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Real estate’s new premium gap: Urban centers versus suburbs | Bedford Real Estate

The downtowns of most major American cities were a great investment, even for those who bought in the real estate crisis a decade ago — and the premium gap between city centers and their suburbs continues to widen, a new survey of urban real estate finds. The only question is: Who can afford it?

In Philadelphia, Boston and Manhattan, home-hunters need to pay a premium of well over $300,000 to live in the heart of the city, according to Property Shark, a unit of Yardi, the global property management and services company. Its study, which examined the median sale prices of homes in 34 major U.S. cities between 2008 to 2018, found the price appreciation coincided with a many cities’ population booms and growing household incomes.

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IRINA IVANOVA/CBS MONEYWATCH

But it’s not only wealthy coastal cities enjoying the surge in urban home prices. In troubled Detroit, where the overall population is shrinking, the disparity is even greater. Real estate in the city’s downtown area has a median price tag of $229,250, compared with $37,000 for non-downtown property within the city’s 142 square miles.

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The West Coast is the only region where downtowns haven’t kept pace with outlying areas, thanks to a huge runup in home prices across the board. 

“California simply has a higher number of large cities compared to other states,” added report author Eliza Theiss, “and each city has its own specific reasons why a downtown will be a hotspot, or an area that will not be able to compete.”

For example, despite being a tech center, San Jose’s downtown doesn’t have the potential to compete for home-hunters with nearby Mountain View, Palo Alto or Cupertino. Likewise San Diego, despite its oceanside location, loses out to neighboring La Jolla and Torrey Pines, she said.

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In recent years, some downtowns have benefited from tax breaks and redevelopment that has lured young professionals back to the cities, creating the “cultural shift” that has made them so expensive, Theiss said. Among the new amenities are sports stadiums, convention centers, “green” recreational belts, food festivals and parades. New public and private transportation options make it unnecessary to own and garage a car, eliminating a major expense for city residents. 

Workers are also flocking to the cities for jobs. “Sacramento is a great example of how a downtown can be revived and turned into an economic engine and an attractive place to live and work,” she said of the California state capital, which is an exception to the report’s West Coast rule. 

The dark side of the rising prices, of course, is gentrification. “There’s no going around it,” said Theiss. “With downtowns becoming trendy, the white flight of decades past has reversed, with higher income residents displacing long-term working-class and low-income residents, in some cases displacing existing communities.” 

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IRINA IVANOVA/CBS MONEYWATCH

But as downtowns price themselves out of reach, young professionals may migrate into other areas, spreading gentrification to other city neighborhoods, although that’s not always a sure thing. “The process of gentrification doesn’t always spread from one neighborhood to one that borders it,” she said. “If there are already well-established neighborhoods where home prices are quite high. it’s not an option. If the downtown is bordered by a more neglected area that’s mostly commercial space, then there is a lot of potential.”

Another issue is employment trends, with some tech companies opening satellite offices outside of pricy downtown centers. Amazon’s decision to open a new headquarters in Long Island City, New York, could bump up prices there, for example.

Even so, city lawmakers and planners may push back. “Many downtowns don’t have the necessary space or willingness to accommodate them,” said Theiss, “and not everyone is excited about seeing their downtowns change so much.” 

One thing is clear. While there are exceptions, buying a downtown home of any kind is generally a moneymaker. Chicago may have its issues, but it was the city with the the largest difference between the downtown and the rest of the city, closing 2018 with a $675,000 premium. 

read more…

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/real-estate-prices-premiums-for-urban-centers-outpacing-suburbs/

Bedford Town News | Bedford Real Estate

We are coming up on our last Town Board meeting of 2018 on Tuesday, December 18 at which I expect we will adopt amendment
to the 2018-2027 Capital Plan and adopt a new wireless telecommunications facilities law.
Coming up at the December 18
Town Board Meeting
Proposed Wireless Telecommunications Law –
Public Hearing
As I reported last week the Town Board held a public hearing on December 4 on the proposed law to replace the Town’s existing 19 year old law.  Please see link for a discussion of the proposed law and the reasons the Board intends to take action on it.  Working with members of the Communications Committee and the Town’s counsel, we have incorporated revisions to reflect comments which we received at the public hearing or in e-mails or other communications.
The Town’s counsel prepared a memorandum dated December 14 which summarizes the law and changes since the version considered at the December 4 public hearing. Here’s the link for the memorandum.
The Board will resume the public hearing at 6:55 PM on Tuesday, December 18.
Amendments to 2018 through 2027 Capital Plan
The Board met on December 4 in Work Session to further discuss the proposed amendments to the Capital Plan. This session followed a work session in November.  As I mentioned last week, the Board considered amendments which increase the proposed Capital Plan spending but by a lesser increase than the version considered in November. The Board will consider on the 18tha change since the proposed amendments the Board reviewed on the 4th.
The change responds to suggestions made by Deputy Supervisor Lee Roberts and Councilman Don Scott and does not affect the total amount.  It is to combine the proposed capital expenditures for Zema at $100,000 and Indian Hill at $328,000 and apply the combined amount of $428,000 funds to be available for Indian Hills, Leatherman’s Ridge, Vernon Hills and Zema. Open Space reserves would provide $214,000 of the $428,000.
The priorities would be addressing the pervasive invasive plants in Zema (and to some extent Vernon Hills); clean-up of rubbish and debris (all areas except Indian Hills, which presently is not easily accessible); and planning, engineering and, if possible, creation of an access drive off of Indian Hill Road.  The Recreation and Parks Department would be responsible for the work and would engage neighbors, the Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee, Conservation Board, Wetlands Control Commission, neighbors and other stakeholders.
 In addition, Bill Heidepriem will consult with Kevin Winn and Jeff Osterman in planning and carrying out the work.
The Board plans on taking action on Tuesday with the adoption of the amendments to the Capital Plan together with corresponding bond resolutions.  The Board will not authorize the actual expenditure of funds until it has followed its required process of seeking quotes or bids, reviewing contracts and deciding whether or not then to proceed.   Read the proposed amendments here.
OTHER NEWS & UPDATES
Update from the Traffic Safety Working Group
The Traffic Safety Working Group (TSWG) held its last meeting of 2018 on Wednesday, December 12.
As some residents have requested, I prepared with the help of staff a summary of actions the Town has taken on traffic, passenger and pedestrian safety in 2018:
  • Police Department Enforcement Actions – The Police Department has issued 3371 summonses for moving violations (including 511 commercial vehicle, 739 speeding, 467 Seatbelt, 152 Cell Phone/texting, 56 Stop sign violations, and 12 DWI arrests. January –November 2018).
  • Child Safety Seats- 81 Seats were installed and/or inspected
  •  I-684   The Town Board has been working with our elected officials and with the Regional Office of the New York State Department of Transportation to secure the repaving of the concrete portion of I-684 running through Bedford.
  • Planned Reconfiguration of Intersection of Harris and Babbitt Roads   the Town has applied to Westchester County for a Community Development Block Grant which would fund in part improvements to this intersection, which would be designed to improve safety exiting Babbitt Road onto Harris Road.
  • Variable Message Boards   Upon recommendation of Police Chief Melvin Padilla the Town Board authorized the purchase of two additional variable message speed boards.  With the purchase, the Town now owns and deploys 10 variable message boards to announce events affecting traffic flows and to calm traffic.
  • Sidewalks   To improve pedestrian safety, the Town installed new sidewalks along Valley Road between Cottage Place and New Street, and along Church Street near Babbitt Road. We also modified the sidewalk near the Katonah Elementary School in order to install a new crosswalk.
  • Emergency Backup Power for Traffic Lights   The Town Board has authorized in its Capital Plan the purchase of emergency backup power systems to automatically start in the event of a power outage which cuts the power for the traffic lights at the intersection of Route 35 and Route 22 and at Route 35 and I-684 overpass.
  • Pedestrian Activated Lights – Route 117 and Haines  On petition from the Town, the NYS Department of Transportation has agreed to install pedestrian activated signaling for the cross walk near Haines Road over Route 117 in Bedford Hills. This portion of the road is four lanes in width and poses pedestrian hazards.
  • Raised Cross Walk and Speed Humps – Cherry Street The Town replaced the crosswalk in front of 425 Cherry Street with a raised crosswalk and installed a speed table at Kelly Circle near the stop line and a speed table near Quicks Lane.
  • LED Light Conversion  The Town is proceeding with the conversion of 571 street lights in NYSEG service area to LED lamps. LED saves energy and reduces electricity costs.  It also provides more uniform lighting for greater safety for pedestrians and motorists, and has much less frequent equipment failures than the lighting which is being replaced.
Increase in Shredder Events in 2019
One of the services which we hear the community uses a good deal is the shredder events at the Recycling Center and in May at the Crusher Road Highway Facility during Clean Up weekend.
The Town Board included additional funding in the 2019 Town budget to enable the Public Works Department to increase shredder events from quarterly to monthly.
The following is the schedule:
Saturdays
1/5, 2/2, 4/6, 6/1, 7/6, 8/3, 10/5, 11/2, 12/7
Town Recycling Center
343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills 10507
11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
Tuesday
3/5
Town Recycling Center
343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills 10507
11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
Thursday
9/5
Town Recycling Center
343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills 10507
11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
Saturday
5/4
Crusher Road Highway Yard
1 Crusher Road Bedford Village 10506
9:00 to 12:00.
Further Update on Route 117
As I mentioned last week, Con Edison’s resurfacing of the Route 117 south of Green Lane and on Green Lane will not occur before winter, but rather in the Spring of 2019.
The reason is that the precipitous drop in temperature and sustained low temperatures over the past few weeks has not made the work feasible.  Very low road surface temperatures imperil the durability of the resurfacing.  On a positive note, as we’ve requested, DOT is requiring Con Edison to perform a curb to curb resurfacing as early as practicable in the Spring of 2019 and also to repair unsafe surfaces.
The Town is requiring the same with respect to Green Lane between Route 117 and the tracks.
Notice of Flag at Half staff:
This notice from the was sent to the Town via Town of Bedford Police
Sgt. Nicolas Fusco#111:
click link below for notice:
PRIOR POSTS OF CONTINUED RELEVANCE
2019 Town Budget Adopted
The Board held a public hearing on the 2019 Town budget following which we adopted the budget. The budget is within the New York State Property Tax Cap with approximately a 2.8% tax increase and continues to provide for a high level of services. Comptroller Abraham Zambrano forecasts an increase in fund balances (reserves) for 2018 which will add to already strong balances.
my budget message (portions of which are excerpted below).
The following are key features of the budget:
The final budget is the same as the Preliminary Budget which the Town Board adopted last month and provides as follows: The appropriations for all funds is $39,076,643 and the projected non-tax revenues total $13,825,511, leaving an amount of $25,251,132 to be levied as taxes; this amount is $12,308 below the calculated allowable tax cap of $25,263,440.  The total General Fund’s Preliminary budget is $22,530,845 which requires $13,012,139 to be raised by taxes at a tax rate of $22.0477 per $1000 of assessed valuation. The proposed rate is $0.60 higher than the rate for 2018, which represents a 2.81% tax rate increase. The General Fund Appropriations will increase $1,143,030 or 5.34% higher than for 2018.
The budget includes the following increases:
  • Personnel expense: $119,444
  • Health insurance and dental: $726,753; note that we do not have the final percentage increase for our health insurance plan. There is some possibility that the increase may be lower than we used for purposes of adopting the budget.  To the extent it is lower, any decrease in funds required will be added to contingency.
  • Contingency of approximately $458,000 – as noted above, this amount may increase.
  • NYS retirement system in the amount of $132,494
  • The restoration of a maintenance position in the Building Department at an estimated annual cost including benefits of $90,000
  • Recreation & Parks Programs of $81,450
  • Paving budget: $75,000 to $1.3 million.
  • Hiring of a part time Parking Enforcement Officer: $22,000.
  • Open Space Fund in the amount of $59,454 (the first year of the one-quarter percent increase authorized by voter referendum and capped at a total of 2.0% in 2022)
  • Recycling center: $32,000
  • Libraries in the amount of $33,000 ($11,000 per library)
  • Senior Advocate Program: $16,000 for full funding
I wish to thank Comptroller Abraham Zambrano and our department heads for their diligence and prudent fiscal management.
Reusable Bags
The Reusable Bag law provisions become effective on April 1 when for large retailers (Shop Rite, DeCiccos, Key Foods, Kohls and CVS) will be required to charge 10c for paper or plastic check out bags where the customer does not his/her own bag.
Ellen Calves of the Reusable Bag Task Force presented an update on the work of the Reusable Bag Task Force.  She reported that the Task Force has completed its surveys to establish baselines of present reusable bag use. The Task Force also is working with smaller retailers regarding their use of reusable bags with the goal for greater use among all merchants.
Post March Storm Actions Regarding Utilities
On September 4, the Town Board adopted a resolution asking the Public Service Commission for an independent assessment of NYSEG’s performance
NYSEG’s record of poor service, inadequate storm preparedness, and inadequate storm response prompted the Town Board in September to call upon the Public Service Commission (PSC) to open an investigation on NYSEG’s service quality and other issues which the Town Board raised in its resolution. I received a letter from the PSC on October 30 notifying me that the PSC agreed to open a proceeding (Case 18-E-0650) to investigate these matters.
Though I can’t say for certain, it does appear that our action has gotten NYSEG’s attention. Two weeks ago Public Works Commissioner Kevin Winn and I met with a senior official at NYSEG who acknowledged the need to “harden” its infrastructure in Bedford including three circuits whose performance has been poor.
In addition, NYSEG is weighing our request (as supported by other Town supervisors) to accelerate NYSEG’s tree trimming cycle from five years to three years (tree trimming is one of the most effective measures to reduce storm-related outages). I should note that Con Edison has a three year tree trimming cycle and at the property owner’s request, will remove the wood.
NYSEG’s representative identified other actions regarding its Bedford infrastructure that will be addressed. He also acknowledged that NYSEG’s communication with the community during the March power outage left much to be desired and pledged to significantly improve communication.
Be assured that we will continue to press NYSEG on these points. We have been having parallel conversations with Con Edison
Vacancies on Blue Mountain Housing Development Board
The Board is accepting applications for vacancies on the Blue Mountain Housing Development Board and Bedford Housing Agency. Background in residential real estate construction, planning and design, architecture or engineering is sought. If you are interested in serving, please e-mail your resume with a cover letter to supervisor@bedfordny.gov. You also may mail it to me at Supervisor, 321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills, New York 10507.
Leaf Pick Up
Please be reminded that the second round of leaf pick has not been completed in all leaf pick up areas, however, the date has passed for putting leaves out for collection.
Once final collection has occurred in your area, all leaves must be bagged. Your cooperation is appreciated. Any questions please call the Highway Department at 666-7669
LED Project Moving Ahead
We are delighted that the Town’s LED project is underway with the conversion of some 571 street lamps in NYSEG service area to energy efficient (and cost efficient) LED. $250,000 of the project cost is funded through a grant from NYSERDA.
The following is further information from Public Works Commissioner Kevin Winn regarding the project:
BEDFORD STREET LIGHT UPGRADE PROJECT
PUBLIC INFORMATION NOVEMBER 2018
The Town of Bedford has purchased from New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) and intends to convert all of the existing 571 utility pole mounted streetlights to light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures. The purpose of the project is to improve the quality of street lighting in our lighting districts while utilizing less energy, reducing the Town’s carbon footprint, and reducing the Town’s annual electricity cost. LED fixtures provide a better quality of light, enhancing safety and visibility at night. The existing street lighting infrastructure, consisting of high pressure sodium and mercury vapor lights, is inefficient in terms of power usage per lumen, poorly focuses the light, and has much shorter bulb life, leading to more frequent light outrages. Installation of efficient streetlights is also a demonstration of the Town’s commitment to resource conservation that can be seen and emulated by Town residents and business owners.
The proposed streetlights will be a warm white color, on the yellow side rather than blue side of the color spectrum, in order to avoid the glaring aspect that can be associated with some LED lights. Light output levels are being selected to provide uniform, appropriate levels of light in both residential and commercial areas in the lighting districts. The new fixtures are designed to focus light on roads and sidewalks, and will result in much less stray light than the current fixtures.
The Town intends to complete the majority of this project between December 2018 and April 2019. The project is funded through a $250,000 grant from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and through the cost savings that will occur from reduced energy use. There will be no cost increase to properties within the lighting districts.
Please contact Kevin Winn at Bedford Department of Public Works at 914-666-7669 or kwinn@bedfordny.gov with any questions or comments on this project.
Possible Cell Tower at Town Property at 425 Cherry Street
Homeland Towers, a company which builds towers for wireless providers, including Verizon, has submitted to the Planning Board an application to erect a cell tower on property on Haines Road (past Dunkin Donuts) owned by Petre Glass & Mirror. Homeland has stated that the tower is required to provide needed capacity for the provision of personal cellular service.
The Town has also had discussions with Homeland for an alternative site, which would be to construct a cell tower at the Town’s property at 425 Cherry Street. As such, only one of these locations will be necessary to address the providers’ concerns. Each application provides for collocating up to four carriers, obviating need for another tower in the area.
The Planning Board will be responsible for reviewing the application for the Petre Glass site and the Town Board will review the alternate site at 425 Cherry Street. We will ask Homeland to provide balloon tests for both sites and will notify the community when these tests are going to be performed.  In the event the Tower is located at 425 Cherry Street it would allow the Town to significantly improve police and other first responder communications and equipment.
The next steps are the Town coordinating the review process between the Town Board and the Planning Board to allow sufficient due diligence while also avoiding duplication of effort.
Update on Westchester Power Program
Jenna Amundsen of Sustainable Westchester provided an update on the Westchester Power Program Community Choice Aggregation (CCA). The Town of Bedford is a member of the not-for-profit Sustainable Westchester and has participated with other Westchester County municipalities in the CCA bulk purchasing program.  As you may have read in this space, Bedford was the first municipality to renew its participation in CCA for the Con Edison service area in town. We did so based on the new fixed rates for a second contract term beginning January 2019 and ending December 31, 2020. The new rates, effective January 1, are 7.96 cents/kwh for 100% renewable energy, with standard supply a fraction of a penny less at 7.71 cents/kwh. To learn more read here.
Ms. Amundsen reported that the results for NYSEG service area customers have been favorable with both cost savings over the NYSEG rates since the inception of the program while promoting renewable energy.
Early next year Westchester Power will be seeking bids for the renewal of the CCA program in the NYSEG service area. The same requirements will hold:
  • Bids must be lower than the NYSEG benchmark
  • Bids must include separate rate quote for renewable energy produced in New York State.
  • No “teaser rates”, but rather a fixed rate for the entire period
  • Customers may opt out at any time without penalty or premium.
Limitation on Trash Collection Hours
in Residential Areas
Following a public hearing, the Town Board adopted an amendment to the Town’s law regarding trash collection in an effort to cut down on the noise and disturbance of very early morning collections in residential neighborhoods.
The revision simply provides as follows:
“No pick up of refuse is permitted on Sundays or any federal holiday. Any pick up of refuse in an area within the Town zoned residential is permitted only on Monday through Saturday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.”
Energy and Cost Efficient Electric Car to Be Purchased
The Town Board approved the recommendation of Comptroller Abraham Zambrano to purchase an all- electric Chevrolet Bolt – which will be the second Bolt for the Town.
Comptroller Zambrano’s recommendations was set forth in a memorandum to the Town Board as follows:
“Consistent with the Town’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 2020, on October 3, 2017, the Town Board adopted the ZEV Gold Tier Pledge committing to replace aging light duty vehicles with Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV’s), which include battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell and plug-in hybrids.
On December 19, 2017, the Town Board approved the 2018-2027 Capital Plan which included the purchase of two (2) ZEV, in keeping with the Town’s pledge.
On April 3, 2018 the Town Board approved a resolution authorizing going out-to-bid for the purchase of an electric vehicle; a Chevy Bolt. Upon confirmation that the Town could purchase the Chevy Bolt using NYC DCAS bid number 1600409, the vehicle was purchased piggybacking under the terms of the NYC DCAS contract 20171201156 AUTOMOBILE, ELECTRIC CROSSOVER.
The vehicle was delivered on August 1, 2018, it is currently being used by Town staff and it has proven to be economical, perform well and it adheres to the Town’s commitment to a cleaner environment and ZEV Gold Tier Pledge. As funds become available for rebates for electric vehicles, an application will be submitted to the NYS DEC as authorized by resolution of the Town Board on May 15, 2018. If the rebate is granted, the Town could receive up to $5,000.
Based on the Town’s commitment stated above and the proven performance of the vehicle, authorization from the Town Board is being requested to purchase a second (ZEV); a Chevy Bolt. Depending on availability from the authorized dealer, the cost of the vehicle will not exceed the Board approved $35,000 capital project.
Additionally, once the vehicle has been received and registered, the Town will once again be able to apply for the Zero Emissions Vehicle Rebate offered by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.”
Pickup Trucks for Police Department
A resident recently asked me why the Town Board authorized the purchase of pickup trucks for the Police Department, understandably concerned that the vehicles might be unnecessary and an extravagance.
I thought I might share with you the following e-mail which Police Chief Melvin Padilla provided to the resident:
Hello [name deleted]
Supervisor Burdick brought to my attention that you expressed some concerns about current vehicles in the Police Department fleet. Specifically pickup trucks and the cost associated.  You may be surprised to learn that the State Contract (pre-negotiated pricing for municipal purchases) cost for a 4×4 Crew Cab (4 door) pickup from Ford, Dodge, or Chevy averages approximately Five thousand dollars less than a comparably equipped 4×4 Chevy Tahoe.
The Department has always maintained at least three 4×4 Chevy Tahoes for their towing, cargo, and severe inclement weather capabilities (prior to 2002 the department purchased the larger Suburban).
The Department owns two large enclosed trailers and also borrows a large open platform trailer from Parks and Recreation Department to tow our Police Motorcycle and/or Utility Terrain Vehicle(UTV).
Our current Tahoes are 8 years old and have approximately 150,000 miles on them. With repair and maintenance costs rising, fleet wide, using those older, high mileage vehicles for towing or 24 hour use is not the best idea. All three major manufacturers of police vehicles have released Police versions of their pickups (Ford, Dodge, and Chevy).
As a cost saving measure to maintain the capabilities and durability of the Tahoe at a price within budget, I decided to give the pickup trucks a try as a replacement for the Tahoes. The Ford Explorer which is the predominate vehicle in our fleet is NOT rated to tow the types of trailers we own or use and does not perform very well on many of the unpaved, rough terrain back roads (nor does the explorer have the same cargo capacity, versatility, true 4×4, or durability as the pickups, or Tahoes for that matter).
At this point I am happy with the choice as it has proven to be a far more versatile vehicle than the Tahoe (for cheaper price and within budget) and has been useful for our needs as a department countless times already in the short time we’ve had them.  My goal is to have the mix of vehicles in our police fleet to be as diverse as the calls for service that we respond to.
Thanks for your inquiry, and please feel free to contact me directly if you have any further questions.
Melvin Padilla
Chief of Police
Bedford Police Department
307 Bedford Rd
Bedford Hills, NY 10507
(914)241-3111
It’s OK to Use the Gas Blower
Leaf Blower Information – Leaf Season is Here
I’m hearing confusion.  It’s leaf season.
Relaxed rules apply during leaf season which began on September 16, 2018 and runs through May 14, 2019. It’s OK to use a gas blower, just not on Sunday and in the hamlet zones not two at a time and no push behind. For your convenience the Leaf Blowers Task Force created a palm card with the information you may want to keep handy.
They can be found in our local libraries, or you can pick one up in my office. You also can access it here Leaf Blower information where you also can find the law, Hamlet Zones list and other helpful information.
Questions or comments? Please e-mail the Leaf Blower Task Force at LeafBlowers@Bedfordny.gov
Supervisor’s News & Notes:
Updates on the Development of the 2019 Budget
Proposed Wireless Law
Councilwoman MaryAnn Carr
The Supervisors monthly report for November
FOR THE COMMUNITY EVENTS CALENDAR click here 
FOR THE TOWN CALENDAR click here
TO SIGN-UP FOR NIXLE ALERTS click here
A Holiday Reminder from the
Drug Abuse Prevention Council:
Highlights of the November 8
 Town Board Meeting
Special Work Session on I-684
The Board held a special work session to discuss the unacceptable lack of progress in getting New York Department of Transportation to repave the concrete portion of I-684 running through Katonah – the original road surface nearly 50 years old.
We are pleased that Regional Director of the NYS DOT Lance MacMillan and members of his staff participated as well as State Senator Shelley Mayer, Assemblyman David Buchwald, County Legislator Kitley Covill and representative of Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney joined us
Katonah resident Peter Nardone presented a compelling case, as an engineer with significant experience on major highway projects (he was part of the team overseeing work on the FDR Drive and the Gowanus Expressway), on the deterioration in the surface and the significant safety risks.  Police Chief Melvin Padilla presented accident data obtained from the State Police.
We also shared with Mr. MacMillan letter from the Katonah Fire Department and the Katonah Bedford Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps citing accidents and safety hazards.
We expressed our continued frustration that of the approximately 30 miles of I-684, the stretch running through Katonah is the only portion of the road which is the original road surface and has not been re-paved. We have been petitioning NYS for nearly 20 years that the paving be carried out. Especially upsetting is being advised last year that funds were in place for repaving only to learn that the funds vanished for an emergency project (collapsed wall of a bridge carrying the Sprain Brook Parkway).  While we certainly understand the need to attend to emergencies, it is incumbent on DOT to work with us to find funds.
What emerged is as follows:
  • Mr. MacMillan stated that paving the project is a top priority for his Region of the DOT.
  • The project should not await the years’ long corridor study and subsequent project funding for 684 from Exit 5 north to 84 and 84 east to the Connecticut line.
  • The DOT Regional Office needs to very soon identify the cost of the project
  • The DOT Regional Office needs to persuade DOT Commissioner Paul Karas to put the project in his budgetary request to the Governor which is submitted this coming January. Senator Mayer and Assemblyman Buchwald were adamant in this regard to enable them to advocate for the funding during the budget negotiations.
  •  Mr. MacMillan stated that design work for the project was well along and that if the funding were in place for the budget, the paving could take place in 2019.
Please see below under “I-684 We’re Not Letting Up” for contact information for our elected representatives. Please let them know you want it fixed. Writing or calling them truly helps.
Veterans Memorial Fund for WWII Veterans
With November 11, 2018, Veterans Day approaching, we ask the community to remember to honor our veterans.
Please click here for a message from one of veterans, Clark Petscheck.
DRIVERS: A SAFETY REMINDER
Pull over for emergency vehicles
This reminder came from our Bedford Fire Chief, Shawn Carmody, who has noticed that the disregard for the rules of the road regarding emergency vehicles has gotten worse since school has started.
Please be mindful:
“We have seen many drivers lately not pull over for emergency vehicles. We’re not sure of the reason, whether they are distracted, don’t hear or see the emergency vehicle or just feel they can stay ahead of the emergency vehicle at their current speed. State laws — and common sense — dictate that vehicles yield to emergency vehicles that are operating their emergency lights and siren. Emergency vehicle drivers are taught to pass on the left whenever possible and safe to do so when responding in an emergency mode. When it’s safe, drivers should slow down, pull over to the right and come to a complete stop, no coast or ride the shoulder.
However, there are circumstances where that may not be possible:
  • If your car is already stopped, and you don’t have anywhere to pull over, simply stay put until the emergency vehicle goes around you
  • If you are blocking the route of the emergency vehicle, and you are able to pull ahead and over into a clear area, use your turn signal to indicate your intentions and proceed at a safe speed
  • If you are on the crest of a hill or a bend of a curve, proceed through until oncoming traffic is visible for the emergency vehicle behind you
Other considerations:
  • Never slam on the brakes and stop in the middle of the road when you see apparatus approaching
  • Make no sudden moves
  •  If an emergency vehicle is approaching from the opposite direction, you should pull over and come to a full stop
  • You have no idea if the emergency vehicle is proceeding down the road or are planning on turning into a driveway or intersection right in front of you
  • Do not tailgate, “draft,” or follow a responding apparatus closely, not only is this illegal, you run the risk of a collision as vehicles pull back out into traffic after the emergency vehicle goes by
  • You are not required to slow down or pull over for emergency vehicles that are responding in the opposite direction on a divided highway or interstate
  • When a driver pulls over and then drives on the shoulder at a slower speed, they lengthen the distance in which the emergency vehicle must navigate before fully passing the vehicle. A vehicle travelling at 20mph on the shoulder is covering 29.3 feet every second and that adds to the passing corridor. This also provides less room for the emergency vehicle to pass and navigate oncoming traffic if they haven’t fully pulled over.
  • When you see a personal vehicle operating a flashing blue or green light, those are volunteers responding to a call, they do not have the right of way like emergency vehicles do. These flashing lights are known as courtesy lights and we ask that people pull over if safe to do so, but you are not obligated to do so. These volunteers must stop for all traffic control devices and obey all traffic laws when responding.
Please consider this the next time you encounter an emergency vehicle on the road. Help us get to our destination safely and efficiently. You never know, we may be heading to help someone you know.”
Westchester Power Program
Secures Rate Cuts & More Green Power for Customers
Sustainable Westchester (SW) today announced its Westchester Power Program Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) has negotiated new fixed rates for a second contract term beginning January 2019 and ending December 31, 2020. The new rates, effective January 1, are 7.96 cents/kwh for 100% renewable energy, with standard supply a fraction of a penny less at 7.71 cents/kwh. To learn more read here.
I-684 We’re Not Letting Up
With the further deterioration of the concrete portion of I-684 that runs through Bedford (the same original surface from the late 1960s), safety concerns have become paramount. We are compiling accident data from emergency responders and local and state data. We also are working closely with a professional engineer in the community with significant experience in major roadway projects to document the safety issues.  We continue to work with Assemblyman David Buchwald and State Senator Shelley Mayer who are working with the NYS Department of Transportation both in Albany and with its regional office.
For my part I am working to explain our concerns to the new Acting Regional Director Lance Macmillan. In the past the Department has asserted that any work on that stretch of I-684 should await a study of the interchange at Exit 5. We argued and Mr. Mac Millan’s predecessor agreed, at least in concept, that given that the completion of the study and funding of its tens of millions of recommended capital improvements would take upward of a decade, a sensible interim measure would be a 3” asphalt resurfacing with an anticipated life of 7 to 10 years.
 In a recent meeting with the Mr. MacMillan and members of his staff, he reported that the scope of the study has been expanded, is broader than the Exit 5 interchange and now includes the 684 corridor from Exit 5 to Exit 9, at the 84 interchange, and east to the Connecticut state line. He said that the study is funded, and the next step will be awarding the consultant contract this fall with the delivery of the completed study to be in 2019.
We now are working to persuade NYS DOT that especially in light of the expanded and more ambitious scope of the study, the interim measure is appropriate, the Department should be support it and be receptive to our state legislators working to secure funding for it.
Many in the community have asked me for contact information for our elected representatives and NYS officials involved in the process so that they can reach out to them to let them know the concerns:
1-518-474-8390
DOT Albany office: 518-457-6195
DOT Region 8 Acting Regional Director Lance MacMillan: 845-431-5750
State Assemblyman David Buchwald: buchwaldd@assembly.state.ny.us,
914-244-4450
State Senator Shelley Mayer: smayer@nysenate.gov
518-455-2031
If you send an e-mail, please consider copying me and our legislators
Safety First
Rules of the Road for Cyclists;
Safety Tips for Walkers;
Tips for Crossing the Street
First, thanks for the comments on Facebook regarding last week’s post regarding road etiquette.
Let’s all be safe and be mindful and considerate of others sharing the road – whether we’re motorists, cyclists, walkers or joggers.
Motorists: please be patient – with Fall offering wonderful riding opportunities for cyclists, we’ll see cyclists enjoying our beautiful roads and lanes.  Yes, many of the roads are narrow.  And yes, some cyclists are riding three abreast, but most understand and observe the rules of the road.  That said, some motorists are not considerate (or worse). (My guess is it’s not you who are reading this).
Cyclists – please observe the rules of the road. While you are permitted to ride two abreast, oftentimes, it’s not safe and results in stacking of traffic behind you and, as may apply, your riding group.  (My guess is it’s not you who are reading this).
The information below re-publishes and re-orders prior posts which certainly continue to be relevant. Thanks to all for helping us all be safe and sound.
Motorists – Sharing the Road
Sharing the road with bicyclists.
When parked on the street, check for bicyclists approaching from behind you before opening your car door. Always exercise due care to avoid colliding with any person walking or bicycling. Always be vigilant when pedestrians are present, especially those with visual or physical impairments.
Bicyclists are fully entitled to use the road and have the right to “take the lane” by positioning themselves at or near the center of the lane when needed to avoid hazards or if the lane is too narrow to safely travel side by side with motorists.
Pass bicycles only when necessary and safe: pass to the left of the bicycle at a safe distance until safely clear. When in doubt, wait until you can pass at a safe speed. Before making a right turn, let bicyclists clear the intersection. When turning left or entering a roadway, yield to oncoming bicyclists as you would to any vehicle.
Some of you may have heard of the tragic death earlier this year of a cyclist in Stony Point.  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 – Sharing the Road
New York State law mandates the following related to cyclists:
  • Travel WITH traffic (i.e. on the same side of the road) and obey all vehicle laws (stop at stop lights, etc.)
  • Are not allowed on sidewalks
  • Helmets (protective head gear) are required
  • No headphones, ear buds, or other noise cancelling devices are allowed in more than 1 ear
  • Horn/bell audible for 100 feet
  • Lighting required a half hour before dusk until a half hour after dawn
  • Cyclists are required to use appropriate hand signals.
Safety Tips for Walkers
  • Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk always walk facing traffic.
  • Dress to be seen. Brightly colored clothing makes it easier for drivers to see you during the daytime. At night, wear special reflective material on your shoes, cap or jacket to reflect the headlights of cars coming towards you.
 Tips for Crossing the Street
  • Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks.
  • Stop at the curb, or the edge of the road.
  •  Stop and look left, then right, then left again, before you step into the street.
  • If you see a car, wait until it goes by. Then look left, right and left again until no cars are coming.
  •  Keep looking for cars while you are crossing, and remember, walk, don’t run. If a car is parked where you are crossing, make sure there is no driver in the car. Then go to the edge of the car and look left-right- left again until no cars are coming.
Stop the Bleed
Paramedics are trained and prepared to operate with law enforcement in active shooter situations. This additional stop the bleed program is intended to provide a level of basic quick action from the public before help arrives.
We have certified trainers in this program and want to start offering it up to various public institutions such as schools. Click here for the booklet.
After Hours Rules for Commuter Lots
Town of Bedford Residents that do not have a commuter parking permit are allowed to park for free in the commuter lots Monday to through Thursday from 6:00 pm to 5:00 provided that they have a resident parking decal.
Parking is free on weekends to everyone starting on Fridays at 6:00 pm and on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, July Fourth, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Single Stream Recycling
Bedford 2020 has been enormously successful in promoting Single Stream recycling having advocated its establishment and helped the community embrace it. As noted below under “Further News on Recycling”, Westchester County awarded Bedford its “Eco Award” for Bedford’s having the highest recycling rate in the County. We strive to further increase recycling rates. To that end representatives of Bedford 2020 and I met earlier this week with representatives of the carters serving Bedford.
We are pleased to enjoy a strong partnership with the carters, without whom Single Stream would not be successful.  We discussed various strategies for making further progress.  I also explained that some residents had contacted me about disturbance from very early morning collections in residential neighborhoods.
The carters are amenable to a simple change to the Town’s law providing that there be no pick-ups on Sundays and federal holidays and that pick up in residential neighbors be limited to Monday through Saturday between the hour of 7 AM and 7 PM. I will propose this change to the Town Board.
Town Facilities for recycling, yard waste and E-waste
Most of the following services are free to Town residents:
The Railroad Avenue Recycling Center is located at
343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills, NY 10507.
Hours are 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Carters are obligated to collect single stream recyclables
at your property along with trash for all customers.
For those who wish to drop off recyclable materials,
the Railroad Avenue Recycling Center accepts single stream recyclables
(metal, plastic, glass, cardboard and paper).
Ewaste, Metals, Textiles; Trash Drop Off for Seniors
Residents may bring electronic waste to the Recycling Center, but please note that for CRTs (TVs and old monitors), residents first must obtain from the coupon from the Town Clerk after paying a modest fee (to cover the costs to the Town).
In addition, the Railroad Avenue Recycling Center accepts e-waste of all kinds (see below for details), bulk metals of all kinds, textiles, and trash for seniors (60+) who purchase Senior Refuse Coupons (book of 5 for $25) at the Town Clerk’s office. Each coupon can be used for up to a 33-gallon trash bag of household refuse (do not include recyclables in the refuse bag).
Town Clerk Hours
8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Monday – Friday
321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills
Beaver Dam Yard Waste and Compost Facility
The Town of Bedford Beaver Dam Compost Facility processes recyclable wood waste and leaves from the Town and provides beneficial reuse of the waste as compost and mulch. The facility provides an extremely cost effective method for this recycling as well as an environmental benefit of local recycling with minimal transportation requirements. It is open for residents to dispose of recyclable wood waste (logs and branches up to 6” diameter, brush, and leaves), as well as pick up wood mulch and leaf compost. This service is free to Town of Bedford residents between 7:30 AM and 3:00 PM Monday to Friday, excluding Town holidays.
FOR THE 2017 ANNUAL REPORT click here
Looking for an emergency volunteer opportunity but
Fire Fighting or Medical Tech not your thing?
Emergency communications might be for you.
Click here for the flyer
Katonah Fire Department under-18 Recruitment Program
Are you interested in a terrific community service opportunity? Would you like to receive state-of-the art lifesaving and firefighting training?
Katonah Fire Department eagerly welcomes applications from 16-year-olds for its Under 18 Program. Interested candidates can fulfill their John Jay High School Community Service obligation, as well as service hours required for other organizations, such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Membership in the department as a firefighter is a great way to have your college application stand out as well!
Any person who is between the ages of 16 and 18, who is physically fit, morally and mentally sound, and who, having met with the membership committee and satisfactorily passed the committee’s investigation (as established in the Katonah Fire Department, Inc. Constitution and By-Laws), may be selected for membership status.
The goal of this program is to carefully instill, enforce, and monitor the practices that lead to well trained, respectful, hardworking members once they reach their 18th birthdays and/or the conclusion of their first year of membership.
In addition, it creates a culture in which these members both realize their age- and experience-related limitations, but also feel as though they are learning and being prepared for taking on the duties of full-fledged, non-probationary members of the Katonah Fire Department.
An oversight committee and a training coordinator act as a resource to these members – in all aspects of KFD membership: firefighting, training, rules and regulations, etc. – and set example for the types of behaviors expected from our entire membership.
Applicants who join receive all training and equipment at no expense to them. They also become eligible for various scholarship opportunities. If you’re interested in finding out more, please sent an e-mail to chief2211@katonahfd.org
The Town’s Website is now available in Spanish
We have added a plug-in allowing for the website’s automatic translation to Spanish. Please note that this does not apply to linked PDF documents. http://www.bedfordny.gov/
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
In case you missed them, please refer to
my most recent monthly reports:
Previous e-news issues
Much is repeated in each newsletter, but to reduce the length each week, here are the past few complete newsletters.
REMINDER
For information on parking at the Town of Bedford Offices During Police Department Construction 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.

Facebook cuts thousands of ad targeting options | Bedford Real Estate

After HUD’s housing discrimination allegation

In the wake of being accused of allowing landlords and homeowners to discriminate against prospective renters and buyers, Facebook is making changes to its advertising policies to remove thousands of targeting options that may have been used to engage in discriminatory advertising.

Late last week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development filed a complaint against Facebook, claiming that the social media giant’s advertising platform enabled property owners to discriminate against prospective renters and buyers based on their race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, disability, or other factors.

Facebook, for its part, responded to HUD’s allegations by stating that “there is no place for discrimination” on its platform and said that it planned to both respond in court and continue working with HUD to address its concerns.

But the company is doing more than that.

Facebook announced this week that it is removing more than 5,000 ad target options to “help prevent misuse.” And that’s not all. The company also announced that all U.S. advertisers will be required to comply with the company’s non-discrimination policy in order to advertise on Facebook.

“While these options have been used in legitimate ways to reach people interested in a certain product or service, we think minimizing the risk of abuse is more important,” Facebook said of the removed ad target options.

According to Facebook, the removed options include “limiting the ability for advertisers to exclude audiences that relate to attributes such as ethnicity or religion.”

But Digiday reported that advertisers may still be able to find their way around these new limitations.

From Digiday:

A Facebook spokesperson told Digiday the majority of the targeting options being removed are exclusions, which allow advertisers to select certain audiences they do not want seeing their ads. Advertisers will no longer be able to include terms including “Passover,” “Evangelicalism,” “Native American culture,” “Islamic culture” and “Buddhism,” Facebook said.

Jesse Math, group director of paid social and display at PMX Agency said that if an advertiser was trying to exclude Hispanic audiences using the term “Hispanic” — one of the terms that Facebook likely cut — an advertiser could use common interests instead such as “Telemundo interest” or specific Hispanic artists that are less known by other communities.

If that ends up being the case, Facebook would likely utilize its non-discrimination policy to punish the offending advertiser.

As stated above, the site will soon require all advertisers to comply with its non-discrimination policy. Previously, only advertisers the site identified as offering housing, employment or credit ads were required to certify their compliance with the site’s non-discrimination policy.

“In the coming weeks, this new certification will roll out gradually to all U.S. advertisers via our Ads Manager tool,” Facebook said in its post announcing the changes. “Advertisers will be required to complete this certification in order to continue advertising on Facebook. We’ve designed this education in consultation with outside experts to underscore the difference between acceptable ad targeting and ad discrimination.

read more…

https://www.housingwire.com/articles/46551-facebook-cuts-thousands-of-ad-targeting-options-after-huds-housing-discrimination-allegation

Bedford Town news | Bedford Real Estate


Storm Watch
The National Weather Service forecasts for our area heavy rain Saturday with winds gusting as high as 32 MPH, bringing with them the possibility of downed trees and power lines. The Town is preparing for possible power outages and has coordinated with NYSEG and Con Edison which is mobilizing line crews in the event they are needed.    Please be safe. Please stay away from downed lines and report them to NYSEG at 1-800-572-1131 and to Con Edison at www.coned.com as well as on mobile devices or by calling  1-800-75-coned            We are closely monitoring the forecasts and will keep you advised.  



Update on 2019 Town Budget Tentative Budget to Be Filed Next Week Comptroller Abraham Zambrano, in his capacity as Budget Officer, will file the tentative 2019 budget with the Town Clerk on Wednesday, October 30 (prior to the end of the month, as required by state law). At the direction of the Town Board, he tentative will be property tax cap compliant and, as noted earlier, reflects increases required under contractual obligations (such as the collective bargaining agreements with our employees); increases for debt service to finance capital improvements (such as the police station renovation project); and modest increases from the 2018 budget in certain areas such as paving, support for libraries and community activities, a restored position in the Building Department (beginning July 1); an additional part-time parking enforcement officer; full funding for a senior outreach program.  I attach the 2019 budget estimates of revenue & expenses changes from 2018. 
The tentative budget will be posted to the Finance Department page of the Town’s website just as soon as it is available. Click chart to view it:




Special Town Board Meeting on November 15Wireless Communications Law  The Board has scheduled a Special Town Board meeting for Thursday, November 15 for 7:00 PM in the Court Room to focus on a new wireless communications law to replace the present law.  We will meet in Work Session with members of the Communications Committee, our counsel, Planning Director and by conference call with the Cohen Law Group.  I’ve scheduled this as Town Board meeting in the event we finish our work and are prepared to schedule a public 




Continuation of Public Hearing on Sewer Law As noted last week, we held open the public comment period on the proposed sewer law and also will continue on November 8 the public hearing on the law.   Please see last week’s newsletter for a discussion of the presentations made at the October 16 Town Board meeting by our staff and consulting engineers, Woodard & Curran. 
Also please consider attending the update meeting on the sewer project for November 14, 2018 at 6:00 PM at the Katonah Village Library.  
We thank the Katonah Chamber of Commerce and Bedford Hills LIVE forco-sponsoring this meeting with the Town. Woodard & Curran, the Town’s engineers preparing the design and plans for the sewer system, will provide a project update, as will members of the Town staff and myself.  




Safety First 
Rules of the Road for Cyclists;Safety Tips for Walkers;Tips for Crossing the Street
First, thanks for the comments on Facebook regarding last week’s post regarding road etiquette. Let’s all be safe and be mindful and considerate of others sharing the road – whether we’re motorists, cyclists, walkers or joggers. Motorists: please be patient – with Fall offering wonderful riding opportunities for cyclists, we’ll see cyclists enjoying our beautiful roads and lanes.  Yes, many of the roads are narrow.  And yes, some cyclists are riding three abreast, but most understand and observe the rules of the road.  That said, some motorists are not considerate (or worse). (My guess is it’s not you who are reading this). Cyclists – please observe the rules of the road. While you are permitted to ride two abreast, oftentimes, it’s not safe and results in stacking of traffic behind you and, as may apply, your riding group.  (My guess is it’s not you who are reading this). The information below re-publishes and re-orders prior posts which certainly continue to be relevant. Thanks to all for helping us all be safe and sound. 

Motorists – Sharing the Road
Sharing the road with bicyclists.When parked on the street, check for bicyclists approaching from behind you before opening your car door. Always exercise due care to avoid colliding with any person walking or bicycling. Always be vigilant when pedestrians are present, especially those with visual or physical impairments. Bicyclists are fully entitled to use the road and have the right to “take the lane” by positioning themselves at or near the center of the lane when needed to avoid hazards or if the lane is too narrow to safely travel side by side with motorists. Pass bicycles only when necessary and safe: pass to the left of the bicycle at a safe distance until safely clear. When in doubt, wait until you can pass at a safe speed. Before making a right turn, let bicyclists clear the intersection. When turning left or entering a roadway, yield to oncoming bicyclists as you would to any vehicle. Some of you may have heard of the tragic death earlier this year of a cyclist in Stony Point.  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 – Sharing the Road New York State law mandates the following related to cyclists:
Travel WITH traffic (i.e. on the same side of the road) and obey all vehicle laws (stop at stop lights, etc.)
Are not allowed on sidewalks
Helmets (protective head gear) are required
No headphones, ear buds, or other noise cancelling devices areallowed in more than 1 ear
Horn/bell audible for 100 feet     Lighting required a half hour before dusk until a half hour after dawn
Cyclists are required to use appropriate hand signals. 

Safety Tips for Walkers Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk always walkfacing traffic.Dress to be seen. Brightly colored clothing makes it easier for drivers tosee you during the daytime. At night, wear special reflective materialon your shoes, cap or jacket to reflect the headlights of cars comingtowards 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 againuntil no cars are coming.
5.     Keep looking for cars while you are crossing, and remember, walk, don’trun. If a car is parked where you are crossing, make sure there is no driverin the car. Then go to the edge of the car and look left-right- left again untilno cars are coming.




Updates
Route 117 We have been advised that the Village of Mount Kisco remains on schedule to complete its work in November.  
Between Con Edison (which has completed its gas main replacement project) and the Village of Mount Kisco, Route 117 and Green Lane and will be re-paved curb to curb in the next month or so, but in any event with the intention of completion prior to ice and snow.
 We are in regular communication with Con Edison and the Village regarding the status and I will continue to keep the community advised. 



Cherry Street Speed Tables
As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, the Town Board at its November 8 meeting will review the speed tables which have been in place since late summer.  
We will consider the results of a survey sent to over 750 residents of Cherry Street and side streets leading into Cherry Street (we have received over 290 replies which are being tabulated), the results of speed studies in the immediate area of the speed tables as well as further distant from them and recommendations from an ad hoc committee comprised of Police Chief Melvin Padilla, Public Works Commissioner Kevin Winn and Planning Director Jeff Osterman along with a couple of members of the Town Board (they will review the data, the information received and the tabulated questionnaire results and make their recommendation to the Town Board).  
The temporary speed tables need to be removed prior to winter because snow plows likely would damage them and cause them to be unsafe for motorists.  The Board will consider whether to replace some or all of them with permanent speed tables or take no further action following removal of the temporary tables.  Please note that as this is a matter of keen interest to many, the work session on the new wireless telecommunications law originally scheduled for November 8, has been re-scheduled, as noted above.  
While the Town Board’s consideration of the matter is not a public hearing, we certainly will entertain comments from the public, but will limit comments to three minutes for each speaker.  We appreciate your understanding and cooperation. 



Single Stream Recycling Bedford 2020 has been enormously successful in promoting Single Stream recycling having advocated its establishment and helped the community embrace it. As noted below under “Further News on Recycling”, Westchester County awarded Bedford its “Eco Award” for Bedford’s having the highest recycling rate in the County. We strive to further increase recycling rates. To that end representatives of Bedford 2020 and I met earlier this week with representatives of the carters serving Bedford.  
We are pleased to enjoy a strong partnership with the carters, without whom Single Stream would not be successful.  We discussed various strategies for making further progress.  
I also explained that some residents had contacted me about disturbance from very early morning collections in residential neighborhoods. 
The carters are amenable to a simple change to the Town’s law providing that there be no pick-ups on Sundays and federal holidays and that pick up in residential neighbors be limited to Monday through Saturday between the hour of 7 AM and 7 PM. I will propose this change to the Town Board.   



PRIOR POSTS OF CONTINUED RELEVANCE  REMINDER: November 8 Work Session on I-684
The Board set a special work session for 5:30 PM on November 8 to discuss the unacceptable lack of progress in getting New York Department of Transportation to repave the concrete portion of I-684 running through Katonah – the original road surface nearly 50 years old.  
We are pleased that State Senator Shelley Mayer, Assemblyman David Buchwald, County Legislator Kitley Covill and Joe Donat, representing Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney will join us in the work session. 
Our emergency responders, including a recent letter from the Katonah Fire Department, have expressed great concern over the safety hazards posed by the poor condition of the roadbed.  Our Police Department recently obtained from NYS accident data between 2014 and 2018 showing 230 accidents on that short stretch of I-684, 54 of which involved injuries and 7 of the injuries were serious.  
While it may be difficult to correlate accidents with road condition, commonsense dictates that a highly deteriorated road surface is unsafe. This is a dangerous road which must be fixed.  
Please see below under “I-684 We’re Not Letting Up” for contact information for our elected representatives. Please let them know you want it fixed. Writing or calling them truly helps.   
 
Town’s Leaf Pick Up The Town’s leaf pick up for certain streets in the hamlets begins on October 29.  Read the schedule here.





Possible Acquisition fromNYC of Community Center Site
As I’ve reported previously, the property on which the Community Center of Northern Westchester is located is owned by New York City under the auspices of the NYC Department of Envronmental Protection. For nearly twenty years the Town has had the use of the property through what’s known asa revocable permit from the DEP.
In turn the Town has provided a lease, subject to the revocable permit, to the Community Center. Last year the Center’s director, Clare Murray, explained to me that it’s not possible for the Center, whose needs have grown considerable, to undertake any kind of capital campaign to finance expansion of the building without certainty that the Center may remain in place for the long term. Acting upon these concerns, Deputy Supervisor Lee Roberts and I met with DEP Assistant Commissioner David Warne earlier this year about the prospects for a long term solution. Following the meeting, David Warne investigated the matter internally.
In following up on the matter with Mr. Warne, he suggested that the Town Board formally request NYC to convey title to the property to the Town at $1.00/waived (which would be subject to certain conditions). The solution would be ideal both for the Town as well as the Community Center. The Town promptly made the request and it is in process.
I wish to recognize the effective work of Geraldine Tortorella, Board member and attorney, who has been working assiduously on the proposed conveyance. We received excellent news last week that the NYC Water Board voted unanimously to recommend the conveyance. Mr. Warne personally presented the proposal to the Water Board.
There are several steps which remain. We are cautiously optimistic that the conveyance ultimately will be approved sometime in 2019.




Westchester Power (a/k/a Community Choice Aggregation)
 As a brief overview, Westchester Power is a unit of the not-for-profit Sustainable Westchester which is a consortium of all but three municipalities in Westchester County. Westchester Power is responsible for administering Sustainable Westchester’s Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program. CCA is simply a electricity purchasing program under which the municipalities which chose to participate have the marketplace benefit of purchasing electricity in bulk.  In addition to the large market which CCA brings to the energy service companies (ESCOs) which are interested in bidding for the business, the ESCOs marketing costs are significantly less.  Under the terms of the RFP, the bidders must beat the price thresholds set, guarantee a fixed price for two years and provide that customers may cancel or “opt out” at any time without penalty or charge. Bidders also must provide pricing for renewable energy and standard energy for residential as well as small commercial customers. To date CCA in the Con Edison service area has saved residential customers nearly $14 million.   Dan Welsh, director of Westchester Power, presented to the Board an explanation of the successful proposal from Constellation Energy for the renewal of Community Choice Aggregation in the Con Edison service area. Read the full presentation here.
 As in the previous contract, Constellation’s pricing was the lowest submitted.  The residential rate for renewable energy under the new contact is 7.96 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) compared to 8.00 cents per kWh under the current contract. Residential standard energy mix is 7.71 cent per kWh.  The Town Board earlier had authorized me to enter into an Electricity Service Agreement to re-join the consortium.  Bedford was the first municipality to re-join the consortium and we did so with renewable energy option which is promotes New York State sourced renewable energy.   A notification letter will be sent to inform customers of the pricing, their choices and their right to opt-out of the program.   Mr. Welsh previously had explained the RFP process as follows:“Many thanks to Supervisor Levenberg of the Town of Ossining, Supervisor (and SW Vice-Chair) Burdick and Karl Rabago, Executive Director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center who joined our team in the review process.Out of the full list of ESCO suppliers registered with the Department of Public Service, our RFI process yielded 5 that had the interest in participating.Two of these dropped out along the way leaving three firms submitting proposals today.We received the bids by our declared deadline of 11 AM, and after one round of review, we went back to the bidders all of which improved their bids. Constellation offered the best rates in both rounds, and in the end, we selected Constellation’s 24 month quote.The rates for the new contract will be 7.709 cents for standard power and 7.959 for the 100% renewable option. Perhaps most exciting is the fact that the Constellation proposal is including the small commercial class at the same rates as residential – significant savings for our small businesses! Rates for residential have been held essentially flat, which means as we go into 2019 we will have prices less than the average Con Ed rate from 2015.” Westchester Power is happy to answer any questions. Feel free to call them at 914-242-4725.
Price comparison chart below:




Vacancy on the Board ofBlue Mountain Housing Development The Blue Mountain Housing Development Corp, formed in 1980, has been a pioneer in the development of affordable housing.  It’s successes are considerable. The Town Board appoints members of the Blue Mountain board and its sister agency, the Bedford Housing Agency.  The Board is seeking a real estate lawyer, if possible.  Please e-mail supervisor@bedfordny.gov if you are interested. Please include your resume and a cover letter or e-mail.  




 Single Stream Recycling We are delighted with the community’s embrace of Single Stream recycling which has led to Bedford being awarded Westchester County’s eco award for the highest recycling rate of any of the 42 municipalities in the County.  Like you, we are perplexed by the change in recycling rules emanating from the precipitous decline in the amount of recyclables accepted in the global marketplace.  We are distressed over the drastic drop in the value of recycled paper. The marketplace for plastic recycling may be even more daunting than paper as supply now is greatly outstripping demand with China, the largest importer of plastic scrap, slashing the volume it would accept.   Notwithstanding these challenges we are committed to our efforts to hold down carting costs for property owners and also hold down the Town’s costs for disposal of recyclables.  The fact remains that it still is less expensive to recycle than to send more waste to the landfill.    To make the task feasible for the carters who are on very tight pick-up schedules, please be sure to use either the carter’s or your own separate recycling bin which are available at Bedford’s hardware stores. If you’ve been using clear plastic recycling bags to hold your recyclables, you can continue to do so.  The developments in the marketplace has led to new rules on what carters will accept for recycling.  The good news is that nearly all of what was accepted previously still is being accepted. So what has changed? Thin film plastics, such as single use plastic bags from the grocery store, no longer are accepted. We recognize that the new rules are confusing. We thank Bedford 2020 for helping to sort it all out.  Please click here for their guide.  Please also see below under “Recycling Updates” for additional information.  Thanks again for continuing to put Bedford at the top in recycling.  



Leaf Blower Information – Leaf Season is Here Relaxed rules apply during leaf season which began on September 16, 2018.  For your convenience the Leaf Blowers Task Force created a palm card with the information you may want to keep handy. They can be found in our local libraries, or you can pick one up in my office.
You also can access it here Leaf Blower informationwhere you also can find the law, Hamlet Zones list and other helpful information.
Questions or comments? Please e-mail the Leaf Blower Task Force at LeafBlowers@Bedfordny.gov
Supervisor’s Show  – October Edition:
2019 BudgetNew Cell Tower LawI-684 RepavingThe New Police Station with Chief Padilla.


FOR THE COMMUNITY EVENTS CALENDAR click here FOR THE TOWN CALENDAR click here 
TO SIGN-UP FOR NIXLE ALERTS click here





OtherTown Board Actions

November 8 Work Session on I-684
The Board set a special work session for 5:30 PM on November 8 to discuss the unacceptable lack of progress in getting New York Department of Transportation to repave the concrete portion of I-684 running through Katonah – the original road surface nearly 50 years old.   We are pleased that State Senator Shelley Mayer, Assemblyman David Buchwald, County Legislator Kitley Covill and Joe Donat, representing Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney will join us in the work session.  Our emergency responders, including a recent letter from the Katonah Fire Department, have expressed great concern over the safety hazards posed by the poor condition of the roadbed.  Our Police Department recently obtained from NYS accident data between 2014 and 2018 showing 230 accidents on that short stretch of I-684, 54 of which involved injuries and 7 of the injuries were serious.  While it may be difficult to correlate accidents with road condition, commonsense dictates that a highly deteriorated road surface is unsafe. This is a dangerous road which must be fixed.   Please see below under “I-684 We’re Not Letting Up” for contact information for our elected representatives. Please let them know you want it fixed. Writing or calling them truly helps. 



New PostsUpdate on Single Stream Recycling Bedford 2020 has been enormously successful in promotingSingle Stream recycling having advocated its establishment and helped the community embrace it. As noted below under “Further News on Recycling”, Westchester County awarded Bedford its “Eco Award” for Bedford’s having the highest recycling rate in the County. 
We strive to further increase recycling rates. To that end representatives of Bedford 2020 and I met earlier this week with representatives of the carters serving Bedford.  We are pleased to enjoy a strong partnership with the carters, without whom Single Stream would not be successful.  We discussed various strategies for making further progress.  I also explained that some residents had contacted me about disturbance from very early morning collections in residential neighborhoods.  
The carters are amenable to a simple change to the Town’s law providing that there be no pick-ups on Sundays and federal holidays and that pick up in residential neighbors be limited to Monday through Saturday between the hour of 7 AM and 7 PM. I will propose this change to the Town Board. 



Update on Speed Tables on Cherry Street The Town Board will consider at our November 8 meeting action on the speed tables which are temporary and removable.  The temporary speed tables need to be removed prior to winter because snow plows likely would damage them and cause them to be unsafe for motorists.  The Board will consider whether to replace some or all of them with permanent speed tables or take no further action following removal of the temporary tables. We also may consider changing location of the speed tables.   As earlier noted, in evaluating the appropriate action, we will consider the efficacy of the speed tables in calming traffic as well as community response.  As to the latter we mailed last week to 751 households on Cherry Street and side streets my explanatory letter regarding the process with a questionnaire on the reverse side. I have asked staff members comprised of Police Chief Melvin Padilla, Public Works Commissioner Kevin Winn and Planning Director Jeff Osterman along with a couple of members of the Town Board to review the data, the information received and the tabulated questionnaire results and make a recommendation to the Town Board.  As I mentioned in my cover letter to the survey questionnaire, I will advise the community in advance of the November 8 meeting of the results of the studies and tabulated questionnaires as well as the recommendations to the Town Board.  Stay tuned.  


Supervisor’s Show – October 

FOR THE COMMUNITY EVENTS CALENDAR click here FOR THE TOWN CALENDAR click here
 TO SIGN-UP FOR NIXLE ALERTS click here




Prior Posts of Continued Relevance 
 Vacancy on the Board ofBlue Mountain Housing Development The Blue Mountain Housing Development Corp, formed in 1980, has been a pioneer in the development of affordable housing.  It’s successes are considerable. The Town Board appoints members of the Blue Mountain board and its sister agency, the Bedford Housing Agency.  
The Board is seeking a real estate lawyer, if possible.  Please e-mail supervisor@bedfordny.gov if you are interested. Please include your resume and a cover letter or e-mail.  



 Further News on Recycling We are delighted with the community’s embrace of Single Stream recycling which has led to Bedford being awarded Westchester County’s eco award for the highest recycling rate of any of the 42 municipalities in the County.  Like you, we are perplexed by the change in recycling rules emanating from the precipitous decline in the amount of recyclables accepted in the global marketplace.  We are distressed over the drastic drop in the value of recycled paper. The marketplace for plastic recycling may be even more daunting than paper as supply now is greatly outstripping demand with China, the largest importer of plastic scrap, slashing the volume it would accept.   Notwithstanding these challenges we are committed to our efforts to hold down carting costs for property owners and also hold down the Town’s costs for disposal of recyclables.  The fact remains that it still is less expensive to recycle than to send more waste to the landfill.    To make the task feasible for the carters who are on very tight pick-up schedules, please be sure to use either the carter’s or your own separate recycling bin which are available at Bedford’s hardware stores. If you’ve been using clear plastic recycling bags to hold your recyclables, you can continue to do so.  The developments in the marketplace has led to new rules on what carters will accept for recycling.  The good news is that nearly all of what was accepted previously still is being accepted. 
So what has changed? Thin film plastics, such as single use plastic bags from the grocery store, no longer are accepted. We recognize that the new rules are confusing. We thank Bedford 2020 for helping to sort it all out.  Please click here for their guide.  
Please also see below under “Recycling Updates” for additional information.  Thanks again for continuing to put Bedford at the top in recycling.  


Save the Dates:
November 1



November 2
Westmoreland Sanctuary Fundraiser



November 3
This presentation is perfect for anyone trying to navigate our complicated healthcare system for older adults. It will help those who already have Medicare, as well as people soon to be 65, planning their retirement, or assisting relatives and friends with their medical decisions. 
The program explains the various parts of Medicare and lays out the costs associated with the medical and drug insurance provided by the government and private companies. Topics will include original Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, prescription drug plans (Part D), Medigaps (supplemental plans), and cost-saving programs like EPIC that can help seniors with limited resources. 
Come and get a handle on this thorny subject in a user-friendly atmosphere. Walk-ins welcome, but registration is requested at (914) 231-3236.
This program is sponsored by the Katonah Village Library and the Town of Bedford Recreation Department. 
For more information and other dates of this presentation (mostly in the Fall), please visithttp://www.westchesterlibraries.org/westchester-seniors-out-speaking/,or call (914) 231-3260.



Recycling Updates
Books, DVDs and CDs can now be brought to the Recycling CenterMany thanks to Filippine de Haan for discovering Discover Books, an organization that will recycle our gently used books, DVDs and CDs.
The Railroad Avenue Recycling Center is located at343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills, NY 10507.Hours are 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays

The dos & don’ts of Plastic Bag RecyclingNow that thin film plastics are no longer accepted in Single Stream Recycling, we have had some questions from local residents about this. A resident came in today to ask which type of plastic bags the grocery stores will accept in their bins for plastic bag recycling. She asked whether, in addition to plastic bags used for carrying groceries, she could put any other plastic bags, such as produce bags or bread bags, in these bins. Another person explained his confusion over not placing your recyclable items in a clear plastic bag for the carters, stating how they are a practical necessity vs carrying loose materials to the curbside bin, especially for an elderly person. We hope that the information belowwill help to dispel some questions:Our carters have informed us that we may no longer put plastic bags, thin plastic wrap, or wax paper in Single Stream recycling. Thin, film plastic now may be placed in the trash to go to the Peekskill incinerator.
However, if you want this material to be recycled, you may deliver your plastic bags to the containers provided for this purpose at the bigger grocery stores and at the Town Recycling Center. These locations accept all types of polyethylene PE HDPE plastic. These plastics often have a recycle symbol number 4 on the bottom. Without a visible number, you can use the following as a guideline:
Recyclables should be loose, clean, and dry in your recycling toter. Bedford 2020 suggests that if you use a plastic bag liner in your indoor receptacle, use it to carry out your recyclables and when you arrive at your outside bin, dump them out. Then you may reuse the plastic liner in your indoor recycling receptacle. If the bag eventually gets dirty, then use it to line your trash. To learn more, please visit the Bedford 2020 website:bedford2020.org/single-stream-recycling/ For information on how to dispose of non-recyclable items safely and legally,visit the Recyclopedia: http://bedford2020.org/recyclopedia/


The “Take It or Leave It” (TIOLI) Shed
The community has been very generous in donating items to the shedas well as to the FB page where photos of larger items (i.e. furniture) can be listed, but the organizers are asking the community to spread the word of the shed to reach more customers. It would be great to deplete their inventory before they close down for business at the end of October.
Speaking of October, here is TIOLI’s latest request for donations:(click image to expand)
The TIOLI will take Halloween items all the way through the end of October.To learn more about the Take It or Leave It Shed, read here. 




After Hours Rules for Commuter Lots
Town of Bedford Residents that do not have a commuter parking permit are allowed to park for free in the commuter lots Monday to through Thursday from 6:00 pm to 5:00 provided that they have a resident parking decal.
Parking is free on weekends to everyone starting on Fridays at 6:00 pm and on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, July Fourth, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.


I-684 We’re Not Letting Up
With the further deterioration of the concrete portion of I-684 that runs through Bedford (the same original surface from the late 1960s), safety concerns have become paramount. We are compiling accident data from emergency responders and local and state data. We also are working closely with a professional engineer in the community with significant experience in major roadway projects to document the safety issues.  We continue to work with Assemblyman David Buchwald and State Senator Shelley Mayer who are working with the NYS Department of Transportation both in Albany and with its regional office. 
For my part I am working to explain our concerns to the new Acting Regional Director Lance Macmillan. In the past the Department has asserted that any work on that stretch of I-684 should await a study of the interchange at Exit 5. We argued and Mr. Mac Millan’s predecessor agreed, at least in concept, that given that the completion of the study and funding of its tens of millions of recommended capital improvements would take upward of a decade, a sensible interim measure would be a 3” asphalt resurfacing with an anticipated life of 7 to 10 years. 
 In a recent meeting with the Mr. MacMillan and members of his staff, he reported that the scope of the study has been expanded, is broader than the Exit 5 interchange and now includes the 684 corridor from Exit 5 to Exit 9, at the 84 interchange, and east to the Connecticut state line. He said that the study is funded, and the next step will be awarding the consultant contract this fall with the delivery of the completed study to be in 2019.  
We now are working to persuade NYS DOT that especially in light of the expanded and more ambitious scope of the study, the interim measure is appropriate, the Department should be support it and be receptive to our state legislators working to secure funding for it.
Many in the community have asked me for contact information for our elected representatives and NYS officials involved in the process so that they can reach out to them to let them know the concerns:
Governor Cuomo: https://www.governor.ny.gov/contact1-518-474-8390
DOT Albany office: 518-457-6195DOT Region 8 Acting Regional Director Lance MacMillan: 845-431-5750
State Assemblyman David Buchwald: buchwaldd@assembly.state.ny.us,914-244-4450
State Senator Shelley Mayer: smayer@nysenate.gov518-455-2031
If you send an e-mail, please consider copying me and our legislators

 Town Facilities for recycling, yard waste and E-wasteMost of the following services are free to Town residents:
The Railroad Avenue Recycling Center is located at343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills, NY 10507.Hours are 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  
Carters are obligated to collect single stream recyclablesat your property along with trash for all customers.
For those who wish to drop off recyclable materials,the Railroad Avenue Recycling Center accepts single stream recyclables(metal, plastic, glass, cardboard and paper).  
 
Ewaste, Metals, Textiles; Trash Drop Off for Seniors
Residents may bring electronic waste to the Recycling Center, but please note that for CRTs (TVs and old monitors), residents first must obtain from the coupon from the Town Clerk after paying a modest fee (to cover the costs to the Town). 
In addition, the Railroad Avenue Recycling Center accepts e-waste of all kinds (see below for details), bulk metals of all kinds, textiles, and trash for seniors (60+) who purchase Senior Refuse Coupons (book of 5 for $25) at the Town Clerk’s office. Each coupon can be used for up to a 33-gallon trash bag of household refuse (do not include recyclables in the refuse bag). Town Clerk Hours8:30 AM to 4:30 PMMonday – Friday321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills


Beaver Dam Yard Waste and Compost Facility
The Town of Bedford Beaver Dam Compost Facility processes recyclable wood waste and leaves from the Town and provides beneficial reuse of the waste as compost and mulch. The facility provides an extremely cost effective method for this recycling as well as an environmental benefit of local recycling with minimal transportation requirements. It is open for residents to dispose of recyclable wood waste (logs and branches up to 6” diameter, brush, and leaves), as well as pick up wood mulch and leaf compost. This service is free to Town of Bedford residents between 7:30 AM and 3:00 PM Monday to Friday, excluding Town holidays.



FOR THE 2017 ANNUAL REPORT click here


Additional information regarding tax scams The IRS, the AARP, NYS Attorney General and many others are issuing warnings about scams particularly directed at the elderly.  Please don’t fall prey. See https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts  





Looking for an emergency volunteer opportunity butFire Fighting or Medical Tech not your thing? Emergency communications might be for you.Click here for the flyer



Katonah Fire Department under-18 Recruitment Program Are you interested in a terrific community service opportunity? Would you like to receive state-of-the art lifesaving and firefighting training?Katonah Fire Department eagerly welcomes applications from 16-year-olds for its Under 18 Program. Interested candidates can fulfill their John Jay High School Community Service obligation, as well as service hours required for other organizations, such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Membership in the department as a firefighter is a great way to have your college application stand out as well! Any person who is between the ages of 16 and 18, who is physically fit, morally and mentally sound, and who, having met with the membership committee and satisfactorily passed the committee’s investigation (as established in the Katonah Fire Department, Inc. Constitution and By-Laws), may be selected for membership status. The goal of this program is to carefully instill, enforce, and monitor the practices that lead to well trained, respectful, hardworking members once they reach their 18th birthdays and/or the conclusion of their first year of membership. In addition, it creates a culture in which these members both realize their age- and experience-related limitations, but also feel as though they are learning and being prepared for taking on the duties of full-fledged, non-probationary members of the Katonah Fire Department. An oversight committee and a training coordinator act as a resource to these members – in all aspects of KFD membership: firefighting, training, rules and regulations, etc. – and set example for the types of behaviors expected from our entire membership. Applicants who join receive all training and equipment at no expense to them. They also become eligible for various scholarship opportunities. If you’re interested in finding out more, please sent an e-mail to chief2211@katonahfd.org



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



Stop the Bleed Paramedics are trained and prepared to operate with law enforcement in active shooter situations. This additional stop the bleed program is intended to provide a level of basic quick action from the public before help arrives.
We have certified trainers in this program and want to start offering it up to various public institutions such as schools. Click here for the booklet.





IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

In case you missed them, please refer tomy most recent monthly reports:September Monthly Report
August Monthly Report
July Monthly Report
Previous e-news issues
Much is repeated in each newsletter, but to reduce the length each week, here are the past few complete newsletters.

Week Ending 10.12.18
Week Ending 10.6.18
Week Ending 9.28.18
Week Ending 9.21.18
Week Ending 9.14.18
Week Ending 9.7.18
Week Ending 8.24.18
Week Ending 8.17.18
Week Ending 8.10.18
Week Ending 8.3.18



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

Zillow 2017 real estate predictions | Bedford Real Estate

This year is nearly over, and 2017 will being in just a few short weeks. As the year comes to a close, predictions for next year are pouring in.

It’s hard to say what the new year will bring with the newly-elected President-elect Donald Trump. Zillow points out in its predictions how some of his policies could affect housing next year.

Here are Zillow’s six predictions for 2017:

1. Cities will focus on denser development of smaller homes close to public transit and urban centers.

2. More millennials will become homeowners, driving up the homeownership rate. Millennials are also more racially diverse, so more homeowners will be people of color, reflecting the changing demographics of the United States.

3. Rental affordability will improve as incomes rise and growth in rents slows.

4. Buyers of new homes will have to spend more as builders cover the cost of rising construction wages, driven even higher in 2017 by continued labor shortages, which could be worsened by tougher immigration policies under President-elect Trump.

5. The percentage of people who drive to work will rise for the first time in a decade as homeowners move further into the suburbs seeking affordable housing — putting them further from adequate public transit options.

6. Home values will grow 3.6 percent in 2017, according to more than 100 economic and housing experts surveyed in the latest Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey. National home values have risen 4.8 percent so far in 2016.

Mortgage rates average 3.71% | Bedford Realtor

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing mortgage rates moving lower for the first time in four weeks.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.71 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending March 24, 2016, down from last week when it averaged 3.73 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.69 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.96 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.99 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.97 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.89 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.93 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.92 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 theDefinitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“The Federal Reserve’s decision last week to maintain the current level of the Federal funds rate combined with the reduction in their forecast for growth triggered a 3-basis point drop in the 10-year Treasury yield. As a consequence, the 30-year mortgage rate declined 2 basis points to 3.71 percent. However, comments this week by several members of the Fed, including the presidents of the Richmond, San Francisco, and Atlanta banks, indicated that a June rate hike is still on the table

Mortgage rates average 3.92% | Bedford NY Realtor

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing mortgage rates moving lower with the 30-year fixed-rate declining for the second straight week.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.92 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending January 14, 2016, down from last week when it averaged 3.97 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.66 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.19 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from 3.26 percent last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.98 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 theDefinitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Long-term Treasury yields continue to drop, dragging mortgage rates down with them. Turbulence in overseas financial markets is generating a flight-to-quality which benefits U.S. Treasury securities. In addition, sagging oil prices are capping inflation expectations. The net effect on the 30-year mortgage rate was a 5 basis point drop to 3.92 percent.”

Mortgage Rates stay at 3.93% | Bedford Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates largely unchanged from the previous week amid little movement in financial markets. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage has averaged below four percent for the fifth consecutive week.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.93 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending August 20, 2015, down from last week when it averaged 3.94 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.10 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.15 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.17 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.23 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.94 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.93 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.95 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.62 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, unchanged from last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.38 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 links for theRegional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

 

Message from Bedford Town Supervisor | Bedford NY Real Estate

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
Time
Topic
7:20 PM
Amendment to Zoning Code related to hamlet business districts
7:50 PM
Amendment to the sign ordinance
7:10 PM
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
1
for 20 years or more). Her petition, which you can access at www.change.org, then enter into search field “684” reads as follows:
1.
Efforts have been made all over Westchester County and NY State to reduce noise pollution, while Bedford and Katonah have been ignored.
2.
Increasing the speed limit to 65 mph and ever increasing truck traffic has increased the road noise substantially over the last few years.
3.
Neighbors are measuring noise levels as high as 85 dBs – which has been medically proven harmful – both physically and mentally.
4.
I684 has been neglected for decades and needs to be repaved for safety reasons.
5.
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
2
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 townclerk@bedfordny.gov.
Internship Opportunity
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’s Report
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.
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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.
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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
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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”
I ask you to please send me an e-mail at supervisor@bedfordny.gov should you have any questions or comments on this report or any of our work on the Town Board.
Chris Burdick
Town Supervisor

Most U.S. housing markets are undervalued | Bedford Real Estate

U.S. homes are by in large undervalued, even as national price measures show a modest overvaluation due to skewing effects from a few large markets, according to new research from Goldman Sachs.

Homes in the Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego metropolitan areas, for example, are about 20% above fair value. Meanwhile, prices elsewhere are still falling, and homes in areas such as Buffalo and St. Louis are undervalued, the analysts wrote.

“The broad national indexes are skewed by high prices in a small number of large markets,” Goldman Sachs economists Zach Pandl and Hui Shan wrote. “While there appears to be some evidence of regional froth, in our view the broader national picture is one of leaders and laggards, with strong rebounds in some markets but still-soft prices in many others.”
In the first quarter, most metropolitan statistical areas tracked by Goldman had undervalued properties. There were 202 housing markets that were undervalued by at least 1%, compared with 140 markets that were overvalued by at least 1%.

“Large cities drag up the national indexes, even if real estate markets in many smaller [metropolitan areas] have yet to fully recover,” Goldman analysts wrote.

Analysts looked at valuation in several ways. They compared home prices to gauges of consumer inflation, rent, income and population.

 

Most metropolitan statistical areas tracked by Goldman have undervalued homes.
Interest among would-be borrowers in buying a home recently hit a two-year high. Even as home prices have grown, a strengthening U.S. jobs market and still-low interest rates are supporting sales. In hot markets, low inventory is driving prices higher.

 

read more…

 

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-most-us-housing-markets-are-undervalued-even-as-prices-climb-2015-07-10