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Bedford NY town news | Bedford Hills Real Estate

COMING UP ON THE NOVEMBER 21, 2017 TOWN BOARD MEETING
Resolution Opposing Repeal of Federal Clean Water Act Rule

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

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

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

BEDFORD 2020’S ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORT 
I am pleased to share Bedford 2020’s annual Progress Report with you.
As you will read in this report, with Bedford 2020 leading the way, our community is making great progress in achieving its climate action goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020 and preserve our natural resources.
Climate action at the local level is more important now than ever before. I am proud to say that our community is a model for just that. Please join me in thanking Bedford 2020 for their leadership and tireless efforts to drive positive change in Bedford, and well beyond.
 
FOR THE SUPERVISOR’S MONTHLY OCTOBER REPORT CLICK HERE
Included in the report you will find the preliminary budget for 2018.
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.
 
FOR THE TOWN OF BEDFORD SENIOR ADULT CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER click here
REMINDER
Just a reminder that there is a vacancy on the Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee for a resident of the Bedford Hills Park District.  Send your resume and a cover letter or e-mail to supervisor@bedfordny.gov.
UPDATE ON CON EDISON GAS LINE WORK ON ROUTE 117
I have been working with Con Edison with regard to their safety-driven work on the gas line along Route 117.  Please note as follows:
 
METAL PLATES The project, which runs from Bedford Hills to Mt. Kisco entails considerable work including the installation of temporary large steel plates which, of course, later will be removed following the completion of the project.  I have brought to Con Edison’s attention resident concerns that in trying to avoid the plates, some motorists steer into the oncoming lane of traffic.  To remedy this safety hazard, Con Edison will be recessing plates so they will lie flush with the road surface.   This will have some impact on the November 15 target completion date.  I appreciate Con Edison’s responsiveness to this safety concern.
 
RESTORATION OF ROUTE 117 FOLLOWING COMPLETION OF WORK
Con Edison has advised me as following: “As per our restoration department after consulting with NYSDOT, the restoration of route 117 will take place early spring of 2018. The NYSDOT specification on that road is a two foot cutback on both sides of the trench, filled with an 8 inch base, 2.5 inch binder and 2 inch of super pave top. On route 117 that will encompass curb to center line of the road for the entire trench. For the winter it will remain the way it is now on areas we have completed.”
 
CON EDISON 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 UPDATED notice   
REFERENDUM ON OPEN SPACE LEVY
After voting for candidates of your choice on November 7, please don’t forget to turn over the ballot.  Including among the several ballot measures is a proposal which the Town Board placed on the ballot with respect to the Open Space tax levy.   Presently the levy is 1% of the amount for the General Fund and Highway Fund.  It raises approximately $200,000 each year for the purpose of acquisition of open space property for active and passive park and recreational uses and for surface and ground water protection.   The proposal would increase the levy by one-quarter of one percent each year beginning in 2019 until 2022 at which point it would remain at 2%.  Comptroller Abraham Zambrano’s estimates that at the end of phase-in the increase would raise $415,838 and the annual cost to the average home owner (with an assessed value of $65,000 or full market value of $665,600 using 2017 State Equalization Rate) would rise from $20.67 to $46.13.   The open space tax levy when first enacted was 3% and was reduced to 1% during the recession.  In proposing the gradual increase to 2%, I noted that the phase-in starting in 2019 would better enable the Town to remain within the property tax cap.  Of course, since the phase-in would not commence until 2019, the 2018 budget is unaffected, the tentative budget for which is tax-cap compliant.  Click here for  the Comptroller’s June 1, 2017 Memorandum to the Board.
FOR THE OPEN SPACE VIDEO FEATURING CO-CHAIR GLENN TICEHURST, CO-CHAIR OF THE OPEN SPACE ACQUISITION COMMITTEE   click 
here
   
SEWER PROJECT STATUS UPDATE 10/27/17  
Click here
HELP US KEEP OUR ROADS SAFE 
Fall Leaf Collection
This Fall the Town’s Department of Public Works once again will provide service to the community with bulk leaf collection in designated hamlet areas. If your property is in one of these areas, please minimize the amount that leaf piles occupy the roadway edges in order to allow for safe passage of vehicles. As usual, the tentative leaf schedule is posted on the Highway Division page – click here
Snow
We certainly are hoping that we don’t have an early snowfall as we’ve had for a couple of Halloweens, but as a reminder, it is illegal to deposit snow from your property into the road or along the edges of the road. Doing so causes road safety issues and can result in traffic accidents and injuries.
 
NOTES FROM THE OCTOBER 17 TOWN BOARD MEETING
2018 BUDGET AND 2018-2027 CAPITAL PLAN
The Town Board held its last work session on the 2018 budget before Comptroller Abraham Zambrano, in his capacity as Budget Officer, files the Tentative 2018 Budget with the Town Clerk in accordance with NYS law.  Next month the Town Board will further review the budget, make any revisions and approve same as the Preliminary Budget.  The Board earlier had scheduled a public hearing at the December 5 Town Board meeting before adopting the final 2018 budget.
 
The Board also continued its consideration of the update of the 10 year Capital Plan.  I announced that we would work to adopt the new plan at the December 19 Town Board meeting to facilitate first quarter 2018 projects and programs dependent upon adoption of the new plan.
 
THE CONSERVATION 2017 GREEN AWARDS recognized organizations and individuals who have made a difference in our hamlets by embracing several initiatives they are passionate about.  The organizations recognized were Bedford Hills Live who has been working tirelessly toward the revitalization of  downtown  Bedford Hills; The Westchester Land Trust and Douglass DeCandia coordinates the Farm Growing Program for the Food Bank for Westchester; Fox Lane High School Student s Win Envirothon Hudson Valley Regional Competition, the Envirothon is a national environmental science competition sponsored by Canon U.S.A., the US Forest Service, the Canadian Forestry Association, and the National Association of Conservation Districts – the impressive Fox Lane team consists of Seniors Asha Grossberndt, Dylan Grant, and Natalie Colao, Junior Ethan Gatfield and Sophomore Cerina Karr.  They dedicated hours of preparation in addition to existing school work, sports, and clubs, and have represented our community with dignity and class.  Their passion and commitment to environmental sustainability serves as a model for us all; Ben Antin, Fox Lane High School “The Plastic Bag Project” – his creative concept involved obtaining student signatures (#) in support of a plastic bag ban in Bedford and Mt. Kisco and arranging the preview of a film at the school describing the impact plastic has on our environment, “Bag It” ;  Energize Bedford, the “Energize Bedford” campaign evaluated wasted energy use, level of comfort, costs and green solutions for 200 homes in Bedford, the highest number of assessments in New York state.
 
TRAFFIC SAFETY WORKING GROUP (TSWG)
For the Thursday, October 19, Meeting minutes, click here
 
WON’T YOU HELP!  FRIENDS IN SERVICE HELPING (FISH)
Click here for the flyer.
Continuing our section on leaf blowers, click here for more information
TOWN STEPS TO REGULATE LEAF BLOWERS 
Several municipalities in Westchester County and other municipalities throughout the state and the Nation regulate the use of leaf blowers.  The regulations range from seasonal bans to full or partial prohibition.  Concerns regarding leaf blowers, among others, are noise, pollution, dust, spread of plant disease, removal of top soil.  We are considering regulation which would take effect in 2018.  We are evaluating regulations from other communities, but before developing any specific proposal, are soliciting input.  Following the busy Fall season for landscapers, we will meet with them in December to begin a conversation and address concerns, as their livelihood would be affected   As we move ahead, I will be providing updates. Of course, we wish to hear from residents of the Town and businesses who may be affected and will provide ample opportunity for views to be expressed.   Please let us know yours.
Leaf Blower Use – Please Be Considerate
And in the meantime…. please be considerate on the use of leaf blowers – and if you use a landscaper, please ask your landscaper to be considerate as well.   You and, as applicable, your landscaper might consider alternatives to the use of leaf blowing such as mowing over them to create nutritious mulch for your lawn   Please also consider the following:
          * Reduce noise by running blowers at the lowest throttle speed and for the minimum time needed.
            * Run blowers one at a time and do not idle for more than one minute.
            * Consider using electric blowers, which are quieter and less polluting (the price of electric mowers has come down quite a bit and their power has increased)
            * Use rakes or clean-up garden beds by hand.
            * On pavement and driveways, do final clean-up with a broom.
            * Be courteous and don’t blow near people and pets.
            * Avoid blowing debris into neighbors’ yards, the street and towards windows and doors.
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.
Please give our pages a “like” by clicking on the links below:
Bedford Police Department, New York: https://www.facebook.com/BedfordNY.Police/
TENTATIVE 2018 BUDGET NEARING COMPLETION
My key objectives in developing the 2018 Town budget is to stay within the New York Property Tax Cap while continuing to provide a high level of services, provide for need capital improvements and repairs and remain on a strong financial footing. 
 
At the outset of the budget preparation, I instructed the Town’s department heads to submit proposed budgets which showed no increase over their 2017 appropriations except for contractual increases.   The budget preparation process entailed meetings which Comptroller Abraham Zambrano and I held with each department head at which we identified areas where additional funding would be needed – as summarized below.   I commend our able department heads and staff who have worked hard to exercise budgetary constraint.  Following work sessions which Comptroller Zambrano and I have had with department heads, the Town Board has met in work session with them.   The Board will meet again on October 17 in work session after which Comptroller Zambrano, whom I have appointed Budget Officer for the 2018 budget, will file the tentative budget with the Town Clerk, as required under law.  I will provide the highlights of the budget at that time.
 
TENTATIVE PLANS TO HIRE BEDFORD 2020 FOR CLIMATE ACTION PLAN
2018 is a big year as it represents the ten-year mark of the Town committing to communitywide climate action goals. There is a need and major opportunity in 2018 for the Town to assess how far we’ve come in addressing the measures laid out in the Climate Action Plan; report progress/achievements to the Bedford community, and use this as a platform for establishing new, post-2020 strategic targets.
Bedford 2020 is in a unique position to lead a 2018 greenhouse gas inventory and climate action plan assessment, and to develop a messaging campaign to convey and celebrate the Town’s climate action achievements over the past 10 years to the community:
  • Bedford 2020 leaders directed the baseline and 2014 Bedford greenhouse gas inventories
  • Bedford 2020 created, lead and implemented — in partnership with the Town — majority of the community programs established to address the measures in the Climate Action Plan
  • Bedford 2020’s primary expertise is outreach and communications to the community on climate action issues, programs and progress
Implementation of the Town’s Climate Action Plan is achieving significant cost savings to residents and businesses reducing energy use while cutting greenhouse gas emissions.   We’re also saving tax dollars in reducing the Town’s energy costs.  
NOTES FROM THE OCTOBER 3 TOWN BOARD MEETING
Traffic Safety Working Group Supplemental Resolution
The Town Board voted adopted a supplemental resolution to clarify certain matters, including the terms for and number of resident members of the TSWG and designation of the Supervisor as chairman.  If at all possible a resident from each of the three hamlets will be appointed each with a term of three years.  For the full resolution click 
here

New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) and Sustainable Westchester Pledge on Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV) 
The Town Board approved the adoption of the ZEV Pledge as the Gold Tier making Bedford the first community in Westchester County to do so.  The NYLCV and Sustainable Westchester have called upon municipal leaders to adopt a pledge to integrate into municipal fleets ZEVs, which include battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell and plug-in hybrids.  This pertain to purchases or leases by the end of 2020 of new light-duty ZEV vehicles.   The tiers are:
1. Tier 1: Gold Pledge – 10% of light-duty fleet.
2. Tier 2:  Silver Pledge – 5% of light-duty fleet
3. Tier 3:  Bronze Pledge – evaluate opportunities to include ZEVs in future.
 
I have identified at least two vehicles in our fleet of 14 light duty vehicles which under the Town’s Capital Plan are scheduled for replacement by the end of 2020 and which can be replaced with mission-compatible and highly cost-efficient ZEVs.  We anticipate that meeting the pledge both will reduce vehicle operating costs while bringing Bedford closer to meeting our Climate Action Plan goals.
 
Resolution in Support of the National Wreaths Across America Day
December 16, 2017
The Town Board adopted a resolution in support of the National Wreaths Across America Day.  We thank David Zapsky and Rodger Guest for bringing this to the attention of the Town Board. 
The Town of Bedford wishes to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our Nation, to honor those who continue to serve and to teach our children the value of freedom; The National Wreaths Across America Day carries out the mission to “Remember, Honor and Teach” by promoting wreath-laying ceremonies in cemeteries throughout America; in the words of Karen Worcester, Executive Director of Wreaths Across America, “We are not here to ‘decorate graves.’  We’re here to remember not their deaths, but their lives; the Town of Bedford Veterans Advisory Committee has recommended to the Town Board that the Town of Bedford participate in the National Wreaths Across America Day on December 16, 2017; be it resolved that the Town of Bedford hereby joins with the millions of others across America in participating in the National Wreaths Across America Day on December 16, 2017.
 
Appointments to Boards & Commissions   
The Town Board is very grateful for the service of so many civic-minded residents to help our community.  We thank those whom the Town Board re-appointed at our October 3meeting:
Drew Marchiano and Andy Guich were re-appointed to the Traffic Safety Working Group; Meghan Bazaar was re-appointed to the Katonah District Review Commission; Rosemary Lee was re-appointed to the Open Space Committee
FOR THE LATEST SUPERVISOR SHOW
2018 Town Operating Budget, Bedford Hills Train Station Agreement, and an Introduction to the Chairman of the Veterans Advisory Committee, David Zapsky
Click here
 
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.

SEWER PROJECT UPDATE
Click here
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SEPTEMBER 19 TOWN BOARD MEETING
MTA Lease for Bedford Hills Train Station    After my negotiations for several months with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, we received in final form a new lease to the train station on terms favorable to the Town.   The lease is for 25 years (rather than 20 as MTA originally proposed); provides a use clause to allow the Town to use the station as it presently is being used for Town and community activities; requires a least payment of $1 per year (waived); and right to convert the lease to a market rate lease in the event of non-municipal use of the station.    The Board authorized me to sign the lease on behalf of the Town.  The next step is approval by the Board of Directors of the MTA.   We’re delighted that we are retaining the station, its parking and its surrounding area for Town and community use.
Proposal for Municipal Parking in Bedford Village   The Town Board is considering acquiring vacant parcels off of Court Road which are owned by the Bedford Presbyterian Church.  The purpose of the acquisition would be for development of municipal parking to serve the hamlet center.   The Town Board approved my request to authorize a Phase II environmental assessment of the parcels as part of our due diligence.  Environmental Planning & Management (EPM) to perform a Phase II environmental assessment following the Phase I assessment recently completed.  The cost is for a not to exceed fee of $14,815.  Comptroller Zambrano advises the Board that there are funds available in the capital project for Bedford Village parking previously established.  The Church has authorized our performing the assessment.   Should the results of the environmental assessment allow for the Town to proceed, we would hold a meeting with the community in Bedford Village for input on the proposal.
Authorization to Re-Issue Request for Proposal for Solar Installations; Bid Requests for Carports at Police Station    This summer the Town had issued a Request for Proposals for solar installations not only in connection with carports for the Police Station, but at the option of any firm submitting a proposal other suitable Town-owned locations.  At the same time we sought bids for the construction of the planned carport for the Police Station, which we wish to provide in the renovation project regardless of whether we proceed with solar panels atop the carport.  There were no proposals submitted nor any bids submitted.   I was advised that it is likely that no proposals were submitted due to uncertainty regarding NYS incentives available to solar developers.  The NYS Public Service Commission on September 14 issued an “Implementation Order” which bears directly upon NYS financial incentives to solar developers.   Some details remain to be settled, which are expected soon.  As such, it appears that if we were to issue the RFP and re-issue the bid requests at the end of September or early October and provide sufficient time for submissions, we may find interest among developers/contractors.   The Board approved authorizing me to proceed.
Phase 2 of KVIS Beautification Plan   The Board approved phase 2 of the superb beautification plan for Katonah Avenue in front of the train station.  The first phase was completed last year with the Town providing park personnel for the plantings and KVIS providing professionally prepared planting plans and $12,000 in plant material.  This covered the area from Edgemont to the stairs to the station.  Phase 2 covers from the fire hydrant to the gazebo.  This will entail from $8,000 to $10,000 in plant material KVIS will donate and over $8,000 in Town furnished labor.  We thank KVIS for making this partnership possible to move ahead with a significant beautification of Katonah Avenue.
Temporary Parking Rule Changes on Village Green, Bedford Village   Crews began construction this past Monday to provide a raised crosswalk.   The project, which may take as much as a month, temporarily takes out of service 10 to 12 parking spaces.   To ease the impact on patrons, customers and businesses, the Town Board adopted a resolution providing temporary changes in the parking rules in the hamlet center, including a reduction in the parking time limit to 30 minutes from 1 hour for eight parking spaces from Court Road towards the entrance to the fire station and an increase from 1 hour to 2 hours for the next three spaces.  It also provides an increase from 1 hour to 2 hours for two spaces in front of the Bedford Playhouse building.   We’re interested in feedback from the community to help us determine whether after the project is completed, we might keep the changes in place.   Our thanks to the Bedford Presbyterian Church for their generosity in allowing the public to use during the course of the construction project parking in the Church lot behind the Church.  We ask the cooperation of business owners and their employees to use such parking or street parking on Court Road (those spaces further toward BVES which do not have a limit).
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.
TEMPORARY CHANGES IN PARKING RULES IN BEDFORD VILLAGE
The Town of Bedford is replacing the crosswalk in front of the Bedford Village Post Office with a raised crosswalk intended to increase visibility and reduce vehicle speed.  To facilitate the maximum flow of traffic for the duration of the project, the Town will need to utilize thirteen (13) curbside parking spaces both near and in front of the Bedford Village Post Office and across the street at the Village Green. Additional parking will be provided in the Presbyterian Church Parking Lot to mitigate the loss of spots. 
 
ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE BROADBAND (Altice USA asked we share the following information)
Altice USA is pleased to announce the launch of Economy Internet, an affordable option for fast, high quality Optimum Internet connectivity at home for households that qualify for the National School Lunch Program and senior citizens that qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  This service is available to new Optimum Internet customers.
Details of the service can be found at www.geteconomyinternet.com

COMMUNITY COMPOST BINS ARE HERE!
Bedford 2020 now has compost bins available for Town residents who want to collect organic kitchen waste and take it to the Town Recycling Center.  For $25 you can purchase 2 bins and a roll of compostable bag liners for $5. Click here for a brief instructional video and more information
PLEASE NOTE: PUBLIC WORKS PROJECT IN BEDFORD VILLAGE; TEMPORARY CHANGE IN PARKING RULES
The Town of Bedford Public Works Department is replacing the crosswalk in front of the Bedford Village Post Office with another constructed of masonry pavers. It will be a raised crosswalk intended to increase visibility and reduce vehicle speed.  The Contractor that the Town is employing expects to begin work on the project on Monday, September 18, 2017. It is estimated that the project will last until October 18, 2017 (Depending on weather conditions.)
 
We hope to begin work at 7:00 AM and stop work at 3:30 PM each day (Mon-Fri).  The Town of Bedford expects to keep two lanes of traffic open at this location for the strong majority of the project. If only one lane is open, this will not occur during rush hour and will be managed by flaggers to allow for alternating traffic. The work will be staged to start on the side of the street by the fire house and end at the Green, with approximately one third of the street closed at a time. The sidewalk will remain open.
 
In order to facilitate the maximum flow of traffic for the duration of the project, the town will need to utilize 13 curbside parking spaces both near and in front of the Bedford Village Post Office and across the street at the Village Green. Additional parking will be provided in the Presbyterian Church Parking Lot to mitigate the loss of spots. Signs will be in place informing people that the parking at the Church Parking Lot is available.
 
Parking rules will be changed as follows: a reduction from one hour to thirty minutes in parking from Court Road towards the entrance to the fire house for eight spots, and from one hour to two hours for the next three spots.  These measures are being taken to better accommodate needs of the businesses during the construction period.
 
YOUR PATIENCE IS GREATLY APPRECIATED. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT BEDFORD DPW AT 914-666-7669.
 
SEWER PROJECT STATUS UPDATE
Click 
here
 
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 .
 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.
“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.
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
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.
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).
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.
Traffic Calming
  • The raised crosswalk is planned for September. Acocella contracting will be performing the work. DPW will communicate with store owners, the Chamber, and BVHDRC before the work occurs.
  • Paving of the Village Green and installation of the speed hump will occur in October or November.
Street Lights – 11 have been ordered and are expected to be delivered by the end of September. DPW plans to replace all of the ones in the brick sidewalk between Court Road and 172, and then several on the Village Green this year. Another 11 +/- have been included in the capital plan for next year, and can be scheduled once the plan is approved
Court Road Sidewalk – Replacement is planned to start by the end of August. DPW will communicate with store owners, the Chamber, and BVHDRC before the work occurs.
Route 22 Sidewalk north of Court Road – likely to be budgeted for and replaced in 2018.
SCHEDULE OF TOWN BOARD WORK SESSION AND MEETINGS 2018 BUDGET  
August 15 (7:15 PM)
Overview & Discussion of Comptroller’s suggestions on possible expense reductions and non-tax revenue sources
September 5 (7:15 PM)
Town Board review of proposed 2018 budget for Police
September 19 (7:15 PM)
Town Board review of proposed 2018 budget for Lighting and Water Districts, Public Works and Building Departments and Libraries
October 3 (7:15 PM)
Town Board review of proposed 2018 budget for Recreation & Parks Departments and all other Departments; discussion of tentative 2018 budget.
October 17 (7:15 PM)
Town Board further review of tentative 2018 budget; note that Budget Officer is to finalize tentative budget and file tentative budget in office of the Town Clerk prior to October 30. The Town Clerk is to formally present tentative budget to the Town Board prior to November 10. The Town Board may call upon any Department Head to discuss the tentative budget and any estimates submitted.
November 9 (7:15 PM)
Town Board consideration of any revisions in tentative 2018 budget – holding of a public hearing is optional before adoption of preliminary 2018 budget.
November 21
Adoption of preliminary 2018 budget based on any revisions in the tentative 2018 budget. The preliminary budget shall be filed in the office of the Town Clerk and reproduced for public distribution as directed by the Town Board.
December 5
Town Board to hold public hearing, make revisions to the preliminary budget and adopt the final 2018 budget. The Town must comply with all notice requirements in Town Law §108. The hearing may be adjourned if necessary, but may not go beyond December 15. The final budget must be adopted prior to December 20.
 
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.

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

PAVING
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 
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.
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.
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.
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 hac@affordablehomes.org 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 
Click here 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 vraphael@wroinc.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.

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.
Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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

Home buyers love porches | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Of the roughly 780,000 single-family homes started in 2016, 65.1 percent included porches, according to NAHB tabulation of data from the Survey of Construction (SOC).  The SOC is conducted on an ongoing basis by the U.S. Census Bureau with partial funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Among other things, the SOC shows that, over the period when single-family starts were declining (from 1.7 million in 2005 to 430,000 in 2011), the share of new homes built with porches was increasing (from 54.1 percent in 2005 to 65.7 percent in 2011).

Since the trough of 2011, single-family starts have increased every year, but still remain well below historical averages.  During most of that span, the share of new homes with porches remained relatively stable, hovering in a narrow band between 63 and 64 percent.  In 2016, the single-family porch share moved back above 65 percent for only the second time.

SOC data can also be tabulated separately for each of the nine Census divisions.  In 2016, the share of new homes with porches ranged from a low of 52 percent in the Mid-Atlantic Division to a high of over 85 percent in the four states that make up the East South Central.

While the SOC shows how many new homes come with porches, it doesn’t provide much information about the nature of the porches.  For that, we can turn to the Annual Builder Practices Survey (BPS) conducted by Home Innovation Research Labs.  The latest BPS shows that front porches on new homes are far more common than side porches, and that most new home porches are open rather than screened in.

 

read more…

http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/10/share-of-new-homes-with-porches-back-over-65-percent/

Builder Confidence Remains Solid | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes weakened slightly in June, down two points to a level of 67 from a downwardly revised May reading of 69 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).

Builder confidence levels have remained consistently sound this year, reflecting the ongoing gradual recovery of the housing market. As the housing market strengthens and more buyers enter the market, builders continue to express their frustration over an ongoing shortage of skilled labor and buildable lots that is impeding stronger growth in the single-family market.

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

All three HMI components posted losses in June but remain at healthy levels. The components gauging current sales conditions fell two points to 73 while the index charting sales expectations in the next six months dropped two points to 76. Meanwhile, the component measuring buyer traffic also moved down two points to 49.

Bedford Town Board meeting | Bedford Hills Real Estate

NOTES FROM JUNE 20 TOWN BOARD MEETING
 
Proposed Continuation and Increase of Open Space Tax Levy Following a Public Hearing, the Town Board adopted a Local Law to set an open space tax levy to replace the existing levy which expires next month.  The Board made the law subject to a referendum on November 7 (on the same ballot as the general election ballot).  The replacement Local Law would continue the 1% levy and provide for a one-quarter of one percent increase starting in 2019 and each year thereafter until it reaches 2% after which there would be no further increase.   I have made clear our continued commitment to stay within the property tax cap, including the Open Space tax levy.  I believe that we can absorb the modest and phased increase while still meeting that commitment.  Click here for a memorandum from Comptroller Abraham Zambrano setting forth the Open Space fund balance and the tax impact of the proposed Local Law. 
Reaffirming Climate Plan and Joining Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Call
The Board adopted a resolution reaffirming the Town’s commitment to a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by the year 2020.  The Town also joined with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s call to join forces to declare that we will continue to support the Paris Agreement regarding climate change. Click here for the resolution.
 
NOTES FROM JUNE 19 TOWN BOARD MEETING – COMMUTER PARKING LOTS
At a meeting devoted solely to the commuter parking lots, the Town Board on Monday evening heard from residents regarding some ideas to reduce the waiting lists for the “prime” commuter parking lots; that is, the lots closest to the train platform; Lot 4 in Bedford Hills and Lot 1 in Katonah
Comptroller Abraham Zambrano who also heads the Town’s Parking Bureau presented data regarding the number of spaces and permits issued, location of the lots, waiting lists and other data.  He then outlined some of the ideas to reduce the waiting lists.   He also explained that the Town will be acquiring new software which will significantly improve our ability to track usage, provide flexibility in the type/duration of permits issued and enhance enforcement (e.g., vehicles parked without permits).  We then opened the floor to comments.  Residents who hold permits to the prime lots passionately urged the Board not to issue permits by hamlet, rather than parking lot.   There was support for moving holders of business permits in Lot 1 to Lot 2 on Katonah Avenue, however, there also was concern expressed that doing so would harm the businesses.  Some expressed interest in the idea of a “Commuter Council” to make recommendation to the Board regarding these matters.
Those holding the permits to the prime lots can be assured that we are not adopting a plan to issue permits by hamlet, so your permit is safe.  In addition, no significant changes will be taken in 2017.  As Mr. Zambrano explained, we are moving ahead with adding some parking spaces and offering permits to a limited number of individuals on the waiting list.  We will continue to keep you updated.
NOTES FROM JUNE 21 BOARD MEETING – SEWER PROJECT 
At a meeting devoted solely to discussing how we would allocate the limited capacity of the wastewater treatment plant, the Town Board on Wednesday evening had staff explain the policy regarding unallocated capacity.  As you may know, the Town will take over the WWTP as early as next year from the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (presently serving only the Bedford Hills Correctional Facilities).   After creation of the sewer system, which may be completed as early as Summer/Fall 2019, the WWTP will serve the central business districts of Bedford Hills and Katonah, the correctional facilities, Katonah Elementary School, property of St. Mary’s Church in Katonah and Bedford Park Apartments in Bedford Hills (together with a few other public buildings).   There will be remaining capacity of approximately 64,000 gallons per day (GPD).  As a point of reference, the average household would utilize approximately 400 GPD.   The Town Board will implement a sewer law governing everything from permissible waste to capacity allocation.
We had invited all property owners whose properties are along the planned sewer lines but not within the sewer district.  There were 18 such owners in attendance.  We heard concerns about the cost of connection and the timing of connection.   There also was concern expressed about being in non-compliance of Department of Health septic laws.
We emphasized that we are doing everything we can to move the project ahead expeditiously, which is the first phase in providing sewers to the most densely populated areas of the hamlets of Bedford Hills and Katonah (which, of course, are those with smaller lots and with septic systems more prone to failure).   We also assured property owners that the Septic System Repair and Maintenance Program has substantial funds remaining and is available for those who, under the policy, would be ineligible to connect to the system. Please see below regarding the program.
As part of the capacity allocation component, I will present to the Town Board at our July 6 the policy which we have been considering since last Fall and has been developed by staff, summarized as follows:
1. Sewer District Properties
Properties within the proposed sewer district will be permitted to use up to 15,000 gallons per day of uncommitted capacity on a first come/first served basis.
2. Out of District Properties
Residential or commercial properties outside the sewer district with cesspools or with failing septic systems and along a newly installed sewer main will be permitted to connect to the sewer main at the property owner’s cost on a first come/first served basis. These properties will be able to use up to 15,000 gallons of uncommitted capacity. Properties in this situation may utilize the Town’s Septic Reimbursement Program to pay for 50% of the cost to either connect to the sewer system or to repair a failed system.
3. Sewer Law Review
The newly enacted Sewer Law will include regulations governing the future connections to the sewer system. In this case, the law would specify the 15,000 gallon limits in items 1 and 2 above. The law will also determine estimates of sewer flow from newly connected uses, calculations for uncommitted capacity, application procedures and requirements, and costs and fees for future connections.
Review of the Sewer Law by the Town Board will be required for the following reasons, whichever first occurs:
A. Five years from the adoption of the original Sewer Law.
B. Sewer District properties using uncommitted capacity over 15,000 gallons per day.
C. Out-of-District properties using uncommitted capacity over 15,000 gallons per day.
In its review, the Town Board will be permitted to modify any of the initial capacity allocation requirements or any other provision of the law. Of course, the Board could conclude that no revisions would be required.
 
SEPTIC SYSTEM REPAIR AND REPLACEMENT PROGRAM
NOW THAT THE SUMMER 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.
SUPERVISOR’S NEWS & NOTES: UPCOMING DESIGN PHASE OF SEWER SYSTEM, REPLACING AN EXPIRING LOCAL LAW, INTRO. TO DEIRDRE COURTNEY-BATSON
Click here for the video
2017 PAVING
Please click here for the discussion of the Town’s paving policy and the list of roads to be paved in 2017. 
CALENDARS 
For the Community Events Calendar
For the Town Calendar
CONTINUING  POSTS
 
FOR THE SUPERVISOR’S MONTHLY REPORT (MAY) click here
ACTIONS AT JUNE 6 TOWN BOARD MEETING
 
Amendments to the Landlord Registry Law Adopted.  The Town Board had held a Public Hearing on May 16 to consider proposed amendments to the which requires owners of two-family and multi-family residential rental buildings to register with the Town Building Department, pay a fee for each unit that is covered and that each unit be inspected by the Building Department once every two years.  Following the Public Hearing the Town Board deferred action and allowed a public comment period through May 31.   No further comments were received and the Town Board, on recommendation of the Building Inspector and Town Counsel Keane & Beane, adopted the amendments.   The primary changes to the law are as follows:
  • Mixed Used Buildings Added   The amendment would add buildings which contain both commercial occupancy and at least one residential unit. It also clarifies that unoccupied rental units are subject to registration, fees and inspection requirements.
  • Inspections Every Three Years Rather Than Two         To coincide with the frequency required for fire inspections, the amendments would provide that the inspections are once every three years. Corresponding to the change, the registry fee would be paid at the time of the initial registration and every three years thereafter. In the current law, the registration / recertification fee must be paid every two years.
  • Owner Occupied Units Exempt from Fee       The amendment would exempt from payment of a registration fees units that are owner occupied or that are occupied by an owner’s immediate family (parents or children).
  • Staggering of Scheduled Filings   The Building Department would be authorized to stagger the scheduled recertification filings and inspections during the first two years the revised law is in effect. This will allow the inspections to be spread out over a three year period, rather than having to conduct all inspections in the same year.
  • Owner Responsibility for Arranging Inspections   Under the amendments, if an owner does not contact the Building Department to schedule inspections within the appropriate time, then they could be subject to penalties. Previously, it was unclear whether the Owner or the Building Department had the burden of scheduling inspections. The Building Department will continue to check to make sure that inspections are scheduled and conducted as required. The revised Local Law clarifies that the burden of scheduling inspections is on the Owners, rather than the Building Department.
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.
 
Town Board Approves Woodard & Curran for Sewer Project   The Board approved the engineering firm of Woodard & Curran for the design of the sewer system.  Commissioner of Public Works Kevin Winn provided the following statement to accompany this agenda item:
“On April 27, 2017 I issued a request for proposals (RFP) to eight engineering firms. The scope was for engineering services to design, obtain regulatory approval for, and bid the wastewater collection system and connection to the DOCCS wastewater plant. Proposals were due on May 24, 2017. Five proposals were received. The RFP, which is attached, stated that proposals would be evaluated based on equal weighting of:
· Firm qualifications, project team qualifications, and proposal quality
· Project cost and schedule
The cost proposals were broken into two parts:
A) A fixed fee to complete the scope described in the RFP and to submit applications to NYCDEP, WCDOH, NYSDOT, and MTA that are deemed complete applications by all agencies.
B) A budget to respond to agency comments after complete applications are acknowledged by the regulatory agencies, and obtain approval to construct. The budget was based on the firm’s experience with the regulatory agencies and will be negotiated between the Town and the firm once agency comments are received subsequent to complete applications being acknowledged.
The Town was fortunate to receive strong proposals from well qualified firms. Proposals were reviewed by the Sewer Working Group, consisting of Supervisor Chris Burdick, Deputy Supervisor Lee Roberts, Director of Planning Jeff Osterman, and myself. Interviews were held with the three firms deemed to have the highest in score. Cost proposals were:
Firm
Part A
Part B
Total
Dvirka and Bartilucci
 $  610,188
 $     47,996
 $658,184
Woodard and Curran
 $  483,974
 $     12,906
 $496,880
Obrien and Gere and Insite Engineering Team
 $  632,546
 $   262,677
 $895,223
Hahn Engineering and Arcadis Team
 $  780,300
 $     50,000
 $830,300
Delaware Engineering
 $  936,360
 $     22,270
 $958,630
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2017 Paving List Adopted The Town Board approved the recommendations of Public Works Commissioner Kevin Winn.  I feel it’s important for the community to know the basis for the recommendations which Commissioner Winn makes each year.  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 result 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 in the best condition and 5 being the worst.   As a result of higher appropriation levels, we have been able to pave all roads rated at 4 and 5 and now are working away at a lengthy list of roads rated at 3.5. I recognize that this explanation is disappointing to those who resident on roads which they’d like paved. If at all possible, we will continue the higher appropriation levels so that we can get to those roads sooner than otherwise. Click here for the paving list for 2017 as set out in Commissioner Winn’s memorandum to the Board. As Mr. Winn notes: “These roads were selected based on their deteriorated conditions. Paving techniques will range from 1.5″ to 2″ of asphalt, varying based on road conditions.”
Sending a Message to Washington on Environmental Protection   The Town Board adopted a resolution supporting of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater’s sail to Washington, D.C. to maintain clean water protections and other environmental protections.  The following is an excerpt from the resolution:  RESOLVED that the Town of Bedford hereby registers its deep concern over current rollbacks and threats to federal clean water protections as described above, affirms the need for sound, science-based water policy and for adequate regulation, enforcement and funding as pressure on water quality and safety continue to mount.  We also wish to express our support for the effort Clearwater is leading to carry our concerns and concerns of many New Yorkers for clean water and other environmental protections directly to Washington.  Click here for the resolution
Fee Schedule Change: the Board approved the recommendation to increase to $500 the annual permit fee for business parking fee for Lot 8.  
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.
PLEASE CONSIDER HELPING OUR TOWN – Vacancies on Boards and Committees (updated)
Recreation and Parks Advisory (RPAC) Committee – for more information on the Committee click here.

The Town is also looking to fill a vacancy on the Tree Advisory Board (TAB) with preferably a certified arborist. For more information on the Board click here.

There is one vacancy on Committee on Seniors.  For more information on the committee click here.

There is a vacancy on the Blue Mountain Development Board and Bedford Housing Agency.
This Board and the Agency was created by the Bedford Town Board over thirty years ago to promote the creation of affordable housing stock. The Board has worked tirelessly with not for profits (such as A Home, Habitat for Humanity and ACE), religious institutions (such as Antioch Baptist Church), New York State and Westchester County.  Most recently Blue Mountain has been partnering with Antioch Baptist Church for the creation of 12 affordable housing units at the Church’s property on Railroad Avenue which the Church will be conveying to a separate not-for-profit corporation.   It has been a long standing practice for the Town Board to consult with its boards and commissions when vacancies arise, particularly for suggestions as to skill sets and experience desired.   In the case of Blue Mountain, the individual leaving the Board is an attorney, and it would be helpful to replace him as well with an attorney.

If you are interested in serving, please e-mail your resume with a cover letter to supervisor@bedfordny.gov.


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.
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.  

POLICE DEPARTMENT RENOVATION PROJECT
Work continues to progress on the renovation project for the Bedford Police Department headquarters. For detailed information from the construction manager, I invite you to review the executive summary byclicking here.
POTHOLE REPAIRS 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.
ACQUISITION OF WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT FOR $1 MOVES FORWARD
As has been recently reported, the property owners in the Bedford Hills-Katonah Business Sewer District on March 30 approved a referendum for the creation of the district and a $1.1 million bond issue.   The sewer system will utilize the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) operated by the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) for the Bedford Hills correctional facilities.  The agreement between the Town of Bedford and DOCCS provides for conveying to the Town title to the WWTP, which has excess capacity and can accommodate the other properties in the district.   The procedure for conveying title is the enactment of a Home Rule Law by the NYS Legislature and signed by the Governor, which would authorize the conveyance.   This is the regular procedure which DOCCS has followed in other instances in which a municipality received land from DOCCS; for example, DOCCS conveyed land to Greene County to construct a County jail; and to Beacon for athletic fields.   Special thanks to Public Works Commissioner Kevin Winn, Planning Director Jeff Osterman, DOCCS and especially State Senator George Latimer and State Assemblyman David Buchwald and their respective staffs for turning around very quickly the proposed law.  I also wish to thank Town Clerk Boo Fumagalli who is familiar with the process and has been handling the documentation.   Accordingly, the Town Board approved at the May 2 meeting the Home Rule Request for the enactment of S5786 & A7559 to vest authority to the commissioner of the NYS Office of General Services subject to the consent of the commissioner of the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Services to convey title to the Town of Bedford to approximately 9 acres of unappropriated state lands in Bedford Hills on which is located the wastewater treatment plant presently operated by the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. 

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. 

ALLIED COMMUNITY ENTERPRISES (ACE)
ACE, a local affordable housing organization, has received funding for a Septic Repair/Replacement Program.  ACE is led by Joan Arnold and has as its board members Katonah residents Don Scott and Betsy Weir.  This Grant is administered by ACE and funded by New York State Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC) to provide eligible homeowners with funding for septic repair/replacement. Grants are for systems that are in failure or failing, not for expansion.
Click here for Supervisor Chris Burdick’s letter explaining the program
Click here  for the link to the repair/replacement program

EMS AND FIRE DEPARTMENT LIFE MEMBERS VOLUNTEERS
I am pleased to report that the Town Board at its May 2 meeting adopted a policy to extend “free” pool membership to “life” members of each fire department and to the Katonah-Bedford Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corp.
BEDFORD PLAYHOUSE UPDATE
Click here for the press release and photos
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.  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?
  • Yearly
  • Seasonal
  • Weekly
  • Daily
  • Weather impacts:
  • Freeze/thaw
  • Heavy rains
  • Bike Area season – what is the season?
  • Teamster vs volunteer work
  • Staff impact
Other Options:
  • Within Katonah Memorial Park
  • Other Town Parks
  • Other Areas
NOTES FROM THE APRIL 18 TOWN BOARD
1.     Overhaul of Historic Building Preservation Law   The Town Board, following a well- attended public hearing with many presenting their views, adopted amendments to the Historic Building Preservation Law.  Each property owner subject to the law was mailed notice of the public hearing (and had previously been notified of public information sessions held last year and one held this year).  The amendments include adoption of a list of historic properties; reduction in the number of historic properties subject to regulation; reduction in the authority of the Historic Building Preservation Commission (the HBPC review authority is limited to the 258 properties in “Tier 1”), clear establishment of “as of right” activities (no historic approval required); a new administrative permit to cut time and expense; and plain English rewrites of several provisions of the law.   The Town Board also adopted a resolution for a partial rebate in building permit fees for historic work.   The following summarizes the changes adopted in the HBPL:
SCOPE & PROCEDURES PRIOR TO AMENDMENTS
NEW SCOPE & PROCEDURES FOLLOWING AMENDMENTS
Properties subject to HBPC review:      807
Subject to administrative permit only:     0
HBPC applications/year (average):        12
Properties subject to HBPC review:           258
Subject to administrative permit only:        349
HBPC applications/year (estimated):          5
Total number Historic Buildings:          807*
The law requires that all permit applications affecting any of these Historic Buildings be referred to the HBPC
Tier I:                                                        258 properties
  • As-of-right projects are defined and will require no application or review
  • Substantial alteration or demolition will be subject to HBPC review
Tier II –                                                   349 properties
  • Only demolition will require approval; approval will be by administrative permit (no HBPC review)
2.    Support for Installation of Replacement Fire Tower at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation   The Board adopted a resolution urging Westchester County to proceed with the largely community-funded effort to install a replacement fire tower a short distance for Pell Hill in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.  The tower would provide a magnificent view of the tristate area, draw visitors and be a boon financially for the park and local businesses.  Click here for the resolution.
APRIL 20 UPDATE FROM THE TRAFFIC SAFETY WORKING GROUP COMMITTEE
1.  Update from DPW:
a.  Bedford Village Traffic Calming Measures Along Village Green – Kevin Winn gave an update. The design for the traffic calming measures has been approved. The existing crosswalk will be changed to a raised concrete block crosswalk that looks like brick. A speed hump is also set to be added near the church on the Route 172 side. Hahn Engineering drafted the design and presented it to the Bedford Village Historic District Review Commission. After some minor modifications, the plan was presented again to the commission and was approved. These measures are set to be implemented in summer 2017 and coincide with the paving in the Village Green area.
b. Haines Road/Bedford Road Crosswalk – Kevin Winn gave an update. NYS DOT has given its permission to place a rapid-flash beacon at the crosswalk. The beacon goes below the sign indicating the crosswalk. They are currently trying to secure funding.
c. Parkway/Katonah Avenue – Kevin Winn gave an update. The island on the east side of Parkway is slated to be extended out to create a “refuge island” in summer 2017. The northeast corner of the intersection has been changed to a parking spot. The parking spot idea has seemed to work better than the previous idea of placing flower baskets in the area. Don Scott reports that the spot is used frequently during the late morning and afternoon hours.
2.  Update from Police Department:
a.  Vehicle Weight Scales – Mel Padilla gave an update. A second set of scales has been acquired. There was a delay in the state certifying the scales; however, both sets are now ready to be deployed. One commercial vehicle detail has been scheduled each month between May and September. The officers will be checking for gross vehicle weight, in addition to other items such as uncovered loads and missing placards. The goal of these inspections is to reduce truck traffic in the hamlets and throughout the town. Don Scott brought up the local delivery only signs which are placed in certain locations in the town. Chief Padilla stated that the law, as written, is too ambiguous to enforce properly. Chris Burdick and Jeff Osterman will look at the previous research done on the signs and law and see if there are any improvements that can be made.
b. Speed Limit Enforcement on Route 172 – Mel Padilla gave an update. The last speed study was done in October 2016. This study found that the 85% of drivers were doing an average speed of 47 MPH on this stretch of road. Chief Padilla brought up that officers have mentioned that one side of the roadway is 35 MPH and the other side is 30 MPH. The same situation exists on Route 35. Kevin Winn said he would look into the signage and bring any inconsistencies to the attention of NYS DOT. A traffic study is currently being conducted now to see if there has been any abatement in speed in this area. Once the study is completed next week, the speed board will be deployed to this area as a short-term fix. A lengthy discussion followed regarding the feasibility of installing speed camera signs or actual speed cameras to deter speeding in the area. There were questions regarding the legality of doing so and Chris Burdick stated he would be able to gather more information on the topic. Don Scott mentioned that other municipalities such as Yonkers and New York City have successfully implemented cameras. He also mentioned that he would be including a question on the speed cameras on a survey he is planning to send to Katonah residents and would share the results.
GREAT NEWS – ALL OF I-684 RUNNING THROUGH BEDFORD TO BE PAVED 
I am delighted to share with you some great news.  In a follow up call with NYS Department of Transportation Regional Director Todd Westhuis, he reported that DOT in 2018 will proceed with the paving of I-684 from Harris Road to the Exit 5/6 interchange (at Route 35).   This is in addition to the funding which Assemblyman Buchwald helped secure for the portion from the Route 172 interchange to Harris Road which will be carried out in 2017.
     My thanks goes to the community for making your voices heard.  The petition drive, the letter writing, the phone calls, the lobbying, the work of our elected representatives collectively paid off.
Click here for the press release.
OFFICIAL RESULTS OF MARCH 30 SEWER VOTE – IT PASSES OVERWHELMINGLY
Property owners in the central business districts of Bedford Hills and Katonah voted yesterday on whether to create a sewer district and approve the issuance of $1.2 million in bonds toward the estimated $20.5 million to build the sewer system.
I am pleased to report that the referendum was approved by 94% of the vote with 97 voting yes and 6 voting no. Most gratifying is that 86% of the eligible votes were cast.
I wish to thank those who have made this possible, especially the strong support of my colleagues on the Town Board.  I also wish to thank our tireless staff with Planning Director Jeff Osterman and Public Works Commissioner Kevin Winn doing a superb job in developing an affordable and intelligent plan, with the able assistance of our consulting engineers, Arcadis.  Thanks, too, to Town Clerk Boo Fumagalli and Deputy Town Clerk Nina Kellogg and the Election Inspectors who did an excellent job running the election and handling all the procedures, mailings, ballots and election rules.  Our counsel, Joel Sachs, and bond counsel, Doug Goodfriend, ably navigated us through the intricacies of New York State sewer law, election law and SEQRA.  Most of all, thanks to the voters who approved our moving ahead with this plan so crucial to protecting water quality and ensuring the vitality of our business districts.   Please see my March 31, 2017 Supervisor’s Report on next steps.
TOWN BOARD ACTIONS ON PARKING AT COMMUTER LOTS
The Town Board met on March 27 with Comptroller Abe Zambrano, who heads the Town’s Parking Bureau, to consider recommendations for the Town’s commuter lots, including strategies for reducing waiting lists at certain lots, a modest rate increase (there has been no increase since 2011) and a modest increase in the parking spaces.   There is a more detailed discussion in my March 31, 2017 report.

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 www.westchestergov.com/homeseeker, 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 hac@affordablehomes.org or go to http://homes.westchestergov.com/homeownership/homeseeker-opportunities.
FOR THE SUPERVISOR’S LATEST VIDEO WITH COMPTROLLER ABRAHAM ZAMBRANO 
S&P GLOBAL RATINGS – REAFFIRMS BEDFORD’S AAA BOND RATING
I’m pleased to inform you that S&P Global Ratings has assigned a AAA Bond Rating to the Town. Fewer than 3% of municipalities are awarded this coveted rating which has a direct impact on taxpayers by providing a lower rate of interest than those municipalities whose ratings are not as high.  We are delighted that we received on our $10 million bond issue to finance 2016 and 2017 Capital Projects a 3.078% interest rate, well below the 3.5% which Comptroller Abe Zambrano used for budgeting purposes.

TOWN BOARD ADOPTS RESOLUTION REAFFIRMING MORAL STANCE
The resolution referred to below has now also been posted in Spanish, for both the English and Spanish Versions – The Town Board adopted the resolution which I proposed setting forth the Town’s Moral Stance on Recent Events and Related Town Policies.  I am grateful to my colleagues on the Board for their unanimous support and for the community for their involvement in the discussion which led to the development of the resolution and its adoption.  I do wish to emphasize the need for understanding, tolerance and civility for all members of the community regardless of their background and viewpoints, as the resolution recognizes.  While the great majority of those in attendance at the Town Board meeting on March 4 at which the resolution was adopted, there were some opposed.  To paraphrase Voltaire, I may disagree with your viewpoint, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
LOOKING FOR AFFORDABLE APARTMENTS AND CARING LANDLORDS
“A safe and peaceful home is the dream of every domestic violence victim.
Hope’s Door has a wonderful opportunity to make their dream come true.
We received a 3-year grant award to provide rental subsidies for victims fleeing abuse.
During their subsidy period, we will work with victims to become economically self-sufficient. We have all the victims we need and all the funding we need. What we do need are reasonably-priced apartments with landlords who want to make a difference in the lives of victims and their children. Please help us. If you know any landlords that would be interested in partnering with us, please have them contact: Debbie Lauro Conn
Director of Community Services DLauroConn@HopesDoorNY.org
(914) 747-0828 x 1017.”
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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 Trucks 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
Click here for our projections prepared by our Town Comptroller Abe Zambrano.

2016 ANNUAL REPORT NOW POSTED TO WEBSITE!
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.

CON EDISON PRUNING
Con Ed is pruning branches around power lines on the Mt. Kisco electrical loop, this week and next weather permitting.  Con Ed has notified the abutting residents. At present they are only pruning branches and there are no actual tree removals to be done. They have a wood chipper crew with them and they are removing debris as they go. However, Con Ed will be assessing the health of the trees as they proceed and there could be a request for actual tree take-downs.   The roads are: Bedford Rd; Valeria Ct; S. Beechwood Rd, Green La, Edna St,  Center St,  Norm Ave,  Mclain St, Springhurst Rd,  W. Patent Rd, Broad Brook Rd, Guard Hill Rd,  Darlington Rd Christopher Rd, Rock Gate Farm Rd, Letitia  La, Charles Rd,  S. Bedford Rd,  Old Wagon Rd,  Chestnut Ridge Rd, Linden La, Sarles St, Deer Knoll Rd.
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 Gmaintenance 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 vraphael@wroinc.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.
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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.
POLICE STATION RENOVATIONS  
            This is the second installment of the explanation of the project to renovate the station building to which there hasn’t been any significant work in over 30 years.  The $7 million project is comprised of the renovation of the lower level of the Town Offices at 321 Bedford Road to house the police department while the one-year renovation project is being carried out; the gut renovation of the station building; the removal of a portion of the adjacent building (known as the “Milk Building”) to allow room for an addition to the station building; and a second addition to the station building.   The following describes the improvements/renovations to the interior of the station building and the facilities to be housed in it with the additions:
  • Increased security measures will include electronic access control to secure areas and increased video surveillance of sensitive areas.
  • Locate Interview room in lobby to limit entry to the inner secure area of building.
  • Dedicated office space for sergeants to conduct their secondary duties and counsel officers under their command
  • Larger lockers for officers to accommodate all equipment and uniforms (current lockers are insufficient in size).
  • Location of lieutenant offices, detective division and records office to be consolidated into one area to facilitate efficiency of operations.
  • Conference area to be added for executive-level meetings as well as in-house emergency operations management center capabilities.
  • Classroom to be expanded and updated with modern A/V equipment.  This will give the ability to host regional training and reduce training costs for Bedford Officers.
  • Access to classroom from lobby to be added to limit unnecessary entry to the inner secure area of building.
  • Training area for defensive tactics and dynamic tactical training t. Having this capability will reduce scheduling and training overtime costs by conducting smaller trainings with on-duty officers.
  • Health and wellness area included for officers to stay in good physical condition; area will also include provisions for officers held overnight during inclement weather/emergency situations.
  • Larger evidence room to allow for appropriate secure storage in accordance with state accreditation requirements.
  • Secure prisoner intake to maintain the safety and security of the arresting officers and the defendant.
  • Centralized server room for all departmental IT and telecommunications equipment.
  • Secure enclosed space for weapons maintenance and storage
  • Garage for storage of specialty vehicles and equipment (UTV, Motorcycle, Message Boards, etc..)
  • Report writing, muster, and break areas combined and located near dispatch to facilitate communication between the oncoming and outgoing tour.
             Also the Better Business Bureau offers other Scam Alerts at https://www.bbb.org/council/news-events/lists/bbb-scam-alerts/
NYSEG ~ EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS UPDATE
To report an outage or an electrical emergency, please call us at 1.800.572.1131 or go to our Emergency Preparedness web page, “Outage Central,” at
 You can sign up for Outage Alerts to receive notifications regarding power outages and the estimated restoration time at  http://www.nyseg.com/YourAccount/AboutAlerts.html
 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 http://www.nyseg.com/youraccount/aboutalerts.html  and from Con Edison by going to
http://www.coned.com/mobileapp/. 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. http://www.coned.com/customercentral/specialservices.asp
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. http://www.coned.com/customercentral/specialservices.asp

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, http://www.coned.com/customercentral/managemybill.asp, 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
POW-MIA FLAG NOW BEING FLOWN ON ALL TOWN OF BEDFORD FLAGPOLES
In 1990 a federal law was enacted which recognized the National League of Families POW/MIA Flag which identified it “as a symbol of our Nation’s concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia.”   The flag has become a symbol for prisoners of war and those missing in action from all American wars.  Joining the Westchester County and other Westchester municipalities, I have directed that the POW/MIA flag be flown on all Town of Bedford flagpoles.   This began on Monday, December 5.
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 flow at half-mast). 

Douglas Elliman Launches New Brand Campaign – It’s Time for Elliman | Bedford Hills Real Estate

America’s 4th Largest Brokerage to Unveil New Tagline, New Mobile App, A Re imagined Magazine + Expanded Art Partnerships

 

Douglas Elliman Real Estate, the #1 real estate brokerage in NYC and #4 nationwide, will launch its new brand campaign, It’s Time for Elliman – one that integrates media across all platforms, including newspapers, magazines, billboards, social, indoor and outdoor advertising and, for the first time for the brokerage, television.  The new messaging will debut across television, print and digital media in all of the markets the company serves, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, The Hamptons and North Fork, Westchester and Putnam Counties, Connecticut, New Jersey, South Florida, Los Angeles, California and Aspen, Colorado.

“With our firm’s expansion efforts well underway across the country, we felt it was time to engage the public in new and exciting ways that drive home the key message that no matter the stage of life of homebuyers and sellers, It’s Time for Elliman, said Dana DeVito, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the nationally recognized firm.

The entire campaign underscores the important emotional and financial decisions involved in almost every real estate transaction. The ads, designed to celebrate diversity in America, underscore how the company’s over 6,000 highly-trained sales agents in 85 offices coast to coast help navigate clients through challenging markets, as well as important life milestones that call for a starter-apartment or a new primary or second residence; or the inevitable time in life when one decides to let go of their longtime, beloved home.

“By stating that ‘It’s Time for Elliman,’ we are reaching both existing and future clients with themes that duplicate the very human experiences and emotions we all share when buying or selling a home,” said Dottie Herman, the firm’s President and CEO.  “Our message will resonate across all of our markets.”

Produced in partnership with award-winning Agency Sacks, highlights of the diverse nationwide campaign include giant billboards strategically located on the Long Island Expressway’s east and westbound approach to and from the Midtown Tunnel, as well on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, one of the most highly trafficked roadways in California. In addition, Douglas Elliman has struck a partnership with the iconic bus service, the Hampton Jitney, which will wrap buses with creative from the new campaign and the Douglas Elliman logo, which has also been redesigned. The company will be well-positioned at private and executive airports in Aspen and Los Angeles where many high net worth clients tend to travel. Douglas Elliman’s brand campaign will also extend to New York City’s highly visible buses and taxi tops.

“In all, we anticipate hitting close to three quarters of a billion potential customers nationwide with It’s Time for Elliman, said Scott Durkin, COO of Douglas Elliman. “Our company will also unveil a new app and revamp its magazine, Elliman, which will appear for the Memorial Day weekend, with its primary emphasis on real estate.”  In September, the magazine will sport a new look.  Elliman will publish four times a year; two issues will be dedicated to re-sale and two issues to new development.

The firm has forged a new strategic partnership with Frieze New York, the art fair that has brought together the world’s leading modern and contemporary art galleries during the month of May 2017 and also has a longstanding relationship with Art Basel Miami and Design Miami which will continue once again in December 2017.

“Art and design are passion points for our company,” added DeVito. “The connection between art, design and real estate is undeniable, as our clients and our agents make a correlation between beauty and design found both inside and outside of the home.”

“Our efforts to increase brand awareness through this new campaign, along with forward–thinking approaches to expanding markets, technology and the visual arts, further propel us to the top of the real estate industry,” stated Durkin.

About Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Established in 1911, Douglas Elliman Real Estate is the largest brokerage in the New York Metropolitan area and the fourth largest residential real estate company nationwide. With more than 6,000 agents, the company operates over 85 offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, New Jersey, Long Island, the Hamptons & North Fork, Westchester, Greenwich, South Florida, Colorado and Beverly Hills. Moreover, Douglas Elliman has a strategic global alliance with London-based Knight Frank Residential for business in the worldwide luxury markets spanning 59 countries and six continents. The company also controls a portfolio of real estate services including Douglas Elliman Development Marketing; Manhattan’s largest residential property manager, Douglas Elliman Property Management with over 250 buildings; and DE Commercial. For more information on Douglas Elliman as well as expert commentary on emerging trends in the real estate industry, please visit www.elliman.com.

 

SOURCE Douglas Elliman

Average Boston-area rent falls for the first time in almost 7 years | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Boston, Mass - 06/20/2016 - Construction workers work on the Pierce apartment under construction at corner of Boylston and Brookline Streets in Boston, Mass, June 20, 2016. (Keith Bedford/Globe Staff)

After years of going up, rents in Boston’s super heated real estate market may have finally reached a peak.

Data released Thursday show that apartment rental prices fell slightly at the end of 2016 — the first drop since 2010 — amid a surge of new buildings that have opened in Boston and neighboring cities such as Cambridge, Chelsea, and Somerville.

The decline was modest, just 1.7 percent — or $36 a month on the average lease of $2,038, according to the rental-tracking firm Reis Inc. But it was the latest and clearest sign that the flood of construction in Boston is putting a lid on prices, at least at the upper end of the market.

“When you put that much supply on the market, you’re going to disrupt the equilibrium,” said Sue Hawkes, chief executive of Collaborative Cos., a real estate marketing firm in Boston. “That’s what’s happening.”

During the first nine months of 2016, more than 5,100 apartments, most renting for top dollar, opened in the heart of the Boston area. Another 7,200 are under construction in Boston alone, according to city figures.

While rents may no longer be uniformly escalating, city apartments remain unaffordable for many people, something unlikely to change over the next few years.

Only New York City and San Francisco have higher average rents than Boston.

Still, the expanding supply of rental units is clearly having an effect on the balance of supply and demand, according to Hawkes.

That means renters —at least well-heeled ones — can be choosers for a change.

To woo tenants, some landlords of new luxury buildings are offering free rent for a month or more, covering brokers’ fees and dangling gift cards or other goodies in front of prospective tenants.

But those kinds of perks aren’t available to the majority of renters, especially outside of the immediate Boston area. In parts of the region where there hasn’t been as much construction, rents continue to climb — in some places, far faster than in the market as a whole.

In Malden, for instance, rents are up 5 percent over the last year, according to separate data from the website ApartmentList.com.

Rents in Allston/Brighton and Mission Hill have climbed about 8 percent over the same period, said Ishay Grinberg, president of the Somerville-based website RentalBeast.

“People are getting priced out of downtown,” Grinberg said. “But all it’s doing is pushing rents up higher in areas that may have been slightly less desirable a couple of years ago.”

Over the last year, large apartment buildings have opened up in Chelsea and Quincy, Jamaica Plain, and Dorchester. In Brighton, a wave of new projects is getting underway, and renting at a brisk clip.

In November, Hamilton Co. opened a 49-unit building on Malvern Street in Allston, with two-bedroom units starting at $2,500 a month — less than half the going rate at new complexes in the Seaport District. It was nearly full in a week.

“That’s a very good sign for a working-class building,” said Hamilton’s president, Carl Valeri.

But the demand is also leading to a surge in land and construction prices in Boston’s outer neighborhoods. That’s putting financial pressure on projects that are aiming for a modest price point. If developers believe they won’t hit their projected rents when they open in two years, they might pull back on construction projects, said Travis D’Amato, a broker who specializes in multifamily investments at the real estate firm JLL.

“We are at an inflection point in the market,” D’Amato said. “If construction costs continue to rise and rents don’t continue to rise, we could see some slowdown in development.”

So far, there’s little evidence of that happening.

A number of major projects in outlying neighborhoods — such as the 650-unit Washington Village development near Andrew Square — are poised to get underway later this year.

More proposals, such as a plan to build 680 graduate student-oriented apartments on the grounds of St. Gabriel’s Monastery in Brighton, are going through the city’s approval process.

If those projects come to fruition, rents should eventually flatten in the outlying neighborhoods, just as they appear to be doing downtown, said Sheila Dillon, the city’s housing chief.

“What’s playing out is, really, exactly what we want,” Dillon said. “We want to see investors continue to build housing, and that’s taking pressure off the existing housing stock.”

Meanwhile, the market for high-end living downtown will soon face more tests.

Two huge rental buildings, 832 units in all, are set to open this spring in the Seaport.

In addition, a 585-unit complex in the South End is under construction, and a 45-story apartment tower is planned to break ground soon atop the Government Center Garage.

Builders who have recently launched downtown apartment projects say they’re not worried. Avalon North Station, a 38-story tower that opened in November, has leased 85 of its 503 units. That’s an impressive showing, especially during the holidays, said Scott Dale, senior vice president of development for the developer, Avalon Bay.

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Housing Starts Fall in November | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Housing Starts Fall in November

 

Housing starts posted a notable drop in November after a strong October pace. Total starts were down 18.7%, falling to a 1.09 million seasonally adjusted annual rate after a 1.34 million rate in October. However, the decline was concentrated in the volatile multifamily sector. The single-family sector continues to show anon improving trend, consistent with rising home builder confidence.

According to estimates from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, single-family starts declined 4.1% to an 828,000 annual rate from a robust October pace of 863,000. Year-to-date, single-family construction is 9.6% higher than this time of 2015. And as measured on a three-month moving average, single-family starts are at a post-cycle high, as seen on the graph below.

Single-family permits point to more growth in 2017. Single-family permits, as measured on a three-month moving average, are also at a cycle high (778,000 annual rate) and are 8.1% higher on a year-to-date basis.

Multifamily development was the primary reason the headline starts number declined in November. Total multifamily starts were down 45% for the month, dropping from a strong but unsustainable October pace of 477,000 to a 262,000 annual rate in November. On a year-to-date basis, multifamily starts are approximately 4% lower than this time in 2015, as the market levels off and finds a balance between supply and demand.

On a monthly basis in November, single-family starts were up 19.8% in the Midwest, but fell by 4.6% in the South, 7.6% in the Northeast and 15.3% in the West. However, the monthly numbers mask the improvement seen around the county during 2016 for single-family construction. On a year-to-date basis, single-family construction is up 12.4% in the Midwest, 10.9% in the Northeast, 9.5% in the South, and 7.6% in the West.

Focusing on housing’s economic impact, in November 57% of homes under construction were multifamily (599,000). This multifamily count is 9% higher than a year ago. There were 445,000 single-family units under construction, a gain of 7% from this time in 2015. This is the highest count of single-family units under construction since September of 2008.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/12/behind-the-november-starts-headline/

Mortgage rates up to 4.08% | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates moving higher for the fifth consecutive week.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.08 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending December 1, 2016, up from last week when it averaged 4.03 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.93 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.34 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.25 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.16 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.15 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.12 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.99 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 Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“The 10-year Treasury yield remained flat despite an upward revision to third quarter GDP. The 30-year mortgage rate rose 5 basis points to 4.08 percent, rising a total of 51 basis points in three short weeks. With mortgage rates at the highest we’ve seen this year, borrowers are now backpedaling on refinance opportunities. The latest Weekly Applications Survey results from the Mortgage Bankers Association show refinance activity down 16 percent week over week.”

Composition of New Home Sales Financing Shifts in Third Quarter | Bedford Hills Real Estate

NAHB analysis of the most recent Census estimates concerning sources of financing for new home salesreveals that the composition of mortgages by financing method shifted over the third quarter of 2016. The share of new home sales financed with conventional loans expanded at the expense of FHA-insured and VA-backed mortgages. The shift to conventional mortgages indicates continued return to health in the mortgage market.

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The Census Bureau’s Quarterly Sales by Price and Financing reports that the conventional share fell to 57% in the third quarter of 2010. Since then, the conventional share has trended upward, reaching 74% in the third quarter of 2016, 6 percentage points above its level in the previous quarter, 68%. However, as Figure 1 illustrates, in quarters prior to the most recent one, the conventional share remained relatively steady.

The expanded conventional share of new home sales over the third quarter of 2016 was partially offset by a decline in the percentage of sales financed with FHA-insured mortgages. After rising from 10% in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 17% in the second quarter of 2016, largely reflecting a decline in the annual MIP, the share held steady at or near this level until second quarter of 2016 before falling 3 percentage points to 14% in the third quarter.

In addition, the share of new home sales backed by VA mortgages fell to 7% over the third quarter after holding steady at or near 9% since the fourth quarter of 2014. Meanwhile, the share of homes financed with all cash was unchanged over the third quarter at 5% near its average level in 2002, 4%. However, while cash sales account for 5% of total new home sales, new construction accounts for 15% of all-cash sales.

The future evolution of the financing composition remains is worth tracking. On the one hand, the compositional shift recorded over the third quarter of 2016 may point to return to the mix of financing seen in the years just prior to the most recent recession. On the other hand, the shift in composition may be a temporary occurrence and components may return to the steady proportions that steadily prevailed over 2015 and the first half of 2016.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/10/composition-of-new-home-sales-financing-shifts-in-third-quarter/

Riskiest areas see fewer homes insured as premiums rise | Bedford Hills Real Estate

As Florida and the Carolinas begin digging out from the from the record flooding and high winds that Hurricane Matthew delivered over the weekend, thousands of homeowner insurance claims are sure to follow.

The Consumer Federation of America, a Washington D.C.-based consumer advocacy group expects about 100,000 homeowners to file damage claims for as much as $7.5 billion from the Category 3 storm, though well short of the record claims made from the most severe storms such as Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Andrew, where damage claims were more than $100 billion.

But if it turns out that fewer-than-expected insurance claims will be filed for damage, it may not just because Hurricane Matthew was a less-powerful storm than expected, it may be because far fewer homeowners are carrying property insurance.

That’s the analysis from Trulia.com, a San Francisco-based real estate research firm, which looked at homeowners’ insurance rates in some of the most hurricane-prone regions of the Southeast and mid-Atlantic, the so-called southernmost “Hurricane Alley” states comprised of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. The study also looked at Gulf Coast insurance rates including Texas. Hurricane insurance is often supplemental, but is typically required by mortgage lenders if the home is located in a storm-prone market like Florida.

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Overall, the U.S. Census noted that in 2014, 94.7% of homeowner households that had outstanding mortgage obligations had property insurance. The property insurance rate however dropped to 75.5% of those homeowner households that did not have any mortgage.

While property insurance is typically required by banks to protect their investment while the mortgage is being paid, Trulia’s data shows that many homeowners are dropping insurance once the mortgage is extinguished, primarily due to cost.

The percentage of Miami households reporting that they had homeowners’ property insurance fell to 78% in 2014 down from 90% in 2006, according to U.S. Census data cited by Trulia. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., saw the steepest drop in insured homes, to 79% in 2014 from 92% in 2006, Trulia said.

Nationally, the number of insured homes fell to 89.2% from 94.1% eight years ago. Almost all major southeastern U.S. metros had insured rates below the national average, Trulia said.

On a national basis, Trulia noted that premiums have climbed on average more than 28%, with 10 of the 25 most expensive markets for homeowners insurance in the Southeast.

 

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