Public Hearings on July 7, 2015
The following public hearings have been scheduled for July 7, 2015 at the Court Room in the Town House at 321 Bedford Road
Amendment to Zoning Code related to hamlet business districts
Amendment to the sign ordinance
Local law to implement Community Choice Aggregation
State Roads – Good News on Route 172
I heard back from the Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation that DOT state funds have been re-allocated to provide for the 172 project. It would entail both drainage work and paving of Route 172 the entire distance from the Village Green through Route 137 in Pound Ridge. The DOT might begin the drainage work in the fall with the milling and paving to be done in Spring 2016 – otherwise the entire job would be 2016. We wish to thank the community for its patience and its support with many calling the DOT to emphasize on the need for the work. In the interim DOT promises to repair potholes and make safe Route 172 and Route 22 (we’re still working on getting it paved).
Working on Securing Paving for I-684
Literally thousands of Bedford residents are affected by the road noise from I-684 which has increased over the years with heavier traffic. Residents are petitioning the Governor, the DOT, our Congressman and our State Legislators. Our thanks to Bedford resident Mara Glassel, who has been organizing residents, and bringing new energy to the effort (which goes back literally
for 20 years or more). Her petition, which you can access at www.change.org, then enter into search field “684” reads as follows:
Efforts have been made all over Westchester County and NY State to reduce noise pollution, while Bedford and Katonah have been ignored.
Increasing the speed limit to 65 mph and ever increasing truck traffic has increased the road noise substantially over the last few years.
Neighbors are measuring noise levels as high as 85 dBs – which has been medically proven harmful – both physically and mentally.
I684 has been neglected for decades and needs to be repaved for safety reasons.
Funds are being appropriated to neighboring towns (i.e. exit 8) – while residents off of exits 4 – 6 continue to be treated unfairly.
Assemblyman David Buchwald is working with Ms. Glassel, the Town and DOT to try to advance these efforts.
Update on Bedford Village Parking
The Town Board of the Town of Bedford is moving forward with its plans to provide additional municipal parking in Bedford Village. Evans Associates, a consultancy firm for the Town for over 25 years, will present at the Town Board’s July 7 meeting a proposal to conduct an engineering/wetlands study to determine how best to maximize parking on property to be leased from the Presbyterian Church. There also may be the possibility of additional spaces at the rear of the Bedford Playhouse building. Both the Church and the owners of the Bedford Playhouse building have advised the Town of its support for these efforts. Assuming Town Board approval, the Town would pay the cost of the Evan Associates’ work as well as for the construction of the parking. In developing the plans and implementing them, the Town will seek the input of the community and obtain all approvals, which at the town level would include the Bedford Village Historic District Review Commission and the Wetlands Control Commission. The intention is to ensure that parking is in place in 2016 for use by patrons of existing stores and businesses as well as the Bedford Playhouse (renovation work is anticipated to be completed mid 2016).
Update on Parking – Town Wide
We are working with the community to improve parking enforcement (and therefore turnover of parking spaces), maximize parking availability and otherwise relieve insufficient parking in our hamlets. Police Chief Melvin Padilla and Comptroller Ed Ritter (who heads the Parking Bureau) will be discussing plans with the Town Board at the Board’s July 7 meeting.
Local Law Implementing Community Choice Aggregation
The Town Board has scheduled a public hearing on a proposed local law to enable the Town to participate in a community choice aggregation (CCA) program offered by Sustainable Westchester, Inc., (SW) a not-for-profit organization now comprised of over forty municipalities in Westchester County, including the Town of Bedford. Simply put, CCA enables Bedford to offer for its residents and small business lower energy costs – all on a voluntary basis. The Town would enter into an agreement to participate in SW’s program for its residents and business consumers who are not currently purchasing electricity from an energy service
company, but only if the prices are lower. The Town also will undertake to inform residents about the CCA program; and that any customer at any time may “opt out” of the program. CCA has been a success in other states and Bedford is among several Westchester communities going forward with the program.
Community Organizations Take Note – Town Co-Sponsorship of Community Events
Following Town Board action at its June 16 meeting, Town Clerk Boo Fumagalli has prepared an application form, at the Town Board’s request, for community organizations requesting Town co-sponsorship of community events. This means that there may be the possibility of the Town Board relieving the organization from a portion of overtime expenses for Town personnel (e.g., police and public works) assisting with the event. Please note that funds are limited and Town co-sponsorship is subject to Town Board approval. The application form and the guidelines which the Board adopted are available from the Clerk’s office. The Clerk will review applications as received for completeness and compliance with the guidelines and forward them to the Town Board for action. You can contact the Clerk at 666-4534 or by e-mail at clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all rising high school sophomores, juniors, seniors as well as college level students: I am currently scheduling interviews for an unpaid summer intern position. The duties of the intern include preparing and managing the weekly community calendar and writing, proofing, and researching various topics. There may be a couple of weeknights to help with our Supervisor and Town Board events in the Parks. Hours are flexible. If interested in this opportunity, please email the Supervisor at Supervisor@BedfordNY.gov or call 914-666-6350. Please submit your resume and hours of availability.
Comptroller Ed Ritter reported on June 16 as follows:
We will be running the June 15th payroll in both the KVS and Springbrook payroll systems for a parallel view and reconciliation. If this goes well we will be live in Springbrook for the July 6th payroll. Once the payroll portion is running well the Finance office will begin the conversion of the financial data from KVS to the Springbrook product.
Summer employees have started to arrive and are being added into payroll. As summer approaches our payroll increases to over 400 people.
More data has become available as to what we are required to do to be in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I have scheduled a presentation on June 22nd by CPI-HR Inc. who will discuss and demonstrate all the requirements we must be aware of. This will be held in the court room at 321 Bedford Road at 1:00 pm.
REVENUE AREAS OF NOTE
Mortgage Tax has actual data from October through May 2015. The actual percentage over 2014 is a 11.59% decrease. This amount has been used as a basis for projecting the remainder of the year (through September). Mortgage tax is projected to be $1,011,445, which is $14,445 over budget.
Sales Tax has actual data from January through April 2015. County sales tax shows a 2.44% decrease over 2014. This revenue is projected to be $2,462,546 which is $62,546 over our budget of $2,400,000.
Parking has actual data from January through April 2015. The actual percentage over 2014 is a 3.32% increase. Revenue to date is $99,857 which is an increase of $3,212 from last year at this time. The revenue for the year is projected to be $931,923 which is $1,923 over budget.
Fines and forfeited bail has actual data for January through April 2015. Revenue is $208,000 which is $27,768 under last year’s revenue at this time. The revenue is projected to be $770,850 which is $120,850 over budget.
Safety Inspection Fees has actual data for January through May 2015. Revenue is $366,278 which is 14,419 over last year’s revenue at this time. This revenue is projected to be $754,236 which is $14,236 over budget.
EXPENDITURES: 2015 expenditures are within budget limits at this time
Please note that more information, including analysis, is available through the Comptroller’s office – 666-8283
Proposed Septic System Repair & Replacement Fund Advances
Bedford’s proposal to create a $3.5 million septic system repair and replacement fund for Bedford properties within the New York City watershed is wending its way through the approval process, which we are hopeful will be concluded in the next couple of months. If established, the program would provide up to 50% of approved eligible expenses for construction of repair remediation or replacement of a septic system, as well as design engineering costs not to exceed 20% of total construction costs. An enhanced treatment unit (utilizing more advanced technology) would be permitted, provided the County Board of Health and, if applicable, DEC and DEP, approves it. As mentioned previously, two of the Town’s hamlet centers, Bedford Hills and Katonah, are located in the Croton Watershed, with Katonah’s commercial district immediately adjoining the reservoir. We believe that it is important to balance continued protection of the reservoir system with the economic vitality of these central business areas and their surrounding residential neighborhoods.
The Westchester County Planning Department has been working on a legislative proposal, including an Intermunicipal Agreement between the County and the Town, for submission to the Westchester County Board of Legislators to consider, as the BOL must approve the funding request.
Filling Vacancies in Town Elected Positions
At our June 16 meeting, the Town Board adopted a local law to provide for a special election to fill vacancies in the position of Supervisor, Councilman or Town Clerk which would provide that if the Town Board does not fill the vacancy by appointment within 45 days of the vacancy, then a special election must be held within 60 to 90 days. Summer elections or an election within a short time before a general election would be avoided.
Other Town Board Action Taken
Also at the June 16 meeting, the Town Board appointed Mel Padilla to the position of Chief (it previously was provisional subject to his passing the Chief’s examination – which he did); accepted the proposal of Lothrup Associates for architectural services and construction management for renovations and additions to the police station; enacted an amendment to the Historic Building Preservation Law to allow the Historic Building Preservation Commission to waive public hearing requirements under certain circumstances so as to expedite action on applications; and scheduled the July 7 public hearings mentioned above. The Board also appointed Matthew A. Iacona as a police officer filling a vacancy. I also provided an update on plans for increasing public parking in Bedford Village (Evans Associates will present a consultancy proposal at the July 7 meeting).
Reminder: Emergency Information from NYSEG and Con Edison
Con Edison notified us that you now can text Con Edison about power outages. Here’s the message they sent us:
“Prefer texting? No problem. Sign up by texting REG to OUTAGE (688243) and we’ll text instead of calling.
But don’t wait for us to contact you. The sooner we know about a power problem, the sooner we can respond. Reach us at conEd.com, by texting OUT to OUTAGE after you sign up for texting, with our My conEdison app for Droid and Apple devices, or by calling 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).”
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.
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.
I ask you to please send me an e-mail at email@example.com should you have any questions or comments on this report or any of our work on the Town Board.