REMINDER: Vacancies on Zoning Board of Appeals and Veterans Advisory Committee

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Coming up at the July 16, 2019
Town Board Meeting
Bedford Village Parkin g

I anticipate the Board will approve a proposed two year renewal of the Town’s lease with the Bedford Presbyterian Church under which the Town leases from the Church twenty parking spaces in the Church’s lot to the rear of the Church.  The twenty parking spaces are important to relieving in part the need for parking in the hamlet.  

We thank the Church for being such a community minded member of the hamlet.  
Presentations and Updates

We will present a Certificate of Appreciation to each of our summer interns, Kenny Linder and Timothy Parker for their work in preparing grant applications to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and a Certificate of Appreciation to Bedford2020 summer intern, Kayla Brandt, who worked with Kenny and Timothy and our staff in applying to the DEC for the Town’s Bronze Status Certificates as a Climate Smart Community.
County Legislator Kitley Covill will update the Board on actions which the County Board affecting the Town.   

Don Scott and Abe Zambrano presentation on ClearGov transparency application.

Recently appointed Senior Advocate Rosemary Vorel will report on her first month’s activities.
Next Steps on Adams Street Highway Building
I anticipate that the Town Board will approve the request of Public Works Commissioner Kevin Winn to authorize me to enter into a professional service contract with Calgi Construction, for the Highway maintenance building construction project in the amount of $46,800 for a 26 week scope, subject to attorney approval of the contract and receipt of required insurance.  
Sewer Project – Proposed Agreement with NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS)

A key component of the Phase I Sewer Project is our partnership with DOCCS, presently the owner and operator of the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), which thanks to a special law enacted last year, will be conveyed to the Town of Bedford for $1.  

I anticipate that Town Board will approve the request of Public Works Commissioner Kevin Winn to authorize me to enter into an agreement with DOCCS which among other things provides for the basic terms of the conveyance of the WWTP, the sewer rent to be paid by DOCCS will pay the sewer district when it becomes a customer of the Town’s sewer district and other matters consistent with the Term Sheet between the Town and DOCCS which was entered into in 2017.   
Alerts – Road Work

Con Edison Gas Main Work on Huntville Road

ConEd started its gas main replacement project on Huntville Road.

Work hours will be 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM, and they will keep a lane open at all times with flaggers to direct traffic. Temporary pavement will be placed flush with the existing asphalt as they move along in the project.

The job is expected to take one month for the gas main to be complete and temporary pavement to be installed. Permanent restoration will occur after that.
Work on Long Ridge Road in Stamford

The State of Connecticut will be carrying out a bridge project later this month right across the state line.  A four week closure of Long Ridge Road to through traffic between Erskine Road from the north and Old Long Ridge Road from the South will occur between July 24 and August 21. 

Due to the impacts on the Town of Pound Ridge and the Town of Bedford, our two towns have been working closely to prepare for the impacts.
Our thanks to Pound Ridge Police Chief David Ryan for advising on the following detour route for motorists whose destination is Stamford via Long Ridge Road:

If the approach is from Route 172:
1.     Avoid Long Ridge Road.
2.     Take Route 172 to Route 137 (High Ridge Road) and turn right to take Route 137 into Stamford.

If attempting to navigate Long Ridge Road :
1.     Stay on Long Ridge across the CT state line.
2.     Make a left onto Old Long Ridge Road and an immediate left on Rock Rimmon Rd then a left onto Mayapple Rd to High Ridge Rd in Stamford (Rte 137) . Read here for additional information on the project
Nissan Leaf
Sustainable Westchester is pleased to announce that the $5,000 discount on the all-electric Nissan Leaf has been extended through September.
Any homeowner or individual that works or studies in Westchester is eligible for the discount. Combining the $5,000 discount with a $2,000 NYS instant rebate and a $7,500 federal tax credit reduces the cost by $14,500!
Electric vehicles are a great option since electric costs about fifty percent less per mile than gas. Many Westchester families are making the switch to electric vehicles, as annual EV sales have doubled in the last two years. In fact, I can attest to the quality and cost savings of an electric vehicle because I own a Nissan Leaf, and it is a perfect commuter car!
Watch a 4 minute primer on Electric Vehicles (EVs):
Update on Sewer Project
I was delighted to hear from Dave Warne, the Assistant Commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, that the City has completed its one year registration process of the Intergovernmental Agreement between the City and the Town. The IGA is the cornerstone of the financing for the sewer project providing $13.3 million in project funding.  The other financing sources are up to $6.5 million under an Intergovernmental Agreement between Westchester County and the Town for Water Quality Improvement Program funds; a $1 million grant from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and $1.2 million from the proceeds of the Town’s issuance of sewer bonds.
With the City’s IGA now being in place enables the Town to proceed with its schedule: Woodard & Curran completing and securing approvals for its design and construction plans; bidding out the construction work this Fall; starting construction first quarter of 2020 and it is anticipated that construction will be completed at the end of 2021.
We will hold a public information in September and will alert the community to it as soon as we set a date, time and location.
NYS Rebate for Town Purchases of
All-Electric Vehicles
And talking about buying all electric vehicles at substantial discounts, earlier this year I reported that the Town secured a highly advantageous purchase of two all-electric Nissan Leafs through Sustainable Westchester’s negotiations with Nissan of New Rochelle.  The dealership also provided to the Town at no additional cost an electric vehicle charging station for the new EVs.  

We have taken the additional step of applying to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation for a $5,000 per vehicle rebate for each of these vehicles. 
Under the DEC’s 2018 Zero-Emission (ZEV) Clean Vehicle (Purchase or Lease) Rebate Grant Opportunity, these fuel efficient vehicles qualify the Town for a rebate in an amount totaling $10,000. We have applied for this rebate and await the DEC’s response.  

I thank Conservation Board Chairman Simon Skolnik and my summer interns, Kenny Linder and Timothy Parker, for their work on the grant applications.
I have previously explained the cost benefit to the Town in purchasing EV passenger vehicles.   How about other benefits?  The United States Department of Energy tells us: “EVs provide more than just individual benefits. EVs can help the United States have a greater diversity of fuel choices available for transportation. The U.S. used nearly nine billion barrels of petroleum last year, two-thirds of which went towards transportation. Our reliance on petroleum makes us vulnerable to price spikes and supply disruptions. EVs help reduce this threat because almost all U.S. electricity is produced from domestic sources, including coal, nuclear, natural gas, and renewable sources.”  

The Department further explains: “EVs can also reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and smog, improving public health and reducing ecological damage. Charging your EV on renewable energy such as solar or wind minimizes these emissions even more. See the difference in emissions between a conventional vehicle and an EV using the calculator on the right.”   

As to charging the EV on renewable energy, there’s a good chance you already buy renewable energy.  If you buy your electricity through Westchester Power (Direct Energy in NYSEG service area and Constellation in Con Edison service area), you are buying renewable energy.  

If you’re not and are interested in stable pricing and promoting the environment, look into Westchester Power.   Sustainable Westchester
2020 Budget Work Sessions
We begin work soon on the Town’s 2020 budget.  Comptroller Abraham Zambrano and I will be meeting over the summer with each department head to review his or her proposed departmental budget.  A few key points as we launch the budget season:
  1. We are committed to staying within the NYS Property Tax Cap. 
  2. As with previous budgets, we will be conservative in our projections of revenue and expenses. 
  3. As I’ve mentioned in the discussion of the increase in Westchester County sales tax which takes effect on August 1, I intend to follow Comptroller Zambrano’s cautionary advice not to count on a significant increase in sales tax revenue.

The following is the tentative schedule for Town Board budget work sessions beginning in September:
of Continued Relevance
Heat Smart Offers Attractive Opportunities
Thanks to a grant from New York State Energy Research & Development, homeowners in the towns of Bedford, Lewisboro and Pound Ridge now have a unique opportunity to determine whether heat pumps might provide a more comfortable home while saving on energy bills.  Heat pumps draw from either the ambient air (air source pumps) or the earth (geothermal pumps). Geothermal provides a constant temperature of about 54 degrees allowing for heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. 
The program is spearheaded by Energize NY, in partnership with Sustainable Westchester, Abundant Efficiency and NYSERDA, provides homeowners in the three towns the opportunity to learn whether these new renewable energy choices are right for you.  Energize has launched an ambitious community outreach program to introduce homeowners both to the technology and reputable, certified heating and cooling and energy efficiency experts who offer the latest clean energy technologies including air source and geothermal heat pumps and energy efficiency improvements. The contractors are Bruni & Campisi (914-269-6760), Healthy Home Energy & Consulting, Inc. (9144-242-9733) and Dandelion Energy (833-436-4255)
On Thursday, June 26, the Heat Smart team was on hand for the community to explain the program (together with service Tacos). Like to know more?  Please click on this link or call 914-302-7300 x1     There is no cost or obligation to learn whether Heat Smart is right for you.
Our thanks to Lauren Brois, Bedford 2020, the contractors and the Heat Smart campaign team for an excellent presentation.
Update on Recreation & Parks Department

As I reported last week, the parks are in fine form with now retired Superintendent of Recreation and Parks Bill Heidepriem ensuring that the parks would open on schedule and fully ready for another wonderful summer season.  Bill did not disappoint and we do hope that you and your family are enjoying the parks.  

We are moving ahead with interviews for Bill’s replacement (hard shoes to fill) and tentatively plan to make an appointment at the Town Board’s July 16 meeting.  Meanwhile our department staff is doing an excellent job running all operations.  

Climate Smart Communities Program
Bedford Goes for Bronze

This week Bedford applied to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to become a bronze-certified Climate Smart Community under the DEC’s Climate Smart Communities program. In order to receive this certification, the town must show it has taken actions to promote environmentally-friendly initiatives.

Examples include installing solar panels on municipal property, installing LED street lights, encouraging recycling, and utilizing an environmentally preferable purchasing policy. Earning this certification will help the town receive future grants and demonstrate Bedford’s leadership in cutting edge environmental initiatives.

By applying for bronze-certification status, Bedford is continuing its commitment to the initial Climate Smart Communities pledge the town made in 2009. We will receive notification from the application committee around August 16th.

I wish to thank all of the hard work in compiling the application which would not have been possible without Bedford 2020’s Ellen Calves and summer intern Kayla Brandt, along with my summer interns Kenny Linder and Tim Parker.

I’d also like to thank the following town personnel that assisted in collecting the necessary documentation: Building Inspector Al Ciraco, Deputy Town Clerk Nina Kellogg, Public Works Commissioner Kevin Winn, and Comptroller Abraham Zambrano.   
Westchester County Takes Action to Ban Polystyrene – Press Conference at Reading Room in Katonah
Westchester County has adopted a new County law banning the use of polystyrene (Styrofoam is the well-known brand name of one manufacturer) at food service establishments in the County. 

Bedford’s County Legislator, Kitley Covill, who is Vice Chair of the Board of Legislator’s Environment and Energy Committee, worked several months on the law resulting in a bipartisan unanimous adoption.  There are serious health and health concerns regarding polystyrene. The International Agency for Research on Cancer since 2002 has established styrene, used in the manufacture of polystyrene, as a possible human carcinogen.

 Though the federal Environmental Protection Agency does not at this time classify styrene as a carcinogen, an EPA report on the substance identifies adverse effects on the nervous and respiratory systems and possibly kidney and liver. Food in polystyrene containers can be contaminated by chemicals that leach into the food. Further, polystyrene becomes nearly ubiquitous in the environment because it is not readily compostable nor does it readily degrade. 

The law, which takes effect on December 10 (the delayed effective date is to allow time for affected businesses to adapt), exempts foam coolers, ice chests and containers used to store raw eggs, raw or uncooked meats and fresh produce, as well as packaging used for retail sale of electronics either from Westchester stores or shipped into Westchester. It also will not apply to sales of goods by residents at homes (e.g., yard sales).

County Executive George Latimer and County Legislator Covill were on hand at the Reading Room in Katonah with owners Peter Menzies and Gretchen Jordan, who since they first opened the Reading Room have avo ided the use of polystyrene, and rather use environmentally friendly products
Update on Westchester County Sales Tax Increase

In my most recent monthly report which was distributed on Monday July 1, I mentioned that the New York State legislature had adopted a 1% increase in the sales tax for most municipalities in Westchester County and that the measure was sent to Governor Cuomo for disposition. 

 The Governor signed the legislation which takes effect on August 1. For those interested, here is a link to the monthly report with the discussion of the effect of the increase. 
Seeking Applicants

Zoning Board of Appeals

There is a vacancy on the Town’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for which the Town Board is seeking applicants.  The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) is a five-member quasi-judicial board that allows applicants to appeal denials or other negative decisions of the Town’s Planning Board, Building Inspector or Town Board (though appeal for some negative decisions are not to the ZBA but rather to court).  

The ZBA also grants certain Special Use Permits (others are issued by the Planning Board) such as for private clubs, private schools and churches and may issue variances granting relief from various Town codes. If you may be interested in serving on the ZBA, please submit your resume together with a cover e-mail or letter to .
Bedford Veterans Advisory Group
Addendum – NYSEG

$5,000 Nissan Leaf Electric Vehicle
Discount Program Coming Soon

In my monthly report I discussed NYSEG’s June 27 meeting with municipal officials in the company’s Brewster Division, which includes Bedford, at which NYSEG provided update on its capital projects, both completed and planned, to improve infrastructure resiliency and reliability.  

As you may know, most Bedford residents’ electricity is provided through Direct Energy, under the Community Choice Aggregation program, also known as Westchester Power, a unit of the not-for-profit Sustainable Westchester.  NYSEG delivers the electricity over its lines so is working to reduce the incident of power outages.  [Most Bedford electricity customers are within NYSEG’s service area, but there also is a large portion bordering Mount Kisco which is within the Con Edison service area.]  

At its June 27 meeting, NYSEG discussed its commitment to New York State’s goals in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In this regard, I’d like to provide a brief addendum to last week’s report with respect to NYSEG’s soon to be offered plan to provide a $5,000 discount to its customers for the purchase of the all-electric Nissan Leaf. 

Avangrid, the parent of NYSEG, is expanding its partnership with Nissan North America to provide 3.2 million customers and employees in New York, New England, and Oregon with a $5,000 discount on the Nissan LEAF electric vehicle. Avangrid also plans to increase its own EV fleet by 75 percent and reiterated its $34 million investment in the expansion of EV charging infrastructure across Maine and New York.

I have asked NYSEG’s representatives to provide further information on the program. As soon as I receive it, I’ll report on it.  
Land + Scape: Reception for Bredt Handy's Solo Exhibit
Katonah Museum of Art invites you to the
Summer is served at the KMA Block Party .

Saturdays , July 13 , August 10, September 14
Thursdays, July 25, August 1, August 22, 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Mark your calendars for a series of cool evenings complete with drinks, gourmet food trucks and great music celebrating what makes the KMA the place to be. Enjoy a curated selection of bands and performers across many genres.

JUL 13:  Will Moloney, Old Table & Friends Indie Rock
JUL 25:  Mark Morganelli & The Jazz All-Stars Brazilian Jazz
AUG 1:  Sami Stevens Trio R&B
AUG 10:  Peter & The Four26 Fan Favorites
AUG 22:  Foxanne Indie Singer Songwriter
SEP 14:  Mark Morganelli & The Jazz All-Stars American Popular Songbook

$20 members, $25 non-members. Tickets include complimentary soft drinks, craft beer, wine and specialty cocktails. Children under 18 are free. Bands subject to change. Rain or shine.
Light refreshments served. Click here to purchase tickets.
The Bedford-Armonk Rotary together with the
Bedford Village Lions Club invite you to
The Standard Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida 2009


Opening reception to take place on Saturday, July 20 th and will coincide with the The Katonah’s Art Stroll.

WEEK OF 7.12--7.20

Recreation & Parks

Affordable Housing Law Amendment
Grant Applications
Cherry Ridge Lake Advisory Committee
Wireless Master Plan
Bedford Town Interns
Pilot Food Waste Pick-Up Program

The Town in partnership with Bedford 2020 is pushing ahead with measures to further reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  We’re potentially getting help from the State.  With a 50-50 match grant program, NYSDEC is encouraging municipalities to submit innovative and promising projects for GHG emission reduction.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports: that about 94 percent of the food we throw away ends up in landfills or combustion facilities. In 2015, we disposed 37.6 million tons of food waste. Food waste comprises by weight a considerable portion of the solid waste flow going into landfills. Collecting and composting food waste will reduce methane emissions from landfills and lower our carbon footprint. 
The proposed project, which Bedford 2020 endorses, is a pilot program consisting of forty families, chosen each year on a first-come, first-served basis, for curbside food waste pick-up. It is proposed that after each year of the three year program, residents on the pilot program wishing to continue the pick-up would make separate arrangements for such services at that time. The total estimated value of donated time over the three year period is $37,855.70 for a total project cost of $75,295.70. 
Autism Registry forms
An Autism registry has been implemented on the Bedford Police Department website. The Bedford Central School District has been given access to the forms to distribute to students and parents. You can also download the forms here .
Recycling News
(click below to read)
Supervisor Chris Burdick talks about the significant achievements the town has made with regards to its environmental initiatives.

In addition, he speaks about the potential acquisition of the Buxton Gorge and Memorial Day with American Legion Commander, Tom Cieslinski.

Congratulations to Bedford2020
and the Town of Bedford!
Piictured above: Bedford2020's press conference at the Bedford Courtroom on Wednesday May 15.
Bedford Exceeds 2020 Emissions Target by Wide Margin

The Town in partnership with the not-for-profit Bedford 2020 set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20% by the year 2020.  

This was a target for the entire town, not simply municipal operations.  
Bedford is the first municipality in New York State to track, report and verify a 70% town wide reduction in GHG emission. It began with setting the goal and with it in 2010, the Town becoming the first community in New York State to adopt a Climate Action Plan as a chapter in its Town Comprehensive Plan.

Under the Climate Action Plan, the Town took implemented myriad polices and strategies to enable us to exceed the 20% goal by a wide margin: 70% reduction in GHG emissions between the years 2004 (the baseline year) and 2017. Key initiatives which enabled us to attain such a reduction:

  •  Energy efficiency, including the Town’s participation in Community Choice Aggregation – the not-for-profit bulk purchase of NYS renewable-sourced electricity. 
  • Energize Bedford, which provides residents low cost or no cost energy audits and financing for energy efficiency upgrades which pay for themselves through reduced energy expenditures.
  • Single-stream recycling.
  • Electric vehicles – resident and Town purchases.

For more information, please see Bedford 2020’s press release at
(click image below to view)
Cyber Security – Don’t Fall Victim
Most of us at one time or another have had to deal with fraudulent credit card charges, attacks through our e-mails or other schemes to steal funds.  Fortunately, there is a great deal of advice on how to protect yourself. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission provides excellent practical pointers to thwart scammers using e-mails or text messages to lure you into turning over personal information. Please see .  Another source is   

The website of the Town of Bedford, as previously reported, was attacked and we had to disable the site for a couple of days to restore the website.  

Fortunately, the damage was minor and easily fixed. We have excellent defenses such that no data of the Town, residents or anyone doing business with the Town was ever at risk (online transactions are handled by third parties with robust security systems).  
Employment Opportunity

Part Time Parking Enforcement Officer

The Bedford Police Department is seeking a qualified candidate for the position of part time Parking Enforcement Officer.

GENERAL STATEMENT OF DUTIES: Patrols an assigned district during a specified period for the enforcement of all applicable ordinances and parking violations and issues summonses for such violations; does related work as required.
  • Familiarity with the geography of Bedford and the location of private and public parking facilities
  • Ability to enforce the ordinances and regulations with firmness and tact
  •  Ability to keep simple practical records
  • Ability to orally communicate clearly and concisely
  • Ability to learn the procedures and regulations involved in the enforcement of the parking ordinances and other standing violations
  • Ability to use computer applications or other automated systems such as spreadsheets, word processing, calendar, e-mail and database software
  • Ability to read, write, speak, understand, and communicate in English sufficiently to perform the essential duties of the position
  • Tact; courtesy; physical condition commensurate with the duties of the position.

MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE: Graduation from high school or possession of a high school equivalency diploma.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENT: Possession of a valid license to operate a motor vehicle in New York State at the time of appointment

Please send resume and letter of interest to:
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.

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.


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.