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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.
3
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.
4
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
5
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

US housing stages ‘lopsided’ recovery | Bedford NY Real Estate

The lasting legacy of the US housing crash has ranked at the top of the so-called “headwinds” that Federal Reserve policy makers such asJanet Yellen cite when discussing America’s economic prospects.

A host of indicators are suggesting now that, even if the property market remains well below its boom-time highs, it is firmly in recovery mode.

The Case-Shiller index of home values in 20 cities rose 4.9 per cent from a year earlier in April, according to data released Tuesday, with values in Denver and San Francisco rising around 10 per cent from a year earlier. That came after the National Association of Realtors index of pending home sales hit its highest level since April 2006.

The problem with the recovery is that it is, in the words of Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic, a lopsided one.

An acute lack of construction at the lower end of the market is creating a tight supply of housing, driving up rents and pushing up prices of affordable homes to levels reached in 2006.

With access to credit far more constricted than it was before the financial crisis and income growth depressed, home ownership rates have fallen to 20-year lows, as many younger Americans are locked out of property ownership.

Mr Khater said: “The property market is strengthening, but it’s a complex picture that’s by no means good news for all Americans.”

Back in 2013 US housing hit a setback associated with a 100 basis-point upward lurch in mortgage rates induced by the Fed’s so-called “taper tantrum”. In recent months it has seen renewed momentum, however. Existing home sales rose to an annual rate of 5.35m in May, according to the National Association of Realtors, the fastest pace since 2009.

Rising values are pushing up equity in the housing market, with low interest rates helping for those who can qualify for home loans. In addition, real disposable incomes have risen 4 per cent nationally over the past four quarters.

While an increase in interest rates by the Federal Reserve could impact affordability, Tim Hopper, chief economist at TIAA-CREF, a financial services company, argued that US households are better positioned to weather higher borrowing costs. “The consumer is in much better shape than just a few years ago,” he said.

Nevertheless, there were still 5.1m mortgaged houses in negative equity in the first quarter, compared with 5.4m at the end of last year, according to CoreLogic data. Poorer neighbourhoods tend to have very high concentrations of negative equity, underlining the long shadow of the property crash and deeply divided fortunes now characterising the housing market.

Among the lasting legacies of the downturn have been tightening lending standards, a shift to renting, and a decline in rates of home ownership. The home ownership rate at the end of last year was at 64.5 per cent, erasing most of the increase over the previous two decades. Between 2006 and 2013, there was a 3m increase in single family home rentals.

With construction of housing remaining depressed, households are encountering a tight supply and surging rents — with the national vacancy rate near its lowest in 20 years. This is putting acute pressure on many people’s finances. In 2013 almost half of renters had housing cost burdens, including more than a quarter with “severe” burdens — paying more than 50 per cent of income for housing, according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

 

 

read more…

 

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102802954

U.S. Housing Markets Strengthen | Bedford NY Real Estate

Freddia Mac today released its updated Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®) showing the U.S. housing market continuing to stabilize with the strongest markets realizing the greatest benefits from a spring homebuying season in full swing.

The national MiMi value stands at 78.7, indicating a weak housing market overall but showing an improvement (+0.14%) from March to April and a three-month improvement of (+2.10%). On a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value has improved (+3.57%). Since its all-time low in October 2010, the national MiMi has rebounded 33 percent, but it’s still significantly off from its high of 121.7.

News Facts:

  • Twenty-six of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values in a stable range, with the District of Columbia (97.8), North Dakota (96.3), Montana (92), Hawaii (91), and Alaska (87.4) ranking in the top five.
  • Thirty-five of the 100 metro areas have MiMi values in a stable range, with Fresno (94.8), Honolulu (92.3), Austin (92.1), Los Angeles (89.1) and Salt Lake City, TX (88.9) ranking in the top five.
  • The most improving states month-over-month were Washington (+1.49%), Indiana (+1.32%), Tennessee (+1.03%), Oregon (+0.83%) and Mississippi (+0.82%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Florida (+10.89%), Nevada (+10.55%), Oregon (10.29%), Colorado (+8.72%), and Michigan (+8.31%).
  • The most improving metro areas month-over-month were Palm Bay, FL (+1.51%), Portland, OR (+1.32%), Indianapolis, IN (+1.22%), Oxnard, CA (+1.22%) and Lakeland, FL (+1.99%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving metro areas were Orlando, FL (+12.6%), Palm Bay, FL (+12.14%), Miami, FL (+11.97%), Cape Coral, FL (+10.73%), and Las Vegas, NV (+11.54%).
  • In April, 43 of the 50 states and 92 of the 100 metros were showing an improving three month trend. The same time last year, all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, and 99 of the top 100 metro areas were showing an improving three-month trend.

Quote attributable to Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer:

“We saw a significant improvement in housing markets nationwide, with ten more metro areas and nine more states moving within range of their benchmark, stable level of housing activity. The West and Southwest areas of the country continue to lead the way, especially Colorado, Oregon and Utah, and California is right there as well. Unlike a year ago, when the most improving markets were those hardest hit by the Great Recession, we’re now seeing stable markets among the most improving as well. So the strong housing markets are getting stronger, which reflects the better employment picture, rising home values and increased purchase activity in these markets with the spring homebuying season in full swing.”

The 2015 MiMi release calendar is available online.

MiMi monitors and measures the stability of the nation’s housing market, as well as the housing markets of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the top 100 metro markets. MiMi combines proprietary Freddie Mac data with current local market data to assess where each single-family housing market is relative to its own long-term stable range by looking at home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios (changes in home purchasing power based on house prices, mortgage rates and household income), proportion of on-time mortgage payments in each market, and the local employment picture. The four indicators are combined to create a composite MiMi value for each market. Monthly, MiMi uses this data to show, at a glance, where each market stands relative to its own stable range of housing activity. MiMi also indicates how each market is trending, whether it is moving closer to, or further away from, its stable range. A market can fall outside its stable range by being too weak to generate enough demand for a well-balanced housing market or by overheating to an unsustainable level of activity.