations with electric utility distributors in the State, such as NYSEG and Con Edison. We understand that there now is a “level playing field” and basis on which solar developers would take an interest in our RFP.  However, the VDER provides greater incentives to solar developers in Con Edison service area where rates are higher.  Our Town facilities, however, are located in NYSEG service area.  One of the solar developers with whom we had worked closely took the time to explain why it was financially not possible to submit a proposal – due to the difference in VDER between the two service areas. Please click here for the letter.  I have recently met with a commercial property owner in Bedford Hills and a solar developer about the possibility of rooftop solar panels for “community solar”. Stay tuned.
SEPTIC SYSTEM REPAIR AND REPLACEMENT PROGRAM
NOW THAT THE SPRING HAS ARRIVED – PLEASE CONSIDER ATTENDING TO YOUR SEPTIC SYSTEM:
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.
MOUNT KISCO WATER MAIN REPLACEMENT
Mount Kisco is preparing to replace the 90-year old water main on New York State Route 117 from Preston Way in Mount Kisco to Green Lane in Bedford Hills and continuing to the end of Green Lane.
The construction work is planned for the fall of 2018 and will take place during the night (hours have not yet been determined). The project’s engineering will consider everything that is feasible in the design to minimize disturbance to the public and the property owners.  Currently, the project is in the preliminary design phase, which includes survey and soil boring work along the road right-of-way.  Soil boring work will take place in April during the working day between 9 am and 3 pm and is not expected to result in any lane closures.
    We met today with Mount Kisco’s engineers to emphasize the need for full coordination among Mount Kisco, Con Edison (with regard to restoration work on the southbound lane of Route 117 – SEE POST IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THIS ONE), NYS Department of Transportation, Westchester County Health Department and Bedford in both the design and the execution of the project.  We made it clear that the Mount Kisco project must avoid the significant disruptions which the Con Edison gas line project caused last fall.  It is also critical that restoration be complete.
We will keep you informed on the status both of the Mount Kisco project and Con Edison’s gas line project.
 .
UPDATED SHREDDER SCHEDULE INCLUDING NEW DATE OF MONDAY OCTOBER 22
The Town is pleased to provide once again this year mobile paper shredder events:
  • at the Town Recycling Center at 343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on September 15, and November 17;
  • at 1 Crusher Road, Bedford Village (Crusher Road highway yard), Bedford Village from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM on May 5;
  • at the Town Office at 425 Cherry Street on Monday October 22 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
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.)
INTERNSHIP IN MEDIA RELATIONS, PUBLIC RELATIONS, AND COMMUNICATION PLANNING
In consultation with the Bedford Veterans Advisory Committee, develop and implement a professional-grade communications plan that identifies local veteran-related events, programs, issues, and concerns and effectively promotes this material via appropriate print, broadcast, and electronic media.
    The successful candidate should have a skill-set sufficient to demonstrate an ability to write effective press releases along with appropriate research, planning and organizational skills to develop and implement a plan that ensures general public awareness.
  The plan should encompass an audience that includes: *     Print media* Broadcast media* Social media networks (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)* Local elected officials *Social service agencies * Veterans service organizations
    Junior or senior level undergraduate, or graduate level. Hours to be determined, along with attendance at monthly Veterans Advisory Committee meetings. Unpaid. Supervision: Chair, Bedford Veterans Advisory Committee. Contact: Mark Sindeband, 914-260-4188, aegisresources@optonline.net
FOR THE 2017 ANNUAL REPORT click here
WESTCHESTER POWER – HOW’S IT BEEN DOING HERE IN BEDFORD?
There’s been some discussion on Katonah Parents Facebook and questions I regularly receive regarding the Westchester Power (also known as Community Choice Aggregation or CCA).  By way of background, the Town Board unanimously adopted Bedford’s participation in this program sponsored by Sustainable Westchester and placed us among those Westchester municipalities choosing the “Green Option”.  At the time, we insisted that the rates must be less than the previous twelve month cost for each utility, provide fixed prices (rather than a “bait and switch” of a great rate at the outset only to pop up later) and an opt out provision at any time without charge or penalty, a common complaint at the time against many energy service companies (ESCOs). Westchester Power residential and small business electric customers in Bedford have a rate of 8.00 cents per kilowatt hour in Con Edison’s service area and 7.42 cents per kilowatt hour in NYSEG’s service area.  These are fixed rates, rather than rates which vary month by month (which is the way NYSEG and Con Edison bills).  I’ve received e-mails and calls from NYSEG and Con Edison customers who saw a spike in rates this winter. Just yesterday I received a call from a resident in Con Edison service area who is signed up with an ESCO at over 11 cents per kilowatt hour and was dismayed at her large utility bills.
So how’s Westchester Power been doing here in Bedford? I turned to Dan Welsh, Director of Westchester Power, for an analysis and he provided the following:
“Here is my estimate of the savings for Bedford residents and small businesses through the end of January. We are including the avoided sales tax now when we talk about this as you know, and that’s a significant piece. February saw a low price for Con Ed which would bring this down, but now March is looking that it’s bounced back and so I would look to the end of March for the next update.”
Should you have questions, please contact Dan at
dan@westchesterpower.org or 914-242-4725
IT’S TAX SCAM SEASON. HERE’S HOW YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF
From the Office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
  • Never give out personal information to people who call you unsolicited. That includes your Social Security number, bank account information, or credit card information.
  • If you do owe money, you will receive a legitimate notice in the mail that tells you who you owe money to and why. If you haven’t gotten a legitimate piece of mail like that, the collection call is bogus.
  • Last but not least, remember that no legitimate government organization will ever threaten arrest or deportation if you fail to pay a debt.
If someone is threatening you or you are targeted for a scam, please contact my office immediately. We are here to help: 1-800-771-7755.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDINGTAX SCAMS
The IRS, the AARP, NYS Attorney General and many others are issuing warnings about scams particularly directed at the elderly.  Please don’t fall prey. See https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts
MOBILE PAPER SHREDDER AT RECYCLING CENTER
The Town is pleased to provide once again this year mobile paper shredder events at the Town Recycling Center at 343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on March 17, September 15, and November 17; and at 1 Crusher Road, Bedford Village (Crusher Road highway yard), Bedford Village from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM on May 5. 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.).
 KATONAH FIRE DEPARTMENT UNDER-18 RECRUITMENT PROGRAM
Are you interested in a terrific community service opportunity? Would you like to receive state-of-the art lifesaving and firefighting training? Katonah Fire Department eagerly welcomes applications from 16-year-olds for its Under 18 Program. Interested candidates can fulfill their John Jay High School Community Service obligation, as well as service hours required for other organizations, such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Membership in the department as a firefighter is a great way to have your college application
stand out as well!
Any person who is between the ages of 16 and 18, who is physically fit, morally and mentally sound, and who, having met with the membership committee and satisfactorily passed the committee’s investigation (as established in the Katonah Fire Department, Inc. Constitution and By-Laws), may be selected for membership status.
The goal of this program is to carefully instill, enforce, and monitor the practices that lead to well trained, respectful, hardworking members once they reach their 18th birthdays and/or the conclusion of their first year of membership.
In addition, it creates a culture in which these members both realize their age- and experience-related limitations, but also feel as though they are learning and being prepared for taking on the duties of full-fledged, non-probationary members of the Katonah Fire Department.
An oversight committee and a training coordinator act as a resource to these members – in all aspects of KFD membership: firefighting, training, rules and regulations, etc. – and set example for the types of behaviors expected from our entire membership.
Applicants who join receive all training and equipment at no expense to them. They also become eligible for various scholarship opportunities. If you’re interested in finding out more, please sent an e-mail to chief2211@katonahfd.org
TOWN’S WEBSITE
is now available in Spanish. We have added a plug-in allowing for the website’s automatic translation to Spanish. Please note that this does not apply to linked PDF documents. http://www.bedfordny.gov/
MOTORISTS
I wish to augment the below information (e-news 8/25) with the following request for motorists:
Sharing the road 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.
RULES OF THE ROAD FOR CYCLISTS; SAFETY TIPS FOR WALKERS; TIPS FOR CROSSING THE STREET
 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.
CYCLISTS
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.
  8.  SAFETY TIPS FOR WALKERS
  9. Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk always walk facing traffic.
  10. 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.
  11.  TIPS FOR CROSSING THE STREET
  12.  Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks.
  13.  Stop at the curb, or the edge of the road.
  14.  Stop and look left, then right, then left again, before you step into the street.
  15.  If you see a car, wait until it goes by. Then look left, right and left again until no cars are coming.
  16.  Keep looking for cars while you are crossing, and remember, Walk. Don’t run.
  17.  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.
 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.

Core Logic: Mortgage rates average a 7-year high | Bedford Real Estate

Home prices continued to climb in May, according to the latest Home Price Index report from CoreLogica global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider.

Home prices increased 7.1% nationally from May 2017 to May 2018, and increased 1.1% from the prior month, according to the report.

The chart below shows that home prices have increased moderately since 2013.

CoreLogic- July 4th

(Source CoreLogic)

“The lean supply of homes for sale is leading to higher sales prices and fewer days on market, and the supply shortage is more acute for entry-level homes. During the first quarter, we found that about 50% of all existing homeowners had a mortgage rate of 3.75% or less,” CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said. “May’s mortgage rates averaged a seven-year high of 4.6%, 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.”

An analysis of home values in the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas based on housing stock indicates 40% of metropolitan areas had an overvalued housing market as of May 2018, CoreLogic reported.

Another 26% of the top 100 metropolitan areas were undervalued, while 34% were at value. When looking at only the top 50 markets, 52% were overvalued, 14% were undervalued and 34% were at-value.

Several states posted double-digit increases in their 12-month price growth, including Utah at 12.9%, Washington at 12.8%, Nevada at 12.4% and Idaho at 11.2%.

The national home-price index is projected to increase by 5.1% from May 2018 to May 2019, according to the CoreLogic HPI Forecast.

The forecast is an econometric model that projects calculations from analyzing state-level forecasts, which are measured by the number of owner-occupied households for each state.

As of May, the report indicates that despite financial obstacles, there is a strong demand for homeownership.

“The CoreLogic consumer research demonstrates that, despite high home prices, renters want to get out of their rental property and purchase a home,” CoreLogic President and CEO Frank Martell said. “Even in the most expensive markets, we found four times as many renters looking to buy than homeowners willing to sell. Until more supply becomes available, we will continue to see soaring prices in cities such as Denver, San Francisco and Seattle.”

read more…

https://www.housingwire.com/articles/43854-core-logic-mortgage-rates-average-a-7-year-high?eid=311691494&bid=2162019

Bedford Town news | Bedford Real Estate

COMING UP ON THE MAY 15 TOWN BOARD AGENDA
Click here for the agenda
As previously mentioned, the Town Board has been considering taking action on adopting a local law to regulate leaf blower use and to reduce waste created by the distribution primarily at grocery stores of single use plastic bags and paper grocery bags.   We have had excellent work performed by our Leaf Blower Task Force (LBTF) and Reusable Bag Task Force (RBTF), each of which has presented recommendations to the Town Board. Each Task Force extensively researched the issues, sought and obtained input from stakeholders and the community generally, including several public meetings.   The Task Forces and the Board also has been consulting closely with Town staff.
Leaf Blowers
The Board is moving ahead on developing a balanced local law from the good work of the LBTF, comments from the public and input from staff. We plan to schedule a public hearing for the June 19 meeting to allow ample time for further public input.
 
Reusable Bags
The RBTF recommends that the Town Board adopt a local law adapted from the reusable bag law in Suffolk County which set a one-year “ramp up” of large-scale distribution of reusable bags and encouragement of their use. There would be no ban on either single-use plastic bags or paper grocery bags, but rather a 10c fee charge for either type of bag should the customer arrive at the check-out counter without a reusable bag. The law would not apply to smaller stores, as their distribution of single-use plastic bags and disposable paper bags was not found to be significant.
Other recommendations of the RBTF:
  • Stores subject to the law pledge to participate in education efforts and make an investment in signage on their premises and in reusable bags to distribute to customers during the ramp-up period.
  • The Town Board should review the law within 12 months following effective date with respect to actual reduction of single-use plastic bags and paper grocery bags.
  • Stores subject to the law be required to cooperate in benchmarking plastic and paper bag usage over the implementation year, and that the measurements for success should be clear and quantifiable.
  • If single-use disposable bag use does not decrease in the stores subject to the law by 50% or more at the 12-month benchmarking period, then the Town Board should consider either one or more of the following additions to the law: an increase in the fee, an outright ban on single-use plastic bags, and potential expansion to delis, restaurants and smaller stores.
  • While smaller stores should be exempt, efforts to encourage reusable bag use (signage, reusable bag distribution, education) should be extended to these locations.
  • While this law exempts delis and restaurants, the RBTF recommends a pilot with 5-7 delis and restaurants that voluntarily decrease plastic/Styrofoam containers and plastic bags in these locations as part of an effort to decrease litter in Town. If the pilot is successful, the Town Board should consider adding delis and restaurants to the list of non-exempt stores or consider a plastic ban at the 12-month review.
We have held public meetings with retailers, individual meetings with grocery store representatives and a public meeting with the general public. We plan to set a public hearing for June 5 on the RBTF recommendations.
 
Part-Time Senior Outreach Position   The Senior Advisory Committee will present recommendations to the Town Board regarding creation of a part-time senior outreach position to assist the Town’s growing senior population.
 
Proposed Changes in the Parking Code
The Town Board will be considering proposed changes to the parking chapter of the Town Code to update the parking chapter for changes in technology, address non-residential weekday use of the commuter lots in “off hours” and to update/increase the fines/penalties for violations.
Updated Fee Schedule for Filming Permits
The Board will be considering a new fee schedule to correspond to the new Filming law. The fee schedule could not be adopted at the May 1 meeting since the new law is not effective until filed with the NYS Secretary of State. The schedule includes discounts for multiple days’ use and other incentives to encourage filming in Bedford, consistent with protecting the community from excessive noise, traffic, light and other disturbance from such activities.
SAVE MONEY AND THE ENVIRONMENT WITH THESE TWO EXCITING SUSTAINABLE WESTCHESTER INITIATIVES!
Nissan Leaf Discount Program
Electric vehicles save money and reduce fossil fuel usage and emissions.  Click the link below to see how you can save up to $12,500 on a 2018 all electric Nissan Leaf through the Sustainable Westchester bulk discount program. Sign Up for Discount
Community Solar
Now everyone can be a part of the transition to local, clean solar energy, even if you don’t have access to your roof because you are in an apartment or it’s too shady. Currently in con Ed Territory only. Click Here to sign up for Local solar – and save money on your Con Ed bill!
Sign up at WestchesterCommunitySolar.org
FOR THE COMMUNITY EVENTS CALENDAR click here
FOR THE TOWN CALENDAR click here

TO SIGN-UP FOR NIXLE ALERTS click here
 
PRIOR POSTS OF CONTINUED RELEVANCE
PHONE SCAMS – NYSEG
Customers are receiving automated calls from “NYSEG” telling them that their electricity will be shut off later that day.   The customer is instructed to call back to prevent this.  The callback numbers, which vary, answer with “NYSEG automated service line,” and prompt you to push 3.
These calls are not from NYSEG and are an attempt to scam residents and businesses.
Some precautions to take to avoid falling victim to a scam:
  • Always type NYSEG’s Web address when making an online payment at nyseg.com.  Do not rely on email links. While at nyseg.com, you can also check your account balance and any past-due amount status.
  • When making a payment by phone, always ensure that you are dialing NYSEG phone numbers: 1.800.572.1111 (customer service); 1.888.315.1755 (payment arrangements) or 1.800.600.2275 (self-service line). You can also check your account status by phone.
  • Do not make any payments over the phone to anyone who has contacted you or asked you to dial a different number.
  • Never provide your Social Security number, credit card number or bank information to anyone requesting it (over the phone or in person) unless you initiated the contact and feel confident that the transaction is legitimate.
  • NYSEG does not ask customers to purchase debit cards (like Green Dot cards) to make payments.
  • If you have fallen victim to a scam, immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission and your local police.
 
AWARD FOR ANTIOCH HOMES AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT  
I am delighted to report that Antioch Homes Affordable Housing Project has been chosen to be honored with a Commendation for Outstanding Planning Achievement by the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation (WMPF) for its annual planning awards competition.   The award will be presented at next month’s WMPF annual awards dinner.
 
FOR THE SUPERVISOR’S APRIL MONTHLY REPORT Click here 

UPDATE ON ROUTE 117 WORK
The Town has been working closely with Con Edison, the Village of Mt. Kisco and the NYS Department of Transportation regarding the condition of Route 117 in Bedford Hills which had been dug up and very roughly patched following Con Edison gas line work.
As those following this newsletter may know, we learned a few weeks ago that the Village of Mt. Kisco plans to replace its water line, which also will require digging up Route 117.  Upon learning of this development, we urged the Village and Con Edison to coordinate and to discuss it with DOT.   We want to avoid the havoc that took place over Thanksgiving and into the holidays last November/December in connection with Con Edison’s work in which ingress/egress to the Shop Rite mall was blocked; daytime work was taking place at the height of retailers busiest season resulting in significant loss of business; and traffic into and out of Bedford Hills was tied up for upwards of an hour.
Here’s the status of requests we have made to the parties:
  1. DOT advises us that it has required Con Edison to perform the curb to curb restoration.
  2. Work to be done at night from 7:00 PM through 6:00 AM.  Minimizing the loudest work (i.e., saw cut and jackhammering).  Con Edison has stated: “We will ask our contractors to try their best to get the saw cut and jackhammering work done before 10 pm, but it is an inevitable part of this work.”
Timing: we don’t know yet, because the water line work schedule has not yet been set as the engineers design and staging the work have to complete DOT review and approval.   What we do know is that the previous schedule of Con Edison completing its restoration in the next couple of weeks is not at all possible.   Our objective now is to avoid disruption as much as possible.  As soon as we learn of the schedule, we will advise the community.
 
PREPARATIONS FOR 2018 PAVING
This is the time of year when residents ask me about our paving plans and how the Town Board determines it. Shortly after I came onto the Town Board in 2008, the Department of Public Works instituted a fair and equitable system for identifying the roads to be paved from year to year. It is based on the condition of the road, with the roads in the worst condition to be paved first before they deteriorate further and results in far more costly paving. Each Spring the DPW updates its assessment of the condition of all 97 miles of the paved Town roads (since roads deteriorate at different rates over the winter).   The condition assessment uses a rating system with 1 being the best condition and 5 being the worst.   As a result of higher appropriation levels, we have been able to pave all Town roads rated at 4 and 5 and now are working away at a lengthy list of roads rated at 3.5. In 2014, the paving budget was approximately $800,000. Each year thereafter, the Town Board gradually has increased the budget. The figure now stands at approximately $1.2 million for 2018. We anticipate that in the next month DPW Commissioner Kevin Winn will submit a recommended paving list to the Town Board for approval.
 
MOVING AHEAD WITH OUR COMMITMENT TO ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Consistent with the Town’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 2020, on October 3, 2017, the Town Board responded to the New York League of Conservation Voters/Sustainable Westchester challenge by being the only municipality in Westchester County to adopt Gold Tier Pledge under which we commit to purchase Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV’s) for at least 10% of our new light-duty municipal fleet purchases by the end of 202 and revisit this level annual to consider adopting a higher purchasing commitment. At its May 1, 2018 Town Board meeting the Town Board approved the purchase of the highly rated Chevy Bolt, which has an excellent driving range of 238 miles on a single charge.  The Town is able to purchase the vehicle under procurement through NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services in which the Town may participate.
KVIS TOWN FORUM
Let your voices be heard – Let us know what is on your mind
Katonah Village Library, May 17 at 7:30 PM. Click here for the flyer
REMINDERS – VACANCIES ON TOWN BOARDS
Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee – Resident of Katonah Memorial Park District
There is a vacancy on the Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee for a resident of the Katonah Park District.  Send your resume and a cover letter via e-mail to supervisor@bedfordny.gov and please copy Recreation and Parks Superintendent Bill Heidepriem atwheidepriem@bedfordny.gov and RPAC chairman, Brian McCabe atcoach10536@aol.com.  You also may mail your cover letter and resume to the attention of Supervisor, 321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills, New York 10507.  For information on the RPAC, please see http://www.bedfordny.gov/town-government/boards-commissions-committees/boards/recreation-parks-advisory/
Drug Abuse Prevention Council (DAPC)
The Town of Bedford is looking to fill two vacancies on the Drug Abuse Prevention Council. If you are interested in serving, please e-mail your resume with a cover letter to Supervisor Chris Burdick, supervisor@bedfordny.gov and also to DAPC Coordinator Kathryn Ferrara, kathryn.dapc@gmail.com  .  You also may mail it the attention of Supervisor, 321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills, New York 10507.  For more information on the DAPC, click here.
Traffic Safety Work Group
There is a vacancy on the Traffic Safety Working Group (TSWG)for a resident of Bedford Hills. Send your resume and a cover letter via e-mail to supervisor@bedfordny.gov  You also may mail your cover letter and resume to the attention of Supervisor, 321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills, New York 10507.  For information on the TSWG please click here.
FOR YOUR NEIGHBOR’S SAKE
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…

IT’S THE LAW: IDLING
Please be reminded that Westchester County regulates the idling time of motor vehicles to not more than three minutes (with certain exceptions – click here for the law
Let’s all obey the law to avoid unnecessary pollution.
 
PAVING OUR STATE ROADS: STILL TRYING TO GET ACTION
 
I-684
            It’s been a long haul trying to persuade New York State to pave the concrete portion of I-684 that runs through Bedford (the same original surface from the late 1960s).   You may remember that in early 2014 shortly after coming into office, I started working with Assembly David Buchwald and then State Senator George Latimer to urge the re-paving of the portion of I-684 which runs through Bedford.  We also worked with Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, to press for funds from Washington, since 80% to 90% of the funds to repair our State’s highways comes from the federal government.   Thanks principally to the efforts of Assemblyman Buchwald a portion of the Bedford section was paved (the southerly portion up to Harris Road).   But the portion from Harris Road through a bit north of Exit 6 is in terrible condition. One of our residents who is an engineer and works on major road projects described it in an e-mail earlier this week: “Spring has arrived!! Please take the time to drive northbound and southbound on I-684, including the exit ramps. The pavement deterioration has become very severe in some areas due to the harsh winters. You may see large chucks of concrete in the shoulders that have broken free from the mainline pavement. Perhaps the board can urge the NYSDOT Highway Department to have maintenance crews fill the pot holes in the Katonah corridor as a priority.”
ROUTE 22
            Here, too, conditions on the road have deteriorated.   I’m especially concerned about the portion between the Bedford Cross and the intersection with Pea Pond Road. Several residents have contacted me about it.
I’ll be meeting with the Regional Director of the DOT on Monday and members of his staff to press for work to get done. I’d like to ask your help so that the powers that be know that it’s not just me asking for action.  You can send e-mails and make calls – and many thanks to those who already have done so (yes you may get a “form” response, but they all keep track of it and it really makes a difference that you take the time):
DOT Albany office: 518-457-6195
DOT Region 8 Acting Regional Director Lance MacMillan: 845-431-5750
If you send an e-mail, please consider copying me and our legislators:
State Assemblyman Buchwald: buchwaldd@assembly.state.ny.us, 914-244-4450
And thank you!
POTHOLE REPAIR SEASON HAS OPENED
As to potholes you find in our Town roads, please call our Pothole Hotline at 666-7669 or feel free to contact me at 666-6530 or Supervisor@bedfordny.gov.
For potholes on state roads in our Town, such as Routes 22, 117, 121, 137 and 172 we would suggest that you call NYS’s pothole line at 1-800-POTHOLE.
 
METRO-NORTH: UPPER HARLEM SUBSTITUTE BUS SERVICE, SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS, APRIL 28-29, MAY 5-6 & MAY 19-20, INCLUDES SOUTHEAST, BREWSTER, CROTON FALLS, PURDY’S, GOLDENS BRIDGE, AND WASSAIC
For Saturdays and Sundays, April 28-29, May 5-6 and May 19-20 substitute bus service will be in effect between Southeast, Brewster, Croton Falls, Purdy’s and Goldens Bridge due to ongoing repairs to multiple downed power poles and lines in the area that occurred as a result of the March nor’easters.
All buses will depart approximately 20 minutes ahead of the regularly scheduled southbound train departure times in order to connect with train service at Goldens Bridge. Regular train service will resume each day with the 7:10 PM train to Southeast and the 9:08 PM train from Southeast.
Harlem Line train service continues to operate between Grand Central Terminal and Goldens Bridge and between Southeast and Wassaic.
Substitute bus service is being provided between Southeast and Goldens Bridge as follows:
Wassaic Branch Customers: Trains will depart 10 minutes ahead of the regularly scheduled southbound train departure times at all stations between Wassaic and Patterson in order to connect with bus service at Southeast. Additional bus service/ times will be provided at Southeast and Goldens Bridge. For full schedule details, please see http://web.mta.info/mnr/pdf/Wassaic Bus May_2018.pdf
Southeast, Brewster, Croton Falls and Purdy’s Customers: All buses will depart about 20 minutes ahead of the regularly scheduled southbound train departures in order to connect with train service at Goldens Bridge. Regular train service will resume with the 7:10 PM train to Southeast and the 9:08 train from Southeast. For a full schedule, please see: http://web.mta.info/mnr/pdf/Upper
Please refer to our interactive schedules at http://as0.mta.info/mnr/schedules/sched_form.cfm
or download Train Time for train/bus times.
Customers can also use the Hudson Line, where tickets will be cross-honored.
Please listen for station announcements and check back to this website for updates. Thank you for your patience while we perform this critical repair work.
NEW YORK STATE ACTION OF STATE AND LOCAL TAX (SALT) DEDUCTIONS
Many have asked us about what action is being taken in response to the December federal tax law revisions which caps SALT tax deductions for federal income tax purposes to $10,000.
The following is brief description of the new law that can be provided to the public regarding the New York budget bill that provides offsets for Federal SALT tax deductions: The New York State Legislature has adopted new state law provisions designed to offset the impact of the recently enacted federal tax limitation on state and local taxes (SALT) to $10,000. Specifically, the legislation creates a vehicle for taxpayers to contribute to certain charitable funds that, in turn, would be applied for local tax purposes. The concept is that, as a charitable contribution, the amount paid by taxpayers who itemize their tax returns could be claimed as a charitable deduction on federal taxes. Under the new law, a New York State tax credit would also be provided on a percentage of each contribution. Under the new law, each taxing jurisdiction, including school districts, villages, towns, cities and counties, is responsible for establishing and managing such charitable funds. The funds collected would then be used by each taxing jurisdiction and applied to the taxing jurisdiction’s annual tax levy. The law also provides a mechanism for the taxpayer to receive a tax credit based upon the amount contributed to a school district’s or other municipal corporation’s charitable fund. The exact procedures for making payments into the charitable funds and receiving a credit against taxes owed are still being formulated.
New York State, by being the first state to enact a “workaround” to ameliorate the limitation on the federal SALT deductions, has positioned itself to be the legal test case for whether such an arrangement will pass legal muster. The Town and other government agencies, school districts and municipalities throughout New York State are in the process of reviewing the proposed bill provisions to determine what action should be taken and whether to implement the provisions of this new law. Similarly, tax experts are in the process of reviewing whether or not these new charitable funds will be treated as legitimate charitable contributions that are deductible for filers who itemize their federal tax returns. New York’s Governor and Legislature appear to believe the provisions are sound. However, a final answer has yet to be obtained and we recommend that you consult with your personal tax consultant before taking any action.
We will keep you advised as the situation develops.
           
FOR THE APRIL 6, 2018 KATONAH-BEDFORD HILLS SEWER DESIGN STATUS REPORT click here

PLEASE JOIN US FOR BEDFORD TOWN-WIDE CLEAN-UP DAYS 2018 AT THE CRUSHER ROAD HIGHWAY FACILITY OFF ROUTE 22, JUST NORTH OF ROUTE 172, IN BEDFORD VILLAGE

Town residents can bring household debris and metal waste to the Crusher Road Yard during the following periods:
Thursday, May 3, 2018 7:30 AM-3:00 PM            Friday, May 4, 2018 7:30 AM-3:00 PM        
Saturday, May 5, 2018 7:30 AM-4:30 PM
Residents can also take brush and tree debris to the Beaver Dam Highway facility on Beaver Dam road off Harris Road during the same days and hours listed above. THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR THIS!
The Highway Department will not accept any of the following items: tires, batteries, refrigerators, freezers, pressure treated lumber, air conditioners, propane tanks, paint, varnish, chemicals, medical waste, or other toxic materials. No E-Waste – televisions, computers (desktops, monitors, and notebooks), computer mice and keyboards, printers, scanners, fax machines, cell phones, VCRs – ***E-WASTE CAN BE BROUGHT TO THE RECYCLING CENTER ON TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS AND SATURDAYS BETWEEN 8AM AND 3PM – E-WASTE CONTAINING CRT’S MUST FIRST GO TO THE TOWN CLERK’S OFFICE AND COMPLETE A CRT RECYCLING APPLICATION AND PAY THE APPROPRIATE FEE BEFORE GOING TO THE RECYCLING CENTER***
Proof of Bedford residency is required, and fees are as follows:
*           $25 per carload
*           $60 per pickup truck load
*           $115 for small dump trucks (<6 yd)
*           $230 and up for large dump trucks (>6 yd)
Bedford Village Chowder & Marching Club will hold their Tag Sale on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5 at the Crusher Road Highway Facility.
In addition to the normal clean-up activities, the Town will provide a mobile paper shredder to safely recycle unwanted personal papers and documents. The Mobile Shredder will be available on May 5 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Crusher Road Highway Yard. This free public service is intended for residents to shred their personal documents. Papers from businesses or commercial enterprises will not be accepted. Residents may bring a maximum of two file boxes. To speed up shredding and reduce waiting time, residents must remove all metal clips, fasteners, binders, folders and hard covers and place the papers loosely in a box. Hard covers – cardboard or plastic covers on items such as ledger books, marble composition books and hard-cover books – are not acceptable. Residents may rip away pages from these hard cover books for shredding and throw the covers in their household trash.
Please call the DPW Highway Division at 666-7669 with any questions.

CABLEVISION/OPTIMUM OUTAGE BILL CREDIT
If you lost Cablevision/Optimum service during the recent storms, you may qualify for a credit on your bill. Cablevision has records by address on power outages.  We have been advised that if your outage was for fewer than four hours you would not qualify for a credit.  If you the outage was for a longer period of time, you do qualify.  You will need to contact them.  We suggest that you also provide your service outage period according to your records (be specific with dates and times, to the extent you can).   Call them at 718-860-3513 or via Chat at https://www.optimum.net/support/outage/
VERIZON CUSTOMERS, DID YOU RECEIVE A CREDIT FOLLOWING SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS
 We have contacted our Verizon representative inquiring about a credit for their customers impacted by service interruptions during the March storms.  She advises us that if you reported the service interruption to Verizon, you will receive a credit automatically on your bill.  We advise that you check your bill.   If you did not receive a credit, please call Verizon customer service at 1-800-Verizon to request it.  Also, for customers who did not report the outage, it may not be too late, contact customer service letting them know when you lost service and when it was restored.
CUB SCOUTS PACK 170 OF BEDFORD/POUNDRIDGERECOGNIZES NATIONAL POLICE MEMORIAL WEEK AND HONORS THE MEMORY OF SERGEANT THOMAS WADE, BEDFORD, NY POLICE DEPARTMENT
On Saturday May 5, 2018 at 3 p.m. Cub Scout Pack 170, and Bedford Boy Scouts will recognize National Police Memorial week by honoring the memory ofBedford P.D. Sgt. Thomas Wade who made the ultimate sacrifice on May 9, 1925.The public is invited to join with us, law enforcement officers, and the family of Sgt. Wade for a ceremony at Bedford, NY Police station 321 Bedford Rd. Bedford Hills, NY 10507.
The ceremony will feature the presentation of colors, lowering of US flag in Sgt. Wade’s memory, presentation of thank you cards to Police Officers by Scouts, police equipment, and Police K-9 demonstration. For further information please contact William McCormack at wfmccormack@optonline.net
 
NEW BEDFORD VETERANS MEMORIAL
I am pleased to report that the Town Board approved construction of a new Veterans Memorial in Katonah, which will honor the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the men and women from Bedford and around America who served in our military. The Memorial will be located on the Katonah Green, directly across from the Katonah Village Library, and will be funded entirely through private contributions. Information regarding the Memorial can be found at http://www.bedfordny.gov/veterans-advisory-committee/.
FURTHER UPDATE ON POST STORM ACTION
We recognize that residents are coping with a great deal of clean-up of storm debris, so we are opening the Town’s Beaver Dam Compost Facility for a few Saturdays over the next couple of months: The facility is normally open for residents in non-commercial vehicles to dispose of recyclable wood waste (logs and branches up to 6″ diameter, brush, and leaves) Monday to Friday from 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM, excluding town holidays. Due to the recent storms, the Town will open the compost facility from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturday April 14, April 21, April 28, and June 2. In addition, the compost facility will be open on Saturday May 5 from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM as part of the Town’s clean up days.
The Town Supervisors in the Brewster Division of NYSEG which encompasses northern Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties met earlier this week with senior NYSEG management.   The discussion primarily focused on NYSEG’s program to reduce the incidence of outages including reliability targets, identification of major contributing causes, vegetation management, maintenance programs, planned work, resiliency plans, capital improvements and future initiatives. We will continue to press NYSEG for improving its performance.
 
JOINT LETTER OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY LEGISLATOR KITLEY S. COVILL AND TOWN SUPERVISORS OF BEDFORD, LEWISBORO, NORTH SALEM, POUND RIDGE AND SOMERS TO NYSEG
click here for the letter
 
ACTION TAKEN AT THE APRIL 3 TOWN BOARD MEETING
Horse Properties – As scheduled, the Town Board held a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the Zoning Code to allow for a half bath in accessory structures, including barns and stables, the purpose of which is to enable property owners to engage daytime grooms..   The proposed Zoning Code amendment expressly prohibits sleeping facilities and kitchens.   As I mentioned at the outset of the hearing the proposal comes after nearly two years of discussions with horse property owners and others supporting the horse community.   Earlier this year, the Town Board had referred to the Planning Board their petition requesting revisions in the Zoning Code to relax restrictions affecting the horse community. A number of residents spoke on the need to ensure that Bedford is “horse friendly” and we do not continue to lose horse owners.   Following the public hearing the Town Board unanimously adopted the amendments.
Congratulations to Amy Carelli At the recommendation of Police Chief Melvin Padilla, the Town Board approved the appointment of Amy N. Carelli to Police Officer effective on or about April 26, 2018. We are pleased to have Ms. Carelli join the force.
Moving ahead on Electric Vehicles In the first installment of fulfilling the Town’s New York League of Conservation Voters/Sustainable Westchester Gold Pledge on purchase of electric passenger vehicles for its municipal fleet, the Town Board authorized going out to bid for the purchase of a Chevy Bolt, an all-electric vehicle that has received excellent reviews for its range of over 230 miles and durability.
Bedford Village Parking   As I mentioned in this space last week, the Town has been in discussions with the Bedford Presbyterian Church regarding acquiring the Church’s vacant land off of Court Road for the purposes of constructing a municipal parking lot.   Last year environmental evaluation of the site showed no issues. We held a public meeting earlier this year at which comments we received showed positive support. We then commissioned an appraisal of the property which was just concluded this week and shows a fair market value of $150,000.   Following discussions with representatives of the Church, I postponed Town Board consideration of approving an offer, so as to allow time for the Church to obtain its own appraisal – a step which is customary and the right action.
FOR THE SUPERVISOR’S MARCH MONTHLY REPORT click here
ENERGIZE BEDFORD CAMPAIGN UPDATE
Bedford 2020 and Energize Bedford’s limited time campaign in partnership with the Town of Bedford drove an increase in energy efficient homes in Bedford. From September 1, 2017- January 15, 2018, we collected more than 70 leads, helped set up 27 assessments and 11 jobs were completed in the 5 month time frame. Although the limited time discount is over, leads are still coming through and homeowners who entered the program during the campaign are working toward completing their projects.
EXTENDED HOURS FOR BEAVER DAM COMPOST FACILITY
The Town of Bedford Beaver Dam Compost Facility is normally open for residents in non-commercial vehicles to dispose of recyclable wood waste (logs and branches up to 6″ diameter, brush, and leaves) Monday to Friday from 7:30 to 3:00, excluding town holidays. Due to the recent storms, the Town will open the compost facility from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturday April 14, April 21, April 28, and June 2. In addition, the compost facility will be open on Saturday May 5 from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM as part of the Town’s clean up days.
STOP THE BLEED
Paramedics are trained and prepared to operate with law enforcement in active shooter situations. This additional stop the bleed program is intended to provide a level of basic quick action from the public before help arrives. We have certified trainers in this program and want to start offering it up to various public institutions such as schools. Click here for the booklet.
FOR THE SUPERVISOR’S MOST RECENT SHOW
on the Zoning Code Amendment, Reducing Plastic Waste, and Recent Storm Response
click here

NO PROPOSALS SUBMITTED FOR SOLAR INSTALLATIONS FOR MUNICIPAL FACILITIES 
  You may recall that last July the Town issued a Request for Proposals for solar panels and other systems for Town facilities. We received no proposals, which we learned was due to the fact that New York State had not settled with the electric industry on incentives and utility obligations regarding solar power provided back to the grid. So, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, the Town went ahead to re-issue an RFP. In late 2017, New York State published guidelines that define the future value of distributed energy resources (a/k/a, the VDER value stack). As of early 2018, solar developers can now use this value stack to estimate future project income from the local utilities, based on specific project locations. We understand that New York’s resolving these future values of solar electricity means that solar developers will be more attracted to investing in potential solar projects such as those in our RFP
The NYS Public Service Commission issued an “implementation order” in September on the “value of distributed energy resources,” following which was substantial work in sorting out valuations with electric utility distributors in the State, such as NYSEG and Con Edison. We understand that there now is a “level playing field” and basis on which solar developers would take an interest in our RFP.
However, the VDER provides greater incentives to solar developers in Con Edison service area where rates are higher.   Our Town facilities, however, are located in NYSEG service area.   One of the solar developers with whom we had worked closely took the time to explain why it was financially not possible to submit a proposal – due to the difference in VDER between the two service areas. Please click here for the letter.  I have recently met with a commercial property owner in Bedford Hills and a solar developer about the possibility of rooftop solar panels for “community solar”. Stay tuned.
SEPTIC SYSTEM REPAIR AND REPLACEMENT PROGRAM
NOW THAT THE SPRING HAS ARRIVED – PLEASE CONSIDER ATTENDING TO YOUR SEPTIC SYSTEM: 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.

MOUNT KISCO WATER MAIN REPLACEMENT
Mount Kisco is preparing to replace the 90-year old water main on New York State Route 117 from Preston Way in Mount Kisco to Green Lane in Bedford Hills and continuing to the end of Green Lane.
The construction work is planned for the fall of 2018 and will take place during the night (hours have not yet been determined). The project’s engineering will consider everything that is feasible in the design to minimize disturbance to the public and the property owners.   Currently, the project is in the preliminary design phase, which includes survey and soil boring work along the road right-of-way.   Soil boring work will take place in April during the working day between 9 am and 3 pm and is not expected to result in any lane closures.
We met today with Mount Kisco’s engineers to emphasize the need for full coordination among Mount Kisco, Con Edison (with regard to restoration work on the southbound lane of Route 117 – SEE POST IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THIS ONE), NYS Department of Transportation, Westchester County Health Department and Bedford in both the design and the execution of the project.   We made it clear that the Mount Kisco project must avoid the significant disruptions which the Con Edison gas line project caused last fall.   It is also critical that restoration be complete.
We will keep you informed on the status both of the Mount Kisco project and Con Edison’s gas line project.
 .
UPDATED SHREDDER SCHEDULE INCLUDING NEW DATE OF MONDAY OCTOBER 22
The Town is pleased to provide once again this year mobile paper shredder events:
  • at the Town Recycling Center at 343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on September 15, and November 17;
  • at 1 Crusher Road, Bedford Village (Crusher Road highway yard), Bedford Village from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM on May 5;
  • at the Town Office at 425 Cherry Street on Monday October 22 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
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.)
 
INTERNSHIP IN MEDIA RELATIONS, PUBLIC RELATIONS, AND COMMUNICATION PLANNING
In consultation with the Bedford Veterans Advisory Committee, develop and implement a professional-grade communications plan that identifies local veteran-related events, programs, issues, and concerns and effectively promotes this material via appropriate print, broadcast, and electronic media.
The successful candidate should have a skill-set sufficient to demonstrate an ability to write effective press releases along with appropriate research, planning and organizational skills to develop and implement a plan that ensures general public awareness.
The plan should encompass an audience that includes: *     Print media* Broadcast media* Social media networks (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)* Local elected officials *Social service agencies * Veterans service organizations
Junior or senior level undergraduate, or graduate level. Hours to be determined, along with attendance at monthly Veterans Advisory Committee meetings. Unpaid. Supervision: Chair, Bedford Veterans Advisory Committee. Contact: Mark Sindeband, 914-260-4188,aegisresources@optonline.net
FOR THE 2017 ANNUAL REPORT click here
WESTCHESTER POWER – HOW’S IT BEEN DOING HERE IN BEDFORD?
There’s been some discussion on Katonah Parents Facebook and questions I regularly receive regarding the Westchester Power (also known as Community Choice Aggregation or CCA).   By way of background, the Town Board unanimously adopted Bedford’s participation in this program sponsored by Sustainable Westchester and placed us among those Westchester municipalities choosing the “Green Option”.   At the time, we insisted that the rates must be less than the previous twelve month cost for each utility, provide fixed prices (rather than a “bait and switch” of a great rate at the outset only to pop up later) and an opt out provision at any time without charge or penalty, a common complaint at the time against many energy service companies (ESCOs). Westchester Power residential and small business electric customers in Bedford have a rate of 8.00 cents per kilowatt hour in Con Edison’s service area and 7.42 cents per kilowatt hour in NYSEG’s service area.   These are fixed rates, rather than rates which vary month by month (which is the way NYSEG and Con Edison bills).   I’ve received e-mails and calls from NYSEG and Con Edison customers who saw a spike in rates this winter. Just yesterday I received a call from a resident in Con Edison service area who is signed up with an ESCO at over 11 cents per kilowatt hour and was dismayed at her large utility bills.
So how’s Westchester Power been doing here in Bedford? I turned to Dan Welsh, Director of Westchester Power, for an analysis and he provided the following:
“Here is my estimate of the savings for Bedford residents and small businesses through the end of January. We are including the avoided sales tax now when we talk about this as you know, and that’s a significant piece. February saw a low price for Con Ed which would bring this down, but now March is looking that it’s bounced back and so I would look to the end of March for the next update.”

Should you have questions, please contact Dan at dan@westchesterpower.org or 914-242-4725


IT’S TAX SCAM SEASON. HERE’S HOW YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF
From the Office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
  • Never give out personal information to people who call you unsolicited. That includes your Social Security number, bank account information, or credit card information.
  • If you do owe money, you will receive a legitimate notice in the mail that tells you who you owe money to and why. If you haven’t gotten a legitimate piece of mail like that, the collection call is bogus.
  • Last but not least, remember that no legitimate government organization will ever threaten arrest or deportation if you fail to pay a debt.
If someone is threatening you or you are targeted for a scam, please contact my office immediately. We are here to help: 1-800-771-7755.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDINGTAX SCAMS
The IRS, the AARP, NYS Attorney General and many others are issuing warnings about scams particularly directed at the elderly.   Please don’t fall prey.  See https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts
CON EDISON AND NYSEG STORM OUTAGE RELATED REIMBURSEMENTS FOR FOOD AND PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE SPOILAGE
Each utility is providing on a limited basis reimbursement for food and prescription medicine spoilage.
Con Edison
Con Edison’s March 15, 2018 notice is as follows:
Customers Impacted by Nor’easters Riley and Quinn
We regret that we were unable to provide reliable restoration times for many customers during these storms. Con Edison may reimburse customers for food and prescription medicine spoilage if they lost power for at least three consecutive days or more during the two nor’easters that slammed the region recently.
Customers may receive reimbursement for up to $225, or up to $515 with receipts.
Business owners are eligible for food spoilage reimbursements up to $10,200 with receipts.
Link to the claim forms: https://www.coned.com/en/services-and-outages/claim-form
 
NYSEG – appears to be limited to food spoilage
 NYSEG did not issue a specific notice regarding claims for storm outage food or prescription medicine spoilage, but there appears to be an avenue for reimbursement for food spoilage. Click on http://www.nyseg.com/youraccount/claimform.html?stop_mobi=yes  
 
MOBILE PAPER SHREDDER AT RECYCLING CENTER
The Town is pleased to provide once again this year mobile paper shredder events at the Town Recycling Center at 343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on March 17, September 15, and November 17; and at 1 Crusher Road, Bedford Village (Crusher Road highway yard), Bedford Village from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM on May 5. 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.).
WESTMORELAND SANCTUARY NATURE CENTER & WILDLIFE PRESERVE RECIPIENT OF $20,000 CON EDISON GRANT
Westmoreland Sanctuary has recently received a $20,000 Grant from Con Edison allowing local school children to use STEM education based principles toward environmental studies.  Click here for the press release
LOOKING FOR AN EMERGENCY VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY BUT FIRE FIGHTING OR MEDICAL TECH NOT YOUR THING?
EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS MIGHT BE FOR YOU!! 
Click here for the flyer
 KATONAH FIRE DEPARTMENT UNDER-18 RECRUITMENT PROGRAM
Are you interested in a terrific community service opportunity? Would you like to receive state-of-the art lifesaving and firefighting training?
Katonah Fire Department eagerly welcomes applications from 16-year-olds for its Under 18 Program. Interested candidates can fulfill their John Jay High School Community Service obligation, as well as service hours required for other organizations, such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Membership in the department as a firefighter is a great way to have your college application stand out as well!
Any person who is between the ages of 16 and 18, who is physically fit, morally and mentally sound, and who, having met with the membership committee and satisfactorily passed the committee’s investigation (as established in the Katonah Fire Department, Inc. Constitution and By-Laws), may be selected for membership status.
The goal of this program is to carefully instill, enforce, and monitor the practices that lead to well trained, respectful, hardworking members once they reach their 18th birthdays and/or the conclusion of their first year of membership.
In addition, it creates a culture in which these members both realize their age- and experience-related limitations, but also feel as though they are learning and being prepared for taking on the duties of full-fledged, non-probationary members of the Katonah Fire Department.
An oversight committee and a training coordinator act as a resource to these members – in all aspects of KFD membership: firefighting, training, rules and regulations, etc. – and set example for the types of behaviors expected from our entire membership.
Applicants who join receive all training and equipment at no expense to them. They also become eligible for various scholarship opportunities. If you’re interested in finding out more, please sent an e-mail to chief2211@katonahfd.org
TOWN’S WEBSITE 
is now available in Spanish. We have added a plug-in allowing for the website’s automatic translation to Spanish.  Please note that this does not apply to linked PDF documents. http://www.bedfordny.gov/
 
REVISION FOR JULY AND AUGUST 2018 TOWN BOARD MEETING SCHEDULE
Summer months are away months and many of our residents are unable to attend two meetings in July and two in August. The Town Board approved the following changes to these summer month meetings. We have cancelled the July 3 meeting and retained the July 17 meeting which was previously scheduled. We cancelled the August 7 and August 21 meetings and have replaced them with a single meeting to be held on August 14.
MOTORISTS
I wish to augment the below information (e-news 8/25) with the following request for motorists:
Sharing the road 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.

Bedford Town news | Bedford Real Estate

May 2018
NEW POSTS
 
Note to readers: I wrote my monthly report a few days later than usual in order to cover Town Board action and other developments over this week.   As such, this weekly newsletter will not cover the May 1 Town Board actions as they are incorporated into the monthly report. Click here for the monthly report
Also, as noted in the monthly report, this Spring the Town Board, together with staff and advisory committees and task forces, has been working its way through a heavy agenda, with several being complex and controversial.  
 
AWARD FOR ANTIOCH HOMES AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT  
I am delighted to report that Antioch Homes Affordable Housing Project has been chosen to be honored with a Commendation for Outstanding Planning Achievement by the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation (WMPF) for its annual planning awards competition.   The award will be presented at next month’s WMPF annual awards dinner.
 
COMING UP ON THE MAY 15 TOWN BOARD AGENDA
Proposed Changes in the Parking Code
The Town Board will be considering proposed changes to the parking chapter of the Town Code will cover the following items, in an effort to update the parking chapter for changes in technology, address non-residential weekday use of the commuter lots in “off hours” and to update/increase the fines/penalties for violations:
  • Incorporate updates of parking technology being implemented at the commuter lots as well as a more detailed description of the location of the commuter lots in order to clarify where commuter parking permits are required.
  • Changes will also incorporate a clearer definition of a Town Resident.
  • A provision that will change the hours that a permit is required at the commuter lots. Currently, free parking is allowed for the general public at all the commuter lots from 5:00 pm to 5:00 am daily. Weekends and holidays parking is free all day. The proposed amendment would continue to allow town residents to park in the commuter lots from 6:00 pm to 5:00 am without paying for parking but a resident parking decal must be displayed in their vehicle. Non-residents however, will be required to pay for parking at the commuter lots from Monday 5:00 to Friday 12:00 midnight. Weekends and holidays would be free parking.
  • Also proposed is the number of holidays allowing free parking at the commuter lots. The following holidays are allowed currently: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, July Fourth, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Election Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. The proposed changes would remove Lincoln’s and Washington’s Birthday and replace with President’s Day and would remove Columbus Day completely.
  • Another proposed change is the prohibition of parking vehicles of over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight or more than 20 feet in length on any public street, or town right-of-way in a residential district or in any Town owned, operated and maintained public parking areas or lots except for the temporary parking of those vehicle making local deliveries or picking up goods, wares or merchandise.
  • Recommendation are also being made for the Town Board to consider amending penalties for violations of the chapter such as parking in crosswalks, blocking driveways and no parking at any time, among others.
 
This is not yet scheduled for a public hearing, but may be scheduled for a public hearing June 5 Town Board meeting.
 
Updated Fee Schedule for Filming Permits
The Board will be considering a new fee schedule to correspond to the new Filming law. The fee schedule could not be adopted at the May 1 meeting since the new law is not effective until filed with the NYS Secretary of State. The schedule includes discounts for multiple days’ use and other incentives to encourage filming in Bedford, consistent with protecting the community from excessive noise, traffic, light and other disturbance from such activities.
UPDATE ON ROUTE 117 WORK
The Town has been working closely with Con Edison, the Village of Mt. Kisco and the NYS Department of Transportation regarding the condition of Route 117 in Bedford Hills which had been dug up and very roughly patched following Con Edison gas line work.
As those following this newsletter may know, we learned a few weeks ago that the Village of Mt. Kisco plans to replace its water line, which also will require digging up Route 117.  Upon learning of this development, we urged the Village and Con Edison to coordinate and to discuss it with DOT.   We want to avoid the havoc that took place over Thanksgiving and into the holidays last November/December in connection with Con Edison’s work in which ingress/egress to the Shop Rite mall was blocked; daytime work was taking place at the height of retailers busiest season resulting in significant loss of business; and traffic into and out of Bedford Hills was tied up for upwards of an hour.
Here’s the status of requests we have made to the parties:
  1. DOT advises us that it has required Con Edison to perform the curb to curb restoration.
  2. Work to be done at night from 7:00 PM through 6:00 AM.  Minimizing the loudest work (i.e., saw cut and jackhammering).  Con Edison has stated: “We will ask our contractors to try their best to get the saw cut and jackhammering work done before 10 pm, but it is an inevitable part of this work.”
Timing: we don’t know yet, because the water line work schedule has not yet been set as the engineers design and staging the work have to complete DOT review and approval.   What we do know is that the previous schedule of Con Edison completing its restoration in the next couple of weeks is not at all possible.   Our objective now is to avoid disruption as much as possible.  As soon as we learn of the schedule, we will advise the community.
 
PREPARATIONS FOR 2018 PAVING
This is the time of year when residents ask me about our paving plans and how the Town Board determines it. Shortly after I came onto the Town Board in 2008, the Department of Public Works instituted a fair and equitable system for identifying the roads to be paved from year to year. It is based on the condition of the road, with the roads in the worst condition to be paved first before they deteriorate further and results in far more costly paving. Each Spring the DPW updates its assessment of the condition of all 97 miles of the paved Town roads (since roads deteriorate at different rates over the winter).   The condition assessment uses a rating system with 1 being the best condition and 5 being the worst.   As a result of higher appropriation levels, we have been able to pave all Town roads rated at 4 and 5 and now are working away at a lengthy list of roads rated at 3.5. In 2014, the paving budget was approximately $800,000. Each year thereafter, the Town Board gradually has increased the budget. The figure now stands at approximately $1.2 million for 2018. We anticipate that in the next month DPW Commissioner Kevin Winn will submit a recommended paving list to the Town Board for approval.
 
MOVING AHEAD WITH OUR COMMITMENT TO ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Consistent with the Town’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 2020, on October 3, 2017, the Town Board responded to the New York League of Conservation Voters/Sustainable Westchester challenge by being the only municipality in Westchester County to adopt Gold Tier Pledge under which we commit to purchase Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV’s) for at least 10% of our new light-duty municipal fleet purchases by the end of 202 and revisit this level annual to consider adopting a higher purchasing commitment. At its May 1, 2018 Town Board meeting the Town Board approved the purchase of the highly rated Chevy Bolt, which has an excellent driving range of 238 miles on a single charge.  The Town is able to purchase the vehicle under procurement through NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services in which the Town may participate.
 
FOR THE MOST RECENT SUPERVISOR’S SHOW
Town Board Initiatives and the Town’s Partnership with Bedford 2020, Click here
 
KVIS TOWN FORUM
Let your voices be heard – Let us know what is on your mind
Katonah Village Library, May 17 at 7:30 PM. Click here for the flyer
REMINDERS – VACANCIES ON TOWN BOARDS
Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee – Resident of Katonah Memorial Park District
There is a vacancy on the Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee for a resident of the Katonah Park District.  Send your resume and a cover letter via e-mail to supervisor@bedfordny.gov and please copy Recreation and Parks Superintendent Bill Heidepriem atwheidepriem@bedfordny.gov and RPAC chairman, Brian McCabe atcoach10536@aol.com.  You also may mail your cover letter and resume to the attention of Supervisor, 321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills, New York 10507.  For information on the RPAC, please see http://www.bedfordny.gov/town-government/boards-commissions-committees/boards/recreation-parks-advisory/
Drug Abuse Prevention Council (DAPC)
The Town of Bedford is looking to fill two vacancies on the Drug Abuse Prevention Council. If you are interested in serving, please e-mail your resume with a cover letter to Supervisor Chris Burdick, supervisor@bedfordny.gov and also to DAPC Coordinator Kathryn Ferrara,kathryn.dapc@gmail.com  .  You also may mail it the attention of Supervisor, 321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills, New York 10507.  For more information on the DAPC, click here.
Traffic Safety Work Group
There is a vacancy on the Traffic Safety Working Group (TSWG)for a resident of Bedford Hills. Send your resume and a cover letter via e-mail to supervisor@bedfordny.gov  You also may mail your cover letter and resume to the attention of Supervisor, 321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills, New York 10507.  For information on the TSWG please click here.
FOR YOUR NEIGHBOR’S SAKE
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…

IT’S THE LAW: IDLING
Please be reminded that Westchester County regulates the idling time of motor vehicles to not more than three minutes (with certain exceptions – click here for the law
Let’s all obey the law to avoid unnecessary pollution.
 
FOR THE COMMUNITY EVENTS CALENDAR click here 
FOR THE TOWN CALENDAR click here

TO SIGN-UP FOR NIXLE ALERTS click here
PRIOR POSTS OF CONTINUED RELEVANCE

 PAVING OUR STATE ROADS: STILL TRYING TO GET ACTION
 
I-684
            It’s been a long haul trying to persuade New York State to pave the concrete portion of I-684 that runs through Bedford (the same original surface from the late 1960s).   You may remember that in early 2014 shortly after coming into office, I started working with Assembly David Buchwald and then State Senator George Latimer to urge the re-paving of the portion of I-684 which runs through Bedford.  We also worked with Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, to press for funds from Washington, since 80% to 90% of the funds to repair our State’s highways comes from the federal government.   Thanks principally to the efforts of Assemblyman Buchwald a portion of the Bedford section was paved (the southerly portion up to Harris Road).   But the portion from Harris Road through a bit north of Exit 6 is in terrible condition. One of our residents who is an engineer and works on major road projects described it in an e-mail earlier this week: “Spring has arrived!! Please take the time to drive northbound and southbound on I-684, including the exit ramps. The pavement deterioration has become very severe in some areas due to the harsh winters. You may see large chucks of concrete in the shoulders that have broken free from the mainline pavement. Perhaps the board can urge the NYSDOT Highway Department to have maintenance crews fill the pot holes in the Katonah corridor as a priority.”
ROUTE 22
            Here, too, conditions on the road have deteriorated.   I’m especially concerned about the portion between the Bedford Cross and the intersection with Pea Pond Road. Several residents have contacted me about it.
I’ll be meeting with the Regional Director of the DOT on Monday and members of his staff to press for work to get done. I’d like to ask your help so that the powers that be know that it’s not just me asking for action.  You can send e-mails and make calls – and many thanks to those who already have done so (yes you may get a “form” response, but they all keep track of it and it really makes a difference that you take the time):
DOT Albany office: 518-457-6195
DOT Region 8 Acting Regional Director Lance MacMillan: 845-431-5750
If you send an e-mail, please consider copying me and our legislators:
State Assemblyman Buchwald: buchwaldd@assembly.state.ny.us, 914-244-4450
And thank you!
POTHOLE REPAIR SEASON HAS OPENED
As to potholes you find in our Town roads, please call our Pothole Hotline at 666-7669 or feel free to contact me at 666-6530 or Supervisor@bedfordny.gov.
For potholes on state roads in our Town, such as Routes 22, 117, 121, 137 and 172 we would suggest that you call NYS’s pothole line at 1-800-POTHOLE.
 
METRO-NORTH: UPPER HARLEM SUBSTITUTE BUS SERVICE, SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS, APRIL 28-29, MAY 5-6 & MAY 19-20, INCLUDES SOUTHEAST, BREWSTER, CROTON FALLS, PURDY’S, GOLDENS BRIDGE, AND WASSAIC
For Saturdays and Sundays, April 28-29, May 5-6 and May 19-20 substitute bus service will be in effect between Southeast, Brewster, Croton Falls, Purdy’s and Goldens Bridge due to ongoing repairs to multiple downed power poles and lines in the area that occurred as a result of the March nor’easters.
All buses will depart approximately 20 minutes ahead of the regularly scheduled southbound train departure times in order to connect with train service at Goldens Bridge. Regular train service will resume each day with the 7:10 PM train to Southeast and the 9:08 PM train from Southeast.
Harlem Line train service continues to operate between Grand Central Terminal and Goldens Bridge and between Southeast and Wassaic.
Substitute bus service is being provided between Southeast and Goldens Bridge as follows:
Wassaic Branch Customers: Trains will depart 10 minutes ahead of the regularly scheduled southbound train departure times at all stations between Wassaic and Patterson in order to connect with bus service at Southeast. Additional bus service/ times will be provided at Southeast and Goldens Bridge. For full schedule details, please seehttp://web.mta.info/mnr/pdf/Wassaic Bus May_2018.pdf
Southeast, Brewster, Croton Falls and Purdy’s Customers: All buses will depart about 20 minutes ahead of the regularly scheduled southbound train departures in order to connect with train service at Goldens Bridge. Regular train service will resume with the 7:10 PM train to Southeast and the 9:08 train from Southeast. For a full schedule, please see:http://web.mta.info/mnr/pdf/Upper
Please refer to our interactive schedules at http://as0.mta.info/mnr/schedules/sched_form.cfm
or download Train Time for train/bus times.
Customers can also use the Hudson Line, where tickets will be cross-honored.
Please listen for station announcements and check back to this website for updates. Thank you for your patience while we perform this critical repair work.
NEW YORK STATE ACTION OF STATE AND LOCAL TAX (SALT) DEDUCTIONS
Many have asked us about what action is being taken in response to the December federal tax law revisions which caps SALT tax deductions for federal income tax purposes to $10,000.
The following is brief description of the new law that can be provided to the public regarding the New York budget bill that provides offsets for Federal SALT tax deductions: The New York State Legislature has adopted new state law provisions designed to offset the impact of the recently enacted federal tax limitation on state and local taxes (SALT) to $10,000. Specifically, the legislation creates a vehicle for taxpayers to contribute to certain charitable funds that, in turn, would be applied for local tax purposes. The concept is that, as a charitable contribution, the amount paid by taxpayers who itemize their tax returns could be claimed as a charitable deduction on federal taxes. Under the new law, a New York State tax credit would also be provided on a percentage of each contribution. Under the new law, each taxing jurisdiction, including school districts, villages, towns, cities and counties, is responsible for establishing and managing such charitable funds. The funds collected would then be used by each taxing jurisdiction and applied to the taxing jurisdiction’s annual tax levy. The law also provides a mechanism for the taxpayer to receive a tax credit based upon the amount contributed to a school district’s or other municipal corporation’s charitable fund. The exact procedures for making payments into the charitable funds and receiving a credit against taxes owed are still being formulated.
New York State, by being the first state to enact a “workaround” to ameliorate the limitation on the federal SALT deductions, has positioned itself to be the legal test case for whether such an arrangement will pass legal muster. The Town and other government agencies, school districts and municipalities throughout New York State are in the process of reviewing the proposed bill provisions to determine what action should be taken and whether to implement the provisions of this new law. Similarly, tax experts are in the process of reviewing whether or not these new charitable funds will be treated as legitimate charitable contributions that are deductible for filers who itemize their federal tax returns. New York’s Governor and Legislature appear to believe the provisions are sound. However, a final answer has yet to be obtained and we recommend that you consult with your personal tax consultant before taking any action.
We will keep you advised as the situation develops.
           
FOR THE APRIL 6, 2018 KATONAH-BEDFORD HILLS SEWER DESIGN STATUS REPORT click here

PLEASE JOIN US FOR BEDFORD TOWN-WIDE CLEAN-UP DAYS 2018 AT THE CRUSHER ROAD HIGHWAY FACILITY OFF ROUTE 22, JUST NORTH OF ROUTE 172, IN BEDFORD VILLAGE

Town residents can bring household debris and metal waste to the Crusher Road Yard during the following periods:
Thursday, May 3, 2018 7:30 AM-3:00 PM            Friday, May 4, 2018 7:30 AM-3:00 PM        
Saturday, May 5, 2018 7:30 AM-4:30 PM
Residents can also take brush and tree debris to the Beaver Dam Highway facility on Beaver Dam road off Harris Road during the same days and hours listed above. THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR THIS!
The Highway Department will not accept any of the following items: tires, batteries, refrigerators, freezers, pressure treated lumber, air conditioners, propane tanks, paint, varnish, chemicals, medical waste, or other toxic materials. No E-Waste – televisions, computers (desktops, monitors, and notebooks), computer mice and keyboards, printers, scanners, fax machines, cell phones, VCRs – ***E-WASTE CAN BE BROUGHT TO THE RECYCLING CENTER ON TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS AND SATURDAYS BETWEEN 8AM AND 3PM – E-WASTE CONTAINING CRT’S MUST FIRST GO TO THE TOWN CLERK’S OFFICE AND COMPLETE A CRT RECYCLING APPLICATION AND PAY THE APPROPRIATE FEE BEFORE GOING TO THE RECYCLING CENTER***
Proof of Bedford residency is required, and fees are as follows:
*           $25 per carload
*           $60 per pickup truck load
*           $115 for small dump trucks (<6 yd)
*           $230 and up for large dump trucks (>6 yd)
Bedford Village Chowder & Marching Club will hold their Tag Sale on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5 at the Crusher Road Highway Facility.
In addition to the normal clean-up activities, the Town will provide a mobile paper shredder to safely recycle unwanted personal papers and documents. The Mobile Shredder will be available on May 5 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Crusher Road Highway Yard. This free public service is intended for residents to shred their personal documents. Papers from businesses or commercial enterprises will not be accepted. Residents may bring a maximum of two file boxes. To speed up shredding and reduce waiting time, residents must remove all metal clips, fasteners, binders, folders and hard covers and place the papers loosely in a box. Hard covers – cardboard or plastic covers on items such as ledger books, marble composition books and hard-cover books – are not acceptable. Residents may rip away pages from these hard cover books for shredding and throw the covers in their household trash.
Please call the DPW Highway Division at 666-7669 with any questions.

CABLEVISION/OPTIMUM OUTAGE BILL CREDIT
If you lost Cablevision/Optimum service during the recent storms, you may qualify for a credit on your bill. Cablevision has records by address on power outages.  We have been advised that if your outage was for fewer than four hours you would not qualify for a credit.  If you the outage was for a longer period of time, you do qualify.  You will need to contact them.  We suggest that you also provide your service outage period according to your records (be specific with dates and times, to the extent you can).   Call them at 718-860-3513 or via Chat at https://www.optimum.net/support/outage/
VERIZON CUSTOMERS, DID YOU RECEIVE A CREDIT FOLLOWING SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS
 We have contacted our Verizon representative inquiring about a credit for their customers impacted by service interruptions during the March storms.  She advises us that if you reported the service interruption to Verizon, you will receive a credit automatically on your bill.  We advise that you check your bill.   If you did not receive a credit, please call Verizon customer service at 1-800-Verizon to request it.  Also, for customers who did not report the outage, it may not be too late, contact customer service letting them know when you lost service and when it was restored.
CUB SCOUTS PACK 170 OF BEDFORD/POUNDRIDGERECOGNIZES NATIONAL POLICE MEMORIAL WEEK AND HONORS THE MEMORY OF SERGEANT THOMAS WADE, BEDFORD, NY POLICE DEPARTMENT
On Saturday May 5, 2018 at 3 p.m. Cub Scout Pack 170, and Bedford Boy Scouts will recognize National Police Memorial week by honoring the memory ofBedford P.D. Sgt. Thomas Wade who made the ultimate sacrifice on May 9, 1925.The public is invited to join with us, law enforcement officers, and the family of Sgt. Wade for a ceremony at Bedford, NY Police station 321 Bedford Rd. Bedford Hills, NY 10507.
The ceremony will feature the presentation of colors, lowering of US flag in Sgt. Wade’s memory, presentation of thank you cards to Police Officers by Scouts, police equipment, and Police K-9 demonstration. For further information please contact William McCormack at wfmccormack@optonline.net
 
NEW BEDFORD VETERANS MEMORIAL
I am pleased to report that the Town Board approved construction of a new Veterans Memorial in Katonah, which will honor the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the men and women from Bedford and around America who served in our military. The Memorial will be located on the Katonah Green, directly across from the Katonah Village Library, and will be funded entirely through private contributions. Information regarding the Memorial can be found at http://www.bedfordny.gov/veterans-advisory-committee/.
FURTHER UPDATE ON POST STORM ACTION
We recognize that residents are coping with a great deal of clean-up of storm debris, so we are opening the Town’s Beaver Dam Compost Facility for a few Saturdays over the next couple of months: The facility is normally open for residents in non-commercial vehicles to dispose of recyclable wood waste (logs and branches up to 6″ diameter, brush, and leaves) Monday to Friday from 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM, excluding town holidays. Due to the recent storms, the Town will open the compost facility from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturday April 14, April 21, April 28, and June 2. In addition, the compost facility will be open on Saturday May 5 from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM as part of the Town’s clean up days.
The Town Supervisors in the Brewster Division of NYSEG which encompasses northern Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties met earlier this week with senior NYSEG management.   The discussion primarily focused on NYSEG’s program to reduce the incidence of outages including reliability targets, identification of major contributing causes, vegetation management, maintenance programs, planned work, resiliency plans, capital improvements and future initiatives. We will continue to press NYSEG for improving its performance.
 
JOINT LETTER OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY LEGISLATOR KITLEY S. COVILL AND TOWN SUPERVISORS OF BEDFORD, LEWISBORO, NORTH SALEM, POUND RIDGE AND SOMERS TO NYSEG
click here for the letter
 
ACTION TAKEN AT THE APRIL 3 TOWN BOARD MEETING
Horse Properties – As scheduled, the Town Board held a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the Zoning Code to allow for a half bath in accessory structures, including barns and stables, the purpose of which is to enable property owners to engage daytime grooms..   The proposed Zoning Code amendment expressly prohibits sleeping facilities and kitchens.   As I mentioned at the outset of the hearing the proposal comes after nearly two years of discussions with horse property owners and others supporting the horse community.   Earlier this year, the Town Board had referred to the Planning Board their petition requesting revisions in the Zoning Code to relax restrictions affecting the horse community. A number of residents spoke on the need to ensure that Bedford is “horse friendly” and we do not continue to lose horse owners.   Following the public hearing the Town Board unanimously adopted the amendments.
Congratulations to Amy Carelli At the recommendation of Police Chief Melvin Padilla, the Town Board approved the appointment of Amy N. Carelli to Police Officer effective on or about April 26, 2018. We are pleased to have Ms. Carelli join the force.
Moving ahead on Electric Vehicles In the first installment of fulfilling the Town’s New York League of Conservation Voters/Sustainable Westchester Gold Pledge on purchase of electric passenger vehicles for its municipal fleet, the Town Board authorized going out to bid for the purchase of a Chevy Bolt, an all-electric vehicle that has received excellent reviews for its range of over 230 miles and durability.
Bedford Village Parking   As I mentioned in this space last week, the Town has been in discussions with the Bedford Presbyterian Church regarding acquiring the Church’s vacant land off of Court Road for the purposes of constructing a municipal parking lot.   Last year environmental evaluation of the site showed no issues. We held a public meeting earlier this year at which comments we received showed positive support. We then commissioned an appraisal of the property which was just concluded this week and shows a fair market value of $150,000.   Following discussions with representatives of the Church, I postponed Town Board consideration of approving an offer, so as to allow time for the Church to obtain its own appraisal – a step which is customary and the right action.
FOR THE SUPERVISOR’S MARCH MONTHLY REPORT click here
ENERGIZE BEDFORD CAMPAIGN UPDATE
Bedford 2020 and Energize Bedford’s limited time campaign in partnership with the Town of Bedford drove an increase in energy efficient homes in Bedford. From September 1, 2017- January 15, 2018, we collected more than 70 leads, helped set up 27 assessments and 11 jobs were completed in the 5 month time frame. Although the limited time discount is over, leads are still coming through and homeowners who entered the program during the campaign are working toward completing their projects.
EXTENDED HOURS FOR BEAVER DAM COMPOST FACILITY
The Town of Bedford Beaver Dam Compost Facility is normally open for residents in non-commercial vehicles to dispose of recyclable wood waste (logs and branches up to 6″ diameter, brush, and leaves) Monday to Friday from 7:30 to 3:00, excluding town holidays. Due to the recent storms, the Town will open the compost facility from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturday April 14, April 21, April 28, and June 2. In addition, the compost facility will be open on Saturday May 5 from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM as part of the Town’s clean up days.
STOP THE BLEED
Paramedics are trained and prepared to operate with law enforcement in active shooter situations. This additional stop the bleed program is intended to provide a level of basic quick action from the public before help arrives. We have certified trainers in this program and want to start offering it up to various public institutions such as schools. Click here for the booklet.
FOR THE SUPERVISOR’S MOST RECENT SHOW
on the Zoning Code Amendment, Reducing Plastic Waste, and Recent Storm Response
click here

NO PROPOSALS SUBMITTED FOR SOLAR INSTALLATIONS FOR MUNICIPAL FACILITIES 
  You may recall that last July the Town issued a Request for Proposals for solar panels and other systems for Town facilities. We received no proposals, which we learned was due to the fact that New York State had not settled with the electric industry on incentives and utility obligations regarding solar power provided back to the grid. So, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, the Town went ahead to re-issue an RFP. In late 2017, New York State published guidelines that define the future value of distributed energy resources (a/k/a, the VDER value stack). As of early 2018, solar developers can now use this value stack to estimate future project income from the local utilities, based on specific project locations. We understand that New York’s resolving these future values of solar electricity means that solar developers will be more attracted to investing in potential solar projects such as those in our RFP
The NYS Public Service Commission issued an “implementation order” in September on the “value of distributed energy resources,” following which was substantial work in sorting out valuations with electric utility distributors in the State, such as NYSEG and Con Edison. We understand that there now is a “level playing field” and basis on which solar developers would take an interest in our RFP.
However, the VDER provides greater incentives to solar developers in Con Edison service area where rates are higher.   Our Town facilities, however, are located in NYSEG service area.   One of the solar developers with whom we had worked closely took the time to explain why it was financially not possible to submit a proposal – due to the difference in VDER between the two service areas. Please click here for the letter.  I have recently met with a commercial property owner in Bedford Hills and a solar developer about the possibility of rooftop solar panels for “community solar”. Stay tuned.
SEPTIC SYSTEM REPAIR AND REPLACEMENT PROGRAM
NOW THAT THE SPRING HAS ARRIVED – PLEASE CONSIDER ATTENDING TO YOUR SEPTIC SYSTEM: 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.

MOUNT KISCO WATER MAIN REPLACEMENT
Mount Kisco is preparing to replace the 90-year old water main on New York State Route 117 from Preston Way in Mount Kisco to Green Lane in Bedford Hills and continuing to the end of Green Lane.
The construction work is planned for the fall of 2018 and will take place during the night (hours have not yet been determined). The project’s engineering will consider everything that is feasible in the design to minimize disturbance to the public and the property owners.   Currently, the project is in the preliminary design phase, which includes survey and soil boring work along the road right-of-way.   Soil boring work will take place in April during the working day between 9 am and 3 pm and is not expected to result in any lane closures.
We met today with Mount Kisco’s engineers to emphasize the need for full coordination among Mount Kisco, Con Edison (with regard to restoration work on the southbound lane of Route 117 – SEE POST IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THIS ONE), NYS Department of Transportation, Westchester County Health Department and Bedford in both the design and the execution of the project.   We made it clear that the Mount Kisco project must avoid the significant disruptions which the Con Edison gas line project caused last fall.   It is also critical that restoration be complete.
We will keep you informed on the status both of the Mount Kisco project and Con Edison’s gas line project.
 .
UPDATED SHREDDER SCHEDULE INCLUDING NEW DATE OF MONDAY OCTOBER 22
The Town is pleased to provide once again this year mobile paper shredder events:
  • at the Town Recycling Center at 343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on September 15, and November 17;
  • at 1 Crusher Road, Bedford Village (Crusher Road highway yard), Bedford Village from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM on May 5;
  • at the Town Office at 425 Cherry Street on Monday October 22 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
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.)
 
INTERNSHIP IN MEDIA RELATIONS, PUBLIC RELATIONS, AND COMMUNICATION PLANNING
In consultation with the Bedford Veterans Advisory Committee, develop and implement a professional-grade communications plan that identifies local veteran-related events, programs, issues, and concerns and effectively promotes this material via appropriate print, broadcast, and electronic media.
The successful candidate should have a skill-set sufficient to demonstrate an ability to write effective press releases along with appropriate research, planning and organizational skills to develop and implement a plan that ensures general public awareness.
The plan should encompass an audience that includes: *     Print media* Broadcast media* Social media networks (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)* Local elected officials *Social service agencies * Veterans service organizations
Junior or senior level undergraduate, or graduate level. Hours to be determined, along with attendance at monthly Veterans Advisory Committee meetings. Unpaid. Supervision: Chair, Bedford Veterans Advisory Committee. Contact: Mark Sindeband, 914-260-4188,aegisresources@optonline.net
FOR THE 2017 ANNUAL REPORT click here
WESTCHESTER POWER – HOW’S IT BEEN DOING HERE IN BEDFORD?
There’s been some discussion on Katonah Parents Facebook and questions I regularly receive regarding the Westchester Power (also known as Community Choice Aggregation or CCA).   By way of background, the Town Board unanimously adopted Bedford’s participation in this program sponsored by Sustainable Westchester and placed us among those Westchester municipalities choosing the “Green Option”.   At the time, we insisted that the rates must be less than the previous twelve month cost for each utility, provide fixed prices (rather than a “bait and switch” of a great rate at the outset only to pop up later) and an opt out provision at any time without charge or penalty, a common complaint at the time against many energy service companies (ESCOs). Westchester Power residential and small business electric customers in Bedford have a rate of 8.00 cents per kilowatt hour in Con Edison’s service area and 7.42 cents per kilowatt hour in NYSEG’s service area.   These are fixed rates, rather than rates which vary month by month (which is the way NYSEG and Con Edison bills).   I’ve received e-mails and calls from NYSEG and Con Edison customers who saw a spike in rates this winter. Just yesterday I received a call from a resident in Con Edison service area who is signed up with an ESCO at over 11 cents per kilowatt hour and was dismayed at her large utility bills.
So how’s Westchester Power been doing here in Bedford? I turned to Dan Welsh, Director of Westchester Power, for an analysis and he provided the following:
“Here is my estimate of the savings for Bedford residents and small businesses through the end of January. We are including the avoided sales tax now when we talk about this as you know, and that’s a significant piece. February saw a low price for Con Ed which would bring this down, but now March is looking that it’s bounced back and so I would look to the end of March for the next update.”

Should you have questions, please contact Dan at dan@westchesterpower.org or 914-242-4725


IT’S TAX SCAM SEASON. HERE’S HOW YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF
From the Office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
  • Never give out personal information to people who call you unsolicited. That includes your Social Security number, bank account information, or credit card information.
  • If you do owe money, you will receive a legitimate notice in the mail that tells you who you owe money to and why. If you haven’t gotten a legitimate piece of mail like that, the collection call is bogus.
  • Last but not least, remember that no legitimate government organization will ever threaten arrest or deportation if you fail to pay a debt.
If someone is threatening you or you are targeted for a scam, please contact my office immediately. We are here to help: 1-800-771-7755.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDINGTAX SCAMS
The IRS, the AARP, NYS Attorney General and many others are issuing warnings about scams particularly directed at the elderly.   Please don’t fall prey.  See https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts
CON EDISON AND NYSEG STORM OUTAGE RELATED REIMBURSEMENTS FOR FOOD AND PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE SPOILAGE
Each utility is providing on a limited basis reimbursement for food and prescription medicine spoilage.
Con Edison
Con Edison’s March 15, 2018 notice is as follows:
Customers Impacted by Nor’easters Riley and Quinn
We regret that we were unable to provide reliable restoration times for many customers during these storms. Con Edison may reimburse customers for food and prescription medicine spoilage if they lost power for at least three consecutive days or more during the two nor’easters that slammed the region recently.
Customers may receive reimbursement for up to $225, or up to $515 with receipts.
Business owners are eligible for food spoilage reimbursements up to $10,200 with receipts.
Link to the claim forms: https://www.coned.com/en/services-and-outages/claim-form
 
NYSEG – appears to be limited to food spoilage
 NYSEG did not issue a specific notice regarding claims for storm outage food or prescription medicine spoilage, but there appears to be an avenue for reimbursement for food spoilage. Click on http://www.nyseg.com/youraccount/claimform.html?stop_mobi=yes  
 
MOBILE PAPER SHREDDER AT RECYCLING CENTER
The Town is pleased to provide once again this year mobile paper shredder events at the Town Recycling Center at 343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on March 17, September 15, and November 17; and at 1 Crusher Road, Bedford Village (Crusher Road highway yard), Bedford Village from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM on May 5. 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.).
WESTMORELAND SANCTUARY NATURE CENTER & WILDLIFE PRESERVE RECIPIENT OF $20,000 CON EDISON GRANT
Westmoreland Sanctuary has recently received a $20,000 Grant from Con Edison allowing local school children to use STEM education based principles toward environmental studies.  Click here for the press release
LOOKING FOR AN EMERGENCY VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY BUT FIRE FIGHTING OR MEDICAL TECH NOT YOUR THING?
EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS MIGHT BE FOR YOU!! 
Click here for the flyer
 KATONAH FIRE DEPARTMENT UNDER-18 RECRUITMENT PROGRAM
Are you interested in a terrific community service opportunity? Would you like to receive state-of-the art lifesaving and firefighting training?
Katonah Fire Department eagerly welcomes applications from 16-year-olds for its Under 18 Program. Interested candidates can fulfill their John Jay High School Community Service obligation, as well as service hours required for other organizations, such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Membership in the department as a firefighter is a great way to have your college application stand out as well!
Any person who is between the ages of 16 and 18, who is physically fit, morally and mentally sound, and who, having met with the membership committee and satisfactorily passed the committee’s investigation (as established in the Katonah Fire Department, Inc. Constitution and By-Laws), may be selected for membership status.
The goal of this program is to carefully instill, enforce, and monitor the practices that lead to well trained, respectful, hardworking members once they reach their 18th birthdays and/or the conclusion of their first year of membership.
In addition, it creates a culture in which these members both realize their age- and experience-related limitations, but also feel as though they are learning and being prepared for taking on the duties of full-fledged, non-probationary members of the Katonah Fire Department.
An oversight committee and a training coordinator act as a resource to these members – in all aspects of KFD membership: firefighting, training, rules and regulations, etc. – and set example for the types of behaviors expected from our entire membership.
Applicants who join receive all training and equipment at no expense to them. They also become eligible for various scholarship opportunities. If you’re interested in finding out more, please sent an e-mail to chief2211@katonahfd.org
TOWN’S WEBSITE 
is now available in Spanish. We have added a plug-in allowing for the website’s automatic translation to Spanish.  Please note that this does not apply to linked PDF documents. http://www.bedfordny.gov/
 
REVISION FOR JULY AND AUGUST 2018 TOWN BOARD MEETING SCHEDULE
Summer months are away months and many of our residents are unable to attend two meetings in July and two in August. The Town Board approved the following changes to these summer month meetings. We have cancelled the July 3 meeting and retained the July 17 meeting which was previously scheduled. We cancelled the August 7 and August 21 meetings and have replaced them with a single meeting to be held on August 14.
MOTORISTS
I wish to augment the below information (e-news 8/25) with the following request for motorists:
Sharing the road 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.
RULES OF THE ROAD FOR CYCLISTS; SAFETY TIPS FOR WALKERS; TIPS FOR CROSSING THE STREET
 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.
CYCLISTS 
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.

    SAFETY TIPS FOR WALKERS

  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.

     TIPS FOR CROSSING THE STREET

  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.
REMINDER
For information on parking at the Town of Bedford Offices During Police Department Construction click here 

Home sales rise 3% | Bedford Real Estate

Sales of previously owned houses in the US jumped 3 percent mom to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.54 million in February of 2018 from 5.38 million in January. It compares with market expectations of a 0.5 percent rise to 5.4 million. Sales of single family houses went up 4.2 percent to 4.96 million, following a 3.8 percent drop in January while sales of condos shrank 6.5 percent to 0.580 million after a 1.6 percent rise. The median house price increased to $241,700 from $240,800 in January and the months’ worth of supply was steady at 3.4. In addition, the number of houses available in the market increased to 1.590 million. Year-on-year, existing home sales went up 1.1 percent. Existing Home Sales in the United States averaged 3925.48 Thousand from 1968 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 7250 Thousand in September of 2005 and a record low of 1370 Thousand in March of 1970.

 

Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2018-01-24 03:00 PM Existing Home Sales 5.57M 5.78M 5.7M 5.5M
2018-02-21 03:00 PM Existing Home Sales 5.38M 5.56M 5.6M 5.63M
2018-03-21 02:00 PM Existing Home Sales 5.54M 5.38M 5.4M 5.45M
2018-04-23 02:00 PM Existing Home Sales 5.54M
2018-05-24 02:00 PM Existing Home Sales
2018-05-24 02:00 PM Existing Home Sales MoM

 

United States Housing Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Building Permits 1298.00 1377.00 2419.00 513.00 Thousand [+]
Housing Starts 1236.00 1329.00 2494.00 478.00 Thousand [+]
New Home Sales 593.00 643.00 1389.00 270.00 Thousand [+]
Pending Home Sales -3.80 0.40 30.90 -24.30 percent [+]
Existing Home Sales 5540.00 5380.00 7250.00 1370.00 Thousand [+]
Construction Spending 0.00 0.80 5.90 -4.80 percent [+]
Housing Index 0.30 0.50 1.20 -1.80 percent [+]
Nahb Housing Market Index 70.00 71.00 78.00 8.00 [+]
Mortgage Rate 4.68 4.69 10.56 3.47 percent [+]
Mortgage Applications -1.10 0.90 49.10 -38.80 percent [+]
Case Shiller Home Price Index 204.45 204.11 206.52 100.00 Index Points [+]
Home Ownership Rate 64.20 63.90 69.20 62.90 percent [+]

 

read more…

 

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/existing-home-sales

Bedford Town Supervisor news | Bedford Real Estate

NEW POSTS
 
Note: Please also check my February 28 Monthly Report, as there are several items which may be of interest to you. Thanks.
THE TRAGEDY IN FLORIDA AND SAFETY FOR OUR SCHOOL CHILDREN
The tragic events in Florida are every parent’s nightmare.   Our Bedford Police Department for many years has been at the forefront of training its personnel to respond effectively to such horrific events. The Bedford Police Department has been one of the foremost in the County in being pro-active on school safety.   For many years, the Town has collaborated with the Bedford Central School District in a “shared service” (before the term became popular) with one of Bedford’s Police Officers serving as a full time School Resource Officer embedded at the Fox Lane Campus (response time can’t be faster than that). Just this past weekend and as previously scheduled, our Police Department led the multi-agency, full scale active shooter training exercise as they have done on a regular basis over the years.  The Town Board long has given high priority to training and increased financial resources in the 2018 budget for training.   It is of paramount importance that our police force are fully versed in the best practices and responses to whatever emergency confronts us.
CONGRATULATIONS ON RECENT STAFF PROMOTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS!
  1. Detective Sergeant Vincent Gruppuso to Police Lieutenant effective February 6, 2018
  2. Sergeant Andrew Bellantone promoted to Police Lieutenant effective February 24, 2018
  3. Sergeant Joseph Comunale to Detective Sergeant effective March 6, 2018
  4. Police Officer Patricia McGraw to Sergeant effective February 26, 2018.
  5. Police Officer Jeffrey Gulick to Sergeant effective February 26, 2018
  6. Police Officer Peter C. Sikoryak to Sergeant effective March 7, 2018
  7. Appointment of Gabriel Beltre to the position of Code Enforcement Officer.
  8. Promotion of Frank Zipp to Lead Maintenance Mechanic effective March 7, 2018.
  9. Appointment of Marc Graniero as an MEO Parks Groundskeeper.
COMING UP ON THE TOWN BOARD MARCH 6 MEETING AGENDA
 
The Board will be holding a work session at 7:00 PM (re-scheduled from 7:15 PM) to consider the following:
 
  1. Proposed Amendments to Filming Law   The Town Board met with the Filming Committee on February 20 in Work Session and had some comments on their recommended revisions in the Filming Law to help make Bedford more film industry friendly. The revisions streamline the permitting process while retaining safeguards against undue noise, light, traffic and other disturbance.   The Town Clerk would review applications with discretion to refer them to the Town Board.   An applicant would also have the right to appeal to the Town Board if an application is denied.   We thank the Filming Committee and Town Clerk Boo Fumagalli for their work in moving this forward. We are hopeful that we can set a public hearing on the proposed amendments for March 20.
  2. Proposed Sewer Law   The proposed law is mentioned in the February 28 Monthly Report, and in addition, we will schedule a public information session to discuss the draft law with the public. Click here for the draft law.
  3. Propose Local Law clarifying escrows for professional fees for application review; The proposed local law is to codify existing law and practice in which for substantial applications before Town permitting boards, the Town may be reimbursed for its out of pocket costs for professional services in reviewing and advising on the application.
  4. Proposed Local Law regulating “vape” shops   This will be a preliminary discussion on possible regulation of “vape” shops. The Town of New Castle has adopted such a law and we are considering acting in the area as well.
 
The Board will continue a hearing from our February 20, 2018 Meeting regarding an Appeal of determination of the Historic Building Preservation Commission affirming the Tier II classification of property at 270 Hook Road, Bedford.
Cold War Veterans Property Tax Exemption  The Board will consider a recommendation of the Veterans Advisory Committee regarding the expiring exemption which the Town Board had set in March 2008 by the adoption of a Local Law, which at the time had a 10 year sunset provision. In 2017, state legislation amended the Cold War Veteran’s exemption (RPTL 458-b) which allows, at local option, the ability to grant the exemption beyond the 10 year sunset limit. The Veterans Advisory Committee recommends revising the current exemption limits for the Cold War exemption to the equivalent level of an Alternative Veteran, and commensurate with the level at which Westchester County has adopted. The financial impact to the Town is minimal. In a memorandum to the Town Board, Town Tax Assessor Harold Girdlestone advises as follows: “As town assessor, I concur with the Veterans Advisory Committee’s recommendations. Their recommendations will simplify exemption administration, provides tax equity and recognizes all Veterans service regardless of time period served. For instance, a Bedford taxpayer receiving the Cold War Veterans exemption saved app. $40.90 in town taxes compared to a County tax saving of app. $180.07. The total town tax impact in adopting the Cold War Veterans exemption at the same level as Westchester County would be app. $2,300 in additional town tax saving.”
 
VACANCY ON THE BEDFORD PLANNING BOARD  The Town’s Planning Board is currently in need of a new member. The Planning Board oversees site plan reviews, subdivision approvals, and a number special permits, and also frequently advises the Town Board on general planning issues. Generally the Board meets two evenings a month, and often takes one daytime site visit a month as well. A willingness to spend additional time reviewing environmental and engineering reports and plans is also required. The most important qualification is an open mind and a desire to immerse oneself in the details of planning.  At present the Board has members with specific expertise in engineering, architecture, environment and health policy, and historic preservation and planning. Applicants whose interests and/or skills would complement and add to these skill sets are particularly encouraged to apply. If you are interested, please send your resume with a cover letter or e-mail tosupervisor@bedfordny.gov and copydcourtneybatson@bedfordny.gov andbrhodes@bedfordny.gov.

FOR THE LATEST SUPERVISOR SHOW VIDEO 
clickhere
 
LOOKING FOR AN EMERGENCY VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY BUT FIRE FIGHTING OR MEDICAL TECH NOT YOUR THING?
EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS MIGHT BE FOR YOU!! 
Click here for the flyer
FOR THE SEWER DESIGN AND STATUS UPDATE 
Click here
FOR THE SUPERVISOR’S FEBRUARY MONTHLY REPORT click here
REUSABLE BAG INITIATIVE – ENCOURAGING LOCAL ACTION
Together with Filippine de Haan and the Reusable Bag Task Force, I hosted on February 26 a meeting for Westchester Mayors and Supervisors interested in developing strategies and local laws to reduce waste from single use plastic bags and paper bags.   Fifteen of the 41 Westchester municipalities attended.   There are two basic laws being considered: one is an outright ban on single-use plastic bag (with certain exceptions) with a fee for a bag required to be charged to a customer who comes to the check-out counter without a reusable bag; the second does not impose a ban, but does require the retailer to charge also to charge a fee for a bag for the customer who comes to the check-out counter without a reusable bag (the fee would be charged for either a plastic bag or a paper bag with the customer given the choice). A number of Westchester County municipalities have a single-use plastic bag law in place.   Suffolk County adopted a law which went into effect on January 1 which takes the no ban/fee approach with a 5c minimum fee Retailers seek a “level playing field” among municipalities, especially those adjacent to one another. The purpose of the multi-municipality meeting and our work after it is to try to develop a common strategy leading to a uniform or similar local law. The author of the Suffolk County law, County Legislator Dr. William Spencer, joined by telephone to explain the development of his proposal (which had started as a ban on single-use plastic bags). All in attendance emphasized the need to change how we all go about our shopping and simply get into the habit of taking reusable bags with us when we go shopping. A robust education campaign with the participation of community organizations, schools and retail community, all agreed, should precede the imposition of any local law. All but one municipality expressed interest in adopting a local law sometime in 2018. The Town of Bedford is in the information gathering phase and will continue to work with other municipalities.
KATONAH FIRE DEPARTMENT UNDER-18 RECRUITMENT PROGRAM
Are you interested in a terrific community service opportunity? Would you like to receive state-of-the art lifesaving and firefighting training?
Katonah Fire Department eagerly welcomes applications from 16-year-olds for its Under 18 Program. Interested candidates can fulfill their John Jay High School Community Service obligation, as well as service hours required for other organizations, such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Membership in the department as a firefighter is a great way to have your college application stand out as well!
Any person who is between the ages of 16 and 18, who is physically fit, morally and mentally sound, and who, having met with the membership committee and satisfactorily passed the committee’s investigation (as established in the Katonah Fire Department, Inc. Constitution and By-Laws), may be selected for membership status.
The goal of this program is to carefully instill, enforce, and monitor the practices that lead to well trained, respectful, hardworking members once they reach their 18th birthdays and/or the conclusion of their first year of membership.
In addition, it creates a culture in which these members both realize their age- and experience-related limitations, but also feel as though they are learning and being prepared for taking on the duties of full-fledged, non-probationary members of the Katonah Fire Department.
An oversight committee and a training coordinator act as a resource to these members – in all aspects of KFD membership: firefighting, training, rules and regulations, etc. – and set example for the types of behaviors expected from our entire membership.
Applicants who join receive all training and equipment at no expense to them. They also become eligible for various scholarship opportunities. If you’re interested in finding out more, please sent an e-mail to chief2211@katonahfd.org

TOWN’S WEBSITE 
is now available in Spanish. We have added a plug-in allowing for the website’s automatic translation to Spanish.  Please note that this does not apply to linked PDF documents. http://www.bedfordny.gov/
 
COMMUNITY EVENTS CALENDAR 
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

CONTINUING POSTS

NOTES FROM THE FEBRUARY 20 TOWN BOARD MEETING
Work Session
Horse Properties – Following nearly two years of discussions with horse property owners and others supporting the horse community, the Town Board had referred to the Planning Board their petition requesting revisions in the Zoning Code to allow for a half bath in barns and stables, the purpose of which is to enable property owners to engage daytime grooms. The Planning Board recommended a revision to allow half baths in accessory structures, while expressly prohibiting sleeping facilities and kitchens. It also required that the owner apply for a Special Use Permit.   The Town Board agreed with the Planning Board recommendations, except for the requirement of the Special Use Permit. We will keep the community posted as to developments.
Hearing
The Town Board held a hearing, as provided in the Historic Building Preservation Law, at the request of owners of property at 270 Hook Road in Bedford appealing the designation of the property as a Tier 2 property (which requires an administrative permit for demolition). The owners appealed to the Town Board to re-classify the property as a Tier 3 (historic resource) property, for which no administrative permit would be required. The Board heard from the owners as well as the Historic Building Preservation Commission and held the matter and record open through March 6. The Board either as a group or individually will visit the property prior to the March 6 meeting at which the Board will consider making a determination.
Re-Appointment
Shelley Smith was re-appointed to the Katonah Historic District Advisory Commission for a 5 year term to end on 1/20/23 – we thank her for her invaluable service to the Town
Resolution
The Town Board unanimously passed a resolution adopting “Think Differently” an initiative to assist individuals with special needs and their families
Cherry Street
There was further discussion of  the January 24 Report of John Canning of Kimley Horn, Town’s traffic consultant, regarding possible further traffic calming measures for Cherry Street.   The Board asked staff to review the request of some in the community for speed tables or cushions on trial basis and will take up the matter again either at the March 6 or March 20 meeting.
 Leaf Blowers
The Leaf Blowers Task Force held a public forum this past Tuesday evening at the Katonah Village Library. Over 75 people were in attendance.   As I mentioned in the invitation to the meeting, the Town is considering adopting regulations as we have heard from many in the community that the noise from leaf blowers is an ever growing nuisance and impairment of quality of life. We also have heard from Bedford 2020 and others of the significant pollution which gas powered leaf blowers emit, as well as significant health concerns and other environmental impacts.   We also have heard from landscapers, gardeners and property owners regarding concerns of adverse impacts on the ability to maintain properties at reasonable cost.
    As I mentioned in introducing the topic at the meeting, neither the Task Force nor the Town Board has yet formulated a proposed local law, as we first want to hear from the community. The Task Force has been looking into the issue for several months reviewing local laws in other Westchester County municipalities and elsewhere.
    Following a presentation by the Leaf Blowers Task Force, we heard the views of many in attendance both those favoring and those opposing regulation as well as those with questions.   We are asking the Leaf Blowers Task Force to develop a proposal for presentation to the community after which the Town Board will consider what next steps it may take. No action would be taken without a public hearing on a proposed local law. I am hopeful that we can find a reasonable, balanced proposal and take action before summer.
    For the notes, click here

Cell Towers and Cell Facilities

Earlier this week, the Planning Board further considered the application of Verizon for a cell tower on Hickory Lane in Bedford Village.   Under the Federal Communications Law, the Planning Board has 150 days within which to make a determination regarding the application. The Planning Board had provided the applicant a possible alternative location which would be Indian Hill Park, and has asked Verizon to evaluate the site within 45 days. The Planning Board also received a memorandum from Police Chief Melvin Padilla and a letter from the Communications Committee (attached) to the effect that the Planning Board should consider
the installation of additional cell towers at various locations throughout the Town due to gaps in coverage adversely impacting the ability of police and emergency personnel to respond to emergency calls. Public and officer safety were cited.
Proposed Bike Area/Pump Track Park at Katonah Memorial Park
As previously reported, the Recreation and Parks Department and Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee have been evaluating the proposal of those requesting the siting of an approximately one acre bike area/pump track in Katonah Memorial park. The evaluation has been exhaustive considering matters including area, stormwater drainage, potential impact on existing programs and activities, potential impact on neighbors, cost and oversight, among the factors.
    The Department, RPAC and the proponents have moved away from evaluation of any proposed sites within the developed portions of the park and now are evaluating the undeveloped 10 acre “Zema” property as a possible location
(click  here for the Google earth document). The same exhaustive evaluation would be undertaken. Should the Zema location be a possibility for siting the Bike Area/Pump Track, we need to allow sufficient time for the Town Board to evaluate it in discussions with the proponents, the neighbors and the community generally. In light of the timelines, I have asked that the Town Board be provided the evaluation by the third week in March.   The evaluation should consider the same criteria/points applied to previous sites.   I attach a satellite view marked with an outlining of the entire Zema site, though, as mentioned above, a bike area/pump track would occupy approximately one acre of site with access from Anderson Road.
UPDATE ON CON EDISON GAS LINE WORK ON ROUTE 117 IN BEDFORD HILLS/MT. KISCO
Please see the notice below just received from Con Edison regarding resumption this Spring of the gas line work and restoration of the roadway.
“CON EDISON WORK NOTICE UPDATE
Con Edison’s paving contractor is scheduled to permanently restore the Southbound side of North Bedford Road between Norm Avenue and Woodland Road.
Milling and paving is scheduled to begin in Early Spring.
Preparation work involves milling or removal of the existing top layer of asphalt, to contour the roadway. Typically, roadways are paved within two days of being milled, weather permitting.
During paving operations sections of roads will be closed with limited traffic, including driveway access.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation and we appreciate your patience during any inconvenience this work may cause.
For more information please contact Westchester Regional & Community Affairs at 1-914-925-6361or e-mail dl-WestchesterRCA@coned.com
  1. Work Session: Review of draft Sewer Law; review of Filming Committee proposed amendments to Filming Law – the Board will be meeting with the Filming Advisory Committee to consider amendments to the law to make the Town more “film industry friendly” while at the same time minimizing intrusive impacts such as noise, traffic and light.; review of recommendations of the Planning Board regarding horse properties; review a draft of the Sewer Law to be adopted prior to the summer to stay on schedule for commencing construction of the sewer system this fall
  2. Hearing: Appeal of determination of the Historic Building Preservation Commission affirming the Tier II classification of property at 270 Hook Road, Bedford.
    1. Resolution calling on Town of Bedford to adopt “Think Differently” initiative to assist individuals with special needs and their families
    2. Recommendations of Filming Committeeregarding amendments to Filming Law. Consider scheduling Public Hearing for March 6, 2018 at 7:50 PM.
    3. Cherry Street – As mentioned to the community last month, the Board will consider further “traffic calming” measures which the Town’s traffic consultant, John Canning of Kimley Horn, had mentioned to the Board as possibilities and hear from the community.
NOTES FROM THE FEBRUARY 6, 2018 TOWN BOARD MEETING
Bond Resolutions to Implement 2018 Portion of 2018-2027 Capital Plan The Board approved a SEQRA resolution and bond resolutions (several of which are subject to permissive referendum).   In a February 1, 2018 memorandum to the Town Board, the Town Comptroller summarized the Capital Plan (which is posted to the Town’s website under the Finance Department page):
 
“Click here for the Town Board approved Capital Plan for 2018 through 2027. The projects included in this ten year capital plan were submitted by the department heads in an effort to give the Town Board information about their department’s needs over the next decade.   At the end of 2017, the Town’s outstanding debt will be $39,895,073. That amount includes $16,470,000 of debt attributed to the water filtration plant. The approved capital plan adds $23,445,638 in debt for all funds over the next 10 years and based on the amount of debt being retired on a yearly basis over the next ten years, the projected additional amount of borrowing required to finance the projects is manageable and taking into account the fact that the Town amortizes outstanding debt at an accelerated rate, the projected additional debt would be absorbed with little or no impact to the tax levy. A breakdown by fund is outlined below:
            General Fund              $ 7,040,850    30%
            Highway Fund            $11,418,537    48%
            Park Districts              $ 1,883,000    8%
            Water Districts           $ 1,769,917    8%
            Sewer Fund                 $ 1,200,000     5%
            Lighting Districts       $   133,334       1%
Included in the plan are projects for traffic safety throughout the Town, vehicle replacement for the police department, recreation, building and highway, equipment replacement for various departments. The plan also includes funding for facility improvements at the three hamlet parks, town owned cemeteries and other municipal facilities, as well as IT upgrades, road rehabilitation, and parking in Bedford Village and in an effort to continue with the Town’s pledge to reduce its carbon footprint, the plan includes funding for new zero emissions or “green” parks equipment and engineering for geo-thermal systems for the Town House and 425 Cherry Street.
As in the past, this capital plan will be updated every two years in order to address additional needs unforeseen at the time this 10 Year Capital Plan was adopted.”
With respect to the Bond Resolutions which the Board approved at the February 6 meeting, Comptroller Zambrano made the following remarks to the Board:
“Good evening there are five bond resolutions before the Town Board for approval. These resolutions will allow borrowing to fund 2018 projects approved by the Town Board. The first resolution “A” is for $1,037,767 majority of money going for projects that have live of 5 years or less like equipment, minor expenses like cameras, safety equipment and decentralization of waste water treatment as well as IT upgrades throughout the Town. The second resolution “B” is for $125,000 for 10 years and it includes funding for projects like septic replacement and sewer hookup at Town owned buildings that would hopefully happen later this year or in early 2019 as well as paving at 21 Park Avenue for the recreation department. Resolution “C” is for 15 years and it’s for $1,713,295; this money is for repairs and upgrades at the town parks in the three hamlets. Resolution “D” is for $311,750; this money is for improvements to town owned buildings. The last resolution “E” is for $700,000; this money is for work at the new highway garage.”
Appointments and Re-Appointments to Boards, Committees, Commissions and Task Forces
I am pleased to report that the following individuals were appointed or re-appointed:
  • Donald R. Gordon, a Bedford Hills resident, was appointed to the Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee to fill an unexpired three year term ending 12/21/18.
  • Kate Terry was appointed to the Historic Building Preservation Commission to fill a three year unexpired term ending 8/10/19.
  • Clayton Rose was re-appointed to the Bedford Village Historic District Review Commission (3 year term expires 1/20/2021).
  • Carol Parker was re-appointed to the Wetlands Control Commission for a three year term ending 1/20/21.
  • Fred Pollack was re-appointed to the Conservation Board for a two year term ending 1/20/20)
  • Andrea Schaeffer was re-appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for a five year term ending on 1/20/2023.
We thank them and are grateful for their service to the Town.
 
Revision for July and August 2018 Town Board meeting schedule
Summer months are away months and many of our residents are unable to attend two meetings in July and two in August. The Town Board approved the following changes to these summer month meetings. We have cancelled the July 3 meeting and retained the July 17 meeting which was previously scheduled. We cancelled the August 7 and August 21 meetings and have replaced them with a single meeting to be held on August 14.
Reusable Bag Task Force
The Town Board appointed a Reusable Bag Task Force, comprised of all members of the Town Board, serving as ex-officio members; and Filippine Hoogland (Chair), Allison Chernow, Midge Iorio and Rosemary Lee; and Associate Members (non-residents), Alan Antin, Jay Peltz, John Rhodes and Steve Wolk.
Approval of Re-Issuing Request for Proposals for Solar Installations – Municipal FacilitiesYou may recall that last July the Town issued a Request for Proposals for solar panels and other systems for Town facilities. We received no proposals, which we learned was due to the fact that New York State had not settled with the electric industry on incentives and utility obligations regarding solar power provided back to the grid.
In late 2017, New York State published guidelines that define the future value of distributed energy resources (a/k/a, the VDER value stack). As of early 2018, solar developers can now use this value stack to estimate future project income from the local utilities, based on specific project locations. We understand that New York’s resolving these future values of solar electricity means that solar developers will be more attracted to investing in potential solar projects such as those in our RFP.
The NYS Public Service Commission issued an “implementation order” in September on the “value of distributed energy resources,” following which was substantial work in sorting out valuations with electric utility distributors in the State, such as NYSEG and Con Edison. We understand that there now is a “level playing field” and basis on which solar developers would take an interest in our RFP.
The Board approved re-issuance of an RFP. The RFP which we’ll be issuing hasn’t significantly changed from what we issued last July, however, we now are cautiously optimistic that we will receive one or more proposals which would benefit the Town.

FOR THE 2/9/2018 SEWER DESIGN UPDATE click here
 
TOWN of BEDFORD SENIOR ADULT CALENDAR OF EVENTS click here
FOR JANUARY SUPERVISOR’S MONTHLY REPORT click here.
BEDFORD LOVES HORSES
We have added a page to our Town’s website, Bedford Loves Horses, click here for the page. It’s filled with wonderful pictures. My thanks to the group who made this possible with special thanks to Nancy Nygreen who developed the template for the page.

UPDATE ON POLICE STATION RENOVATION
Drive past the Police Station undergoing renovation. You’ll notice some significant progress with steel for the additions and front having been installed and the “shell” going into place.  The excavation is now behind us, both inside and out.  We’ve also gotten over some humps in the road (structural steel fabrication, replace entire existing concrete floor slab found to be insufficient due to high moisture content with no vapor barrier and previously mentioned removal of contaminated soils).   We are doing our utmost to hew to the revised project schedule for completion in late summer.   We are pleased with the quality of work, construction management and the overall oversight of the project.  You will find more information in my monthly report, click here.
SUPERVISOR’S NEWS AND NOTES: CLOSE OF 2017 AND CONVERSATION WITH CO-CHAIRS OF THE LEAF BLOWER COMMITTEE
Click here for the video

TOWN INITIATIVE ON REUSABLE BAGS   For decades all over Europe shoppers bring reusable bags to their grocery stores or wherever they shop. That’s simply the long standing practice.   We’d like to do the same here in Bedford.   Several Westchester County municipalities have adopted local laws to encourage the use of reusable bags and discourage the use of single use plastic bags.   I will be asking the Town Board at our February 6 meeting to appoint an advisory task force to develop such a law. We will work with our business community so that we all are acting collaboratively and cooperatively toward a common objective.   We also envision an energetic outreach program and distribution of hundreds of no-cost or low cost reusable bags to help kick start the effort.
NOTES FROM THE JANUARY 16 MEETING
Work Session on Draft Sewer Law Planning Director Jeff Osterman and Public Works Commissioner Kevin Winn discussed with the Board the outlines of the sewer law which will be the basis for sewer rates, for connection to and use of the system as well as the rate structure for financing its operation and maintenance.
  • Cherry Street – Traffic Calming Measures and Gateway Signs  The Town’s traffic consultant, John Canning of Kimley Horn of New York, P.C. presented possible further traffic calming measures including reconfiguring the intersection of Cherry Street and Croton Lake Road to create a standard “T” intersection, which will be less confusing to motorists (the planting island would be expanded and moved slightly to the north); reconfiguring the intersection of Cherry Street and Quicks Lane to provide a “bump out” along the southbound lane (just north of Quicks) to calm traffic; and gateway signs to help alert drivers that they are entering a residential area.  We also are considering a beautification of the area adjacent to the gravel parking for the DEP boat area at the north end of Cherry Street.   Chief Padilla reported that recently posted portable speed boards thus far have been effective in calming traffic.
  • County Executive George Latimer spoke about the County’s good neighbor policy. He wants to strengthen the relationship between county and local government within Westchester to enhance the quality of life for all who reside here.  He signed an Executive Order on January 2, 2018 regarding this policy.  The legislation will allow municipalities and their residents to have input with the decision making process regarding the use of County land.  For the executive order click here.
  • Appointments and Re-appointments
    George Henschel was re-appointed to the Bedford Village Historic District Review Commission for a three (3) year term to expire on 1/20/2021; David Beckett was re-appointed to the Conservation Board for a two (2) year term to expire on 1/20/2020; and Betsy Weir was appointed to the Leaf Blower Task Force.
    We thank them and appreciate their dedicated service to the Town.
  • For the webcast, click here
MOBILE PAPER SHREDDER EVENTS 
The Town is pleased to provide once again this year mobile paper shredder events at the Town Recycling Center at 343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on March 17, September 15, and November 17; and at 1 Crusher Road, Bedford Village (Crusher Road highway yard), Bedford Village from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM on May 5.  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.).
HOW TO AVOID AND DEAL WITH FROZEN PIPES (suggestions only)
A few residents asked about how to avoid and deal with frozen pipes. This is a good site from another utility on preventing pipes from freezing: https://www.aquarionwater.com/CT/preventing-frozen-water-pipes-and-meters
For frozen pipes that are not leaking, a hair dryer or space heater can work to thaw them. People must be careful to know where the main water shut off in the house is because a pipe can start leaking when thawed. When in doubt, call a plumber.
BEDFORD HILLS FIRE DEPARTMENT – FIREFIGHTER CANDIDATE PROGRAM ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS 
Are you 16 years of age (or have a child who is 16 years old) and looking for a well-established youth community service oriented program?  The Bedford Hills Fire Department – Firefighter Candidate Program is always accepting applications from ambitious 16-year-old youths.
Since 2001, our Firefighter Candidate program has introduced well over 50 local youths to the Fire Service in a safe and controlled environment.  While we emphasize “Teamwork”, participants also develop a strong sense of community service, personal development and leadership skills.
Participation in the Firefighter Candidate Program is creditable towards the Fox Lane High School Community Service Requirement and is an excellent addition to your college application.  Candidates are eligible to apply for the Bedford Hills Fire Department Annual Scholarship during their Senior Year at Fox Lane, as well as numerous other scholarship opportunities only available to First Responders.
If you are interested in joining the Firefighter Candidate Program or would like more information, please contact Deputy Chief – Joseph Lombardo (FF Candidate Advisor) at jlombardo@bedfordhillsfd.org
ADOPTION OF 2018 BUDGET  
Following five months of meetings with staff, department heads, Town Board work sessions and a public hearing on December 5 (followed by a public comment period which expired on December 5), the Town Board adopted the 2018 Town budget.  The budget complies with the NYS Property Tax Cap, provides for a modest increase in service to the community and is fiscally prudent.   Click here for the Supervisor Budget message and click here for the Comptroller’s budget message.  For the adopted budget 1 of 2 click here, for 2 of 2 click here.
      Adoption of 2018-2027 Capital Plan   The 10 year Capital Plan is an update from the 10 year plan adopted in 2016.  Apart from ensuring that physical assets of the Town, such as buildings, equipment and vehicles, are properly maintained and replaced, as needed, the plan reflects recommendations and requests from the community.  We adopted the plan at the December 19 and it will be posted to website shortly.
BEDFORD 2020 ENERGIZE BEDFORD
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.
BOARDS, COMMISSIONS AND COMMITTEES
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 Supervisor@BedfordNY.gov. 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.
EXCITING NEWS FOR SUSTAINABLE WESTCHESTER’S MEMBER MUNICIPALITIES: SOLARIZE WESTCHESTER RETURNS! 
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.
  
2017-2018 ADULT SEASONAL INFLUENZA & VACCINATION INFORMATION
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:
1)      GET VACCINATED
2)      IF YOU DO CONTRACT THE FLU, TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT ANTIVIRALS
3)      TAKE THESE EVERYDAY STEPS TO PROTECT YOUR HEALTH:
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 http://www.cdc.gov/flu .
COMING SOON: “TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT” EVENT – COURTESY OF BEDFORD 2020
   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.        
BEAR SIGHTINGS
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.
MOTORISTS
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.
RULES OF THE ROAD FOR CYCLISTS; SAFETY TIPS FOR WALKERS; TIPS FOR CROSSING THE STREET
 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.
CYCLISTS 
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.

    SAFETY TIPS FOR WALKERS

  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.

     TIPS FOR CROSSING THE STREET

  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.
FOR WEATHER ALERTS FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
Click here and enter location you would like information about.

HURRICANE/TROPICAL STORM SEASON UPON US ~ SOME WEATHER-RELATED TIPS

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.
SIDEWALK REPLACEMENT ON COURT ROAD
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.
COUNTY’S ANTI-IDLING LAW
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.
TRAFFIC/PEDESTRIAN SAFETY AT LAWRENCE CIRCLE IN KATONAH
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.
UPDATE ON REVIEW OF PROPOSED BIKE PARK AT KATONAH MEMORIAL PARK
  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 bikekatonah.org].
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.
PHONE SCAMS
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 https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0076-phone-scams. If you believe you have been targeted, please call the police desk to report it: 914-241-3111.
EXITING PARKING LOT (DECICCOS)
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.
CROSSING OVER FROM COTTAGE PLACE TO VALLEY ROAD
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.
 
REMINDER
For information on parking at the Town of Bedford Offices During Police Department Construction click here 

CON EDISON POWER INTERRUPTIONS
 Customers can report power interruptions or service problems, view service restoration information and our outage map on line at www.coned.com as well as on their mobile device or by calling   1-800-75-coned.
BEDFORD 2020 LAUNCHES COMMUNITY COMPOST 
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 bedford2020.org/communitycompost/ 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.
LEAF BLOWERS
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.
2016 AUDIT REPORT
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.
LIMITED PARKING AT TOWN OFFICES DURING POLICE STATION CONSTRUCTION
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 .
THREE MAJOR INTERSECTIONS IN KATONAH: ROUTES 35 AND 22, ROUTE 35 AND THE I-684 OVERPASS AND ROUTE 25 AND WOODBRIDGE ROAD 
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.
NYSEG ~ EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS UPDATE 
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.

TEXT MESSAGES FROM NYSEG AND CON EDISON

-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 www.conEd.com
SMOKE & CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS 
I would like to take this opportunity to urge residents to check their smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
CON EDISON
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.
OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT 
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.
TO SIGN-UP FOR NIXLE ALERTS click here
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.

Pending home sales fall | Bedford Real Estate

After seeing a modest three-month rise in activity, pending home sales cooled considerably in January to their lowest level in over three years, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All major regions experienced monthly and annual declines in contract signings last month.

The Pending Home Sales Index,* www.nar.realtor/pending-home-sales, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, fell 4.7 percent to 104.6 in January from a downwardly revised 109.8 in December 2017. After last month’s retreat, the index is now 3.8 percent below a year ago and at its lowest level since October 2014 (104.1).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says pending sales took a noticeable step back to start 2018. “The economy is in great shape, most local job markets are very strong and incomes are slowly rising, but there’s little doubt last month’s retreat in contract signings occurred because of woefully low supply levels and the sudden increase in mortgage rates,” said Yun. “The lower end of the market continues to feel the brunt of these supply and affordability impediments. With the cost of buying a home getting more expensive and not enough inventory, some prospective buyers are either waiting until listings increase come spring or now having to delay their search entirely to save up for a larger down payment.”

Added Yun, “Even though contract signings were down, Realtors® indicated that buyer traffic in most areas was up January compared to a year ago1. The exception was likely in the Northeast, where the frigid cold snap the first two weeks of the month may have contributed some to the region’s large decline.”

The number of available listings at the end of January was at an all-time low for the month and a startling 9.5 percent below a year ago. In addition to new home construction making progress closer to its historical annual average of 1.5 million starts, Yun believes that two other factors must start occurring to alleviate the excruciatingly low supply levels that are slowing sales: institutional investors beginning to unload their portfolio of single-family properties back onto the market, and more hesitant homeowners deciding to sell.

“As new multi-family supply catches up with demand and slows rents, some large investors may begin putting their holdings of affordable single-family homes up for sale, which would be great news, particularly for first-time buyers,” said Yun. “Furthermore, sellers last year typically stayed in their home for 10 years before selling (an all-time high)2; although higher mortgage rates will likely discourage some homeowners from wanting a new home with a higher rate, there are possibly many pent-up sellers who may look to finally trade-up or move down this year.”

In 2018, Yun forecasts for existing-home sales to be around 5.50 million – roughly unchanged from 2017 (5.51 million). The national median existing-home price this year is expected to increase around 2.7 percent. In 2017, existing sales increased 1.1 percent and prices rose 5.8 percent.

The PHSI in the Northeast dropped 9.0 percent to 87.0 in January, and is now 12.1 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest the index fell 6.6 percent to 98.2 in January, and is now 4.1 percent lower than January 2017.

Pending home sales in the South declined 3.9 percent to an index of 121.9 in January, and are now 1.1 percent lower than last January. The index in the West decreased 1.2 percent in January to 97.9, and is 2.5 percent below a year ago.

 

read more…

 

www.nar.realtor/

13 Things You Can Expect to Pay for Before Buying a House | Bedford Real Estate

You might be focused on that big number — the mortgage payment — while you’re looking for a house but don’t forget about all the other costs associated with buying a house. They can pile up and overwhelm you if you aren’t aware of them. Here are some things to know about fees you might face as you buy a house.

Appraisal Fee

Appraisal Fee

An appraisal fee will run around $300 to $500 and will show up on loan estimate or good faith estimate. Most of the time the appraisal fee is paid out-of-pocket but it can sometimes be rolled into closing.Check out these tips to purchase a home.

Photo: Roman Samborskyl/Shutterstock

Survey Fee

Survey Fee

The survey fee takes care of verifying the property lines and making sure fences are in the right spot. A survey fee isn’t required in every state.Find out home buying secrets so you’re prepared for your next home purchase.

Photo: Courtesy of jessicakirsh/Shutterstock

Flood Determination Assessment

Flood Determination Assessment

A flood determination assessment is something that comes up and is usually around $10 to $20 but it’s used by lenders to find out if a property is in a flood zone. Lenders have to get a flood determination assessment to determine if the home has the proper amount of insurance.Know what to keep an eye on with a first-time buyers guide to home maintenance.

Photo: Courtesy of Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Escrow Fee

Escrow Fee

The closing fee is paid to the title company, escrow company or attorney conducting the closing. Some states require a real estate attorney be present at every closing. This is a fee that is separate from the escrow deposit, which requires up to two months of property tax and mortgage insurance payments.Know 10 important things to consider before buying a house.

Photo: Courtesy of ESB Professional/Shutterstock

Application Fee

Application Fee

A mortgage application is used by some lenders to try to get home buyers committed to them through a $400 to $500 fee. Investopedia calls it an excessive fee and should be avoided.Photo: Courtesy of Brian A Jackson/Shutterstock

Credit Report Fee

Credit Report Fee

Mortgage lenders have to run a credit report on you if you’re buying a home and sometimes they’ll try to charge you between $30 to $50 per report.Find out why hiring a home inspector is worth it.

Photo: Courtesy of Alexander Raths/Shutterstock

Origination Fee

Origination Fee

An origination fee is usually collected after a loan is approved and as part of the closing costs. It is between .5 and 1 percent of the sale price. The origination fee typically covers the cost of paperwork, verifications and calculations to figure out the mortgage.Find out what to know about down payments.

Photo: Courtesy of CertainTeed Corp.

Attorney Fee

Attorney Fee

Each attorney’s rate varies but it’s usually around $400 to have an attorney involved in the loan transaction.Find out if it’s the right time to move for you.

Photo: Courtesy of goodluz/Shutterstock

Mortgage Broker Fee

Mortgage Broker Fee

If you choose to work with a mortgage broker it’s going to cost you. A mortgage broker helps you find a loan but they’ll charge you 1 to 2 percent of the home’s purchase price.Learn about property taxes before you start paying them on your new house.

Prepaid Interest

Prepaid Interest

Between the time you close and make your first mortgage payment, lenders will likely expect you to pay any interest that accrues during that time. Sometimes you’ll have to pay up front at closing.Buying a home for the first time, learn some handy tips for home ownership.

Photo: Courtesy of WAYHOME studio/Shutterstock

State Recording Fee

State Recording Fee

The sale of the property needs to be recorded with your local government and you can be sure there are fees associated with that. Check with your county and city government to learn those fees.Find the perfect house warming gift for new homeowners.

Photo: Courtesy of create jobs 51/Shutterstock

Lender’s Title Insurance

Lender’s Title Insurance

Also known as a loan policy, lenders will require it to protect themselves if there is an error in the title search or if there’s a claim of ownership on the property after it’s sold.Find out what every homeowner should know about a home.

Photo: Courtesy of maxuser/Shutterstock

Owner’s Title Insurance

Owner’s Title Insurance

There is also owner’s title insurance that a home seller can purchase to protect them in case there are title problems or if there are claims of ownership made on the property.
read more…
https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/13-things-you-can-expect-to-pay-for-before-buying-a-house/view-all/

Mortgage rates average 3.94% | Bedford Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQBFMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average mortgage rates inching up as we approach the end of 2017.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.94 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending December 21, 2017, up from last week when it averaged 3.93 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.30 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.38 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.36 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.52 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.39 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.36 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.32 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.

Quote
Attributed to Len Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist.
“30-year fixed mortgage rates have been bouncing around in a narrow 10 basis points range since October. The U.S. average 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased 1 basis point to 3.94 percent in this week’s survey. The majority of our survey was completed prior to the surge in long-term interest rates that followed the passage of the tax bill. If those rate increases stick, we’ll likely see higher mortgage rates in next week’s survey. But even with yesterday’s increase, the 10-year Treasury yield is down from a year ago, and 30-year fixed mortgage rates are 36 basis points below the level we saw in our survey last year at this time. Mortgage rates are low.”

Gifts for the new home owner | Bedford Real Estate

If someone on your list has just purchased their first home, there are all kinds of gifts that can make being a homeowner easier. Find the perfect gift for that new homeowner in our gift guide here!

A Shop Vacuum with Features Galore

A Shop Vacuum with Features Galore

Our editors here at TFH are great, but they can be messy. And I should know—I’m in charge of keeping our shop and studio clean. I run a wet/dry vacuum nearly every day, so I was pretty excited about the new 14-gallon Shop-Vac we just got. It has a flexible, crush-resistant hose and a hose storage system that actually works. Its 20-ft. cord is plenty long, and it has a hose accessory storage system that, again, actually works.The canister is clear, so you know when it needs emptying, and the kickstand holds the lid up, so you can change the filter without dragging dust all over the place. But I love the wheels best of all. This thing glides across the floor like a curling stone across the ice.

This new Shop-Vac (model No. 8891411) is available at Lowe’s for $199.

Josh Risberg, Lead Carpenter

It's a Utility Light, Lantern, Flashlight and More...

It’s a Utility Light, Lantern, Flashlight and More…

Here’s another product we received that initially elicited a shoulder shrug, this time from our senior editor, Travis Larson. His reaction changed once he started playing with it: ‘Hey, it can work as a flashlight or a lantern. Cool, it’s rechargeable and the cord stays attached so it doesn’t get lost. Wow, you can charge your phone with this thing. Neat, it has a magnet on the bottom as well as a hook.’ Needless to say, he was impressed.You can buy the Cat brand CT6515 Rechargeable Utility Light/Lantern for about $45 at some home centers, hardware stores and online retailers. You can also find them at truck stops (truckers love them). Turn on that light bulb thought bubble of yours with other work light solutions.

A Toilet Plunger to Love

A Toilet Plunger to Love

The basic plunger design hasn’t changed much in 100 years, but that’s not because there wasn’t room for improvement. Witness the Korky Beehive Max Toilet Plunger.First of all, the pliable rubber creates a better seal, so it clears clogs with no splash-back. Plus, more and more toilets have keyhole-shape rather than round discharge openings. Unlike conventional plungers, the Beehive reshapes itself to those keyholes, which also improves the seal.

Unlike many plungers, the water drains instantly because there’s no recess or lip to hold water or worse. The little T-handle at the top is a nice touch too. All of that plunging bliss will set you back only 14 bucks at The Home Depot.

Or if you’re toilet is running, find the fix for it.

One for All

One for All

Wandered down the caulking aisle in a home center lately? There are a dozen different construction adhesives to choose from: dedicated adhesives for masonry, wood, foam, decking, paneling, marble, mirrors, drywall—you name it. Multipurpose adhesives are available, which is great, but wouldn’t an all- purpose adhesive be even better?That’s exactly what Gorilla Construction Adhesive is: all-purpose and all-surface. It takes hold in as little as 30 seconds and works indoors and out. Buy a 9-oz. tube of Gorilla Construction Adhesive for $8 at a home center or hardware store.

Check out construction adhesives that won’t drool.

Traveling Doorbell

Traveling Doorbell

The Honeywell Wireless Doorbell Kit has six high-quality chimes to choose from, the volume is adjustable, and more than one doorbell and button can be used together. But what we love most is the fact that it can be lifted from the wall mount and brought with you into your shop, out in the backyard or wherever. So if you’re waiting on a pizza delivery or the cable guy, you don’t have to stay chained up inside the house. It has a 225-ft. range and a flashing icon to alert you in case you’re working with headphones.Learn to replace an exterior door if you want to upgrade your home.

Smarter Smart Bulbs

Smarter Smart Bulbs

The new line of LED lightbulbs from GE, simply called ‘C,’ can be directly controlled with a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth ? no central hub necessary. There are two types of bulbs in the ‘C’ line: The ‘C Life’ is an all-purpose light perfect for the kitchen, living room or office. The ‘C Sleep’ bulb has been designed to support the body’s natural circadian rhythms, which can help you sleep more soundly. It emits a traditional soft light for the day; a warm, calming light before bedtime; and a crisp, energizing light in the morning. Using an app, the lights can be dimmed and set to a timer as a group or individually. When run for three hours a day, the bulbs should last 20 years!You can start thinking about replacing lights in your new workshop area with LED lights.

Fast Fix for Pet Stains

Fast Fix for Pet Stains

I have a dog, a cat and carpeting, which is why the Bissell SpotBot is the best Internet purchase I’ve ever made. The SpotBot is a hands-free spot and stain cleaner. The coolest part about this thing is that it does all the work for you. Just fill it full of water and cleaning solution, park it over the stain, push the start button and walk away. It automatically squirts the special cleaner into the carpet, scrubs with a rotary brush, and rinses and sucks up all the mess. When it shuts itself off, the stain is gone, and I just empty the reservoir into the toilet. I love this thing! Search for the SpotBot 33N8A online or buy it at discount stores for $130.Be sure to have these pet cleaning tips in your backpocket as well.

Sam Larson, Field Editor

Eliminate Stinky Gasoline Smells

Eliminate Stinky Gasoline Smells

I actually love the smell of gasoline? except when it’s on me. If I spill a little on my hands when I’m at the pump or fueling my lawn mower, I have to wash right away. But even after a wash or two, the smell seems to stay with me for hours. Not long ago, I replaced the carb on my snow blower and my hand got soaked with fuel. Later that day, I was in my local home center sporting a powerful eau de petrol when I came across Gas Off wipes by Briggs & Stratton. I opened the package right then and there, and by the time I reached the checkout my hands smelled like fresh linen. On my next trip to the store, I bought another pack to keep in my truck. I bought the 15-wipe pack for $5, but Gas Off is also available in single packs and in 8-oz. spray bottles.Find out how to properly store gasoline.

Josh Risberg, Set Builder

Dissolve Mortar Like Magic

Dissolve Mortar Like Magic

When you’re pouring concrete near a house, it’s not uncommon for a bit to splash up onto the siding, garage door or window. It’s not a big deal if it gets washed off right away, but woe unto you if you let it dry. Removing cured concrete requires harsh chemicals or a whole lot of scrubbing and scraping.Sakrete has come to the rescue with a product called Concrete Mortar Dissolver. Just spray it on and watch concrete or mortar dissolve. Thick messes will take a couple applications, but it really works. We tried it on some vinyl siding, and it performed as advertised. The best part is that it’s safe; safe enough to apply without gloves. It also won’t harm sensitive surfaces like auto paint. Some pro masons use it to clean their tools. Visit a hardware store to buy a bottle for $13, or locate a retailer at sakrete.com.

Find out how to repair motar joints.

HDPE, a Fast and Maintenance-Free Storage Solution

HDPE, a Fast and Maintenance-Free Storage Solution

High-density polyethylene plastic (HDPE) is tough, lightweight and weather resistant. It won’t rot and never needs paint. If those qualities sound good to you and you need a fast storage solution, consider an HDPE shed.The 7×7 Rubbermaid Big Max storage shed shown here is big enough to store yard and garden tools, a pressure washer and a snow blower. And the sturdy floor can easily handle the weight of a riding lawn mower.

In just a few hours, and with the help of a buddy (who probably owes you anyway), you can build this maintenance-free shed. Assembly requires only a couple ladders, a few simple hand tools and afterward perhaps a cold beverage or two. The hardest part might be creating a flat spot in your yard.

The Big Max has lockable doors, and the HDPE panels are rugged enough to resist those wayward baseballs from the neighbor kid. It’s available at Home Depot and other retailers for about $600.

Find out how to fit everything into your shed.

Efficient Bike Storage

Efficient Bike Storage

Hanging bicycles from the rafters is a great way to save garage space. But even hanging bikes can take up a bunch of room. Here’s a cool space-saving product that puts a new twist on the humble bike hook. The Saris Cycle Glide is a system of hooks mounted on glides. Once the bikes are on the hooks, they can be slid closer to the wall on the glides that mount perpendicular to the wall. And because the hooks slide back and forth on the lower set of glides, the bikes can be nestled neatly together, taking up a lot less space.This system also makes it easier to take down the bikes when they’re hanging over a parked car, a boat or a big mess like in my garage. That’s because you can pull or push the bikes clear of the obstruction before you lower it. I’ve been using mine for almost a year now, and I love it. You can buy a Saris Cycle Glide for $245 at bike stores or online.

If this style isn’t to your liking check out other bike storage ideas.

Jeff Gorton, Associate Editor

A Better Toilet Paper Holder

A Better Toilet Paper Holder

My wife recently brought home a pivoting toilet paper holder, which reaffirmed my long-held belief that it’s the little things in life that make us happy. The holder has a pivoting arm that lifts up but stays attached. That means no more chasing spring-loaded rollers around the bathroom floor. Buy this type of paper holder, made by a variety of manufacturers, at home centers or online. The Moen model we bought cost $26 at Home Depot.If you’re having problems with your toilet flushing, check out our repair tips.

Mark Petersen, Associate Editor

Magnetic Showerhead

Magnetic Showerhead

The Moen Magnetix handheld shower is secured to the shower arm with a magnet rather than a clip. That’s quick and slick for me, but even better for my daughter, who can’t reach quite high enough to remove a standard shower wand. Aside from allowing her to shower ‘like a grown-up,’ the Magnetix line offers adjustable spray patterns and water-saving engineering. We’ve had ours for a year and wouldn’t give it up. Magnetix handheld showers are available in stores and online, starting at about $65.Keep your showerhead clean for a strong flow.

Gary Wentz, Editor-in-Chief

Snap-On USB Outlets

Snap-On USB Outlets

This outlet cover plate with a built-in USB charger is as easy to install as a regular cover plate. You just shut down the power, unscrew the old plate and screw on the new one. No receptacle replacement required. The USB port gets its power from two prongs that contact the screws on the sides of the receptacle.Step up your technology game but updating your home with smart appliances.

Good-bye, Funnels

Good-bye, Funnels

Sure, a funnel works great at keeping fluids from spilling all over, but when you’re done pouring and pull it out of the hole, the fluid leftover in the funnel drips all over the place. I use this Hopkins FloTool On-Off Refill Spout (No. 10101) to keep that from happening. I have one on my windshield washer fluid and antifreeze containers and one on my gallon jug of chain saw bar oil. There’s no mess and no cap to fumble around with?just twist and pour.Hopkins FloTool also makes a Spill Saver Oil Spout (No. 10107) that fits quarts of oil. I’m not sure I know where my funnels are anymore.

Checkout a flexible funnel for working on vehicles and lawn mowers.

Mark Petersen, Associate Editor

The Only Tool Set You Need

The Only Tool Set You Need

You probably don’t have a complete set of sockets and wrenches in your tool bag or the emergency vehicle kit under your truck seat. And you don’t have to if it contains the new Crescent Pass-Thru Adjustable Wrench Set. This compact tool kit features 10 spline-style sockets that work with hex, square and external Torx fasteners, from 10mm to 19mm and 3/8 to 23/32 in.The pass-through sockets fit over protruding bolt threads and nuts mounted on studs, eliminating the need to carry deep sockets. For more grabbing power, simply replace the smooth jaw with the serrated side, and you’ve got yourself a pipe wrench, perfect for stripped bolt heads and pipes up to 1 in. You can purchase the kit at The Home Depot and other retailers.

Learn some tricks to loosen nuts, bolts and screws that are tricky.

 

Temporary wallpaper

Temporary wallpaper

Creating an accent wall with a stylish wallpaper is a great way to update a room, but it’s amazing how fast ‘trendy’ can become just plain weird. And if you’ve ever had to remove stubbornly stuck wallpaper, you won’t want to repeat the experience.Enter Tempaper, a removable wallpaper that sticks to any smooth, painted or primed surface. When you’re tired of the pattern or you’re trying to sell your house without frightening prospective buyers, simply peel it off. It won’t damage the drywall or leave messy glue behind. It’s also a perfect option for apartment residents who want to decorate without losing their damage deposit. One roll costs $35 to $125. Check out the 90 patterns and watch the installation video at tempaperdesigns.com.

Learn how to remove wallpaper if there’s some in your new house you don’t like.

Better Than a Broom

Better Than a Broom

Construction projects create an abundance of all sorts of filth: sawdust, insulation fibers, drywall dust, shingle grit, dirt. It’s everywhere. Sure, you’ll always have to keep a broom and dustpan in your truck, but consider adding a blower to your cleaning arsenal. It’s great for clearing floors during rough framing, blowing shingle grit or slippery sawdust off a roof, cleaning up that miter saw before packing up, blowing out the inside of your work truck…you could even use it to dust yourself off before heading home for the day.

If you’re already running the Milwaukee’s M18 battery platform, check out the new M18 Compact Blower. It has three speed settings, a max airflow of 100 cfm and air speeds up to 160 mph!

Monitor Your Grill From Your Smartphone or Tablet

Monitor Your Grill From Your Smartphone or Tablet

It’s billed as a grilling thermometer, but it works in your kitchen oven as well. The iGrill2 comes with a controller and two temperature probes but will accept up to four (additional probes are sold separately), so you can track the temperatures of different food items that you’re grilling at the same time. Or use one of the probes to remotely track the temperature inside the grill when you’re slow roasting, smoking or using the rotisserie.Just download the app for your Apple or Android phone. Then insert the probes into the chow and route the cables so they won’t be exposed to flames. Set the app for the desired temperature and activate the alarm. Then walk away. Monitor the progress on your phone from up to 150 ft. The iGrill2 app will let you know when you’ve reached the set temperature. Buy the iGrill2 and accessories from the manufacturer, online stores and discount stores.

Know how to tune up your grill before you fire up.

Super-Fast Wi-Fi Router

Super-Fast Wi-Fi Router

If you’re into wireless home video streaming or gaming, or home automation, you need a Wi-Fi router with the best range and fastest speed. Most Wi-Fi routers have a hard time delivering all the available bandwidth when multiple users are online. That’s because they deliver data to only one device at a time. So everyone’s speed is based on the speed of the oldest and slowest device in use at the time. The Netgear Nighthawk X6 Tri-Band Wireless Router solves that problem by adding an extra traffic lane. When the router sees a slowpoke device come online, it diverts the faster devices to the new traffic lane, so everybody gets the fastest possible speed.The Nighthawk router also uses six antennas and Beamforming software to locate and direct the signal toward each device. Together with a fast dual-core processor and a powerful amplifier, this Wi-Fi router gets you the strongest signal at almost every spot in your house.

Find out other ways to get faster internet for your wireless network.

Control Your Tools With Your Phone

Control Your Tools With Your Phone

Milwaukee’s ONE-KEY line of tools is a new generation of ‘connected tools’ that can be programmed to suit the job.Let’s say you’re installing metal vent using self-drilling screws. Just use the Milwaukee app to find the setting for the gauge and type of metal and the size of the screw. Then program the drill or impact driver using your phone’s Bluetooth. When you squeeze the trigger, the tool will start at a low rpm to prevent the tip from walking across the metal. The electronic torque monitoring senses when the screw bites in and boosts the speed to drive the screw in. Then it’ll slow down and cut off power when the screw reaches the programmed torque—all with a single trigger pull.

The ONE-KEY system also has an inventory management and tool reporting feature for pros to keep track of tools and monitor their workers’ productivity.

Find some handy apps for DIY work.

Vacuum Dustpan Saves Your Back

Vacuum Dustpan Saves Your Back

You may think this Crowley Jones EV1850 Eye-Vac Pro Electric Dustpan represents the ultimate in laziness. But if you have back issues, this smart vacuum/dustpan is for you. Just set the unit to automatic mode and sweep the debris toward it. The motion sensor detects when your broom is within range and starts up the vacuum. Aim the dirt pile toward the suction port and the vacuum will suck it up. If you have pets, they may activate the motion detector when they walk by. That’s why there’s a switched manual mode to activate the vacuum.Discover vacuum attachment uses for dust collection in the workshop.

Affordable Inspection Cameras

Affordable Inspection Cameras

Not so long ago, video borescopes were for pros only—nobody else could justify the high cost. But over the past couple of years, many manufacturers have jumped into the market with reasonably priced models. So peeking inside walls, appliances and engine compartments isn’t just for pros anymore.The model shown (the General Tools iBorescope) is unique: Instead of having a small video screen mounted on the tool, it sends a wireless signal to your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet. Visit the manufacturer’s site to learn more, purchase it or check out other models. To shop for other brands, search for ‘borescope’ or ‘inspection camera.’

Investigate how to home inspect.

Automatic Water Shutoff

Automatic Water Shutoff

A little leak can lead to huge costs and headaches. That’s why there are water shutoff systems like the WaterCop control valve. Install it right after your main shutoff valve, then locate water sensors (sold separately) near the most likely leaks (water heater, toilets, dishwasher, etc.). If a sensor detects water, it wirelessly signals the valve to shut off. You can also install a temperature sensor that shuts off the water when indoor temperatures fall to 38 degrees F. That won’t prevent the pipes from bursting if they freeze, but it will prevent a flood. Visit the manufacturer’s site for more information.Find you water main and gas shut off when you move in to a first home or new home.

URPOWER 2-in-1 Waterproof 4 LED Solar Spotlight

URPOWER 2-in-1 Waterproof 4 LED Solar Spotlight

These solar lights are a great addition to any home and can be helpful for new homeowner eager to show off their backyard patio into the evening. These lights are powered by a rechargeable lithium battery and can light up to six to nine hours once fully charged.Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Akro-Mils Hardware and Craft Cabinet

Akro-Mils Hardware and Craft Cabinet

A cabinet like this can meet the needs for a lot of items including hardware and crafts. This model is 20 inches by 16 inches and has 36 drawers to store all sorts of goods. The drawers can be rearranged and the unit can be mounted all the wall. Check it out at Amazon for about $32.If you anticipate storage issues as you look for a house, check out some of these storage solutions.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

The American Red Cross Blackout Buddy

The American Red Cross Blackout Buddy

In the event of a blackout, the American Red Cross has a device that will ease your worries. The Blackout Buddy is an emergency LED flashlight, blackout alert and nightlight all rolled into one. It can be used as a flashlight at any time and its battery will run for up to four ours. It lights up automatically in the event of a power outage. You can pick up two for around $20 at Amazon.Check out tips to survive a blackout as well.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

SentrySafe Fire and Water Safe

SentrySafe Fire and Water Safe

Give new homeowners piece of mind that important papers will be safe in case of an emergency. The SentrySafe Fire and Water Safe offers advanced fire protection, it’s verified at 1,550 degrees F for a 1/2 hour. It’s also water resistant and tested up to 72 hours of water submersion. The safe also comes with an after fire replacement guarantee that SentrySafe will replace your fire resistant safe following a fire. Check it out at Amazon.Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

AccuSharp Knife Sharpener

AccuSharp Knife Sharpener

A knife sharpener can be an overlooked item for new homeowners until they suddenly discover that recently purchased knife set no longer cuts as well as it used to slice and dice. Nip it in the bud buy buying a knife sharpener like this one from AccuSharp. For $9.95 you might look like a cheapskate but who are the new homeowners going to think of every time they have to sharpen a knife to prepare a meal?Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Post Protector

Post Protector

Lawn mowers and string trimmers can really beat up the bottom of wooden fence and mailbox posts. And that exposed bare wood can deteriorate faster and attract hungry insects. Now you can protect your 4×4 posts (3-1/2 x 3-1/2 in. actual size) with Post Shield rugged plastic sleeves. If your posts have already taken a beating, you can use the sleeves to cover the damage.The four pieces are easy to install and are available in black, white and bronze. The sleeves are sold individually or in a package of six.

Photos: Post Shield

Gas Can That's Easy to Use

Gas Can That’s Easy to Use

When gas container safety regulations changed in 2009, many gas-can manufacturers produced nozzle mechanisms that were anything but user-friendly. But fortunately for consumers, the folks at No-Spill came up with a gas container that meets the new standards, is easy to use and includes features you’ve always wanted in a gas can.First, the can has an auto-stop nozzle. Just lower the nozzle into your lawn mower tank and press the button. The flow stops when the tank is full. No more gas spills. Brilliant! And the nozzle is self-venting, so the tank fills much faster and without the gurgle-gurgle of other cans. Plus, no more guessing how much gas is left in the can. You can see the level through the viewing stripes on the container.

The No-Spill can is available in 1.25-, 2.5- and 5-gallon sizes.

Mountain-Climbing Mower

Mountain-Climbing Mower

Self-propelled mowers handle gentle slopes just fine. But if your yard has some serious inclines, you’ve probably experienced this: The mower climbs partway up the hill then slows to a crawl as the tires dig in and chew up your turf.Husqvarna’s HU800AWD solves this problem the same way your SUV does: with four-wheel drive (or ‘all-wheel drive,’ as they call it). Aside from hill-climbing traction, this 22-in. self-propelled gas mower has a powerful 190cc Honda engine and variable drive speed. There’s a water port for easy cleaning—you just hook up your garden hose and start the engine to blast-clean the underside of the deck.

 

Worx Aerocart

Worx Aerocart

The Worx Aerocart manages to achieve several nearly impossible goals. It’s a powerful two-wheel wheelbarrow with enough strength to carry 200 pounds. Its highly advanced design helps to automatically center the load, making it easier to haul. You can also convert it to a dolly, add an accessory for hauling chopped wood and extend an arm to carry odd-shaped objects. This wheelbarrow will come in handy for almost any landscaping job.Plus: Easy Garage Storage Solutions

Photo courtesy The Home Depot

No More Knots

No More Knots

Ropes work great to secure tarps, but tying secure knots with the right tension can be tricky. The CamJams from Nite Ize have come to the rescue. Now all you have to do is anchor one end of the cord, run the other end through the CamJam; clip the CamJam to a grommet, and pull the cord—nothing could be easier!

FOM Tablet Stand

FOM Tablet Stand

Find a place to rest that tablet with the FOM Tablet Stand. The pillow will fit a tablet perfect and let anyone relax with their favorite TV show or movie. Find it on Amazon for $5.99 and create some instant comfort in the new home for the new homeowners.Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

BugZooka Bug Catcher Vacuum

BugZooka Bug Catcher Vacuum

Have some conversation fodder at the house warming party by announcing you’ve brought a bugzooka with you. You’ll be the hit of the party and allow the new homeowners a reasonable way to remove bugs with the BugZooka Bug Catcher Vacuum.Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Occidental Leather Electrician’s Tool Pouch

Occidental Leather Electrician’s Tool Pouch

This leather tool pouch has a pocket for just about everything. With 15 pockets, there’s not much you’ll have to return to the garage to dig out for a project. The leatherwork is meant to last and makes this a perfect gift.Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Renaissance Chalk Furniture Paint Deluxe Starter Kit

Renaissance Chalk Furniture Paint Deluxe Starter Kit

Jumpstart some refurbishing projects for the new homeowners with some chalk furniture paint. Chalk furniture paint is a great way to mix up the style in your house without having to buy new furniture. Plus, you can transform it into a distressed look with a little additional effort.Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Louisville Ladder

Louisville Ladder

The Louisville Ladder is among the best rated ladders on the market and will be a welcomed tool for any new homeowner. This 6-foot model is rated to handle 300 pounds and features slip-resistant rubber feet.Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

SEGMART Camping Hammock

SEGMART Camping Hammock

When everything is done around the house, give the new homeowners something to relax in. This SEGMART camping hammock is just fine for the backyard after a hard day of housework. It’s ideal for two people as well, it’s rated to hold 600 pounds. Plus, it’s easy to lug around on camping trips since it weighs just 2 pounds.Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Patio Watcher Fire Pit Fire Table

Patio Watcher Fire Pit Fire Table

The new homeowners can cozy up together for a nice outdoor fire and watch the stars together. Or, they can entertain guests around the fire with s’mores. This fire pit table has a natural slate top and can be transported to different sites.Later on you can upgrade with a DIY fire pit.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Water Fountain

Water Fountain

The hard part of buying of buying the home is over for the first time homebuyers so let them bask in the serenity that is their home. They can enjoy the outdoors and listen to the soothing sound of water with this outdoor water fountain. Easy to use, it is powered by a 110V outlet and is just under 3 feet tall.Find some more contentment by learning how to build a backyard water feature.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Stihl BG 86 Blower

Stihl BG 86 Blower

A leaf blower is going to be clutch for fall yardwork for a new homeowner. Give them a leg up with this Stihl BG 86 leafblower. It’s a fairly light weight model at 10 pounds and has some power. Pick up a vacuum accessory and a gutter kit to tackle just about everything.Photo: Courtesy of World of Power

Echo Chainsaw

Echo Chainsaw

This Echo Chainsaw is going to handle just about everything a backyard is going to throw at a new homeowner. This chainsaw will cut logs up to 3 feet in diameter and is backed by a five-year consumer warranty. The chainsaw has a 18-inch chain and includes an anti-vibration handle.Make sure you sharpen up on chainsaw safety before using one though.

read more…

 

https://www.familyhandyman.com/stuff-we-love/45-brilliant-gifts-for-new-homeowners/view-all/