BEDFORD HELPING VICTIMS OF HURRICANE HARVEY
Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on Houston and its surrounding communities last week, leaving thousands of people stranded and devastated. I have been asked how we might help. And, now, Irma a hurricane that is devastating many areas on its path. We’ve heard from news reports that money has been pouring into the large, well-known national relief organizations, such as the Red Cross and United Way. We’ve researched to identify reputable, local organizations which provide the most direct relief to the victims. Please understand that this is by no means exclusive and can’t possibly be complete, nor intended to dissuade you from donating to other organizations involved in the relief efforts. There are literally hundreds of ways to assist the victims, and, of course, you’ll want to direct any assistance you can offer to the organization of your choice. The article, Where to Donate to Harvey Victims
(and How to Avoid Scams), lists several links you may find useful. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of Hurricane Harvey and those who have been hit and may be hit by Hurricane Irma.
CONGRESSMAN SEAN PATRICK MALONEY WILL CONTINUE HIS “SPEAK WITH SEAN” SERIES THIS SUNDAY AT BEDFORD TOWN HALL FROM 1:30-2:30.
Speak with Sean events are an opportunity for constituents to share any questions, comments and concerns one-on-one with Rep. Maloney. In addition, Rep. Maloney and his staff are available to assist with any problems folks from the Hudson Valley may be having with a federal government agency, such as the Social Security Administration, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or the Veterans Administration.
NOTES FROM THE SEPTEMBER 5 TOWN BOARD MEETING
- APPOINTMENTS TO BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS The Town Board is very grateful for the service of so many civic-minded residents to help our community. We thank those whom the Town Board appointed and re-appointed at our meeting: John Sullivan was appointed to the Historic Building Preservation Commission; Amy Lowenthal and Erin Scheu were appointed to the Blue Mountain Housing Development Corporation, Inc.; Andrew Cunningham and John Lange were re-appointed to the Board of Assessment Review.
- “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.
- 2018 TOWN BUDGET WORK SESSION – POLICE DEPARTMENT The Town Board met with Police Chief Melvin Padilla and Comptroller Abraham Zambrano to review the proposed 2018 for the Police Department – the largest of our departments. As I had requested, Chief Padilla held the proposed budget flat except for contractual obligations. The Board continues to work to bring in a 2018 budget which is within the NYS Property Tax Cap.
UPDATE ON POLICE STATION RENOVATION PROJECT We are continuing to make excellent progress on the police station project – the gut renovation of the existing police station building with two additions. The timetable for completion is mid-2018. We are pleased with the work of our contractors and construction manager.
for the August report of our construction manager.
UPDATE ON THE SEWER PROJECT
And about the Sewer Project, what’s with the soil testing in Katonah? The Town’s engineering firm, Woodard & Curran, is working on the design of the sewer system which will be serving the neighborhood business districts (not 117 corridor) of Bedford Hills and Katonah, as well as Katonah Elementary School, property of St. Mary’s, Bedford Park Apartments in Bedford Hills and the correctional facilities in Bedford Hills. As part of the design, soil borings and surveying is being conducted.
FLAGS AT HALF-STAFF
Monday, September 11th, 2017 marks the 16 year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93 which crashed in suburban Pennsylvania. Patriot Day serves as a remembrance of the lives lost on that September morning. The President directs that United States flags be flown at half-staff at individual American homes, at the White House, and on all U.S. government buildings and establishments, home and abroad from sunrise until sunset on September 11 of each year. The President also asks Americans to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 AM Eastern time, the time the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center that morning.
PARKING ENFORCEMENT IN COMMUTER LOTS SUSPENDED FOR ROSH HASHANAH AND YOM KIPPUR
UPDATE ON THIS YEAR’S I-684 PAVING PROJECT
We’re pleased that the paving of a portion of I-684 running through Bedford (from 172 to Harris Road) is proceeding on schedule and is going well. As you may know, we are pressing for funding to put in place for paving the remaining Bedford portion in 2018. Here’s the schedule for this year’s paving project over the next two weeks:
9/10-9/14: Gutter, basin, rail cleaning, miards will continue The hours are 9:00 pm to 6:00 AM. Work will continue in the right and left shoulders northbound and southbound.
I684 NB: milling and paving is complete Gutter, basin, rail cleaning, miards, shoulder backup, striping will continue.
I684 SB: milling and paving complete. Gutter, basin, rail cleaning, miards, shoulder backup, striping will continue.
9/17-9/21: Gutter, basin, rail cleaning, miards will continue The hours are 9:00 pm to 6:00 AM. Work will continue in the right and left shoulders northbound and southbound.
I684 NB: milling and paving complete. Gutter, basin, rail cleaning, miards, shoulder backup, striping will continue
I684 SB: milling and paving complete. Gutter, basin, rail cleaning, miards, shoulder backup, striping will continue
SUSTAINABLE WESTCHESTER’S CLEAN TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM
would like to alert you to another opportunity to go electric. There are a limited number of vehicles left at this huge bulk discount (total of $19,200 off including $10,000 Sustainable Westchester discount plus State/Federal tax credits), so don’t miss this opportunity! Sustainable Westchester’s Clean Transportation Project designs programs to accelerate transportation electrification, reduce greenhouse gases and costs for the residents, businesses, and non-profit institutions in our communities. Contact program director Ron Kamen at email@example.com
, or the Sustainable Westchester office for more information. Come down to Nissan of New Rochelle (2533 Palmer Ave, New Rochelle) this Saturday for another fun “Kick Gas” test drive event.! From noon to 5PM there they will be serving up Smokin’ Yankee Barbeque, and our friends from Greenburgh Nature Center will be there with special guests, including: An Eastern Screech Owl, An African Sulcata Tortoise, A Bearded Dragon, A Bunny named F. Scott (the bunny is black), A Chinchilla, And Maybe a Leopard Gecko (depending on the weather).
COMMUNITY EVENTS CALENDAR
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)
FOR THE SUPERVISOR’S AUGUST MONTHLY REPORT
COLLECTION OF SCHOOL TAXES FOR THE 2017-2018 SCHOOL YEAR
The Receiver of Taxes for the Town of Bedford Amy M. Pectol gives notice that she has received the warrant for the Collection Of School Taxes For The 2017-2018 School Year
The Tax Receiver’s Office will be open 8:30 to 4:30 each day, Monday thru Friday At the Town Hall 321 Bedford Rd.-Bedford Hills-New York. If you do not receive your bill by 9/5/2017 please contact this office at 914-666-4475. Click here
for the notice
A number of residents have reported bear sightings. “Wow, a bear!” may be our first reaction, but here are some safety tips, click here
. And click here
to see a picture of a bear that was taken and shared with us by a resident.
I wish to augment the below information (e-news 8/25) with the following request for motorists:
Sharing the road d with bicyclists
When parked on the street, check for bicyclists approaching from behind you before opening your car door.
Always exercise due care to avoid colliding with any person walking or bicycling.
Always be vigilant when pedestrians are present, especially those with visual or physical impairments.
Bicyclists are fully entitled to use the road and have the right to “take the lane” by positioning themselves at or near the center of the lane when needed to avoid hazards or if the lane is too narrow to safely travel side by side with motorists.
Pass bicycles only when necessary and safe: pass to the left of the bicycle at a safe distance until safely clear. When in doubt, wait until you can pass at a safe speed. Before making a right turn, let bicyclists clear the intersection. When turning left or entering a roadway, yield to oncoming bicyclists as you would to any vehicle.
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.
New York State law mandates the following related to cyclists:
- Travel WITH traffic (i.e. on the same side of the road) and obey all vehicle laws (stop at stop lights, etc.)
- Are not allowed on sidewalks
- Helmets (protective head gear) are required
- No headphones, ear buds, or other noise cancelling devices are allowed in more than 1 ear.
- Horn/bell audible for 100 feet
- Lighting required a half hour before dusk until a half hour after dawn.
- Cyclists are required to use appropriate hand signals.
SAFETY TIPS FOR WALKERS
- Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk always walk facing traffic.
- 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
- Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks.
- top at the curb, or the edge of the road.
- Stop and look left, then right, then left again, before you step into the street.
- If you see a car, wait until it goes by. Then look left, right and left again until no cars are coming.
- Keep looking for cars while you are crossing, and remember, Walk. Don’t run.
- If a car is parked where you are crossing, make sure there is no driver in the car. Then go to the edge of the car and look left-right-left until no cars are coming.
SEPTIC SYSTEM REPAIR AND REPLACEMENT PROGRAM ~ WITH FALL NEAR AND WINTER NOT FAR BEHIND 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
FOR WEATHER ALERTS FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
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.
A CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS TO HELP CLEAN UP BRYAM LAKE
We are delighted at the public/private partnership between the Town’s Conservation Board and Nestlé Waters North America. Nestlé is committed to stewarding resources for future generations. In this spirit, local employees are gathering with community members to clean-up the Lake. As part of this restoration effort volunteers will have the opportunity to clear litter and debris. Protective gloves, garbage bags and bottled water will be provided.
for more information
PLEASE CONSIDER HELPING OUR TOWN
Vacancies on Boards and Committees (updated 9/6/17)
There is one vacancy on the Recreation and Parks Advisory (RPAC
) Committee; must be a Bedford Hills resident. For more information on the Committee, please click here
There is one vacancy on the Tree Advisory Board (TAB). The ideal candidate would be a certified arborist. For more information on the Board, please click here
There are two vacancies on Committee on Seniors. For more information on the committee, please click here
There is one vacancy on the Open Space Acquisition Committee. For more information on the committee, please click here
NOTES FROM THE AUGUST 15, 2017 TOWN BOARD MEETING
2018 BUDGET WORK SESSIONS BEGIN (See schedule below)
Comptroller Abraham Zambrano provided highlights of the 2018 budget at this early point, emphasizing that the budget will continue to be very tight due to several factors including:
- NYS Property Tax Cap of 2.68% which we are committed to stay within
- Contractual obligations
- Health insurance
- Workers compensation
- Increase in debt service (principally the Police Station renovation project).
- Lower than anticipated building permits
On the positive side, Mr. Zambrano reported that 2017 year to date overall results of operations have been positive and some of the contributions to the positive position will recur in 2018.
He also explained that the Board will need to get started with the 2018 Capital Plan.
PRESENTATION NORTHERN WESTCHESTER HOSPITAL
Mr. John Payne, Physician Practice Manager at NWH, and Mr. Cliff Bernelli, a Veteran who works in recovery at NWH spoke about an upcoming business workshop on October 23, from 2:00 to 4:30 PM at the hospital. The workshop also teaches skills such as interviewing, dressing for an interview/job, etc. The hospital hopes to hire 1000 veterans this year.
The committee is working on programs designed to help veterans in and around Mount Kisco. The Committee is comprised of both vets and non-vets, the goal is to benefit both and allow for communication between both parties.
Committee works with P.F.C. Dwyer foundation to assist veterans in finding jobs and aid post-service. A fundraiser is being planned with a bicycle ride from West Point to the WTC.
We will post relevant information on the website and also include events in the weekly e-news.
REPLACEMENT AND UPGRADE OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS
The Town will be updating their Electric Vehicle charging stations as they are outdated and will install an additional charging station in Bedford Village Memorial Park. They will also be entering into an agreement with ChargePoint. The Town appreciates members of the community and Bedford 2020 for supporting the Town’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The Town is grateful for all the work done by Town resident Andrew Kohler toward this effort for the last six months. The Town also thanks Ellen Calves of Bedford 2020 for the organizations efforts towards reducing carbon emissions and supporting the use of electric vehicles. The charging stations will be serviced by ChargePoint, a global organization dedicated to servicing the chargers. Comptroller Abraham Zambrano gave the locations of the stations and also gave two price quotes, one for the replacement of the existing five charging stations, and one for the installment of the new one. The total project is budgeted at $100,140. The Town will use $30,000 of an existing 2016 fund earmarked for the repair of the stations and $70,140 out of the general fund for the remainder of the funding. The details of how the Town will charge for the use of the electricity and as well as timed use of the stations are still being worked out as well as parking costs. A profit and loss (PNL) report will be provided by the end of September.
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.
HAMLET RECYCLING AND WASTE RECEPTACLES
The Town will be purchasing 30 cluster replacement recycling and waste receptacles from Kettle Creek Corporation, 18 stainless steel tops for existing Victor Stanley Receptacles and labels for stainless tops. The existing receptacles are 20 years old and have been durable and have stood the test of time. The total projected expenditure is $52,128.80. Funds are proposed to be drawn the Capital budget ($40,000) line and from the General Fund balance ($12,128.80).
STOP SIGN – WOODFIELD ROAD AT THE INTERSECTION OF OAK ROAD
A resident has requested that a stop sign be installed on Woodfield Road at the intersection of Oak Road. Commissioner Kevin Winn concurred with the request due to limited sight distance.
A public hearing was set for September 5 at 8 PM.
RESCHEDULED FOR SEPTEMBER 19
Northern Westchester Office for Victims of Domestic Abuse: Pound Ridge Supervisor Dick Lyman will present to the Town Board a proposal for an inter-municipal agreement among Pound Ridge, Lewisboro, Bedford, North Salem and Somers for office space for Office for Women, Hope’s Door, The Pace Women’s Law Center and the Family Justice Center to serve our residents who are victims of domestic abuse.
UPDATE ON BEDFORD VILLAGE PROJECTS
Gateway signs – the signs and poles have been received and the sign company is making up an adapter for the post hole size issue that occurred during fabrication. It is anticipated that the signs will be installed in September.
- The raised crosswalk is planned for September. Acocella contracting will be performing the work. DPW will communicate with store owners, the Chamber, and BVHDRC before the work occurs.
- Paving of the Village Green and installation of the speed hump will occur in October or November.
Street Lights – 11 have been ordered and are expected to be delivered by the end of September. DPW plans to replace all of the ones in the brick sidewalk between Court Road and 172, and then several on the Village Green this year. Another 11 +/- have been included in the capital plan for next year, and can be scheduled once the plan is approved
Court Road Sidewalk – Replacement is planned to start by the end of August. DPW will communicate with store owners, the Chamber, and BVHDRC before the work occurs.
Route 22 Sidewalk north of Court Road – likely to be budgeted for and replaced in 2018.
SCHEDULE OF TOWN BOARD WORK SESSION AND MEETINGS 2018 BUDGET (REVISED 8/15/17 – MARKED IN RED)
August 15 (7:15 PM)
Overview & Discussion of Comptroller’s suggestions on possible expense reductions and non-tax revenue sources
September 5 (7:15 PM)
Town Board review of proposed 2018 budget for Police
September 19 (7:15 PM)
Town Board review of proposed 2018 budget for Lighting and Water Districts, Public Works and Building Departments and Libraries
October 3 (7:15 PM)
Town Board review of proposed 2018 budget for Recreation & Parks Departments and all other Departments; discussion of tentative 2018 budget.
October 17 (7:15 PM)
Town Board further review of tentative 2018 budget; note that Budget Officer is to finalize tentative budget and file tentative budget in office of the Town Clerk prior to October 30. The Town Clerk is to formally present tentative budget to the Town Board prior to November 10. The Town Board may call upon any Department Head to discuss the tentative budget and any estimates submitted.
November 9 (7:15 PM)
Town Board consideration of any revisions in tentative 2018 budget – holding of a public hearing is optional before adoption of preliminary 2018 budget.
Adoption of preliminary 2018 budget based on any revisions in the tentative 2018 budget. The preliminary budget shall be filed in the office of the Town Clerk and reproduced for public distribution as directed by the Town Board.
Town Board to hold public hearing, make revisions to the preliminary budget and adopt the final 2018 budget. The Town must comply with all notice requirements in Town Law §108. The hearing may be adjourned if necessary, but may not go beyond December 15. The final budget must be adopted prior to December 20.
POLICE STATION RENOVATION UPDATE
We are pleased that the Police Station project is proceeding well. As you may know, the project consists of the “gut renovation” of the existing police station building, the construction of a 4300 sq. ft. addition (increasing total square footages to approximately 11,000 sq. ft., updated learning/training facilities, and an updated infrastructure designed to keep the department operating to its fullest potential for years to come The last of the footings were poured on Tuesday, and we expect to be done with the foundation next week.
OUR LOCAL LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS REMINDS US OF VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINES
Please click here
to find important New York State voter registration deadlines, including August deadlines which pertain to September’s state and local primaries and an Oct 2017 deadline for voting in the September 2018 (!) midterm primary season.
Most–in not all–of us are already registered…but perhaps you know someone who isn’t. Or someone who has moved and needs to update their address. We encourage you to forward this email along.
UPDATE ON BEDFORD VILLAGE PARKING
The Town has been working assiduously to develop new parking in the hamlet. At the Town’s expense we commissioned in 2015 a concept parking plan which offered ways to significantly increase parking at the Bedford Playhouse building (at relatively minor cost), increase parking on Court Road (this was implemented with an increase of 11 spaces with no time limit) and maps out a municipal parking lot on vacant property which the Presbyterian Church owns off of Court Road. Click here for the concept plan. The Town is awaiting the results of a Phase I Environmental Assessment of the Church’s property. The Town Board made provision in its 2016 Capital Plan for the acquisition and development of the property.
SPRAIN BROOK PARKWAY LANE REDUCTION
Due to bridge construction work, traffic on the southbound Sprain Brook Parkway will be shifted to the northbound roadway, reducing the Parkway from three to two lanes in each direction. This shift is expected to begin on August 21, 2017 and last until November 20, 2017. The shift will occur south of Route 100C, continue for one-half of a mile, then shift back north of Interstate 287. This traffic shift and lane reduction is necessary to perform the bridge replacement.
For more information you may contact the NYSDOT Construction Field Office at: 914-345-6180. For trip planning and current roadway conditions, call 511 or visit www.511ny.org
Significant traffic delays are anticipated
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.
BEDFORD LOVES HORSES – EQUINE EVENTS
I thought that you might enjoy seeing the first Calendar of Local Equine Events from Bedford Loves Horses. If you know of area equine events that you’d like added to our calendar during the year, just let them know via ‘Contact Us’ on their website by clicking here.
CON EDISON WORK NOTICE
Con Edison is replacing the gas main on 117 between Norm Avenue and Woodland Road in Bedford Hills. NYSDOT required night work to minimize traffic disruption.
If you have any questions, please contact Westchester Public Affairs at 1-914-925-6361 or dl-WestchesterRCA@coned.com. Click here
for the notice
NOTES FROM THE AUGUST 1, 2017 TOWN BOARD MEETING
APPOINTMENTS TO BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
The Town Board is very grateful for the service of so many civic-minded residents to help our community. We thank those whom the Town Board appointed and re-appointed at our meeting:
John Stockbridge was re-appointed to the Historic Building Preservation Commission; Fred Silverman was re-appointed to the Filming Committee; Lauren Smith was re-appointed and Lynn Bayuk was appointed to the Drug Abuse Prevention Council (DAPC)
STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO FAIR HOUSING JUSTICE CENTER ACTION AGAINST THE TOWN AND BLUE MOUNTAIN
The Town of Bedford earlier this week was served with a Summons in a Civil Action in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York brought by Fair Housing Justice Center, Inc. and Westchester Residential Opportunities, Inc. alleging that the Town and Blue Mountain Housing Development Corp. are administering the Town’s “middle-income” housing units in a manner which “subjects African American applicants to longer waiting periods for such housing.” Click here
for a copy of the Summons. The Town of Bedford is committed to providing and assisting in the provision of affordable and accessible housing for all persons. Similarly the mission of the Blue Mountain Housing Development Corporation is to promote the social welfare, common good and general welfare by enabling and facilitating the creation and preservation of affordable housing in the Town of Bedford. The Town of Bedford recently adopted the Affordable Housing model code provisions. The Town has also actively participated in the provision of affordable and accessible housing within the Town of Bedford by participating in and donating Town property, with respect to the development of the Antioch Church property which will provide 12 affordable affirmatively furthering fair housing units. The Town disputes the claim in the lawsuit that it has violated any provisions of the Fair Housing Act, or that it acts in a discriminatory manner with respect to housing or any other policies. As a result, the Town intends to vigorously defend its rights with respect to this action.
EXPANSION OF BEDFORD UNION CEMETERY
The Board adopted a resolution in support of the plans of Bedford Union Cemetery, a not-for-profit cemetery on Clinton Road in Bedford Hills (near the Rippowam Cisqua campus), to expand. The Cemetery is running out of space for burial plots and wishes to acquire property adjacent to it in a phased expansion of the existing cemetery. Click here
for a copy of the resolution.
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.
CONCERNS OVER NYPIRG CANVASSING
I contacted NYPIRG to discuss our displeasure with their canvassing methods. I spoke to Brenden Colling, Statewide Outreach Director. He apologized for any aggressive canvassing methods which residents have encountered, is speaking to their canvassers to let them know that such methods are unacceptable and has provided his direct contact information and invites anyone with an issue or problem to feel free to contact him: (212) 349-6460 x 1180; firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
FROM JUNE 2 NEWSLETTER:
UPDATE ON PROPOSAL FOR BIKE PARK AT KATONAH MEMORIAL PARK
Several Katonah residents, both those favoring the proposal and those opposing it, have asked about the status and the process. Ultimately, the Town Board will make the decision. We follow a process and rely heavily on our staff and the Recreation Parks Advisory Committee (RPAC). We have asked staff and RPAC to review the proposal together with comments and concerns raised. Below are questions and concerns which have been raised and need to be addressed. This will require time. While staff and RPAC will proceed diligently, I would not consider it reasonable for us to expect due diligence to be completed and a report with recommendations for either the May 2 or the May 16 Town Board meeting. I am hopeful that the Town Board can consider the matter at either the June 7 or June 21 meeting. All interested parties will have an opportunity to address the Board at such time.
In answer to questions raised by those opposed to the proposal, I wish to assure you that we have received many valid and legitimate comments and concerns, and as detailed below from Recreation and Parks Superintendent Bill Heidepriem, they all will be considered and addressed. In answer to questions raised by those supporting the proposal, even if the Board were to approve the proposal, the actual creation of the park would need to await the fall after the conclusion of the summer park season.
Among points/questions to be considered:
- The appropriateness of this new park amenity in a hamlet park
- Family Bike area size of 1 acre – it doesn’t seem big enough for the three areas and the potential number of users
- “Good neighbor” impact
- Traffic impact on Wildwood Road & neighbor concerns
- Parking impact – new parking area and by the shelter
- Insurance questions – rate increase, liability issues, additional requirements from our carrier
- Storm water discharge from the shelter access road to the wooded area proposed for the family bike area
- Trail walker vs bike ride – potential conflicts
- Bikers going “off course” into undesignated areas of the woods as well as onto the trails
- Supervision, monitoring concerns – who, how etc.
- Impact to the environment – wooded area – trees – soils – habitat
- Erosion concerns – down the hill
Bike Area Trails:
- Construction – who reviews and approves the design drawings?
- Pump & Strider track material – Clay proposed – maintenance requirements, run off, etc.
- What amount of money needs to be budgeted for yearly maintenance/repairs improvements etc?
- Maintenance – need to better understand the maintenance requirements associated with the trails as well as perimeter area
- Are there maintenance standards that exist?
- What are the maintenance requirements?
- Weather impacts:
- Heavy rains
- Bike Area season – what is the season?
- Teamster vs volunteer work
- Staff impact
- Within Katonah Memorial Park
- Other Town Parks
- Other Areas
WORK WITH BEDFORD 2020! PART-TIME OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR AND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
We are accepting applications from qualified candidates for a part-time Office Administrator
to maintain records, run reports, support events, and assist with communications. Compensation will be commensurate with skill set. Applicants encouraged to submit resumé and cover letter by August 18. Bedford 2020 Office: 68 Bedford Road (lower level), Katonah, NY. (914) 620-2411 or email us
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.
JOIN US ON FACEBOOK – GET UPDATES FROM YOUR TOWN GOVERNMENT
You may not be aware that some town officials and departments are on social media. These pages provide valuable information to town residents such as road closures, upcoming special events, board meeting schedules, etc.
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POWER OUTAGES/TRAFFIC LIGHT AT ROUTE 35/ROUTE 22
It certainly does seem that nearly every time the lights flicker, the traffic light goes out. For those who did not see my reply to some of the replies. I have contacted NYSEG and the Regional Director of NYS Department of Transportation several times to ask them to address what is a recurring problem. I, too, had thought that deploying police officers to set cones and direct traffic would be a relatively easy solution. However, doing so puts the officers at risk of getting hit by drivers who cannot see them at this very busy intersection. Rather, the Town acts as promptly as possible to provide emergency power to the lights. The Town uses its own generator and deploys it with Department of Public Works employees to power the traffic lights until NYSEG restores power. I should mention that we have our own 24/7 police force so calling police dispatch gets prompt attention. For a longer term solution, I am arranging a meeting with the Regional Director of NYS DOT with this problem high on our list.
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.
For information on parking at the Town of Bedford Offices During Police Department Construction click here
PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE: MOVIE NIGHT
C&M Movie Night
– “The Secret Life of Pets” has been re-scheduled for Saturday, September 9. Click here
for the flyer.
Please click here
for the discussion of the Town’s paving policy and the list of roads to be paved in 2017.
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
Starting this week, 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.
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.
BEDFORD – A HORSE FRIENDLY COMMUNITY (updated)
Working with real estate brokers and some members of the horse community, we have developed FAQs for owners or prospective purchasers which we hope you’ll find helpful. We’re also looking at possible revisions in the Town Code related to horses to make it easier for owners of horse properties. Please click here
for the “Horse Friendly Message,” the FAQ’s link is included in the message.
Several residents have expressed concern about the noise, dust and other impacts created by leaf blowers. You may have seen letters to the editor of the Record Review advocating regulation of blowers. .A number of communities in Westchester County and in New York State have adopted local laws regulating blowers and other power equipment. I would like to approach the matter in a deliberative manner in which all views are considered. We need to listen and weigh all concerns; ranging from those who would ban the use of gas powered leaf blowers to those who want no hand of government in the matter. Bedford 2020 has concerns about the significant emissions from gas powered leaf blowers and the topsoil which it carries away. Residents complain about the noise. On the other hand some homeowners object to the enactment of any local law which deprives them of choice in tending to their landscaping. Many landscapers are opposed to any regulation which adversely affects their livelihood or imposes significant capital outlays for new equipment. Over the next few weeks we’ll be considering the means for a thoughtful and calm discussion with the community, landscapers and other interested parties regarding the matter. I’ll keep you posted.
ALSO IN THE WORKS
We’re working with Bedford 2020 at ways to reduce the noise and pollution emanating from leaf blowers, especially gasoline powered blowers. This may begin with recommended “Best Practices” for homeowners explaining how leaf blowers might be avoided altogether – better for your lawn and landscaping, better for the environment and easier on your and your neighbors’ ears.
SO… IN THE INTERIM 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. Our Town Code does not permit high noise activities, such as these, before 8 AM or after sunset.
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.
NEW FAIR & AFFORDABLE HOME OWNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES IN WESTCHESTER
Applications are now being accepted for more than 30 new, fair and affordable homes in Westchester. These homes are single-family properties and condominiums, ranging in size, from one to five bedrooms. All of the homes are in good condition and located in the following communities: Bedford, Buchanan, Cortlandt, Harrison, Lewisboro, Mount Pleasant, North Castle, Pelham Manor, Peekskill, Pound Ridge, Somers, and Yorktown. “The county is pleased to offer these homes at discounted prices to families that want to live in Westchester County, but may not have been able to afford it in the past,” said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “I urge anyone who is interested to apply to purchase these homes.” Westchester County purchased these homes at market value and is selling them at affordable prices to qualified individuals and families. The price for fair and affordable homes range $125,000 to $300,000. Qualifications for buyers to purchase an affordable home include:
- A household income at or less than 80% of the Area Median Income for Westchester County: $60,400 for a one-person household; $69,000 for a two-person household; $77,650 for a three-person household; $86,250 for a four-person household ; $93,150 for a five-person household.
- Households must also have savings for a down payment and closing costs, satisfactory credit, and incomes sufficient to carry the monthly mortgage payments.
These 30-plus homes are among the 790 units that the county is developing in accordance with the 2009 housing settlement. The settlement permitted the county to satisfy up to 25% of the required 750 units with existing housing. The properties will remain affordable for 50 years. Information on each unit is available on the county’s Homeseeker website at click here
,where interested families can view the information, download the application and sign up to receive information on additional properties and open houses. The county’s housing marketing consultant, the Housing Action Council (HAC), is handling the marketing of each unit. Rose Noonan, executive director of the HAC, said the available homes have a number of options for potential buyers,
such as proximity to public transportation, amount of yard space, and communities with a pool or near a lake. “There are also the condominiums with amenities and common areas cared for by management companies,” said Noonan. “Each home has its own style ranging from townhomes and flats to raised ranches to Cape Cod style and colonials.” The HAC is a not-for-profit organization that helps the county identify and qualify prospective purchasers. As a member of the New York Mortgage Coalition, the HAC also provides homeownership counseling and assists buyers through the mortgage approval process. The buyers will be selected through a lottery process. Applications will be accepted through April 24, after which public lotteries will be held for each property. Buyers can expect to be in their homes by the end of the year. For additional information about the homes and their communities, contact the HAC at (914) 332-4144 or email@example.com
or go to click here
2017 MOBILE SHREDDER EVENTS – MARK YOUR CALENDARS
The Town of Bedford is pleased to announce that in response to requests from members of the community, the Town is providing mobile paper shredder events in 2017:
- September 16, and November 18 at the Town Recycling Center at 343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
At the event, a Mobile Shredding Truck will securely destroy documents. The company’s customer service professionals never physically touch your documents so the entire process is “touch-free”. The company can shred paper, paper clips, rubber bands, staples and even the black clips. They cannot shred 3-ring binders, or anything that is non paper (CDs, tapes, DVDs, hard drives, etc…).There will be no charge to residents for the service.
FIVE YEAR UNAUDITED FINANCIAL PROJECTION 2017-2021
for our projections prepared by our Town Comptroller Abe Zambrano.
2016 ANNUAL REPORT
Please take a few minutes to review our 2016 Annual Report, which summarizes what your Town government did to serve the community in 2016. You’ll find a department by department summary of continuing to provide a high level of service and highlights of improvements made. Click here
MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (MAP)
A new program offered by the NY AG’s Office. The program will provide up to $40k to homeowners facing foreclosure due to delinquent mortgage payments, property taxes or maintenance fees. If they qualify, they do not need to pay it back monthly. It is paid back if the homeowner refinances or sells the house over the life of the loan. Westchester Residential Opportunities Inc. (WRO) is designated to process the application from their office. Homeowners can call Veronica Raphael, Director of Foreclosure Prevention to see if they qualify for this program. 914-428-4507 x334 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
DAILY PARKING RATE CHANGE
Effective 1/2/17 the daily parking rate is $8 per calendar day. For more information on Parking Permits click here
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
, clicking on Customer Central, and then the “special services” link. You will need your account number. To keep our records current, each year we send a letter asking you to recertify. click here
Customers with Special Needs: We recognize that senior citizens and people with disabilities need special attention. That’s why we offer a variety of services and billing and payment options that make life a little bit easier for the elderly, visually or hearing-impaired, or customers with permanent disabilities. Please visit the link below to view the Customers With Special Needs brochure. click here
SMOKE & CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS
I would like to take this opportunity to urge residents to check their smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
Warns Customers Not To Fall for Scam Callers Refer Suspicious Calls to Police or 1-800-75CONED NEW YORK- Con Edison is warning customers not to fall for scams in which a caller threatens a service turnoff unless the customer purchases a pre-paid card or arranges for a transfer via MoneyGram to pay a bill. These callers are not from Con Edison and Con Edison does not accept payments of electric or gas bills by pre-paid debit cards, or by MoneyGram or similar transfers. The company has recently seen a spike in reports from customers who were contacted by the scammers. Con Edison believes the scammers are calling customers randomly, not targeting just those who owe back payments. The company has received complaints from residential and business customers. The scammers sometimes even tell the customer about a store near the customer’s home that sells pre-paid cards. The scammer instructs the customer to pay cash to put money on the card and to then provide the number on the card to the person who called. Once the customer provides the scammer with the card number, the scammer steals the money on the card. There have even been reports of these scammers making a Con Edison phone number show up on the customer’s caller ID. With MoneyGram, scammers may ask a customer to provide money from a bank account, credit card or debit card by going online or to a specified location. The money goes into someone else’s bank account or is available for the receiver to pick up in cash. Be alert if anyone asks you by telephone to arrange for pre-paid debit cards or a MoneyGram transfer as payment for your bill, or to send money to an out-of-state address. Never arrange payment or divulge account or personal information, including debit or credit card information, over the telephone, unless you are certain you are speaking to a Con Edison representative. Anyone who feels they may have been a target of an impostor or a payment scam should call their local police department. They may also call Con Edison at 1-800-75CONED. Con Edison’s website, click here
, offers a variety of approved and convenient options for bill payment.
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.
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.