REMINDER!
REMINDER:

Leaf Blower Use Limitations

OFF SEASON LIMITATIONS FOR USE OF LEAF BLOWERS
GO INTO EFFECT MAY 15, 2019. 

 In accordance with the local law adopted by the Town Board on June 19, 2018 the use of gas-powered leaf blowers is prohibited on certain designated streets (link to hamlet zone list) in the Town's hamlets. In addition, town-wide hours of permitted use are set. These limitations are part of a wider initiative to promote cleaner, quieter methods of landscaping and property maintenance, while still enabling property owners to maintain their lawns and grounds well. The Town is also launching an education campaign for residents and landscapers about healthy yard practices, and collaborating with landscapers regarding electric equipment options.
This law is very much in keeping with emerging trends across Westchester and the country at large in response to the health and environmental benefits of reducing the pollution and noise caused by gas-powered blowers and leaf blowers in general. 
The Bond Referendum
Tuesday April 30
6:00am-9:00pm

BV Fire House
34 Village Green Bedford Village
Bedford Fire District – Proposed Fire House
Vote on Referendum Set

As I mentioned previously, a number of Bedford Village residents have contacted me regarding the proposal of the Bedford Fire District to construct a new fire house off of South Brook Road and Old Post Road (a/k/a Route 22) in Bedford Village.  

At the outset I should explain that t he Town’s attorneys have determined that the Town has no approval authority over the proposed firehouse project because the Bedford Fire District is a local government entity under New Y ork law. 

The Bedford Fire District has posted a substantial amount of information regarding the proposed fire house which can be accessed at   www.bedfordfire.com . The New Fire House Committee invites the public to send questions regarding the project to NFC@bedfordfire.com or call (91 4) 205- 6341 which are both dedicated to the project.  
REMINDER: TOWN CLEAN UP DAYS!
NEW POSTS

Highlights of the April 23 Town Board Meeting
 
Proposed Climate Action Resolution

The Board heard a presentation by Sunrise Katonah request the Town Board adopt a Climate Action resolution calling for federal action to further goals to expand renewable power sources and reach a target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. 

Each member of the Town Board praised the Sunrise Katonah for their efforts and expressed support for action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There was concern expressed about some of the language of the resolution and the Board agreed to carry the matter over to the May 7 meeting at which a revised resolution would be considered to address concerns.  

Deputy Supervisor Lee Roberts and I will be meeting with representatives of Sunrise Katonah next week to develop the revised resolution.  
Proposal to Allow Bed & Breakfast 
 
Bedford Village resident Abbott Fleur spoke at the Public Comment period asking the Town Board to consider amending the Zoning Code to allow bed and breakfasts.  Each member of the Board expressed an interest in and general support for the concept. I mentioned that there are many considerations and concerns to address including traffic, parking, septic and other impacts. 

We need to move forward cautiously and obtain the input of the business associations, civic organizations and the community generally.  

Of course, we will rely heavily on the review and recommendations of the our counsel, the Planning Department and most importantly, the Planning Board which likely would be responsible for acting upon any application for a special use permit to operate a bed and breakfast.   
Approval of Lease with Bedford Hills Historical Museum
 
The Board approved a lease with the Bedford Hills Historical Museum for a portion of the lower level of the Town Office building at 321 Bedford Road.

 The Museum will be returning to space in the lower level which it used for several years until it needed to vacate to make room for the temporary headquarters of the Police Department during the renovation of the police station.  

In addition to other requirements under the lease, the Museum will be responsible to maintain, repair and keep the space in good working order at all times. The Museum will be responsible to pay the Town in advance a monthly sum of $50.00 for the prorated share of the utilities as it relates to “the use and occupation of the Premises”; this amount is the equivalent average monthly costs associated with lighting, heating and cooling the prorated area being leased.
 
We are pleased that the Museum, a wonderful asset to the hamlet, will be coming back to Town Hall. After the Museum has painted and done other work, there surely will be a grand re-opening event to celebrate its return. 
Appointments to Boards and Commissions

The Board appointed Shawn Carmody to fill a vacancy of the Bedford Village Historic District Review Commission.  

We thank Shawn for his service to the community through his work ahead on this vital Bedford Village panel so important to protecting and preserving the character of the historic district.  

OTHER NEW POSTS

Your Electric Bills
 
If your household is at all like mine, I’m sure that you’ve been getting letters and phone calls regarding the electricity you buy.  I’d like to help you sort through it and offer resources to further evaluate your individual situation.  

The bottom line: stick with the successful Westchester Power program: Direct Energy in NYSEG service area and Constellation Energy in Con Edison service area.  

If you’re already in the program, you don’t need to do anything .   If you’re not in the program and are interested in participating, we’ll help you switch to it.  If you’re not sure, we’ll help.

 The Town of Bedford is proud to have renewed its participation in Community Choice Aggregation operated by not-for-profit Sustainable Westchester and known as Westchester Power.  The good news is that it is a great success saving Bedford residents on their electricity bills. And perhaps even more important, in the face of the urgency for action to combat climate change, we have offset greenhouse gas emissions through our participation in the Green Option.  

Here are some key facts regarding the program:

  • Stable, fixed rates.
  • Guaranteed 100% NYS source renewable energy supply.
  • A rate which is lower than the previous twelve month average rate for NYSEG/Con Edison.
  • A single bill issued by NYSEG or Con Edison.
  • Opt out any time with no penalty or premium.
We’re here to help with whatever you’d like to do. Please contact Westchester Power at (914) 242-4725 or online at www.westchesterpower.org .  Feel free to contact me any time at 914-666-6530 or supervisor@bedfordny.gov .  
Update: Septic System Program Reinstated

We are pleased to announce that the Septic System Repair, Remediation or Replacement Reimbursement Program has been reinstated.  The program is made possible under an inter-municipal agreement (IMA) between the Town and Westchester County. The County provides the funding for the program under the East of Hudson Water Quality Improvement Program.  The County is requiring certain revisions in the program. 
 
Late last week the Town received the second $750,000 tranche of funding under the IMA with the County.  And late this week the Town received new rules from the County Planning Department governing the program.  Among other things, any project whose total costs are estimated to exceed $20,000 is subject to the County Planning Department’s pre-approval, and for all projects, the property owner now will be required to submit photos evidencing the failure as well as certain additional documentation. 
 
Please read the reimbursement criteria carefully before commencing any work for which you will be seeking reimbursement.
Vacancy on Traffic Safety Working Group
 
The Town Board is accepting applications for a vacancy on the Traffic Safety Working Group which was established to work with our staff to help identify and form solutions to traffic safety issues, such as excessive speeds, pedestrian safety, and difficult road conditions.  In 2014 the Town Board established the TSWG to advise the Town Board for the following purposes:
 
  • Promote and encourage street and highway traffic safety.
  • Formulate street and highway safety programs and coordinate efforts of interested parties and agencies engaged in traffic safety education
  • Study traffic conditions on streets and highways, study and analyze reports of accidents and causes thereof, and recommend to the appropriate legislative bodies, departments or commissions such changes as deemed advisable in rules, orders, regulations and physical changes to the roadway, signage and other components of the roadway system
  • Conduct meetings on a regular basis and invite to such meetings parties and agencies, public and private, interested in traffic regulation, control and safety
  • Promote safety education for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
  • Obtain and assemble motor vehicle accident data, and analyze, study and consolidate such data to evaluate potential changes to the roadway system and for educational and informational purposes
  • Coordinate and  direct  local  activities  related to the implementation of the state highway safety program, as approved by the governor or his designee
  • Make reports/recommendations to the Town Board as necessary.
  • Provide a sustained and systematic mechanism and clearing house for considering concerns about traffic safety.

If you are interested, please e-mail your resume with a cover letter (or explanatory e-mail) to me at supervisor@bedfordny.gov , which I will share with my colleagues on the Town Board. 
Vacancy on Tree Advisory Board
 
The Town Board is accepting applications for a vacancy on the Tree Advisory Board. The Tree Advisory Board was established for the purpose of advising the Enforcement Officer, Building Inspector, Planning Board, Wetlands Control Commission, Town Board, Highway Department, Recreation Department and other agencies and offices of the Town on matters relating to the preservation, planting and removal of trees.  
 
The Board advises the Town on the health of trees, helps develop tree planting plans and plans and participates in Arbor Day activities.  
Town of Bedford Justice Court and Justice Erik Jacobsen
 
The Town of Bedford Justice Court is a separate branch of the Town government. It operates under the New York Unified Court System.  There are two elected justices serving the Town’s Justice Court; Justice Erik Jacobsen and Justice David Menken. 
 
I was copied on an Administrative Order dated April 22 issued by Michael V. Coccoma, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge, in which he directed that all judicial matters currently pending before Justice Jacobsen be reassigned to Justice Menken and that no additional judicial matters be assigned to Justice Jacobsen until further order of the Deputy Chief Administrative Judge.  
 
Arielle Bryant, Special Counsel to the District Administrative Judge for Town and Village Courts, advised me that Justice Menken would be furnished additional judicial assistance as needed to ensure that the Justice Court did not fall behind in adjudicating cases before it.  On April 25, Bruce E. Tolbert, Acting Administrative Judge for the Ninth Judicial Circuit notified the Bedford Justice Court that he assigned Virginia Collins, Village of Pleasantville Justice, as Acting Town of Bedford Justice for all purposes as needed during the absence of Justice Jacobsen for the following time period: May 1, 2019 through May 31, 2019. The assignment is in addition to her other duties and responsibilities.
 
Ms. Bryant further advised me that the Town is to continue to pay Justice Jacobsen’s throughout his administrative suspension and that the Unified Court System will pay Justice Collins for her services as Acting Town of Bedford Justice. 
Further Update on Repaving of Route 117
 
We are nearing the point where the Route 117 will be repaved.  Public Works Commissioner Kevin Winn and I met with representatives of NYS Department of Transportation, Con Edison, the Village of Mount Kisco and the Village’s engineers.  As you may have observed, Green Lane has been re-paved.  Line striping will take place shortly.  
 
By way of background, Consolidated Edison replaced a gas line along the length of Route 117 from the start of the business district in Bedford Hills south into Mount Kisco.  The replacement required digging up Route 117. The work was not completed in time for repaving last Fall leaving the road surface in poor condition.  The Village of Mount Kisco also had to replace water mains under Route 117.  As Route 117 is a New York State road, NYSDOT regulates the work on the road and specifies necessary restoration. NY SDOT has previously mandated, and Con Ed agreed to comply with, curb to curb restoration of the portion of 117 disturbed by Con Ed as part of two NY SDOT highway work permits.  I called the meeting to confirm the project scope and ensure that the project is undertaken as promptly as possible.
 
There is approximately 1,200 feet of curbing along Route 117 which needs to be repaired or replaced prior to the repaving.  It is anticipated that the curb work will be completed mid-May.  Paving of Route 117 then be scheduled to be completed, weather permitting, to be completed by the end of May or early June. We re-confirmed that it will be a curb to curb repaving from Green Lane
 
We reconfirmed with all parties that Con Edison’s restoration would be curb to curb (rather than only the southbound lane) running from Green Lane south to a bit short of Barker Street in Mt. Kisco.  A single lane of traffic will be kept open.  The work be carried out at night after 9 PM to minimize disruption.  To minimize disruption to the businesses and those traveling Route 117 during the day, work would be carried out from 7 PM to 5 AM
 
With the objective of keeping on target, I have scheduled another meeting for late May with the representatives of Con Edison, NYSDOT and the Village of Mt. Kisco and their engineers.  
 
I will continue to keep the community apprised.  
Update on the Town’s Vape Law and
Enforcing the County Law
 
I'd like to provide an update on the recent discussion on the Bedford Village Community Facebook page regarding observations of purchases of vape products by individuals believed to be under 21.

As I mentioned in a reply, the Town last year adopted a local law restricting the sale of vape products to the Route 117 business corridor. The Town has been sued by owners of establishments selling vape products who have asked the court to issue an injunction against the Town from enforcing our law.  The Town is vigorously defending the Town’s law. In the exchanges, it was noted that Westchester County had adopted a law to prohibit the sale of vape products to persons under 21.  

I have discussed the Westchester County law with Police Chief Melvin Padilla and with our Town counsel to ascertain the authority of the Bedford Police Department to enforce the County law.

Our counsel advised me that he has confirmed with the Deputy Westchester District Attorney that the sale of any tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, in Westchester County to persons under 21 is a violation of Westchester County Code § 535.21 and is a violation that can be enforced by the local municipal authorities.

The sale of such products is a violation that would be subject to the local Justice Court jurisdiction and is finable. If there is more than one violation, this could result in a Class B misdemeanor. So, the answer is that the Town of Bedford Police can enforce this provision of the Westchester County Code.

We will proceed to do so.
PRIOR POSTS OF
CONTINUED RELEVANCE
REMINDER FROM THE TAX ASSESSORS OFFICE:
2019 Exemption Filing Deadlines

For the 2019 Tentative Assessment Roll, the exemption filing deadline for all new or renewal exemption applications is May 1st 2019 .

Important Notice for Property Owners Age 65 and Over

  • New STAR requirements for 2019

  • To receive the Enhanced STAR exemption, you must enroll in the Income Verification Program (IVP). If you’re already enrolled in IVP, no action is needed

  • If you qualify for the Low Income Senior Citizens exemption, you will no longer automatically receive the Enhanced STAR exemption. You must apply for Enhanced STAR separately

For general information or questions on your existing exemptions, please contact the Town of Bedford Assessor’s office at (914)-666-5149 or email Assessor@bedfordny.gov

Additional information can be obtained at the New York State Department of Tax & Finance website at www.tax.ny.gov
Report from Bedford2020

ZERO WASTE CHALLENGE SHOWS POTENTIAL
FOR 70% RESIDENTIAL RECYCLING

Over the past year Bedford 2020 has developed and conducted a series of Zero Waste Challenge (ZWC) events with more than 80 interested families, 14 of whom participated in a six week waste and recyclables weighing program in October 2018.  This Zero Waste Challenge was based on similar programs conducted in many other cities and towns, with the objective of quantifying in real terms what a group of typical residential families could recycle.  The resulting ZWC Report with Summary Data from each participating family of 2,3, 4 and 5 person households found that a total of 65% waste reduction on average, with 39% Single Stream Recycling and 26% Compostables removed from total household material, leaving only 35% waste. After considering the wide variation in family data and the ease with which some families were able to exceed 70% total recycling/reduction, we believe that a 70% reduction goal is practical and achievable over time with your support and some more effort. The largest single additional waste reduction beyond present efforts would come as a result of removing compostable food waste.
The ZWC also indicated a significant overall household material reduction, with participating ZWC families taking less material into their house, when compared with overall Town wide and State data for materials collected, suggesting that more awareness and attention to what we use and buy can significantly reduce our waste.  The ZWC generated a lot of enthusiasm not only from participants but many others who attended the preliminary Trash Bash, and Bedford 2020 may consider another event in future. The program confirmed the viability and reasonableness of our recycling goals with real time data in Bedford and gives a positive direction for future efforts at waste reduction.
The Zero Waste Challenge started with a Trash Bash demonstration event on October 13, 2018, where about 80 people came to understand what could be recycled or composted and how to reduce the materials that their family buys and uses.  Fourteen families agreed to participate in the ZWC 6-week sort and weigh program. Participating families saw weighing and sorting demonstrations at the Trash Bash and took home a digital scale and bags for weekly weighing of materials. They received a plan for logging the numbers and useful tips on how to reduce waste and efficiently recycle and compost on a regular basis.  The ZWC helped participants pay closer attention to waste and better understand how to reduce household materials (if not to zero, then as low as possible). Participants learned how to examine more carefully all of our daily habits that create waste.
Bedford 2020 believes that removing food waste from homes and businesses, which if implemented town-wide would result in the largest single waste reduction (25%) and the ability to substantially achieve Town and State long term goals for waste reduction.

I also note that in spite of the current difficulty being experienced nation-wide with recycling materials marketing, we have received assurance that our Single Stream recycling program is working well and all Bedford materials are effectively being marketed through the City Carting state-of-the-art MRF in Stamford.

Waste reduction is the future. With your help we can provide education, inspire awareness and show how it can be done in every neighborhood, business and school in Bedford.  We are approaching a tipping point where everyone is becoming aware that waste reduction is a personal daily responsibility, like brushing your teeth.

For more information about the recycling or composting program visit http://bedford2020.org/waste-and-recycling-task-force/.  

Thank you for participating.

-Peter Kuniholm 
FREE RABIES VACCINES FOR WESTCHESTER PETS
SUNDAY APRIL 28

(White Plains, NY) Westchester County residents can schedule free rabies vaccinations for their dogs, cats and ferrets on Sunday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Stamen Animal Hospital, 61 Quaker Ridge Road in New Rochelle.  Call 914-632-1269 for a required appointment.
           
Cats and ferrets must be in carriers and dogs must be on a leash. Aggressive dogs must be muzzled. No examinations will be given and all pets must be supervised by an adult.

Sherlita Amler, MD, Westchester County Commissioner of Health, said: “Vaccinating your pet against rabies will protect your pet and your family in case your pet has contact with a rabid or potentially rabid animal.”

Under New York State law, dogs and cats must receive their first rabies vaccine no later than four months after birth. A second rabies shot must be given within one year of the first vaccine, with additional booster shots given every one or three years after that, depending on the vaccine used. Owners who fail to get their pets vaccinated and keep the vaccinations up-to-date may be fined up to $2,000.

Rabies is a fatal disease that spreads through the bite or saliva of infected animals. Those animals most commonly infected are raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes. However, domestic animals such as cats and dogs are also at risk because they can easily contract rabies from wild or stray animals.

A pet that is up-to-date with its rabies vaccinations would only need to get a booster dose of vaccine within five days of the pet’s exposure to a known or suspect rabid animal. Animals not up-to-date with rabies vaccinations would need to be quarantined or potentially euthanized following contact with a rabid or suspect-rabid animal.

A change in an animal’s behavior is often the first sign of rabies. A rabid animal may become either abnormally aggressive or unusually tame. It may lose fear of people and become docile, or become excited and irritable. Staggering, spitting and frothing at the mouth are sometimes noted in infected animals. Adults should encourage children to avoid touching unfamiliar animals, and to immediately tell an adult if they have been bitten or scratched by an animal.

All animal bites or contacts with animals suspected of having rabies must be reported to the Westchester County Health Department at (914) 813-5000. After hours, callers should follow instructions in the recorded message for reporting public health emergencies 24 hours a day. 

To learn more about how to prevent rabies, visit the Health Department’s website at www.westchestergov.com/health , like us on Facebook at facebook.com/wchealthdept or follow us on Twitter @wchealthdept.
MEASLES INFORMATION

We received this information from the Westchester County Department of
Public Heath following reports of some cases of Measles in Northern Westchester:
Update on Parking
 
 The Town Board has been working steadily to improve parking availability and management: parking for residents in the commuter lots and parking for our businesses and their customers and patrons, primarily in the hamlet business districts.
 
At the Town Board’s April 2 meeting, Town Comptroller and Director of the Town’s Parking Bureau, Abraham Zambrano provided the following update on the new since last year online system for resident parking permits in the commuter lots:
 
The Town of Bedford manages and operates eight (8) commuter parking lots with a total of 1,149 parking spaces out of which 170 are metered and 979 are for permit holders. It’s been the Town’s policy to provide parking permits exclusively to town residents and businesses in the Hamlets of Bedford Hills and Katonah. Non-residents are only allowed to obtain permits for lot 3 on Woods Bridge Road. 
 
The management and the issuance of parking permit has been challenging over the years as the demand for commuter parking has increased. With the support of the Town Board, the implementation of a paperless permit system using Parkmobile’s and PCS’s License Plate Reading technology was possible in the spring of 2018; the new software requires that parking customers create an account and submit copies of vehicle registrations before the permit is issued. The new system went into effect on July 1, 2018, the beginning of the parking year.  
 
Keeping in mind that residents have always been able to buy permits for Lot 3 on Woods Bridge Road in Katonah, it is imperative to mention that as the result of the implementation of the new system, we have been able to reduce the number of residents on the wait list as well as the time they wait for a permit for the main lots in both Bedford Hills and Katonah by years. In June of 2016, for all lots, there were four hundred ninety six (496) residents on the wait list and the first person in line to get a permit for Lot 4, dated back to December 2011 and for Lot 1 that date was April 2012.

 As we continue to gather permit usage data, over the past 12 months, we have been able to reduce the number of residents on the list and the wait time. The current wait list numbers and times have been reduced to 248 and the dates are July 2016 and July 2017 respectively. 
 
In May, we will begin the implementation of the Pay-by-Phone system to accommodate daily parking needs and upgrades and signage work are being planned for Lot 7 & Lot RR on Railroad Avenue. 
 
The Town also is working with the Katonah Chamber of Commerce regarding parking enforcement as well as to review the Chamber’s recommendations and requests to ease the crunch of parking availability in the Katonah neighborhood business district. 

We similarly are working with the parking committee of the Bedford Village Business Association.  

We also remain hopeful that we can reach an agreement to acquire from the Bedford Presbyterian Church property off of Court Road for the development of a free municipal parking lot which would run behind the buildings fronting the Village Green. 
Update on Bedford’s Single Stream Recycling Program
 
About five years ago Bedford became the town in Northern Westchester to convert to single stream residential recycling both through our licensed carters as well as at the Town’s recycling center on Railroad Avenue in Bedford Hills.

Single stream together with the effective community outreach of Bedford 2020 has resulted in significant increases in the Town’s residential recycling rates. Evidencing the success of these efforts, Westchester County presented Bedford an award last year for attaining the highest recycling rate in the County.  
 
The materials which are collected for recycling are sorted and processed at a state of the art single stream facility which City Carting operated in Stamford, Connecticut. City Carting, in response to the disruptions in recycling markets resulting from China’s no longer accepting many materials, has added capability and more sorters over the last year. While City is not enjoying the high sales prices for materials as it had two years ago, City Carting through an array of brokers working in world market continues sell such materials to be recycled or in a few cases pays for the disposal of materials.  
 
The Town of Bedford has modified its recycling flyer and no longer accepts film plastics or bags and a few other small items at City request, but we have found during our recent Zero Waste Challenge (ZWC) that we continue to collect and recycle over 95% of our prior list by weight.  

Bedford initiated a hauler quarterly reporting system five years ago which furnishes good data particularly for recycling in the residential sector. Town residents also are paying their carters a small recycling surcharge to enable the carters to continue the single stream program.  

While we are not certain about the future, City Carting has assured us that its sorting facility in Stamford is working well. City Carting plans to continue its participation in single stream and in fact expects the markets to improve as more countries and the US make plans to accept more efficiently materials which China previously accepted. City Carting indicates that with new equipment and more sorters it is able to maintain a low contamination rate and product marketability. 
 
We are encouraged by the continuing success of our Single Stream program, its convenience for residents and the assurance we offer that our efforts result in significant reductions in greenhouse gasses, conservation of material resources and continuing cost savings for reused materials.
 
Please visit the Bedford 2020 web site at
 for more information. Thank you for participating.
Update on Bond Sale and Savings Resulting from
Highest Credit Rating
 
Town Comptroller Abraham Zambrano provides the following explanation of the bond sale concluded this week:

On Monday April 1, 2019 S&P Global Ratings assigned its “AAA” rating to the Town of Bedford’s public improvement serial bond series 2019A and affirmed its “AAA” long-term rating on the Town’ general obligations outstanding debt. The assigned rating reflects the Town’s “strong management, with good financial policies and practices under” S&P’s Financial Management Assessment (FMA) methodology, strong budgetary performance and flexibility that has enabled the accumulation of surplus and strong reserves. According to S&P Global Ratings, the Town is considered to have “very strong liquidity” and has access to additional external resources. 

Upon receiving the 2019 bond rating, on Wednesday April 3, 2019 the Town sold $8,321,325 in bonds to finance the Town Board approved capital expenditures for 2018 and 2019. Based on the AAA rating assigned to the 2019 Bonds and the re-affirmation of the Town’s overall AAA rating, six investment firms submitted bids with TIC (True Interest Cost) rates that ranged from 2.578% to 2.395%; most lower bond rated municipalities typically only have two to three investing firms bidding on their bonds. 

Capital Markets Associates, the Town’s financial advisors provided the following after the sale. “The award of the bonds was made to the lowest bidder based on a calculation of the True Interest Cost (or the “TIC”). The TIC is essentially an average of the interest rates (or coupons) but also takes into account various other factors such as premium and the time value of money. For the Town recent Bond sale, FTN Financial Capital Markets was the lowest bidder at a TIC of 2.395%. The bid provided by FTN included coupons of 3.00% in each year the bonds will be outstanding. In addition, the bid included premium in the amount of $370,775.90. The premium represents additional money above the par amount of the bonds that will be provided at closing and then utilized by the Town to offset the cost of future year’s interest payments. Essentially at closing the Town will received the $8,321,325 it had request (the par amount of the bonds) + an additional $370,775.90 (the premium) to offset the cost of interest.

Investors often bid premium in an effort to hedge their position on the bonds. The gross payment on the bonds is 3.00% which provides the investor(s) some flexibility in their ability to trade the bonds even if the markets move. For the Town, the premium payment creates a net cost of interest to ensure that they receive market rates as of the date the bonds priced.”

Due to the Town’s AAA, the 2.395% (TIC) rate at which the 2019 bonds were issued, represent a substantial savings in comparison to municipalities that have lower ranges. Based on information provided by our financial advisors, recent bond issues by other municipalities in the area, with lower bond ratings, have issued bonds at rates between one half percent (0.50%) to three quarters of one percent (0.75%) higher than the rate that the Town sold its bonds; those higher interest rates represent between $350,000 to $525,000 a year in addition interest that the Town would not have to pay.
 
Additional hours for Beaver Dam Compost Facility

As you may know, starting in January 2018, the Town Board increased the hours for resident access to the Beaver Dam Compost Facility, which processes the Town’s wood waste and leaves, and offers the opportunity for residents to drop off wood waste and leaves and pick up compost.  There is no cost for residents’ use of these service.
Extended hours are
  • April 13, 20, and 27 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
  • May 4 from 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM
  • June 1 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM 

With Spring clean-up and planting season here, you may find these services helpful. I encourage you to review the updated information by clicking on  Beaver Dam Compost Facility on the Town’s website.
Update on Route 117 and Green Lane
 
The Village of Mount Kisco, in conjunction with Con Ed, paved Green Lane on Wednesday 4/10. We thank them for completing this.  Line striping will follow shortly.
 
Work is moving forward to prepare for the paving of Route 117 south of Green Lane into Mount Kisco. Curb repair and replacement is scheduled to be completed by mid-May, with paving to occur once this is completed. 

COMMUNITY NEWS
Recreation & Parks
SPRING BROCHURE



COMMUNITY EVENTS CALENDAR  
WEEK OF 4.26-5.4

SAVE THE DATES:
KATONAH ART STROLL
Saturday Evening April 27
4 to 8 pm

Katonah is the place to be for inspiration! Immensely successful since its inception last April, the monthly Katonah Art Stroll returns to uplift and inspire. Live music, art demonstrations and refreshments throughout this idyllic Westchester town. Click here for more information.
Celebrate Earth Day
Sunday, April 28
12 to 4pm
National Police Memorial Week

Cub Pack 170 and the Bedford Boy Scouts
to honor Bedford Police Sgt. Thomas Wade

April 27, 2019
3:00pm

Bedford Police Station
321 Bedford Rd. Bedford Hills


On Saturday April 27, 2019 at 3 p.m. Cub Scout Pack 170 , and Bedford Boy Scouts will recognize National Police Memorial week by honoring the memory of Bedford P.D. Sgt. Thomas Wade who made the ultimate sacrifice on May 9, 1925.


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 , police antique cars ,and Police K-9 demonstration. 

Please join us

Westchester County Recycling News

MAY 18, 2019
Highlights of the the April 2 Town Board Meeting

Town of Bedford to Be Recognized for Fulfilling Gold Pledge – Zero Emission Vehicles
The New York League of Conservation Voters and Sustainable Westchester presented the Town with a Certificate of Recognition for achieving the Zero Emissions Vehicle Gold Pledge to purchase ZEVs for 10% of new light-duty fleet purchases by the end of 2020.  

NYLCV President Julie Tighe and Sustainable Westchester Executive Director Bob Elliot presented the Certificate and Ms. Tighe noted that Bedford was the first municipality in Westchester County to fulfill the pledge and did so a year and a half sooner than the challenge deadline.

 As I noted last week, the Town’s recent purchase of two 2019 Nissan Leafs enabled the Town to complete the Gold Pledge challenge following our purchase last year of an all-electric Chevy Bolt piggybacking a NYC contract.  
 
April 1 Successful Launch of Plastic and Paper Bag Fee

Following hard work on the part of the Reusable Bag Task Force in partnership with the grocery stores, Shoprite, DeCicco’s and Key Food, we find broad embrace of the program for a 10c fee on single use plastic or paper bags, with only a very small number of customers bristling at the new charges.   
 
We are still sorting out the new law to ban plastic bags adopted as part of the New York State budget which was adopted last week. 
 
Please note the following:
  1.  It does not go into effect until March 2020 and until such time the Town’s law is in full force and effect.
  2. There is a provision to allow Counties and large cities to adopt a 5 cent fee on single use paper bags.  We very much support such an action. It is unclear what the effect of such action would be for Bedford’s 10c fee and whether it would be pre-empted. 

You put the bags in your car, but did you bring them into the store?Grab your bags: Please be sure to put reusable bags into your car the next time you go shopping. Avoid the 10c fee for single use plastic or paper bags that goes into effect on April 1. We don’t want you to pay a dime!
New habits take time!
Print out our itty bitty reminder tag
and tape it to your cell phone, purse or in your car.
Update on Status of Town’s Septic System Repair and Replacement Program

I reported last week in my monthly report that the Septic System Repair and Replacement Program is temporarily suspended pending clarification and discussions with Westchester County, which controls the funding for the program.  I am working assiduously with the County to secure the next installment of funding under the program and obtain the clarifications needed to enable us to reinstate the program. For those with concerns and questions, our County Legislator Kitley Covill has been working with me on a solution and has graciously offered to discuss the matter should you have a specific project underway and are affected. Kindly contact her at 995-2810 or ksc2@westchestergov.com .  
Amendments to Noise Law Adopted

The Town Board held public hearings on proposed amendments to the Town Code which were developed with our Police Department, Code Enforcement personnel, Town Clerk and Town attorneys, Keane & Beane, to eliminate inconsistencies in sections of the Town Code relating to noise disturbance. There were actually three hearings, two of which deleted provisions in the Town Code and the third which adopted the new provisions.

In addition to intending to eliminate the inconsistencies, we also want the noise law to be fair and equitable. Based on decisions of the Town Justice Court, we need to clarify provisions pertaining to dog barking. The revisions in the included limitations on exemptions to the noise law.   

The following are key provisions of the amendments:

  • To address the inconsistencies, the proposed amendments eliminate the provisions which are difficult to enforce regarding unreasonable or excessive barking and what constitutes a noise violation, and has replaced them with revised provisions to define “Noise Disturbance” and identify specific activities that are prohibited and specific activities that are exempt from the noise regulations.

  • For enforcement purposes, it requires either sworn affidavits from two separate persons in two separate residences, direct observation by the enforcement officer or official, or that the noise level exceeds certain decibel levels as measured with a sound metering device.

  • The revisions continue to permit the use of a sound metering dev ice as an alternative method of enforcement and sets specific decibel levels that cannot be exceeded in residential and nonresidential zones during day time and nighttime hours. The provisions were simplified. 

  • The law identifies a number of noise making activities that are generally exempt from the noise regulations. However, there are limitations with respect to many of these exemptions. In addition, a general provision has been included that the exempt activities cannot exceed the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommended exposure levels for occupational noise exposure.





DON'T BE A CRIME VICTIM
Lock Your Car

In the past week The Town of Bedford Police Department has seen a dramatic rise in complaints from residents of Katonah regarding larcenies from unlocked motor vehicles in their driveways during the overnight hours. We remind you to secure your vehicles and do not leave valuables in your car. Remember: “If you see something, say something.” The Bedford Police Department operates 24/7/365.

Please call 914-241-3111 immediately when you observe suspicious activity.



Dirt Roads

From time to time especially during spring thaw, some residents ask me why we don’t pave our dirt roads. There also is the mistaken assumption that dirt roads are more expensive than paved roads. I’d like to share with you some considerations. 

  • The Town owns and maintains 33 miles of dirt roads, which are part of the Town's charm and rustic character. However, by their nature dirt roads provide a lesser level of service than a paved road

  • The annual cost of regular maintenance of dirt roads is higher than that for paved roads, however, this comparison does not consider the cost of paving. We now spend $1.3 million each year on paving approximately eight miles of the Town’s 97 miles of paved roads. When factoring in paving costs, the cost of our dirt roads and paved roads is about equal

  • The Town has a long standing policy to preserve and protect dirt roads as integral to the semirural character of Bedford.  This policy is carried in the Town’s Comprehensive Plan. “Strategy 8: Dirt Roads: It is the policy of the Town to avoid paving the existing dirt roads.”…  “These roads sustain Bedford’s rural character and serve as an effective traffic calming technique.”  It also is stated that the Town should “maintain dirt roads rather than pave them.”  
 
  • Many of the Town’s large estates which maintain horses front dirt roads. Dirt roads are gentler on horses’ feet than paved roads. Many horses do not have strong enough feet to withstand the pounding on hard roads. Paved roads can also aggravate hoof problems.  Converting dirt roads to paved roads might lead to the disappearance of the horse farms and subdivision of the properties

  • Even should the Town determine to change its policy, the cost of converting dirt roads to paved roads considerably exceeds the cost of our regular resurfacing of existing paved roads. Converting a road from dirt to asphalt would require drainage improvements and four to six inches of asphalt. In addition, regulations of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection would require that the Town secure a stormwater permit for paving more than one acre of dirt roads.  Meeting the stormwater permit requirements may entail installing catch basins, filtering mechanism and other drainage systems to attenuate the velocity and run-off from paved surfaces.
 
  • For these reasons, over the years the Town Board has not considered it appropriate to pave our dirt roads.

As noted in last week’s newsletter, we recognize that winter wreaks the greatest havoc on our roads. This is most evident with the spring thaw and with it mud season, which is most damaging to our dirt roads. It’s typically one of the most challenging seasons for our crews in maintaining the dirt roads.  The Town frequently maintains and inspects all our roads and the most in late winter and throughout the spring.

We will be working as promptly as we can to restore our roads to good condition – though of course, if we are hit with a late season snow storm, snow removal operations will take precedence to provide safe travel. 

While we ask that you be patient with us given the difficulty of the maintenance, we do encourage you to please bring to our attention potholes or other issues which you feel need attention.   Please call our Pothole Hotline at 666-7669 or feel free to contact me at 666-6530 or Supervisor@ bedfordny.gov.  

For potholes on the NYS roads traversing the Town (Routes 22, 117, 121, 137 and 172) please call NYS’s pothole line at 1-800-POTHOLE. 

We appreciate your understanding and patience.


HeatSmart
Bedford-Lewisboro-Pound Ridge
Has Arrived!
Pictured above are members of the HeatSmart Team , representing Bedford 2020, Lewisboro Sustainability Committee, Pound Ridge Energy Action Committee with Bedford Town Supervisor Chris Burdick, Lewiboro Town Supervisor Peter Parsons, Pound Ridge Town Supervisor Kevin Hansan. 
On Wednesday night at the Bedford Playhouse, local sustainability groups kicked off HeatSmart Westchester, an opportunity to significantly reduce energy consumption, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and help homeowners not only reduce their energy bills, but also increase their year-round comfort and the value of their homes.

Call (914) 302-7300 ext 1. for assistance.  

Save the date for Pound Ridge's HeatSmart event on April 13th.

THE 2018 ANNUAL REPORT 

FOR THE TOWN CALENDAR  click  here

TO SIGN-UP FOR NIXLE ALERTS   click here
Update on I-684

Earlier today I testified at a special State Senate hearing in White Plains on public transportation.  On February 8 I had also testified to present the resolutions of the Bedford Town Board urging the New York State legislature to provide funding for the repaving of the 1.5 mile portion of I-684 which runs through Katonah.  As so many are acutely aware, the Town of Bedford for over 20 years has beseeched the State to pave this short portion of roadway, the original concrete roadbed and the only portion of all of I-684 which has not been paved in fifty years when it first was constructed.   [Link to testimony]. 
       
    I urge you to keep up the calls, e-mails and letters to our representatives urging them to pave this dangerously deteriorated portion of the highway.  See below under “Special November 8 Town Board Work Session on I-684” for contact information and thank you for pressing to get this done.


A Community Solar Opportunity for
Bedford’s NYSEG Customers

I received an email recently regarding an invitation
to qualified Bedford residents:
 Dear Chris:

Bedford 2020 has been given the opportunity to identify a small group of households to participate in a community solar project. This opportunity is only for residents who do not already have rooftop solar and who live in NYSEG territory. If you are a NYSEG customer, you may qualify.
Community Solar brings the benefits of solar power to your home without your having to install solar panels on your roof or property. The panels are sited at another location in the community. In this case, the array is located on a local horse farm in North Salem and is big enough to provide power for about 15 households.
Bedford 2020 has been given the opportunity to identify a small group of households to participate in a community solar project. This opportunity is only for residents who do not already have rooftop solar and who live in NYSEG territory.

If you are a NYSEG customer, you may qualify.
Community Solar brings the benefits of solar power to your home without your having to install solar panels on your roof or property. The panels are sited at another location in the community. In this case, the array is located on a local horse farm in North Salem and is big enough to provide power for about 15 households.

By participating, you will be supporting local, clean energy and seeing guaranteed savings on your electricity bill (of up to 5%) each and every month. You will also have the ability to cancel at any time with no penalty and no upfront costs. Signing up is as easy as uploading a utility bill and signing a short agreement. Click  here to sign up, or call Nick directly at PowerMarket: 203.247.809, or email him at nick@thepowermarket.com.
 
We are excited to offer Bedford 2020 supporters a chance to participate in this exciting renewable energy project. If you think you may qualify, please take action ASAP to find out more about this opportunity. Spots are limited!

-Bedford 2020
 
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.


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.



IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Previous e-news issues

Much is repeated in each newsletter, but to reduce the length each week, here are the past few complete newsletters.








Previous MONTHLY Reports

In case you missed them, please refer to my most recent monthly reports:




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.