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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.

Bedford Town news | Bedford Real Estate

COMING UP ON THE MAY 15 TOWN BOARD AGENDA
Click here for the agenda
As previously mentioned, the Town Board has been considering taking action on adopting a local law to regulate leaf blower use and to reduce waste created by the distribution primarily at grocery stores of single use plastic bags and paper grocery bags.   We have had excellent work performed by our Leaf Blower Task Force (LBTF) and Reusable Bag Task Force (RBTF), each of which has presented recommendations to the Town Board. Each Task Force extensively researched the issues, sought and obtained input from stakeholders and the community generally, including several public meetings.   The Task Forces and the Board also has been consulting closely with Town staff.
Leaf Blowers
The Board is moving ahead on developing a balanced local law from the good work of the LBTF, comments from the public and input from staff. We plan to schedule a public hearing for the June 19 meeting to allow ample time for further public input.
 
Reusable Bags
The RBTF recommends that the Town Board adopt a local law adapted from the reusable bag law in Suffolk County which set a one-year “ramp up” of large-scale distribution of reusable bags and encouragement of their use. There would be no ban on either single-use plastic bags or paper grocery bags, but rather a 10c fee charge for either type of bag should the customer arrive at the check-out counter without a reusable bag. The law would not apply to smaller stores, as their distribution of single-use plastic bags and disposable paper bags was not found to be significant.
Other recommendations of the RBTF:
  • Stores subject to the law pledge to participate in education efforts and make an investment in signage on their premises and in reusable bags to distribute to customers during the ramp-up period.
  • The Town Board should review the law within 12 months following effective date with respect to actual reduction of single-use plastic bags and paper grocery bags.
  • Stores subject to the law be required to cooperate in benchmarking plastic and paper bag usage over the implementation year, and that the measurements for success should be clear and quantifiable.
  • If single-use disposable bag use does not decrease in the stores subject to the law by 50% or more at the 12-month benchmarking period, then the Town Board should consider either one or more of the following additions to the law: an increase in the fee, an outright ban on single-use plastic bags, and potential expansion to delis, restaurants and smaller stores.
  • While smaller stores should be exempt, efforts to encourage reusable bag use (signage, reusable bag distribution, education) should be extended to these locations.
  • While this law exempts delis and restaurants, the RBTF recommends a pilot with 5-7 delis and restaurants that voluntarily decrease plastic/Styrofoam containers and plastic bags in these locations as part of an effort to decrease litter in Town. If the pilot is successful, the Town Board should consider adding delis and restaurants to the list of non-exempt stores or consider a plastic ban at the 12-month review.
We have held public meetings with retailers, individual meetings with grocery store representatives and a public meeting with the general public. We plan to set a public hearing for June 5 on the RBTF recommendations.
 
Part-Time Senior Outreach Position   The Senior Advisory Committee will present recommendations to the Town Board regarding creation of a part-time senior outreach position to assist the Town’s growing senior population.
 
Proposed Changes in the Parking Code
The Town Board will be considering proposed changes to the parking chapter of the Town Code to update the parking chapter for changes in technology, address non-residential weekday use of the commuter lots in “off hours” and to update/increase the fines/penalties for violations.
Updated Fee Schedule for Filming Permits
The Board will be considering a new fee schedule to correspond to the new Filming law. The fee schedule could not be adopted at the May 1 meeting since the new law is not effective until filed with the NYS Secretary of State. The schedule includes discounts for multiple days’ use and other incentives to encourage filming in Bedford, consistent with protecting the community from excessive noise, traffic, light and other disturbance from such activities.
SAVE MONEY AND THE ENVIRONMENT WITH THESE TWO EXCITING SUSTAINABLE WESTCHESTER INITIATIVES!
Nissan Leaf Discount Program
Electric vehicles save money and reduce fossil fuel usage and emissions.  Click the link below to see how you can save up to $12,500 on a 2018 all electric Nissan Leaf through the Sustainable Westchester bulk discount program. Sign Up for Discount
Community Solar
Now everyone can be a part of the transition to local, clean solar energy, even if you don’t have access to your roof because you are in an apartment or it’s too shady. Currently in con Ed Territory only. Click Here to sign up for Local solar – and save money on your Con Ed bill!
Sign up at WestchesterCommunitySolar.org
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
PHONE SCAMS – NYSEG
Customers are receiving automated calls from “NYSEG” telling them that their electricity will be shut off later that day.   The customer is instructed to call back to prevent this.  The callback numbers, which vary, answer with “NYSEG automated service line,” and prompt you to push 3.
These calls are not from NYSEG and are an attempt to scam residents and businesses.
Some precautions to take to avoid falling victim to a scam:
  • Always type NYSEG’s Web address when making an online payment at nyseg.com.  Do not rely on email links. While at nyseg.com, you can also check your account balance and any past-due amount status.
  • When making a payment by phone, always ensure that you are dialing NYSEG phone numbers: 1.800.572.1111 (customer service); 1.888.315.1755 (payment arrangements) or 1.800.600.2275 (self-service line). You can also check your account status by phone.
  • Do not make any payments over the phone to anyone who has contacted you or asked you to dial a different number.
  • Never provide your Social Security number, credit card number or bank information to anyone requesting it (over the phone or in person) unless you initiated the contact and feel confident that the transaction is legitimate.
  • NYSEG does not ask customers to purchase debit cards (like Green Dot cards) to make payments.
  • If you have fallen victim to a scam, immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission and your local police.
 
AWARD FOR ANTIOCH HOMES AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT  
I am delighted to report that Antioch Homes Affordable Housing Project has been chosen to be honored with a Commendation for Outstanding Planning Achievement by the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation (WMPF) for its annual planning awards competition.   The award will be presented at next month’s WMPF annual awards dinner.
 
FOR THE SUPERVISOR’S APRIL MONTHLY REPORT Click here 

UPDATE ON ROUTE 117 WORK
The Town has been working closely with Con Edison, the Village of Mt. Kisco and the NYS Department of Transportation regarding the condition of Route 117 in Bedford Hills which had been dug up and very roughly patched following Con Edison gas line work.
As those following this newsletter may know, we learned a few weeks ago that the Village of Mt. Kisco plans to replace its water line, which also will require digging up Route 117.  Upon learning of this development, we urged the Village and Con Edison to coordinate and to discuss it with DOT.   We want to avoid the havoc that took place over Thanksgiving and into the holidays last November/December in connection with Con Edison’s work in which ingress/egress to the Shop Rite mall was blocked; daytime work was taking place at the height of retailers busiest season resulting in significant loss of business; and traffic into and out of Bedford Hills was tied up for upwards of an hour.
Here’s the status of requests we have made to the parties:
  1. DOT advises us that it has required Con Edison to perform the curb to curb restoration.
  2. Work to be done at night from 7:00 PM through 6:00 AM.  Minimizing the loudest work (i.e., saw cut and jackhammering).  Con Edison has stated: “We will ask our contractors to try their best to get the saw cut and jackhammering work done before 10 pm, but it is an inevitable part of this work.”
Timing: we don’t know yet, because the water line work schedule has not yet been set as the engineers design and staging the work have to complete DOT review and approval.   What we do know is that the previous schedule of Con Edison completing its restoration in the next couple of weeks is not at all possible.   Our objective now is to avoid disruption as much as possible.  As soon as we learn of the schedule, we will advise the community.
 
PREPARATIONS FOR 2018 PAVING
This is the time of year when residents ask me about our paving plans and how the Town Board determines it. Shortly after I came onto the Town Board in 2008, the Department of Public Works instituted a fair and equitable system for identifying the roads to be paved from year to year. It is based on the condition of the road, with the roads in the worst condition to be paved first before they deteriorate further and results in far more costly paving. Each Spring the DPW updates its assessment of the condition of all 97 miles of the paved Town roads (since roads deteriorate at different rates over the winter).   The condition assessment uses a rating system with 1 being the best condition and 5 being the worst.   As a result of higher appropriation levels, we have been able to pave all Town roads rated at 4 and 5 and now are working away at a lengthy list of roads rated at 3.5. In 2014, the paving budget was approximately $800,000. Each year thereafter, the Town Board gradually has increased the budget. The figure now stands at approximately $1.2 million for 2018. We anticipate that in the next month DPW Commissioner Kevin Winn will submit a recommended paving list to the Town Board for approval.
 
MOVING AHEAD WITH OUR COMMITMENT TO ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Consistent with the Town’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 2020, on October 3, 2017, the Town Board responded to the New York League of Conservation Voters/Sustainable Westchester challenge by being the only municipality in Westchester County to adopt Gold Tier Pledge under which we commit to purchase Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV’s) for at least 10% of our new light-duty municipal fleet purchases by the end of 202 and revisit this level annual to consider adopting a higher purchasing commitment. At its May 1, 2018 Town Board meeting the Town Board approved the purchase of the highly rated Chevy Bolt, which has an excellent driving range of 238 miles on a single charge.  The Town is able to purchase the vehicle under procurement through NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services in which the Town may participate.
KVIS TOWN FORUM
Let your voices be heard – Let us know what is on your mind
Katonah Village Library, May 17 at 7:30 PM. Click here for the flyer
REMINDERS – VACANCIES ON TOWN BOARDS
Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee – Resident of Katonah Memorial Park District
There is a vacancy on the Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee for a resident of the Katonah Park District.  Send your resume and a cover letter via e-mail to supervisor@bedfordny.gov and please copy Recreation and Parks Superintendent Bill Heidepriem atwheidepriem@bedfordny.gov and RPAC chairman, Brian McCabe atcoach10536@aol.com.  You also may mail your cover letter and resume to the attention of Supervisor, 321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills, New York 10507.  For information on the RPAC, please see http://www.bedfordny.gov/town-government/boards-commissions-committees/boards/recreation-parks-advisory/
Drug Abuse Prevention Council (DAPC)
The Town of Bedford is looking to fill two vacancies on the Drug Abuse Prevention Council. If you are interested in serving, please e-mail your resume with a cover letter to Supervisor Chris Burdick, supervisor@bedfordny.gov and also to DAPC Coordinator Kathryn Ferrara, kathryn.dapc@gmail.com  .  You also may mail it the attention of Supervisor, 321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills, New York 10507.  For more information on the DAPC, click here.
Traffic Safety Work Group
There is a vacancy on the Traffic Safety Working Group (TSWG)for a resident of Bedford Hills. Send your resume and a cover letter via e-mail to supervisor@bedfordny.gov  You also may mail your cover letter and resume to the attention of Supervisor, 321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills, New York 10507.  For information on the TSWG please click here.
FOR YOUR NEIGHBOR’S SAKE
Please consider your neighbor when you go to work with your lawn mower or weed whacker (or your lawn service uses them). We realize that your busy schedule makes it difficult to find time to get work done on your property. We all try to squeeze in time to do it. But please not too early and not too late…

IT’S THE LAW: IDLING
Please be reminded that Westchester County regulates the idling time of motor vehicles to not more than three minutes (with certain exceptions – click here for the law
Let’s all obey the law to avoid unnecessary pollution.
 
PAVING OUR STATE ROADS: STILL TRYING TO GET ACTION
 
I-684
            It’s been a long haul trying to persuade New York State to pave the concrete portion of I-684 that runs through Bedford (the same original surface from the late 1960s).   You may remember that in early 2014 shortly after coming into office, I started working with Assembly David Buchwald and then State Senator George Latimer to urge the re-paving of the portion of I-684 which runs through Bedford.  We also worked with Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, to press for funds from Washington, since 80% to 90% of the funds to repair our State’s highways comes from the federal government.   Thanks principally to the efforts of Assemblyman Buchwald a portion of the Bedford section was paved (the southerly portion up to Harris Road).   But the portion from Harris Road through a bit north of Exit 6 is in terrible condition. One of our residents who is an engineer and works on major road projects described it in an e-mail earlier this week: “Spring has arrived!! Please take the time to drive northbound and southbound on I-684, including the exit ramps. The pavement deterioration has become very severe in some areas due to the harsh winters. You may see large chucks of concrete in the shoulders that have broken free from the mainline pavement. Perhaps the board can urge the NYSDOT Highway Department to have maintenance crews fill the pot holes in the Katonah corridor as a priority.”
ROUTE 22
            Here, too, conditions on the road have deteriorated.   I’m especially concerned about the portion between the Bedford Cross and the intersection with Pea Pond Road. Several residents have contacted me about it.
I’ll be meeting with the Regional Director of the DOT on Monday and members of his staff to press for work to get done. I’d like to ask your help so that the powers that be know that it’s not just me asking for action.  You can send e-mails and make calls – and many thanks to those who already have done so (yes you may get a “form” response, but they all keep track of it and it really makes a difference that you take the time):
DOT Albany office: 518-457-6195
DOT Region 8 Acting Regional Director Lance MacMillan: 845-431-5750
If you send an e-mail, please consider copying me and our legislators:
State Assemblyman Buchwald: buchwaldd@assembly.state.ny.us, 914-244-4450
And thank you!
POTHOLE REPAIR SEASON HAS OPENED
As to potholes you find in our Town roads, please call our Pothole Hotline at 666-7669 or feel free to contact me at 666-6530 or Supervisor@bedfordny.gov.
For potholes on state roads in our Town, such as Routes 22, 117, 121, 137 and 172 we would suggest that you call NYS’s pothole line at 1-800-POTHOLE.
 
METRO-NORTH: UPPER HARLEM SUBSTITUTE BUS SERVICE, SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS, APRIL 28-29, MAY 5-6 & MAY 19-20, INCLUDES SOUTHEAST, BREWSTER, CROTON FALLS, PURDY’S, GOLDENS BRIDGE, AND WASSAIC
For Saturdays and Sundays, April 28-29, May 5-6 and May 19-20 substitute bus service will be in effect between Southeast, Brewster, Croton Falls, Purdy’s and Goldens Bridge due to ongoing repairs to multiple downed power poles and lines in the area that occurred as a result of the March nor’easters.
All buses will depart approximately 20 minutes ahead of the regularly scheduled southbound train departure times in order to connect with train service at Goldens Bridge. Regular train service will resume each day with the 7:10 PM train to Southeast and the 9:08 PM train from Southeast.
Harlem Line train service continues to operate between Grand Central Terminal and Goldens Bridge and between Southeast and Wassaic.
Substitute bus service is being provided between Southeast and Goldens Bridge as follows:
Wassaic Branch Customers: Trains will depart 10 minutes ahead of the regularly scheduled southbound train departure times at all stations between Wassaic and Patterson in order to connect with bus service at Southeast. Additional bus service/ times will be provided at Southeast and Goldens Bridge. For full schedule details, please see http://web.mta.info/mnr/pdf/Wassaic Bus May_2018.pdf
Southeast, Brewster, Croton Falls and Purdy’s Customers: All buses will depart about 20 minutes ahead of the regularly scheduled southbound train departures in order to connect with train service at Goldens Bridge. Regular train service will resume with the 7:10 PM train to Southeast and the 9:08 train from Southeast. For a full schedule, please see: http://web.mta.info/mnr/pdf/Upper
Please refer to our interactive schedules at http://as0.mta.info/mnr/schedules/sched_form.cfm
or download Train Time for train/bus times.
Customers can also use the Hudson Line, where tickets will be cross-honored.
Please listen for station announcements and check back to this website for updates. Thank you for your patience while we perform this critical repair work.
NEW YORK STATE ACTION OF STATE AND LOCAL TAX (SALT) DEDUCTIONS
Many have asked us about what action is being taken in response to the December federal tax law revisions which caps SALT tax deductions for federal income tax purposes to $10,000.
The following is brief description of the new law that can be provided to the public regarding the New York budget bill that provides offsets for Federal SALT tax deductions: The New York State Legislature has adopted new state law provisions designed to offset the impact of the recently enacted federal tax limitation on state and local taxes (SALT) to $10,000. Specifically, the legislation creates a vehicle for taxpayers to contribute to certain charitable funds that, in turn, would be applied for local tax purposes. The concept is that, as a charitable contribution, the amount paid by taxpayers who itemize their tax returns could be claimed as a charitable deduction on federal taxes. Under the new law, a New York State tax credit would also be provided on a percentage of each contribution. Under the new law, each taxing jurisdiction, including school districts, villages, towns, cities and counties, is responsible for establishing and managing such charitable funds. The funds collected would then be used by each taxing jurisdiction and applied to the taxing jurisdiction’s annual tax levy. The law also provides a mechanism for the taxpayer to receive a tax credit based upon the amount contributed to a school district’s or other municipal corporation’s charitable fund. The exact procedures for making payments into the charitable funds and receiving a credit against taxes owed are still being formulated.
New York State, by being the first state to enact a “workaround” to ameliorate the limitation on the federal SALT deductions, has positioned itself to be the legal test case for whether such an arrangement will pass legal muster. The Town and other government agencies, school districts and municipalities throughout New York State are in the process of reviewing the proposed bill provisions to determine what action should be taken and whether to implement the provisions of this new law. Similarly, tax experts are in the process of reviewing whether or not these new charitable funds will be treated as legitimate charitable contributions that are deductible for filers who itemize their federal tax returns. New York’s Governor and Legislature appear to believe the provisions are sound. However, a final answer has yet to be obtained and we recommend that you consult with your personal tax consultant before taking any action.
We will keep you advised as the situation develops.
           
FOR THE APRIL 6, 2018 KATONAH-BEDFORD HILLS SEWER DESIGN STATUS REPORT click here

PLEASE JOIN US FOR BEDFORD TOWN-WIDE CLEAN-UP DAYS 2018 AT THE CRUSHER ROAD HIGHWAY FACILITY OFF ROUTE 22, JUST NORTH OF ROUTE 172, IN BEDFORD VILLAGE

Town residents can bring household debris and metal waste to the Crusher Road Yard during the following periods:
Thursday, May 3, 2018 7:30 AM-3:00 PM            Friday, May 4, 2018 7:30 AM-3:00 PM        
Saturday, May 5, 2018 7:30 AM-4:30 PM
Residents can also take brush and tree debris to the Beaver Dam Highway facility on Beaver Dam road off Harris Road during the same days and hours listed above. THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR THIS!
The Highway Department will not accept any of the following items: tires, batteries, refrigerators, freezers, pressure treated lumber, air conditioners, propane tanks, paint, varnish, chemicals, medical waste, or other toxic materials. No E-Waste – televisions, computers (desktops, monitors, and notebooks), computer mice and keyboards, printers, scanners, fax machines, cell phones, VCRs – ***E-WASTE CAN BE BROUGHT TO THE RECYCLING CENTER ON TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS AND SATURDAYS BETWEEN 8AM AND 3PM – E-WASTE CONTAINING CRT’S MUST FIRST GO TO THE TOWN CLERK’S OFFICE AND COMPLETE A CRT RECYCLING APPLICATION AND PAY THE APPROPRIATE FEE BEFORE GOING TO THE RECYCLING CENTER***
Proof of Bedford residency is required, and fees are as follows:
*           $25 per carload
*           $60 per pickup truck load
*           $115 for small dump trucks (<6 yd)
*           $230 and up for large dump trucks (>6 yd)
Bedford Village Chowder & Marching Club will hold their Tag Sale on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5 at the Crusher Road Highway Facility.
In addition to the normal clean-up activities, the Town will provide a mobile paper shredder to safely recycle unwanted personal papers and documents. The Mobile Shredder will be available on May 5 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Crusher Road Highway Yard. This free public service is intended for residents to shred their personal documents. Papers from businesses or commercial enterprises will not be accepted. Residents may bring a maximum of two file boxes. To speed up shredding and reduce waiting time, residents must remove all metal clips, fasteners, binders, folders and hard covers and place the papers loosely in a box. Hard covers – cardboard or plastic covers on items such as ledger books, marble composition books and hard-cover books – are not acceptable. Residents may rip away pages from these hard cover books for shredding and throw the covers in their household trash.
Please call the DPW Highway Division at 666-7669 with any questions.

CABLEVISION/OPTIMUM OUTAGE BILL CREDIT
If you lost Cablevision/Optimum service during the recent storms, you may qualify for a credit on your bill. Cablevision has records by address on power outages.  We have been advised that if your outage was for fewer than four hours you would not qualify for a credit.  If you the outage was for a longer period of time, you do qualify.  You will need to contact them.  We suggest that you also provide your service outage period according to your records (be specific with dates and times, to the extent you can).   Call them at 718-860-3513 or via Chat at https://www.optimum.net/support/outage/
VERIZON CUSTOMERS, DID YOU RECEIVE A CREDIT FOLLOWING SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS
 We have contacted our Verizon representative inquiring about a credit for their customers impacted by service interruptions during the March storms.  She advises us that if you reported the service interruption to Verizon, you will receive a credit automatically on your bill.  We advise that you check your bill.   If you did not receive a credit, please call Verizon customer service at 1-800-Verizon to request it.  Also, for customers who did not report the outage, it may not be too late, contact customer service letting them know when you lost service and when it was restored.
CUB SCOUTS PACK 170 OF BEDFORD/POUNDRIDGERECOGNIZES NATIONAL POLICE MEMORIAL WEEK AND HONORS THE MEMORY OF SERGEANT THOMAS WADE, BEDFORD, NY POLICE DEPARTMENT
On Saturday May 5, 2018 at 3 p.m. Cub Scout Pack 170, and Bedford Boy Scouts will recognize National Police Memorial week by honoring the memory ofBedford P.D. Sgt. Thomas Wade who made the ultimate sacrifice on May 9, 1925.The public is invited to join with us, law enforcement officers, and the family of Sgt. Wade for a ceremony at Bedford, NY Police station 321 Bedford Rd. Bedford Hills, NY 10507.
The ceremony will feature the presentation of colors, lowering of US flag in Sgt. Wade’s memory, presentation of thank you cards to Police Officers by Scouts, police equipment, and Police K-9 demonstration. For further information please contact William McCormack at wfmccormack@optonline.net
 
NEW BEDFORD VETERANS MEMORIAL
I am pleased to report that the Town Board approved construction of a new Veterans Memorial in Katonah, which will honor the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the men and women from Bedford and around America who served in our military. The Memorial will be located on the Katonah Green, directly across from the Katonah Village Library, and will be funded entirely through private contributions. Information regarding the Memorial can be found at http://www.bedfordny.gov/veterans-advisory-committee/.
FURTHER UPDATE ON POST STORM ACTION
We recognize that residents are coping with a great deal of clean-up of storm debris, so we are opening the Town’s Beaver Dam Compost Facility for a few Saturdays over the next couple of months: The facility is normally open for residents in non-commercial vehicles to dispose of recyclable wood waste (logs and branches up to 6″ diameter, brush, and leaves) Monday to Friday from 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM, excluding town holidays. Due to the recent storms, the Town will open the compost facility from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturday April 14, April 21, April 28, and June 2. In addition, the compost facility will be open on Saturday May 5 from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM as part of the Town’s clean up days.
The Town Supervisors in the Brewster Division of NYSEG which encompasses northern Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties met earlier this week with senior NYSEG management.   The discussion primarily focused on NYSEG’s program to reduce the incidence of outages including reliability targets, identification of major contributing causes, vegetation management, maintenance programs, planned work, resiliency plans, capital improvements and future initiatives. We will continue to press NYSEG for improving its performance.
 
JOINT LETTER OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY LEGISLATOR KITLEY S. COVILL AND TOWN SUPERVISORS OF BEDFORD, LEWISBORO, NORTH SALEM, POUND RIDGE AND SOMERS TO NYSEG
click here for the letter
 
ACTION TAKEN AT THE APRIL 3 TOWN BOARD MEETING
Horse Properties – As scheduled, the Town Board held a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the Zoning Code to allow for a half bath in accessory structures, including barns and stables, the purpose of which is to enable property owners to engage daytime grooms..   The proposed Zoning Code amendment expressly prohibits sleeping facilities and kitchens.   As I mentioned at the outset of the hearing the proposal comes after nearly two years of discussions with horse property owners and others supporting the horse community.   Earlier this year, the Town Board had referred to the Planning Board their petition requesting revisions in the Zoning Code to relax restrictions affecting the horse community. A number of residents spoke on the need to ensure that Bedford is “horse friendly” and we do not continue to lose horse owners.   Following the public hearing the Town Board unanimously adopted the amendments.
Congratulations to Amy Carelli At the recommendation of Police Chief Melvin Padilla, the Town Board approved the appointment of Amy N. Carelli to Police Officer effective on or about April 26, 2018. We are pleased to have Ms. Carelli join the force.
Moving ahead on Electric Vehicles In the first installment of fulfilling the Town’s New York League of Conservation Voters/Sustainable Westchester Gold Pledge on purchase of electric passenger vehicles for its municipal fleet, the Town Board authorized going out to bid for the purchase of a Chevy Bolt, an all-electric vehicle that has received excellent reviews for its range of over 230 miles and durability.
Bedford Village Parking   As I mentioned in this space last week, the Town has been in discussions with the Bedford Presbyterian Church regarding acquiring the Church’s vacant land off of Court Road for the purposes of constructing a municipal parking lot.   Last year environmental evaluation of the site showed no issues. We held a public meeting earlier this year at which comments we received showed positive support. We then commissioned an appraisal of the property which was just concluded this week and shows a fair market value of $150,000.   Following discussions with representatives of the Church, I postponed Town Board consideration of approving an offer, so as to allow time for the Church to obtain its own appraisal – a step which is customary and the right action.
FOR THE SUPERVISOR’S MARCH MONTHLY REPORT click here
ENERGIZE BEDFORD CAMPAIGN UPDATE
Bedford 2020 and Energize Bedford’s limited time campaign in partnership with the Town of Bedford drove an increase in energy efficient homes in Bedford. From September 1, 2017- January 15, 2018, we collected more than 70 leads, helped set up 27 assessments and 11 jobs were completed in the 5 month time frame. Although the limited time discount is over, leads are still coming through and homeowners who entered the program during the campaign are working toward completing their projects.
EXTENDED HOURS FOR BEAVER DAM COMPOST FACILITY
The Town of Bedford Beaver Dam Compost Facility is normally open for residents in non-commercial vehicles to dispose of recyclable wood waste (logs and branches up to 6″ diameter, brush, and leaves) Monday to Friday from 7:30 to 3:00, excluding town holidays. Due to the recent storms, the Town will open the compost facility from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturday April 14, April 21, April 28, and June 2. In addition, the compost facility will be open on Saturday May 5 from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM as part of the Town’s clean up days.
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.
FOR THE SUPERVISOR’S MOST RECENT SHOW
on the Zoning Code Amendment, Reducing Plastic Waste, and Recent Storm Response
click here

NO PROPOSALS SUBMITTED FOR SOLAR INSTALLATIONS FOR MUNICIPAL FACILITIES 
  You may recall that last July the Town issued a Request for Proposals for solar panels and other systems for Town facilities. We received no proposals, which we learned was due to the fact that New York State had not settled with the electric industry on incentives and utility obligations regarding solar power provided back to the grid. So, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, the Town went ahead to re-issue an RFP. In late 2017, New York State published guidelines that define the future value of distributed energy resources (a/k/a, the VDER value stack). As of early 2018, solar developers can now use this value stack to estimate future project income from the local utilities, based on specific project locations. We understand that New York’s resolving these future values of solar electricity means that solar developers will be more attracted to investing in potential solar projects such as those in our RFP
The NYS Public Service Commission issued an “implementation order” in September on the “value of distributed energy resources,” following which was substantial work in sorting out valuations with electric utility distributors in the State, such as NYSEG and Con Edison. We understand that there now is a “level playing field” and basis on which solar developers would take an interest in our RFP.
However, the VDER provides greater incentives to solar developers in Con Edison service area where rates are higher.   Our Town facilities, however, are located in NYSEG service area.   One of the solar developers with whom we had worked closely took the time to explain why it was financially not possible to submit a proposal – due to the difference in VDER between the two service areas. Please click here for the letter.  I have recently met with a commercial property owner in Bedford Hills and a solar developer about the possibility of rooftop solar panels for “community solar”. Stay tuned.
SEPTIC SYSTEM REPAIR AND REPLACEMENT PROGRAM
NOW THAT THE SPRING HAS ARRIVED – PLEASE CONSIDER ATTENDING TO YOUR SEPTIC SYSTEM: septic pump out – if you haven’t done it within the last five years, the law requires you do so.  And, if you have a problem with your system, please check out the Town’s Septic System Repair and Replacement program to deal with failing septic systems. The program allows Bedford property owners in the Croton Watershed (about 85% of the Town’s land area) for a 50% reimbursement of repair/replacement costs.  If you have a failing septic system, contact the Planning Department at 666-4434 for further information or visit our website.

MOUNT KISCO WATER MAIN REPLACEMENT
Mount Kisco is preparing to replace the 90-year old water main on New York State Route 117 from Preston Way in Mount Kisco to Green Lane in Bedford Hills and continuing to the end of Green Lane.
The construction work is planned for the fall of 2018 and will take place during the night (hours have not yet been determined). The project’s engineering will consider everything that is feasible in the design to minimize disturbance to the public and the property owners.   Currently, the project is in the preliminary design phase, which includes survey and soil boring work along the road right-of-way.   Soil boring work will take place in April during the working day between 9 am and 3 pm and is not expected to result in any lane closures.
We met today with Mount Kisco’s engineers to emphasize the need for full coordination among Mount Kisco, Con Edison (with regard to restoration work on the southbound lane of Route 117 – SEE POST IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THIS ONE), NYS Department of Transportation, Westchester County Health Department and Bedford in both the design and the execution of the project.   We made it clear that the Mount Kisco project must avoid the significant disruptions which the Con Edison gas line project caused last fall.   It is also critical that restoration be complete.
We will keep you informed on the status both of the Mount Kisco project and Con Edison’s gas line project.
 .
UPDATED SHREDDER SCHEDULE INCLUDING NEW DATE OF MONDAY OCTOBER 22
The Town is pleased to provide once again this year mobile paper shredder events:
  • at the Town Recycling Center at 343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on September 15, and November 17;
  • at 1 Crusher Road, Bedford Village (Crusher Road highway yard), Bedford Village from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM on May 5;
  • at the Town Office at 425 Cherry Street on Monday October 22 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
A Mobile Shredding Truck will securely destroy documents. The company’s customer service professionals never physically touch your documents so the entire process is “touch-free”. The company can shred paper, paper clips, rubber bands, staples and even the black clips. They cannot shred 3-ring binders, or anything that is non paper (CDs, tapes, DVDs, hard drives, etc.)
 
INTERNSHIP IN MEDIA RELATIONS, PUBLIC RELATIONS, AND COMMUNICATION PLANNING
In consultation with the Bedford Veterans Advisory Committee, develop and implement a professional-grade communications plan that identifies local veteran-related events, programs, issues, and concerns and effectively promotes this material via appropriate print, broadcast, and electronic media.
The successful candidate should have a skill-set sufficient to demonstrate an ability to write effective press releases along with appropriate research, planning and organizational skills to develop and implement a plan that ensures general public awareness.
The plan should encompass an audience that includes: *     Print media* Broadcast media* Social media networks (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)* Local elected officials *Social service agencies * Veterans service organizations
Junior or senior level undergraduate, or graduate level. Hours to be determined, along with attendance at monthly Veterans Advisory Committee meetings. Unpaid. Supervision: Chair, Bedford Veterans Advisory Committee. Contact: Mark Sindeband, 914-260-4188,aegisresources@optonline.net
FOR THE 2017 ANNUAL REPORT click here
WESTCHESTER POWER – HOW’S IT BEEN DOING HERE IN BEDFORD?
There’s been some discussion on Katonah Parents Facebook and questions I regularly receive regarding the Westchester Power (also known as Community Choice Aggregation or CCA).   By way of background, the Town Board unanimously adopted Bedford’s participation in this program sponsored by Sustainable Westchester and placed us among those Westchester municipalities choosing the “Green Option”.   At the time, we insisted that the rates must be less than the previous twelve month cost for each utility, provide fixed prices (rather than a “bait and switch” of a great rate at the outset only to pop up later) and an opt out provision at any time without charge or penalty, a common complaint at the time against many energy service companies (ESCOs). Westchester Power residential and small business electric customers in Bedford have a rate of 8.00 cents per kilowatt hour in Con Edison’s service area and 7.42 cents per kilowatt hour in NYSEG’s service area.   These are fixed rates, rather than rates which vary month by month (which is the way NYSEG and Con Edison bills).   I’ve received e-mails and calls from NYSEG and Con Edison customers who saw a spike in rates this winter. Just yesterday I received a call from a resident in Con Edison service area who is signed up with an ESCO at over 11 cents per kilowatt hour and was dismayed at her large utility bills.
So how’s Westchester Power been doing here in Bedford? I turned to Dan Welsh, Director of Westchester Power, for an analysis and he provided the following:
“Here is my estimate of the savings for Bedford residents and small businesses through the end of January. We are including the avoided sales tax now when we talk about this as you know, and that’s a significant piece. February saw a low price for Con Ed which would bring this down, but now March is looking that it’s bounced back and so I would look to the end of March for the next update.”

Should you have questions, please contact Dan at dan@westchesterpower.org or 914-242-4725


IT’S TAX SCAM SEASON. HERE’S HOW YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF
From the Office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
  • Never give out personal information to people who call you unsolicited. That includes your Social Security number, bank account information, or credit card information.
  • If you do owe money, you will receive a legitimate notice in the mail that tells you who you owe money to and why. If you haven’t gotten a legitimate piece of mail like that, the collection call is bogus.
  • Last but not least, remember that no legitimate government organization will ever threaten arrest or deportation if you fail to pay a debt.
If someone is threatening you or you are targeted for a scam, please contact my office immediately. We are here to help: 1-800-771-7755.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDINGTAX 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
CON EDISON AND NYSEG STORM OUTAGE RELATED REIMBURSEMENTS FOR FOOD AND PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE SPOILAGE
Each utility is providing on a limited basis reimbursement for food and prescription medicine spoilage.
Con Edison
Con Edison’s March 15, 2018 notice is as follows:
Customers Impacted by Nor’easters Riley and Quinn
We regret that we were unable to provide reliable restoration times for many customers during these storms. Con Edison may reimburse customers for food and prescription medicine spoilage if they lost power for at least three consecutive days or more during the two nor’easters that slammed the region recently.
Customers may receive reimbursement for up to $225, or up to $515 with receipts.
Business owners are eligible for food spoilage reimbursements up to $10,200 with receipts.
Link to the claim forms: https://www.coned.com/en/services-and-outages/claim-form
 
NYSEG – appears to be limited to food spoilage
 NYSEG did not issue a specific notice regarding claims for storm outage food or prescription medicine spoilage, but there appears to be an avenue for reimbursement for food spoilage. Click on http://www.nyseg.com/youraccount/claimform.html?stop_mobi=yes  
 
MOBILE PAPER SHREDDER AT RECYCLING CENTER
The Town is pleased to provide once again this year mobile paper shredder events at the Town Recycling Center at 343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on March 17, September 15, and November 17; and at 1 Crusher Road, Bedford Village (Crusher Road highway yard), Bedford Village from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM on May 5. A Mobile Shredding Truck will securely destroy documents. The company’s customer service professionals never physically touch your documents so the entire process is “touch-free”. The company can shred paper, paper clips, rubber bands, staples and even the black clips. They cannot shred 3-ring binders, or anything that is non paper (CDs, tapes, DVDs, hard drives, etc.).
WESTMORELAND SANCTUARY NATURE CENTER & WILDLIFE PRESERVE RECIPIENT OF $20,000 CON EDISON GRANT
Westmoreland Sanctuary has recently received a $20,000 Grant from Con Edison allowing local school children to use STEM education based principles toward environmental studies.  Click here for the press release
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
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/
 
REVISION FOR JULY AND AUGUST 2018 TOWN BOARD MEETING SCHEDULE
Summer months are away months and many of our residents are unable to attend two meetings in July and two in August. The Town Board approved the following changes to these summer month meetings. We have cancelled the July 3 meeting and retained the July 17 meeting which was previously scheduled. We cancelled the August 7 and August 21 meetings and have replaced them with a single meeting to be held on August 14.
MOTORISTS
I wish to augment the below information (e-news 8/25) with the following request for motorists:
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.

Bedford Town news | Bedford Real Estate

May 2018
NEW POSTS
 
Note to readers: I wrote my monthly report a few days later than usual in order to cover Town Board action and other developments over this week.   As such, this weekly newsletter will not cover the May 1 Town Board actions as they are incorporated into the monthly report. Click here for the monthly report
Also, as noted in the monthly report, this Spring the Town Board, together with staff and advisory committees and task forces, has been working its way through a heavy agenda, with several being complex and controversial.  
 
AWARD FOR ANTIOCH HOMES AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT  
I am delighted to report that Antioch Homes Affordable Housing Project has been chosen to be honored with a Commendation for Outstanding Planning Achievement by the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation (WMPF) for its annual planning awards competition.   The award will be presented at next month’s WMPF annual awards dinner.
 
COMING UP ON THE MAY 15 TOWN BOARD AGENDA
Proposed Changes in the Parking Code
The Town Board will be considering proposed changes to the parking chapter of the Town Code will cover the following items, in an effort to update the parking chapter for changes in technology, address non-residential weekday use of the commuter lots in “off hours” and to update/increase the fines/penalties for violations:
  • Incorporate updates of parking technology being implemented at the commuter lots as well as a more detailed description of the location of the commuter lots in order to clarify where commuter parking permits are required.
  • Changes will also incorporate a clearer definition of a Town Resident.
  • A provision that will change the hours that a permit is required at the commuter lots. Currently, free parking is allowed for the general public at all the commuter lots from 5:00 pm to 5:00 am daily. Weekends and holidays parking is free all day. The proposed amendment would continue to allow town residents to park in the commuter lots from 6:00 pm to 5:00 am without paying for parking but a resident parking decal must be displayed in their vehicle. Non-residents however, will be required to pay for parking at the commuter lots from Monday 5:00 to Friday 12:00 midnight. Weekends and holidays would be free parking.
  • Also proposed is the number of holidays allowing free parking at the commuter lots. The following holidays are allowed currently: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, July Fourth, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Election Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. The proposed changes would remove Lincoln’s and Washington’s Birthday and replace with President’s Day and would remove Columbus Day completely.
  • Another proposed change is the prohibition of parking vehicles of over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight or more than 20 feet in length on any public street, or town right-of-way in a residential district or in any Town owned, operated and maintained public parking areas or lots except for the temporary parking of those vehicle making local deliveries or picking up goods, wares or merchandise.
  • Recommendation are also being made for the Town Board to consider amending penalties for violations of the chapter such as parking in crosswalks, blocking driveways and no parking at any time, among others.
 
This is not yet scheduled for a public hearing, but may be scheduled for a public hearing June 5 Town Board meeting.
 
Updated Fee Schedule for Filming Permits
The Board will be considering a new fee schedule to correspond to the new Filming law. The fee schedule could not be adopted at the May 1 meeting since the new law is not effective until filed with the NYS Secretary of State. The schedule includes discounts for multiple days’ use and other incentives to encourage filming in Bedford, consistent with protecting the community from excessive noise, traffic, light and other disturbance from such activities.
UPDATE ON ROUTE 117 WORK
The Town has been working closely with Con Edison, the Village of Mt. Kisco and the NYS Department of Transportation regarding the condition of Route 117 in Bedford Hills which had been dug up and very roughly patched following Con Edison gas line work.
As those following this newsletter may know, we learned a few weeks ago that the Village of Mt. Kisco plans to replace its water line, which also will require digging up Route 117.  Upon learning of this development, we urged the Village and Con Edison to coordinate and to discuss it with DOT.   We want to avoid the havoc that took place over Thanksgiving and into the holidays last November/December in connection with Con Edison’s work in which ingress/egress to the Shop Rite mall was blocked; daytime work was taking place at the height of retailers busiest season resulting in significant loss of business; and traffic into and out of Bedford Hills was tied up for upwards of an hour.
Here’s the status of requests we have made to the parties:
  1. DOT advises us that it has required Con Edison to perform the curb to curb restoration.
  2. Work to be done at night from 7:00 PM through 6:00 AM.  Minimizing the loudest work (i.e., saw cut and jackhammering).  Con Edison has stated: “We will ask our contractors to try their best to get the saw cut and jackhammering work done before 10 pm, but it is an inevitable part of this work.”
Timing: we don’t know yet, because the water line work schedule has not yet been set as the engineers design and staging the work have to complete DOT review and approval.   What we do know is that the previous schedule of Con Edison completing its restoration in the next couple of weeks is not at all possible.   Our objective now is to avoid disruption as much as possible.  As soon as we learn of the schedule, we will advise the community.
 
PREPARATIONS FOR 2018 PAVING
This is the time of year when residents ask me about our paving plans and how the Town Board determines it. Shortly after I came onto the Town Board in 2008, the Department of Public Works instituted a fair and equitable system for identifying the roads to be paved from year to year. It is based on the condition of the road, with the roads in the worst condition to be paved first before they deteriorate further and results in far more costly paving. Each Spring the DPW updates its assessment of the condition of all 97 miles of the paved Town roads (since roads deteriorate at different rates over the winter).   The condition assessment uses a rating system with 1 being the best condition and 5 being the worst.   As a result of higher appropriation levels, we have been able to pave all Town roads rated at 4 and 5 and now are working away at a lengthy list of roads rated at 3.5. In 2014, the paving budget was approximately $800,000. Each year thereafter, the Town Board gradually has increased the budget. The figure now stands at approximately $1.2 million for 2018. We anticipate that in the next month DPW Commissioner Kevin Winn will submit a recommended paving list to the Town Board for approval.
 
MOVING AHEAD WITH OUR COMMITMENT TO ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Consistent with the Town’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 2020, on October 3, 2017, the Town Board responded to the New York League of Conservation Voters/Sustainable Westchester challenge by being the only municipality in Westchester County to adopt Gold Tier Pledge under which we commit to purchase Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV’s) for at least 10% of our new light-duty municipal fleet purchases by the end of 202 and revisit this level annual to consider adopting a higher purchasing commitment. At its May 1, 2018 Town Board meeting the Town Board approved the purchase of the highly rated Chevy Bolt, which has an excellent driving range of 238 miles on a single charge.  The Town is able to purchase the vehicle under procurement through NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services in which the Town may participate.
 
FOR THE MOST RECENT SUPERVISOR’S SHOW
Town Board Initiatives and the Town’s Partnership with Bedford 2020, Click here
 
KVIS TOWN FORUM
Let your voices be heard – Let us know what is on your mind
Katonah Village Library, May 17 at 7:30 PM. Click here for the flyer
REMINDERS – VACANCIES ON TOWN BOARDS
Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee – Resident of Katonah Memorial Park District
There is a vacancy on the Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee for a resident of the Katonah Park District.  Send your resume and a cover letter via e-mail to supervisor@bedfordny.gov and please copy Recreation and Parks Superintendent Bill Heidepriem atwheidepriem@bedfordny.gov and RPAC chairman, Brian McCabe atcoach10536@aol.com.  You also may mail your cover letter and resume to the attention of Supervisor, 321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills, New York 10507.  For information on the RPAC, please see http://www.bedfordny.gov/town-government/boards-commissions-committees/boards/recreation-parks-advisory/
Drug Abuse Prevention Council (DAPC)
The Town of Bedford is looking to fill two vacancies on the Drug Abuse Prevention Council. If you are interested in serving, please e-mail your resume with a cover letter to Supervisor Chris Burdick, supervisor@bedfordny.gov and also to DAPC Coordinator Kathryn Ferrara,kathryn.dapc@gmail.com  .  You also may mail it the attention of Supervisor, 321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills, New York 10507.  For more information on the DAPC, click here.
Traffic Safety Work Group
There is a vacancy on the Traffic Safety Working Group (TSWG)for a resident of Bedford Hills. Send your resume and a cover letter via e-mail to supervisor@bedfordny.gov  You also may mail your cover letter and resume to the attention of Supervisor, 321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills, New York 10507.  For information on the TSWG please click here.
FOR YOUR NEIGHBOR’S SAKE
Please consider your neighbor when you go to work with your lawn mower or weed whacker (or your lawn service uses them). We realize that your busy schedule makes it difficult to find time to get work done on your property. We all try to squeeze in time to do it. But please not too early and not too late…

IT’S THE LAW: IDLING
Please be reminded that Westchester County regulates the idling time of motor vehicles to not more than three minutes (with certain exceptions – click here for the law
Let’s all obey the law to avoid unnecessary pollution.
 
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

 PAVING OUR STATE ROADS: STILL TRYING TO GET ACTION
 
I-684
            It’s been a long haul trying to persuade New York State to pave the concrete portion of I-684 that runs through Bedford (the same original surface from the late 1960s).   You may remember that in early 2014 shortly after coming into office, I started working with Assembly David Buchwald and then State Senator George Latimer to urge the re-paving of the portion of I-684 which runs through Bedford.  We also worked with Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, to press for funds from Washington, since 80% to 90% of the funds to repair our State’s highways comes from the federal government.   Thanks principally to the efforts of Assemblyman Buchwald a portion of the Bedford section was paved (the southerly portion up to Harris Road).   But the portion from Harris Road through a bit north of Exit 6 is in terrible condition. One of our residents who is an engineer and works on major road projects described it in an e-mail earlier this week: “Spring has arrived!! Please take the time to drive northbound and southbound on I-684, including the exit ramps. The pavement deterioration has become very severe in some areas due to the harsh winters. You may see large chucks of concrete in the shoulders that have broken free from the mainline pavement. Perhaps the board can urge the NYSDOT Highway Department to have maintenance crews fill the pot holes in the Katonah corridor as a priority.”
ROUTE 22
            Here, too, conditions on the road have deteriorated.   I’m especially concerned about the portion between the Bedford Cross and the intersection with Pea Pond Road. Several residents have contacted me about it.
I’ll be meeting with the Regional Director of the DOT on Monday and members of his staff to press for work to get done. I’d like to ask your help so that the powers that be know that it’s not just me asking for action.  You can send e-mails and make calls – and many thanks to those who already have done so (yes you may get a “form” response, but they all keep track of it and it really makes a difference that you take the time):
DOT Albany office: 518-457-6195
DOT Region 8 Acting Regional Director Lance MacMillan: 845-431-5750
If you send an e-mail, please consider copying me and our legislators:
State Assemblyman Buchwald: buchwaldd@assembly.state.ny.us, 914-244-4450
And thank you!
POTHOLE REPAIR SEASON HAS OPENED
As to potholes you find in our Town roads, please call our Pothole Hotline at 666-7669 or feel free to contact me at 666-6530 or Supervisor@bedfordny.gov.
For potholes on state roads in our Town, such as Routes 22, 117, 121, 137 and 172 we would suggest that you call NYS’s pothole line at 1-800-POTHOLE.
 
METRO-NORTH: UPPER HARLEM SUBSTITUTE BUS SERVICE, SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS, APRIL 28-29, MAY 5-6 & MAY 19-20, INCLUDES SOUTHEAST, BREWSTER, CROTON FALLS, PURDY’S, GOLDENS BRIDGE, AND WASSAIC
For Saturdays and Sundays, April 28-29, May 5-6 and May 19-20 substitute bus service will be in effect between Southeast, Brewster, Croton Falls, Purdy’s and Goldens Bridge due to ongoing repairs to multiple downed power poles and lines in the area that occurred as a result of the March nor’easters.
All buses will depart approximately 20 minutes ahead of the regularly scheduled southbound train departure times in order to connect with train service at Goldens Bridge. Regular train service will resume each day with the 7:10 PM train to Southeast and the 9:08 PM train from Southeast.
Harlem Line train service continues to operate between Grand Central Terminal and Goldens Bridge and between Southeast and Wassaic.
Substitute bus service is being provided between Southeast and Goldens Bridge as follows:
Wassaic Branch Customers: Trains will depart 10 minutes ahead of the regularly scheduled southbound train departure times at all stations between Wassaic and Patterson in order to connect with bus service at Southeast. Additional bus service/ times will be provided at Southeast and Goldens Bridge. For full schedule details, please seehttp://web.mta.info/mnr/pdf/Wassaic Bus May_2018.pdf
Southeast, Brewster, Croton Falls and Purdy’s Customers: All buses will depart about 20 minutes ahead of the regularly scheduled southbound train departures in order to connect with train service at Goldens Bridge. Regular train service will resume with the 7:10 PM train to Southeast and the 9:08 train from Southeast. For a full schedule, please see:http://web.mta.info/mnr/pdf/Upper
Please refer to our interactive schedules at http://as0.mta.info/mnr/schedules/sched_form.cfm
or download Train Time for train/bus times.
Customers can also use the Hudson Line, where tickets will be cross-honored.
Please listen for station announcements and check back to this website for updates. Thank you for your patience while we perform this critical repair work.
NEW YORK STATE ACTION OF STATE AND LOCAL TAX (SALT) DEDUCTIONS
Many have asked us about what action is being taken in response to the December federal tax law revisions which caps SALT tax deductions for federal income tax purposes to $10,000.
The following is brief description of the new law that can be provided to the public regarding the New York budget bill that provides offsets for Federal SALT tax deductions: The New York State Legislature has adopted new state law provisions designed to offset the impact of the recently enacted federal tax limitation on state and local taxes (SALT) to $10,000. Specifically, the legislation creates a vehicle for taxpayers to contribute to certain charitable funds that, in turn, would be applied for local tax purposes. The concept is that, as a charitable contribution, the amount paid by taxpayers who itemize their tax returns could be claimed as a charitable deduction on federal taxes. Under the new law, a New York State tax credit would also be provided on a percentage of each contribution. Under the new law, each taxing jurisdiction, including school districts, villages, towns, cities and counties, is responsible for establishing and managing such charitable funds. The funds collected would then be used by each taxing jurisdiction and applied to the taxing jurisdiction’s annual tax levy. The law also provides a mechanism for the taxpayer to receive a tax credit based upon the amount contributed to a school district’s or other municipal corporation’s charitable fund. The exact procedures for making payments into the charitable funds and receiving a credit against taxes owed are still being formulated.
New York State, by being the first state to enact a “workaround” to ameliorate the limitation on the federal SALT deductions, has positioned itself to be the legal test case for whether such an arrangement will pass legal muster. The Town and other government agencies, school districts and municipalities throughout New York State are in the process of reviewing the proposed bill provisions to determine what action should be taken and whether to implement the provisions of this new law. Similarly, tax experts are in the process of reviewing whether or not these new charitable funds will be treated as legitimate charitable contributions that are deductible for filers who itemize their federal tax returns. New York’s Governor and Legislature appear to believe the provisions are sound. However, a final answer has yet to be obtained and we recommend that you consult with your personal tax consultant before taking any action.
We will keep you advised as the situation develops.
           
FOR THE APRIL 6, 2018 KATONAH-BEDFORD HILLS SEWER DESIGN STATUS REPORT click here

PLEASE JOIN US FOR BEDFORD TOWN-WIDE CLEAN-UP DAYS 2018 AT THE CRUSHER ROAD HIGHWAY FACILITY OFF ROUTE 22, JUST NORTH OF ROUTE 172, IN BEDFORD VILLAGE

Town residents can bring household debris and metal waste to the Crusher Road Yard during the following periods:
Thursday, May 3, 2018 7:30 AM-3:00 PM            Friday, May 4, 2018 7:30 AM-3:00 PM        
Saturday, May 5, 2018 7:30 AM-4:30 PM
Residents can also take brush and tree debris to the Beaver Dam Highway facility on Beaver Dam road off Harris Road during the same days and hours listed above. THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR THIS!
The Highway Department will not accept any of the following items: tires, batteries, refrigerators, freezers, pressure treated lumber, air conditioners, propane tanks, paint, varnish, chemicals, medical waste, or other toxic materials. No E-Waste – televisions, computers (desktops, monitors, and notebooks), computer mice and keyboards, printers, scanners, fax machines, cell phones, VCRs – ***E-WASTE CAN BE BROUGHT TO THE RECYCLING CENTER ON TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS AND SATURDAYS BETWEEN 8AM AND 3PM – E-WASTE CONTAINING CRT’S MUST FIRST GO TO THE TOWN CLERK’S OFFICE AND COMPLETE A CRT RECYCLING APPLICATION AND PAY THE APPROPRIATE FEE BEFORE GOING TO THE RECYCLING CENTER***
Proof of Bedford residency is required, and fees are as follows:
*           $25 per carload
*           $60 per pickup truck load
*           $115 for small dump trucks (<6 yd)
*           $230 and up for large dump trucks (>6 yd)
Bedford Village Chowder & Marching Club will hold their Tag Sale on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5 at the Crusher Road Highway Facility.
In addition to the normal clean-up activities, the Town will provide a mobile paper shredder to safely recycle unwanted personal papers and documents. The Mobile Shredder will be available on May 5 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Crusher Road Highway Yard. This free public service is intended for residents to shred their personal documents. Papers from businesses or commercial enterprises will not be accepted. Residents may bring a maximum of two file boxes. To speed up shredding and reduce waiting time, residents must remove all metal clips, fasteners, binders, folders and hard covers and place the papers loosely in a box. Hard covers – cardboard or plastic covers on items such as ledger books, marble composition books and hard-cover books – are not acceptable. Residents may rip away pages from these hard cover books for shredding and throw the covers in their household trash.
Please call the DPW Highway Division at 666-7669 with any questions.

CABLEVISION/OPTIMUM OUTAGE BILL CREDIT
If you lost Cablevision/Optimum service during the recent storms, you may qualify for a credit on your bill. Cablevision has records by address on power outages.  We have been advised that if your outage was for fewer than four hours you would not qualify for a credit.  If you the outage was for a longer period of time, you do qualify.  You will need to contact them.  We suggest that you also provide your service outage period according to your records (be specific with dates and times, to the extent you can).   Call them at 718-860-3513 or via Chat at https://www.optimum.net/support/outage/
VERIZON CUSTOMERS, DID YOU RECEIVE A CREDIT FOLLOWING SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS
 We have contacted our Verizon representative inquiring about a credit for their customers impacted by service interruptions during the March storms.  She advises us that if you reported the service interruption to Verizon, you will receive a credit automatically on your bill.  We advise that you check your bill.   If you did not receive a credit, please call Verizon customer service at 1-800-Verizon to request it.  Also, for customers who did not report the outage, it may not be too late, contact customer service letting them know when you lost service and when it was restored.
CUB SCOUTS PACK 170 OF BEDFORD/POUNDRIDGERECOGNIZES NATIONAL POLICE MEMORIAL WEEK AND HONORS THE MEMORY OF SERGEANT THOMAS WADE, BEDFORD, NY POLICE DEPARTMENT
On Saturday May 5, 2018 at 3 p.m. Cub Scout Pack 170, and Bedford Boy Scouts will recognize National Police Memorial week by honoring the memory ofBedford P.D. Sgt. Thomas Wade who made the ultimate sacrifice on May 9, 1925.The public is invited to join with us, law enforcement officers, and the family of Sgt. Wade for a ceremony at Bedford, NY Police station 321 Bedford Rd. Bedford Hills, NY 10507.
The ceremony will feature the presentation of colors, lowering of US flag in Sgt. Wade’s memory, presentation of thank you cards to Police Officers by Scouts, police equipment, and Police K-9 demonstration. For further information please contact William McCormack at wfmccormack@optonline.net
 
NEW BEDFORD VETERANS MEMORIAL
I am pleased to report that the Town Board approved construction of a new Veterans Memorial in Katonah, which will honor the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the men and women from Bedford and around America who served in our military. The Memorial will be located on the Katonah Green, directly across from the Katonah Village Library, and will be funded entirely through private contributions. Information regarding the Memorial can be found at http://www.bedfordny.gov/veterans-advisory-committee/.
FURTHER UPDATE ON POST STORM ACTION
We recognize that residents are coping with a great deal of clean-up of storm debris, so we are opening the Town’s Beaver Dam Compost Facility for a few Saturdays over the next couple of months: The facility is normally open for residents in non-commercial vehicles to dispose of recyclable wood waste (logs and branches up to 6″ diameter, brush, and leaves) Monday to Friday from 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM, excluding town holidays. Due to the recent storms, the Town will open the compost facility from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturday April 14, April 21, April 28, and June 2. In addition, the compost facility will be open on Saturday May 5 from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM as part of the Town’s clean up days.
The Town Supervisors in the Brewster Division of NYSEG which encompasses northern Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties met earlier this week with senior NYSEG management.   The discussion primarily focused on NYSEG’s program to reduce the incidence of outages including reliability targets, identification of major contributing causes, vegetation management, maintenance programs, planned work, resiliency plans, capital improvements and future initiatives. We will continue to press NYSEG for improving its performance.
 
JOINT LETTER OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY LEGISLATOR KITLEY S. COVILL AND TOWN SUPERVISORS OF BEDFORD, LEWISBORO, NORTH SALEM, POUND RIDGE AND SOMERS TO NYSEG
click here for the letter
 
ACTION TAKEN AT THE APRIL 3 TOWN BOARD MEETING
Horse Properties – As scheduled, the Town Board held a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the Zoning Code to allow for a half bath in accessory structures, including barns and stables, the purpose of which is to enable property owners to engage daytime grooms..   The proposed Zoning Code amendment expressly prohibits sleeping facilities and kitchens.   As I mentioned at the outset of the hearing the proposal comes after nearly two years of discussions with horse property owners and others supporting the horse community.   Earlier this year, the Town Board had referred to the Planning Board their petition requesting revisions in the Zoning Code to relax restrictions affecting the horse community. A number of residents spoke on the need to ensure that Bedford is “horse friendly” and we do not continue to lose horse owners.   Following the public hearing the Town Board unanimously adopted the amendments.
Congratulations to Amy Carelli At the recommendation of Police Chief Melvin Padilla, the Town Board approved the appointment of Amy N. Carelli to Police Officer effective on or about April 26, 2018. We are pleased to have Ms. Carelli join the force.
Moving ahead on Electric Vehicles In the first installment of fulfilling the Town’s New York League of Conservation Voters/Sustainable Westchester Gold Pledge on purchase of electric passenger vehicles for its municipal fleet, the Town Board authorized going out to bid for the purchase of a Chevy Bolt, an all-electric vehicle that has received excellent reviews for its range of over 230 miles and durability.
Bedford Village Parking   As I mentioned in this space last week, the Town has been in discussions with the Bedford Presbyterian Church regarding acquiring the Church’s vacant land off of Court Road for the purposes of constructing a municipal parking lot.   Last year environmental evaluation of the site showed no issues. We held a public meeting earlier this year at which comments we received showed positive support. We then commissioned an appraisal of the property which was just concluded this week and shows a fair market value of $150,000.   Following discussions with representatives of the Church, I postponed Town Board consideration of approving an offer, so as to allow time for the Church to obtain its own appraisal – a step which is customary and the right action.
FOR THE SUPERVISOR’S MARCH MONTHLY REPORT click here
ENERGIZE BEDFORD CAMPAIGN UPDATE
Bedford 2020 and Energize Bedford’s limited time campaign in partnership with the Town of Bedford drove an increase in energy efficient homes in Bedford. From September 1, 2017- January 15, 2018, we collected more than 70 leads, helped set up 27 assessments and 11 jobs were completed in the 5 month time frame. Although the limited time discount is over, leads are still coming through and homeowners who entered the program during the campaign are working toward completing their projects.
EXTENDED HOURS FOR BEAVER DAM COMPOST FACILITY
The Town of Bedford Beaver Dam Compost Facility is normally open for residents in non-commercial vehicles to dispose of recyclable wood waste (logs and branches up to 6″ diameter, brush, and leaves) Monday to Friday from 7:30 to 3:00, excluding town holidays. Due to the recent storms, the Town will open the compost facility from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturday April 14, April 21, April 28, and June 2. In addition, the compost facility will be open on Saturday May 5 from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM as part of the Town’s clean up days.
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.
FOR THE SUPERVISOR’S MOST RECENT SHOW
on the Zoning Code Amendment, Reducing Plastic Waste, and Recent Storm Response
click here

NO PROPOSALS SUBMITTED FOR SOLAR INSTALLATIONS FOR MUNICIPAL FACILITIES 
  You may recall that last July the Town issued a Request for Proposals for solar panels and other systems for Town facilities. We received no proposals, which we learned was due to the fact that New York State had not settled with the electric industry on incentives and utility obligations regarding solar power provided back to the grid. So, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, the Town went ahead to re-issue an RFP. In late 2017, New York State published guidelines that define the future value of distributed energy resources (a/k/a, the VDER value stack). As of early 2018, solar developers can now use this value stack to estimate future project income from the local utilities, based on specific project locations. We understand that New York’s resolving these future values of solar electricity means that solar developers will be more attracted to investing in potential solar projects such as those in our RFP
The NYS Public Service Commission issued an “implementation order” in September on the “value of distributed energy resources,” following which was substantial work in sorting out valuations with electric utility distributors in the State, such as NYSEG and Con Edison. We understand that there now is a “level playing field” and basis on which solar developers would take an interest in our RFP.
However, the VDER provides greater incentives to solar developers in Con Edison service area where rates are higher.   Our Town facilities, however, are located in NYSEG service area.   One of the solar developers with whom we had worked closely took the time to explain why it was financially not possible to submit a proposal – due to the difference in VDER between the two service areas. Please click here for the letter.  I have recently met with a commercial property owner in Bedford Hills and a solar developer about the possibility of rooftop solar panels for “community solar”. Stay tuned.
SEPTIC SYSTEM REPAIR AND REPLACEMENT PROGRAM
NOW THAT THE SPRING HAS ARRIVED – PLEASE CONSIDER ATTENDING TO YOUR SEPTIC SYSTEM: septic pump out – if you haven’t done it within the last five years, the law requires you do so.  And, if you have a problem with your system, please check out the Town’s Septic System Repair and Replacement program to deal with failing septic systems. The program allows Bedford property owners in the Croton Watershed (about 85% of the Town’s land area) for a 50% reimbursement of repair/replacement costs.  If you have a failing septic system, contact the Planning Department at 666-4434 for further information or visit our website.

MOUNT KISCO WATER MAIN REPLACEMENT
Mount Kisco is preparing to replace the 90-year old water main on New York State Route 117 from Preston Way in Mount Kisco to Green Lane in Bedford Hills and continuing to the end of Green Lane.
The construction work is planned for the fall of 2018 and will take place during the night (hours have not yet been determined). The project’s engineering will consider everything that is feasible in the design to minimize disturbance to the public and the property owners.   Currently, the project is in the preliminary design phase, which includes survey and soil boring work along the road right-of-way.   Soil boring work will take place in April during the working day between 9 am and 3 pm and is not expected to result in any lane closures.
We met today with Mount Kisco’s engineers to emphasize the need for full coordination among Mount Kisco, Con Edison (with regard to restoration work on the southbound lane of Route 117 – SEE POST IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THIS ONE), NYS Department of Transportation, Westchester County Health Department and Bedford in both the design and the execution of the project.   We made it clear that the Mount Kisco project must avoid the significant disruptions which the Con Edison gas line project caused last fall.   It is also critical that restoration be complete.
We will keep you informed on the status both of the Mount Kisco project and Con Edison’s gas line project.
 .
UPDATED SHREDDER SCHEDULE INCLUDING NEW DATE OF MONDAY OCTOBER 22
The Town is pleased to provide once again this year mobile paper shredder events:
  • at the Town Recycling Center at 343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on September 15, and November 17;
  • at 1 Crusher Road, Bedford Village (Crusher Road highway yard), Bedford Village from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM on May 5;
  • at the Town Office at 425 Cherry Street on Monday October 22 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
A Mobile Shredding Truck will securely destroy documents. The company’s customer service professionals never physically touch your documents so the entire process is “touch-free”. The company can shred paper, paper clips, rubber bands, staples and even the black clips. They cannot shred 3-ring binders, or anything that is non paper (CDs, tapes, DVDs, hard drives, etc.)
 
INTERNSHIP IN MEDIA RELATIONS, PUBLIC RELATIONS, AND COMMUNICATION PLANNING
In consultation with the Bedford Veterans Advisory Committee, develop and implement a professional-grade communications plan that identifies local veteran-related events, programs, issues, and concerns and effectively promotes this material via appropriate print, broadcast, and electronic media.
The successful candidate should have a skill-set sufficient to demonstrate an ability to write effective press releases along with appropriate research, planning and organizational skills to develop and implement a plan that ensures general public awareness.
The plan should encompass an audience that includes: *     Print media* Broadcast media* Social media networks (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)* Local elected officials *Social service agencies * Veterans service organizations
Junior or senior level undergraduate, or graduate level. Hours to be determined, along with attendance at monthly Veterans Advisory Committee meetings. Unpaid. Supervision: Chair, Bedford Veterans Advisory Committee. Contact: Mark Sindeband, 914-260-4188,aegisresources@optonline.net
FOR THE 2017 ANNUAL REPORT click here
WESTCHESTER POWER – HOW’S IT BEEN DOING HERE IN BEDFORD?
There’s been some discussion on Katonah Parents Facebook and questions I regularly receive regarding the Westchester Power (also known as Community Choice Aggregation or CCA).   By way of background, the Town Board unanimously adopted Bedford’s participation in this program sponsored by Sustainable Westchester and placed us among those Westchester municipalities choosing the “Green Option”.   At the time, we insisted that the rates must be less than the previous twelve month cost for each utility, provide fixed prices (rather than a “bait and switch” of a great rate at the outset only to pop up later) and an opt out provision at any time without charge or penalty, a common complaint at the time against many energy service companies (ESCOs). Westchester Power residential and small business electric customers in Bedford have a rate of 8.00 cents per kilowatt hour in Con Edison’s service area and 7.42 cents per kilowatt hour in NYSEG’s service area.   These are fixed rates, rather than rates which vary month by month (which is the way NYSEG and Con Edison bills).   I’ve received e-mails and calls from NYSEG and Con Edison customers who saw a spike in rates this winter. Just yesterday I received a call from a resident in Con Edison service area who is signed up with an ESCO at over 11 cents per kilowatt hour and was dismayed at her large utility bills.
So how’s Westchester Power been doing here in Bedford? I turned to Dan Welsh, Director of Westchester Power, for an analysis and he provided the following:
“Here is my estimate of the savings for Bedford residents and small businesses through the end of January. We are including the avoided sales tax now when we talk about this as you know, and that’s a significant piece. February saw a low price for Con Ed which would bring this down, but now March is looking that it’s bounced back and so I would look to the end of March for the next update.”

Should you have questions, please contact Dan at dan@westchesterpower.org or 914-242-4725


IT’S TAX SCAM SEASON. HERE’S HOW YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF
From the Office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
  • Never give out personal information to people who call you unsolicited. That includes your Social Security number, bank account information, or credit card information.
  • If you do owe money, you will receive a legitimate notice in the mail that tells you who you owe money to and why. If you haven’t gotten a legitimate piece of mail like that, the collection call is bogus.
  • Last but not least, remember that no legitimate government organization will ever threaten arrest or deportation if you fail to pay a debt.
If someone is threatening you or you are targeted for a scam, please contact my office immediately. We are here to help: 1-800-771-7755.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDINGTAX 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
CON EDISON AND NYSEG STORM OUTAGE RELATED REIMBURSEMENTS FOR FOOD AND PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE SPOILAGE
Each utility is providing on a limited basis reimbursement for food and prescription medicine spoilage.
Con Edison
Con Edison’s March 15, 2018 notice is as follows:
Customers Impacted by Nor’easters Riley and Quinn
We regret that we were unable to provide reliable restoration times for many customers during these storms. Con Edison may reimburse customers for food and prescription medicine spoilage if they lost power for at least three consecutive days or more during the two nor’easters that slammed the region recently.
Customers may receive reimbursement for up to $225, or up to $515 with receipts.
Business owners are eligible for food spoilage reimbursements up to $10,200 with receipts.
Link to the claim forms: https://www.coned.com/en/services-and-outages/claim-form
 
NYSEG – appears to be limited to food spoilage
 NYSEG did not issue a specific notice regarding claims for storm outage food or prescription medicine spoilage, but there appears to be an avenue for reimbursement for food spoilage. Click on http://www.nyseg.com/youraccount/claimform.html?stop_mobi=yes  
 
MOBILE PAPER SHREDDER AT RECYCLING CENTER
The Town is pleased to provide once again this year mobile paper shredder events at the Town Recycling Center at 343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on March 17, September 15, and November 17; and at 1 Crusher Road, Bedford Village (Crusher Road highway yard), Bedford Village from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM on May 5. A Mobile Shredding Truck will securely destroy documents. The company’s customer service professionals never physically touch your documents so the entire process is “touch-free”. The company can shred paper, paper clips, rubber bands, staples and even the black clips. They cannot shred 3-ring binders, or anything that is non paper (CDs, tapes, DVDs, hard drives, etc.).
WESTMORELAND SANCTUARY NATURE CENTER & WILDLIFE PRESERVE RECIPIENT OF $20,000 CON EDISON GRANT
Westmoreland Sanctuary has recently received a $20,000 Grant from Con Edison allowing local school children to use STEM education based principles toward environmental studies.  Click here for the press release
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
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/
 
REVISION FOR JULY AND AUGUST 2018 TOWN BOARD MEETING SCHEDULE
Summer months are away months and many of our residents are unable to attend two meetings in July and two in August. The Town Board approved the following changes to these summer month meetings. We have cancelled the July 3 meeting and retained the July 17 meeting which was previously scheduled. We cancelled the August 7 and August 21 meetings and have replaced them with a single meeting to be held on August 14.
MOTORISTS
I wish to augment the below information (e-news 8/25) with the following request for motorists:
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.
RULES OF THE ROAD FOR CYCLISTS; SAFETY TIPS FOR WALKERS; TIPS FOR CROSSING THE STREET
 Some of you may have heard of the tragic death earlier this month of a cyclist in Stony Point.  Another was killed yesterday.  We also are concerned about the safety of walkers and pedestrians.  While we implore drivers to observe speed limits and other rules of the road, we also wish to share with you rules and tips for cyclists and pedestrians some of which a Bedford resident compiled and sent to me.
CYCLISTS 
New York State law mandates the following related to cyclists:
  1. Travel WITH traffic (i.e. on the same side of the road) and obey all vehicle laws (stop at stop lights, etc.)
  2. Are not allowed on sidewalks
  3. Helmets (protective head gear) are required
  4. No headphones, ear buds, or other noise cancelling devices are allowed in more than 1 ear.
  5.  Horn/bell audible for 100 feet
  6. Lighting required a half hour before dusk until a half hour after dawn.
  7. Cyclists are required to use appropriate hand signals.

    SAFETY TIPS FOR WALKERS

  1. Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk always walk facing traffic.
  2. Dress to be seen. Brightly colored clothing makes it easier for drivers to see you during the daytime. At night, wear special reflective material on your shoes, cap or jacket to reflect the headlights of cars coming towards you.

     TIPS FOR CROSSING THE STREET

  1.  Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks.
  2.  Stop at the curb, or the edge of the road.
  3.  Stop and look left, then right, then left again, before you step into the street.
  4.  If you see a car, wait until it goes by. Then look left, right and left again until no cars are coming.
  5.  Keep looking for cars while you are crossing, and remember, Walk. Don’t run.
  6.  If a car is parked where you are crossing, make sure there is no driver in the car. Then go to the edge of the car and look left-right-left until no cars are coming.
REMINDER
For information on parking at the Town of Bedford Offices During Police Department Construction click here 

Products Are Getting Pricier. Raise Your Estimates Now | Bedford Real Estate

Hurricanes and fires are putting pressures on supply, and thus prices

Here in Washington, D.C., a client of one of my favorite remodelers recently asked the remodeler to travel 1,000 miles to south Florida to rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Irma. In Louisiana, lumberyard owners told me two weeks after Hurricane Harvey struck that they expected to see trucks show up at their stores soon, driven by people who hoped to buy all the drywall they could and tote it back to Houston for sale.

Winds of change, indeed. Those disasters, in addition to the wildfires on the West Coast, are likely to rattle your remodeling business even if you’re not located near the damage zones. Expectations run wild that prices for both products and labor will rise. Drywall, framing lumber, sheet goods, and asphalt shingles will see some of the biggest increases.

Odds are good that you are behind the eight ball already if you haven’t been updating the core data you use to build your estimates. We recently received the numbers for the cost half of our 2018 Cost vs. Value report. They show that, from mid-2016 to mid-2017, the amount a client should be expected to pay for 20 common professional remodeling projects had risen no less than 2.7% and as much as 6.5%. Note that the materials and people costs that went into this data were collected before the hurricanes arrived.

You should already have been raising your prices to meet the pre-hurricane cost increases. Now, for projects that won’t start until November, December, or early next year, expect that you’ll need to shell out even more money for materials and workers by the time those jobs begin.

But wait, there’s more: Texas and Florida could end up needing so much material that vendors and dealers will limit the amount they’ll sell to any one customer there. Those allocations usually are based on relationships that stem from how much you’ve bought from that vendor in recent years and how quickly you’ve paid your bill.

Graybeards who suffered through the 1970s’ double-digit inflation rates may remember how to operate in an era of constant price increases, even if it has been decades since they last used those skills. For the rest, prepare for an escalator ride that could be uncomfortably fast.

by Craig Webb

read more…

http://www.remodeling.hw.net/products/products-are-getting-pricier-raise-your-estimates-now_o?utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=Opinion&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=REM_102017%20(1)&he=bd1fdc24fd8e2adb3989dffba484790dcdb46483

Mortgage rates average 3.88% | Bedford Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQBFMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropping to a new 2017 low.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.88 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending June 29, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 3.90 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.48 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.17 percent with an average 0.5 point, the same as last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.78 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.17 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.14 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.70 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.
“The 30-year mortgage rate fell 2 basis points to 3.88 percent this week. However, the majority of our survey was conducted prior to Tuesday’s sell-off in the bond market which drove Treasury yields higher. Mortgage rates may increase in next week’s survey if Treasury yields continue to rise.”

Why homeownership is near 50-year low | Bedford Real Estate

The job market continues to show improvement, and interest rates remain historically low, yet the homeownership rate in the U.S. remains near a 50-year low.

The National Association of Realtors released a new white paper titled, “Hurdles to Homeownership: Understanding the Barriers” which lays out five reasons for the low homeownership rate. NAR released its paper in recognition of National Homeownership month at the Sustainable Homeownership Conference at the University of California, Berkeley.

“The decline and stagnation in the homeownership rate is a trend that’s pointing in the wrong direction, and must be reversed given the many benefits of homeownership to individuals, communities and the nation’s economy,” NAR President William Brown said. “Those who are financially capable and willing to assume the responsibilities of owning a home should have the opportunity to pursue that dream.”

The research, commissioned by NAR, was prepared by Rosen Consulting Group, and jointly released by the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business.

“Low mortgage rates and a healthy job market for college-educated adults should have translated to more home sales and upward movement in the homeownership rate in recent years,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “Sadly, this has not been the case.”

“Obtaining a mortgage has been tough for those with good credit, savings for a down payment are instead going towards steeper rents and student loans, and first-time buyers are finding that listings in their price range are severely inadequate,” Yun said.

Here are what NAR says are the five main barriers to homeownership:

Post-foreclosure stress disorder:

There are long-lasting psychological changes in financial decision-making, including housing tenure choice, for the 9 million homeowners who experienced foreclosure, the 8.7 million people who lost their jobs and the young adults who witnessed the hardships of their family and friends, NAR explained.

Mortgage availability:

Credit standards did not normalize after the Great Recession, NAR’s study showed. Borrowers with good-to-excellent credit scores are not getting approved at the rate they were in 2003, prior to the period of excessively lax lending standards.

The growing burden of student loan debt:

Young households are repaying an increasing level of student loan debt that makes it extremely difficult to save for a down payment, qualify for a mortgage and afford a mortgage payment, especially in areas with high rents and home prices. NAR found in a survey released last year, student loan debt is delaying purchases from Millennials and over half expect to be delayed by at least five years.

Single-family housing affordability:

Lack of inventory, higher rents and home prices, difficulty saving for a down payment and investors weighing on supply levels by scooping up single-family homes have all lead to many markets experiencing decaying affordability conditions, the study showed. Unless these challenges subside, RCG forecasts that affordability will fall by an average of nearly nine percentage points across all 75 major markets between 2016 and 2019, with approximately 5 million fewer households able to afford the local median-priced home by 2019.

Single-family housing supply shortages:

Fewer property lots at higher prices, difficulty finding skilled labor and higher construction costs are among the reasons cited by RCG for why housing starts are not ramping up to meet the growing demand for new supply.

read more…

https://www.housingwire.com/articles/40385-nar-here-are-5-reasons-for-low-homeownership-rate?eid=311691494&bid=1783075

Home prices jumped the most in these 10 housing markets | Bedford Real Estate

Home prices increased in March to a new peak, according to the latest Home Prices Index from Black Knight Financial Services.

Home prices rose to a median $272,000 in March, the report showed. This represents a new peak in home prices, and a rise of 2.3% from the start of the year.

And the Case-Shiller index, put out by CoreLogic and S&P Dow Jones Indices, showed home prices increased 5.8% annually in March, a pace which experts say is good news for sellers, but not so great for home buyers.

But some metropolitan areas saw home prices moving faster than others, as the fastest metro saw an increase that was double that of the national average. Month-over-month, home prices increased 1.3% nationally.

Here are the top ten housing metros with the highest increase in home prices in March, and the percent increase from the previous month. Using data from Trulia, HousingWire analyzed the median home price in each metro.

10. Bloomington, Illinois – Home prices up 2%

Median home price: $157,000

IllinoisFlagPhoto.jpg

9. Boulder, Colorado – Home prices up 2%

Median home price: $625,000

8. Sacramento, California – Home prices up 2%

Median home price: $280,000

California

7. Spokane, Washington – Home prices up 2%

Median home price: $180,325

6. Kankakee, Illinois – Home prices up 2.2%

Median home price: $86,000

5. San Francisco, California – Home prices up 2.2%

Median home price: $1,205,000

san francisco houses

4. Walla Walla, Washington – Home prices up 2.2%

Median home price: $218,750

3. Bellingham, Washington – Home prices up 2.3%

Median home price: $335,709

2. Seattle, Washington – Home prices up 2.4%

Median home price: $625,000

Side shot

1. San Jose, California – Home prices up 2.6%

Median home price: $835,000

San Jose

 

read more…

 

https://www.housingwire.com/articles/40278-home-prices-jumped-the-most-in-these-10-housing-markets?eid=311691494&bid=1771046

Decline for Single-Family Built-for-Rent Construction | Bedford Real Estate

The number of single-family homes built-for-rent fell slightly at the start of 2017, falling to 6,000 for the quarter. Over the last four quarters, total production of this type of housing was 33,000 homes.

According to data from the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, the market share of single-family homes built-for-rent, as measured on a one-year moving average, stood at 4.1% of total starts as of the first quarter of 2017.

Given the small size of the market segment, the quarter-to-quarter movements are not typically statistically significant. The current market share remains higher than the historical average of 2.8% but is down from the 5.8% reading registered at the start of 2013. This class of single-family construction excludes homes that are sold to another party for rental purposes. It only includes homes built and held for rental purposes.

With the onset of the Great Recession and the ongoing declines in the homeownership rate, the share of built-for-rent homes rose. Despite the current elevated market concentration, the total number of single-family starts built-for-rent remains low in terms of the total building market.

Of course, the built-for-rent share of single-family homes is considerably smaller than the single-family home portion of the rental housing stock, which is 35% according to the 2015 American Community Survey. As homes age, they are more likely to be rented. Thus, the primary source of single-family rental homes is not construction but the existing housing stock. In fact, from 2005 to 2015, 56% of the gains in the rental housing stock were due to single-family homes.

 

read more…

 

http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/05/decline-for-single-family-built-for-rent-construction/

March Sales: New Listings Were Off to the Races | Bedford Real Estate

March buyers blew the roof off housing markets as they heeded warnings about the limited supplies of home for sale and found houses in record time.  National monthly market reports on March transactions chronicled surge of sales as the spring season kicked off and tens of thousands of new listings turned over in a matter of days.

“We expected a seasonal uptick in sales this time of year and March certainly met and somewhat exceeded that expectation,” said RE/MAX CEO Dave Liniger as the months supply in RE/MAX’s latest National Housing Report fell below 3 months in March for the first time in history.

“Calendars might say spring is only a week old but we’re already in the thick of the most frenzied home buyer season on record,” concurred realtor.com’s Javier Vivas. Redfin reported its fastest March on record for home sales since it began tracking this data in 2010.

Every report told the same story.  The plunge in days on market was breathtaking as buyers gobbled up new listings as fast as they hit MLSs. In NAR’s existing home sales report, days on market fell from 45 days in February to 34 days in March, on realtor.com from 90 to 68,, on RE/MAX from 71 to 64, on Redfin from 60 top 49.

Prices Outpace Incomes’

The three year inventory drought coupled with the spring surge in demand pushed prices even ither than

109.1 million full-time wage and salary workers were $830 in

the first quarter of 2016 (not seasonally adjusted), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

This was 2.7 percent higher than a year earlier

 

 

March Market Reports at a Glance

Source

Monthly Sales Trend

Annual Sales Trend

Monthly Price Trend

Annual Price Trend

Median Sale Price

Median Days on Market

Comments

NAR

  4.4%

5.9%

-2.18%

6.8%

$236,400

34

There was enough of a monthly increase in listings in March for sales to muster a strong gain. Sales will go up as long as inventory does.
Realtor.com

NA

NA

4%

8%

$260,000

68

The typical spring upswing in sales has come about a month earlier than usual.
Redfin

 

42.7%

 

8.9%

 

4.6%

 

7.5%

 

$273,000

 

49

Spring 2017 shapes up to be the fastest and most competitive housing market in recent years,
RE/MAX

-0.2%

6.6%

7.1%

11%

$225,000

64

Prices hit a new high due steady demand and record low inventory.
Zillow

N/A

N/A

0.4%*

6.8%*

$196,500*

N/A

Five percent fewer homes on the market now than a year ago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*These data are not sales but valuations for all homes based on Zillow’s AVM.

 

read more…

 

http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2017/05/march-sales-new-listings-were-off-to-the-races/

U.S. pending home sales surge to ten-month high | Bedford Real Estate

Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes jumped to a 10-month high in February, pointing to robust demand for housing ahead of the busy spring selling season.

The report on Wednesday from the National Association of Realtors suggested higher home prices and mortgage rates were having little impact on the housing market for now, underscoring the economy’s resilience despite an apparent slowdown in growth in the first quarter.

The NAR said its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, surged 5.5 percent to 112.3. That was the highest reading since April and the second best showing since May 2006.

“This bodes well for home sales this spring,” said Misa Batcheller, an economic analyst at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Contract signing last month was likely boosted by unseasonably warm temperatures. The gains reversed January’s 2.8 percent drop. Pending home contracts become sales after a month or two, and last month’s surge implied a pickup in home resales after they tumbled 3.7 percent in February.

Economists had forecast pending home sales rising 2.4 percent last month. Pending home sales increased 2.6 percent from a year ago.

U.S. financial markets were little moved by the data as investors assessed comments from Federal Reserve officials on further interest rate increases this year. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, one of the U.S. central bank’s most consistent supporters of low interest rates, said he supported additional monetary policy tightening this year.

The Fed raised its benchmark overnight interest rate by a quarter percentage point earlier this month and has forecast two more rate hikes this year. The dollar was trading higher against a basket of currencies while U.S. stocks were mixed. U.S. government bond prices rose.

TIGHT INVENTORIES

Demand for housing is being driven by a strong labor market, which is generating wage increases, as it nears full employment. Sales activity, however, remains constrained by tight inventories, which are driving up home prices.

“The good news is that warm winter weather has led to a surge in construction that will hopefully result in a bloom of new homes for sale this spring,” said Joseph Kirchner, senior economist at realtor.com.

A report on Tuesday showed home prices increased 5.7 percent in January on a year-on-year basis. The NAR expects sales of previously owned homes to increase 2.3 percent this year to around 5.57 million units.

Existing homes sales increased 3.8 percent last year. Housing market strength suggests an apparent sharp slowdown in economic growth early in the first quarter is likely temporary.

The Atlanta Fed is forecasting gross domestic product increasing at a 1.0 percent annualized pace in the first quarter. The economy grew at a 1.9 percent rate in the final three months of 2016.

Given labor market strength, economists expect only a modest impact from higher mortgage rates. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate is currently at 4.23 percent, below a more than 2-1/2-year high of 4.32 percent hit in December.

In a separate report on Wednesday, the Mortgage Bankers Association said applications for home purchase loans rose 1.2 percent last week from the prior week. It was the fourth increase in the past five weeks.

 

read more…

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-idUSKBN1701XS