NEW POSTS
Highlights of the Town Board’s June 4 Meeting


Tree and Planting Program

Culminating a nearly yearlong process, Sophia Rodbell of the Davey Resource Group, a nationally recognized national resource consultancy group, presented a summary of its Tree Management Plan.  This Plan launches the most ambitious tree maintenance and planting program in Bedford history. The project was funded by a $50,000 grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation which the late Fred Pollack of the Town’s Conservation Board secured at the behest of the Town Board.  
To implement the program, the Town Board has committed in its Capital Plan for each of 2019, 2020 and 2021 $50,000 for removal and trimming of hazardous trees as well as $15,000 for tree plantings. The Town will be working closely with the Conservation Board and the Tree Advisory Committee in implementing the plans.

Simon Skolnik, chairman of the Conservation Board, explained that his Board would help seek additional grant funding from the NYSDEC to supplement the capital funding. 

I will keep the community apprised regarding this exciting new program. 
 
Cherry Ridge Lake (a/k/a Todd’s Pond)

Property owners adjacent to Cherry Ridge Lake as well as other members of the community had reached out to the Town Board regarding their concerns about the condition of Todd’s Pond off of Lakeside Drive in Katonah.  

Some years ago the Cherry Ridge Lake Association had conveyed the pond to the Town of Bedford. These property owners and members of the community believe that the pond is filling in with siltation and eventually will convert to a marsh, with a loss of its aesthetic and recreational value as well as potential for flood mitigation. They advocate repairing the dam structure and dredging the pond.  

At the recent KVIS Forum, in response to questions raised about the pond, I said that I would schedule the matter for the June 4 meeting to allow a discussion of the matter. Town Engineer Jim Hahn of Hahn Engineering presented a summary of his study of the pond. For background please see May 17, 2019 Hahn Engineering Letter and Materials to the Board and the October 27, 2017 Memo from Evans Associates .  

Mr. Hahn estimates dredging costs of $4 million assuming the siltation is not contaminated and significantly more if it is. He said that he did not believe that the pond would serve well as flood mitigation. 

Following Mr. Hahn’s presentation, members of the public spoke and cited a 1976 study which the Town had commissioned following a major storm event and flooding in 1975 which stated that the pond could serve for drainage and flood control. The Cherry Ridge Lake Association asked the Town Board to consider appointing a committee to study the matter and options regarding the pond. 

Following the discussion, my colleagues and I agreed to consider the request and take action at the Board’s June 18 meeting. 
HeatSmart Presentation Update

The HeatSmart Bedford team of Bedford 2020 presented to the Town Board an update on the status of the campaign and what is planned over the coming months. By way of background the towns of Bedford, Lewisboro and Pound Ridge are the first Westchester communities to launch HeatSmart Westchester .

It is a campaign to encourage energy efficiency through climate friendly heating and cooling to reduce energy consumption, cut greenhouse gas emissions, help homeowners reduce their energy bills and help homeowners increase their year- round comfort and the value of their homes.   Clean heating and cooling technologies such as geothermal and air- source heat pumps are now viable alternatives to traditional fuels for many existing homes, providing users with energy bill savings, increased comfort and health benefits.

The program encourages homeowners to consider for their homes highly efficient air and ground source heat pump systems and helps homeowners find out if these technologies are right for them.


Proposed 2019 Town Paving List

Each Spring the Highway Department updates its condition assessment of the Town’s 97 miles of paved roads and beginning with the roads most in need of attention, formulates the year’s paving list.

We have gradually increased funding for paving with the goal of repaving all roads approximately once every 12 y ears. The present budget (both capital funds and operating funds) allocates $1 ,325,000 for paving. By comparison due to recession- necessitated reductions, the 2009 budget was approximately
$750,000.

Allison Road
Anne Chambers Lane
Bayberry Lane
Cherry Street (Reyburn to 1 1 7)
Church Street
David Lapsley Road
East Way
Haines Road (Wood Rd to Croton Lake Rd)
Lake Avenue
Lakeside Drive (Cherry St to Lily Pond Lane)
Leslie Lane
Partridge Ridge Road
Samuel Purdy Lane
Seminary Road
Sunset Drive
Tall Pines Lane
Turtle Pond Road
West Circle

In addition to these roads, the proposed alternates are included in the list for approval. These will be paved as funds allow, depending on the exact
amount used on the list above.

Davids Hill Road (Paved Hill)
Davids Way
Overlook Drive
Pines Bridge Road (House #45 T o Croton Lake Rd)

Commissioner Winn explains, “These roads were selected based on their deteriorated conditions. Paving techniques will range from 1 .5” to 2” of asphalt, varying based on road conditions.”

With the gradual increase in paving budget funding levels, the Town has reached the point of repaving its 97 miles of paved roads every 12 to 13 years to avoid roads deteriorating to a very poor condition. 

The following is a table of the paving miles going back to 2015:
  • 2019 - 7 to 8 miles
  • 2018 - 7.8
  • 2017 - 8.1
  • 2016 - 7.1
  • 2015 - 7.6

12 year cycle on 98 miles is 8.2 miles per year. Pace from last year (7.8) gives a cycle of 12.6 years.

Appointments of Consultant and
Members of Advisory Committees

Congratulations and Thanks

Our congratulations and thanks to:
 
William Heidepriem whom we approved as a consultant to Bedford's Recreation and Parks Department.

Kyle Carleton to the Tree Advisory Board whom we appointed for a five year term beginning June 5, 2019 and expiring on December 16, 2024.

Whitney Hill to the Traffic Safety Working Group whom we appointed to fill an unexpired term expiring on August 31, 2020. 
 
We appreciate their willingness to serve the community,
and provide their expertise and experience.
 
Other New Posts
The Bedford Police Department Awards
June 4, 2019
Bedford Police Headquarters
Unit Citations: left to right: PO Nancy Wallwork; PO Matthew Whalen; Det. William Smith;
Sgt. Peter Sikoryak; Sgt. Erik LeFevre; Lt. Michael Callahan; Lt. Andrew Bellantone;
Podium:Chief Melvin Padilla

Supervisor Chris Burdick with Bedford Chief Mel Padilla, Emiljana Ulaj of Senator Mayer's office, and Lt. Andrew Bellantone.
County Legislator Kitley Covill presented pins to Police Officers who are US Armed Services Vets. Bedford Chief Mel Padilla, Emiljana Ulaj of Sen. Mayer's office, and Lt. Andrew Bellantone.
The Bedford Hills Historical Museum Is Back Home
In the Bedford Town House!

The Museum looks to reopen to the public with a reception this coming fall. The goal of the museum is to preserve the heritage of Bedford Hills for future generations, and welcomes the public to learn about the history of this vital community, with exhibits that show images of buildings long gone, Depot Plaza, haymaking on Braewold Farm, the laying of the cornerstone of the Bedford Hills Community House, and Bedford Station after the 1909 fire.

Anyone who would like to become a member or volunteer — or who has items of historical interest to share — should write to:  bhhm.newyork@gmail.com. And be sure to Like the Museum on Facebook!
Co-Presidents Ellen Cohen and Elin Peterson with Supervisor Burdick welcome the Bedford Hills Museum back to the lower level of the Town House.
Route 117 Paving Completed – My Thanks

With a reprieve from the relentless rain, the paving of Route 117 has finally been completed. Special thanks to Con Edison for stepping up to the plate with curb to curb repaving and for the diligence of the NYS Department of Transportation who have been overseeing the work. 

I also wish to thank our friends at the Village of Mt. Kisco and their engineers for their part. The quality of the job is excellent – as many in my community have remarked.  
Stealth Camera Issuance of Traffic Summonses
What Do You Think?

For many years drivers in Europe running red lights are issued stealth camera issued tickets. There was a post earlier this week on a popular Facebook group expressing outrage over a driver speeding past a stopped school bus on Cherry Street. 

The New York State legislature has just passed legislation which would allow school districts to outfit school busses with cameras which would enable the police to issue summonses based on the photographic evidence of such moving violations. The next step would be a decision of the Governor whether to sign the legislation into law. 
 
This legislature’s move represents a change from years of opposition to such action. There's an underlying sentiment that notwithstanding violations which endanger the lives of others, stealth cameras are little more than "Big Brother" government snooping which tramples on right to privacy. But at what point does a person's depraved behavior deprive him or her of that right to privacy? Blatant endangerment of life?  What about cameras at red lights?  Or is allowing stealth cameras taking us down a “slippery slope” of government intrusion? 
 
  What do you think?

The Annual Katonah Fire Department Parade
County Legislator Kitley Covill with Town Board trustee Kate Galligan and Supervisor Chris Burdick and other Town Board members all marched in the Annual Katonah Fire Department Parade on Wednesday evening, before the opening of the Annual Carnival. The Carnival is on the grounds of the Fire Department from June 5 through June 8.
2019-2020 Permit Parking Update

A message from the Town Comptroller Abe Zambrano:
The email notification will be sent out on Monday, June 10. 
 
This year, for the 2019-2020 parking year, all permits will auto renew and will be released by the Parking Bureau upon receiving payment and copies of current valid registrations for all vehicles listed on the permit are received. 

The fore mentioned email will also include specific information for Residents, Non-Residents and Businesses in the Bedford Hills and Katonah Hamlets that are eligible to purchase business permits. 

As part of the 2019 Adopted Budget, the Town Board approved parking rates that are included in the Town’s 2019 Schedule of Fees: Resident Parking $541, Non-Resident Parking $1341, Business Parking Lot 1 & 8 $541, Business Parking Other Lots $351. 

Recreation and Parks Update

The Town of Bedford three park pools opened up to a very busy Memorial Weekend. The warm weather brought friends and neighbors back to their summer fun spot. Please make sure you renew your annual pool pass to take advantage of the pools. We are looking forward to another fabulous summer season. 

The Recreation Department is gearing up for a fun safe summer at our camps, so please make sure you register your campers. Registration for pools and camp is ongoing. 

On June 10 we will welcome the NEW Senior Advocate Outreach worker Rosemary Vorel. She will be working closely with the Recreation staff to help serve our senior residents.  




The Bedford Hills Free Library Gala:
Erma Bombeck: At Wit's End
A One Woman Show
June 4, 2019


Town of Bedford trustee MaryAnn Carr with BHFL staff Vickie Kriegeskotte and Eileen Baer
Bedford Hills resident Jim Wood
BHFL Executive Director Mary Esbjornson
and President Terri Paladino
The evening's honoree, Elin Peterson
Recycling News
(click below to read)
Green Initiatives News
Save the Dates
PLEASE NOTE: The rain location for the Dedication Ceremony will be the
Katonah Fire House.
ART STROLL
Saturday Evening June 15
4 to 8 p.m.

Katonah is the place to be for inspiration! 

Immensely successful since its inception last year, the monthly Katonah Art Stroll (which happens the third Saturday of each month April through October)
returns to uplift and inspire.

Live music, art demonstrations and refreshments throughout this idyllic Westchester town.
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.


COMMUNITY EVENTS CALENDAR  
WEEK OF 6.7-6.15


COMMUNITY NEWS
Recreation & Parks
SPRING BROCHURE

PRIOR POSTS OF
CONTINUED RELEVANCE

Keane & Beane Update on NYS Legislative Proposals
on Adult Use of Marijuana

Please note that this update had been scheduled for the June 4
Town Board meeting and now is re-scheduled for the June 18 meeting. 


The Town’s counsel, Keane & Beane, will be providing an update on measures which the New York legislature is considering that would legalize adult use marijuana. Earlier in this year’s legislative session, which began in January and ends the third week of June, there was some belief that Governor Cuomo’s proposals would be included within the state budget package, which routinely includes legislation. However that did not come to pass. 

There also had been some speculation that action still might be taken this year. However, with the legislative session soon coming to a close for the year, it is more likely that such legislation will be considered in 2020. Since July 2014, medical marijuana use has been legal under state license and strict regulation.

The proposed legislation includes the Governor’s proposal on with respect to the cultivation, distribution and sale of cannabis as regulated by an Office of Cannabis Management. This legislation would allow counties and large cities (over 1 00,000) to “opt out” and prohibit the sale of adult use marijuana. All municipalities would be permitted to adopt local laws on reasonable time, place and manner of cannabis retail dispensaries, but could not prohibit sales.

An alternative State Senate proposal that was being considered would hav e authorized any municipality to prohibit production or sale, but would allow personal cultivation. Neither of these alternative legislations have been adopted and it is anticipated that any legislation that is adopted will combine elements from both of these proposals.

Although some New York municipalities have adopted local laws prohibiting or regulating marijuana retain sales to certain areas, Keane & Beane has advised the Town Board that it would be prudent to defer action until such time, if any , as New York State has taken action. Read memorandum .
Adoption of New PACE Local Law

Following a public hearing, the Town Board adopted a new local law on PACE financing. As previously mentioned, the Town of Bedford is a founding member of Energy Improvement Corporation (EIC), also known as Energize NY. EIC is the non- profit, statewide local development corporation that helps finance energy efficiency upgrades or renewable energy systems for commercial and not- for-profit entities

The mechanism for providing such help is through a program known as Property Assessed Clean Energy or PACE financing. The program has been in place since the inception of EIC and is a financing vehicle to provide an alternative to more expensive financing to fund energy efficiency upgrades or to install renew able energy systems. It can be used for 100% of the project’s cost and can be repaid over the expected life of the improvements, which is generally 20- 30 years, and transfers to the new owner if the property is sold.

EIC’s new program, which will be implemented here in Bedford through the new local law, is known as Open C- PACE, designed to simplify the process for member municipalities and property owners. It removes any administrative and financial obligations from the municipality, while still enabling the municipality to offer the public benefit of the favorable financing. With Open C- PACE, a benefit assessment lien would be created that is separate from municipal taxes, allowing EIC to bill the property owner directly and administer collection of the payment. For future financings, the Town’s Tax Receiver would not be involved, as under the current PACE program, because the municipality will not need to add a charge to the tax bill, and it will not be responsible for guaranteeing payment from the property owner. The PACE lien is now subordinate to municipal taxes and still senior to non- municipal liens. As with the existing PACE program, EIC will require lender consent if there are
any mortgage holders on the property .

EIC’s new Energize NY website lists capital providers approved to participate in Open C- PACE. Such providers will do the underwriting and determine whether they finance a project and how much financing they will provide. Property owners will benefit from having a choice of capital providers, creating a more competitive market and less expensive capital. If a property owner fails to pay the annual PACE installment, it will be the responsibility of the capital provider to enforce the delinquent PACE lien using the same timeline of foreclosure that the municipality follows for delinquent tax liens. To do so, the capital provider must first pay off any delinquent taxes owed by the property owner.  

As program administrator, EIC will confirm that the project complies with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Commercial PACE Guidelines. NY SERDA fully supports the new direction of EIC’s PACE program and is ex cited about the potential of Open C- PACE to facilitate large projects that can significantly reduce emissions and are encouraging the adoption of this new program across the state. EIC also is finding interest from property owners who want to use Open C- PACE to incorporate clean energy components into their development projects. Open C- PACE will enable building owners to go much further in the levels of energy efficiency that they achieve.

Because Open C- PACE functions differently than EIC’s existing PACE program, its implementation requires that municipal members adopt a new local law and authorize a new municipal agreement with EIC. Recognizing that the new program will further reduce any risk (presently minimal) and enable EIC to significantly expand PACE financing, the Town Board agreed to mov e ahead. T own Counsel Eric Gordon advised the Board that he rev iewed the proposed local law and recommended its adoption. C- Pace Documents



 
Proposed Acquisition of Buxton Gorge

As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, the Town in partnership with the Westchester Land Trust, the Town is considering the acquisition of property commonly known as Buxton Gorge, an 80 acre undeveloped parcel located on Buxton Road. The Town and WLT are most interested in about half of the property which includes the gorge.  Lori Ensinger, president of the WLT, explained that the parcel is ranked very high on WLT’s list of environmentally sensitive properties which needing protection and preservation.    Read WLT’s letter to the Supervisor/Town Board. Glenn Ticehurst, co-chairman of the Town’s Open Space Committee, concurred with Ms. Ensinger that the OSC also has ranked Buxton Gorge as one of its highest priorities for protection and preservation.  Read OSC’s letter to the Supervisor/Town Board .
 
Previous negotiations many years ago with the owner of the property were unsuccessful. The owner has renewed interest in selling the property. Under New York State law, the Town may not pay more than the fair market value of the property. The WLT has a current appraisal for a portion of the property and now has asked the appraiser to provide an appraisal for the entire property.

The Town would grant to the WLT a conservation easement over a portion of the property. 

The Town and WLT would enter into an agreement under which the WLT would maintain and expand the existing trail system.



Proposal of Totem Power, Inc.

T he Board heard a presentation from Totem Power, Inc., a Bedford Hills firm which is proposing to prov ide on a pilot program basis a handful of small wireless facilities to be installed on Town property . Under the Town’s recently enacted wireless facilities law, the Town Board reviews and decides upon such proposals.  As previously noted, the small wireless facility would resemble a light pole with a height of between 18’ and 45’ and provide wireless service to a distance of approximately 800 feet. The facility may also provide lighting, electric vehicle charging and other services.   The Totem proposa l.
 
The Board approved in concept moving forward with three of the four proposed sites: Green Lane, Katonah Lot 2 and the Bedford Hills Post Office with the goal of providing free wi-fi internet hot spots and electric vehicle charging stations at each of the sites. 
 


Appointments to Advisory Committees
Congratulations and Thanks

Our congratulations and thanks to:
 
Murray Fisher, whom we appointed to the Leaf Blowers Task force for a term ending on July 17, 2022. 
 
Heather Langham, whom we appointed to the Tree Advisory Board a term ending on December 16, 2023.
 
We are grateful for the expertise and experience they bring to the respective advisory committees and for their willingness to serve the community.
 


Congratulations to Bill Heidepriem on His Retirement -
The Community Will Miss Him
 
Bill Heidepriem exemplary service as head of Recreation and Parks comes to an end with his retirement at the end of this month.  We were blessed with the best Superintendent in Westchester County if not the state.  Bill has made a lasting imprint on our community for many generations to enjoy.  Our parks are shining gems that outshine some of the finest country clubs.   The programs offered are superb.  

Bill also has managed to take on with aplomb diverse tasks and make us proud of the results:
 
  • Renovation of the Bedford Hills Train station
  •  Our historic cemeteries
  • Multiple Park Master Plans
  • Remodeled Bath Houses
  • Built Basketball Courts
  • Remodeled Playgrounds
  • Built a Dog Park 
  • Reconstructed Platform Tennis Courts 
  • Introduced The TriFesta in 2018
  • Worked with and made a positive impact on multiple Town Boards, Advisory Committees, Civic Organizations and Full and Part time Staff.
  • Member of WRAPS (Awards & Scholarship Committee, Parks Section Chair.)
 
We thank you, Bill, for all you have done.  
SAVE THE DATE
Audition Date:
Wednesday, June 12   4:30pm-7:00pm

Directed by:
Larry Berkowitz and Denise Simon
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)

Vaping at John Jay High School and Fox Lane High School
 
A number of parents whose children are in John Jay High School and Fox Lane High School contacted me regarding their concerns about vaping in the high schools.  There has been concern expressed in social media regarding vaping at both Fox Lane High School and John Jay High School.  At the outset, I should emphasize that the Town Board’s role is in supporting and assisting both school districts.  We are on hand to help. I have spoken with Bedford Central School District Superintendent of Schools Chris Manno and Katonah-Lewisboro School District Superintendent of Schools Andrew Selesnick.  

Both districts are diligently working to maintain a safe and drug-free environment for their students. Both are very much aware of the challenges presented by vaping, and both are working to address those challenges. Their efforts include increased educational programming for students and parents (both during the school day and outside the school day), increased monitoring of bathrooms (while complying with State regulations around access to and privacy in bathrooms), and updated Codes of Conduct that clearly identify consequences for infractions.

Both stress the need for an active school - community partnership on this issue. Parents and students are invited to report regularly their specific concerns and any specific information they may have to school officials.  The issue of vaping will require a sustained school, family, and community partnership if we are to make a difference in the way our children view this latest challenge to their health and well-being.
Update on Court Decision Barring
Town Enforcement of Vape Law

Related to the discussion above of vape use in the schools, the Town Board is considering its options with regard to the court decision against the Town, as reported last week, which granted vape sellers a preliminary injunction against the Town’s enforcement of its vape law. By way of background, the Town’s local law, adopted last year, restricted the sale of vape products to the retail business district on Route 117.  Certain owners and/or operators of gas stations and convenience stores sued the Town. We are disappointed that the Court has initially determined that the Town’s zoning authority cannot be used to restrict the sale of vape products as provided in our local law preliminary injunction

The rampant use of vape products poses a significant health issue impacting youth in the Town and around the country, and the Town believes that steps should be taken to limit access to vape products beyond Westchester County’s age restrictions and that is why the Town Board adopted the law. We are carefully reviewing the decision and our options at this time, including possibly appealing the Court’s Decision, and will make a determination shortly about how we intend to proceed.  The Board met with its counsel earlier this week and we are reviewing our options. I will continue to keep the community informed.  
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 https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-recognize-and-avoid-phishing-scams .  Another sources is https://www.usa.gov/stop-scams-frauds   

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).  
 
Update on Implementation of Bedford’s Reusable Bag Law
 
Following hard work on the part of the Reusable Bag Task Force (RBTF) in partnership with the grocery stores, Shoprite, DeCicco’s and Key Food, we find broad embrace of the program for the 10c fee on single use plastic or paper bags, which went into effect on April 1.  The fee goes to the retailer which helps defray significant expenses which they incurred with a massive distribution of over 8,000 free reusable bags, training of employees, advertising in circulars and other media to help the community adapt to the new law. 
 
We are still sorting out the recently enacted New York State law to ban plastic bags.  Please note the following:
  • The New York State law does not go into effect until March 2020 and until such time the Town’s law is in full force and effect.
  • 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!

Please see the May 9 report of RBTF to the Town Board:

Update from the Traffic Safety Work Group

The Traffic Safety Working Group, which meets every other month, met on April 25 at which Sergeant Patricia McGraw of the Bedford Police Department provided an update on several matters.  My thanks to Sgt. McGraw for her minutes of the meeting:

Speed Boards:
We presently have 8 speed boards around town. Two of these boards (Cherry St/Park Ave and Pound Ridge Rd/Seminary Rd) are permanent (hard wired). Two more (Cherry St/Reyburn Rd and Bedford Center Rd/Succabone Rd) will be made permanent in the near future. The remaining four boards will be rotated around town. Data collection of speeds from the boards continues to show the effectiveness of decreased speed even with the board being up for a long time frame.
 
Speed Studies:
Eight studies have been conducted year to date.
 
Safety Equipment:
Two additional radar units for patrol cars for enforcement have been ordered.
One additional radar recorder (for speed studies) has been purchased.
Two additional speed boards were purchased earlier this year making the total number of speed boards eight.
 
Consideration for Speed Humps on Babbitt Rd:
Babbitt Rd has many adult and children pedestrians due to having an elementary school on it and close proximity to the train station and bus stop. The group is evaluating speed calming options. At this time, the speed board on Babbitt Rd (30 mph zone) has decreased speeds of drivers. The 85th percentile prior to the speed board was 35mph for both lanes. Post speed board, the 85th percentile is 27 mph for southbound lane (facing the board) and 31 mph for northbound lane. The police department will keep this board at this location and will continue to monitor the data over time. At this time, there is no immediate plan for implementing speed humps due to the effectiveness of the speed board.
 
Rt 117 and Green Lane/Con Edison gas line project/Village of Mt Kisco water line project/117 town border line:
The roadway at Rt 117 and Green Lane was paved by Village of Mt. Kisco. The water main work is almost complete and curbing repairs are to be done by mid May. Green Lane south will be paved by Con Edison. In addition, Con Edison will be doing curb to curb paving and roadwork.  
 
The Bedford Planning Department and Village of Mt Kisco Planning Department are set to have a meeting to discuss the intersection at Rt 117 (on the border) near Foxwood Circle. The intersection will be modified to make entrances directly opposite each other.
 
Bedford Hills Fire Department crossing concerns:
A pedestrian was recently hit (not seriously injured) while crossing near the fire department. The traffic safety work group has been evaluating this area and ways to improve upon safety. One change that has already been made was to eliminate two parking spots opposite the fire department. Future steps included striping the entire area in front of the fire department, adding LED blinking lights when there is a fire call, adding flashing lights to the existing stop sign (off of northbound Rt 117 into Depot Pl) and putting in a rapid rectangular flashing beacon in the cross walk which can be activated by pedestrians.
 
Village Green (Rt 22):
Some concerns have been raised about the safety/visibility of making a left turn off of southbound Rt 22 onto Village Green. Different plans in changing the road configurations have been considered. However, it is likely that changing the road configuration may cause traffic backup issues due to the high volume of traffic. Presently the visibility at this left turn does meet traffic code. This is a state road and any suggestions would have to be made to the state department of transportation. We are looking into accident history and will do a radar recorder speed study in the area as well to obtain further data. 
 
In addition, we are considering adding a rapid rectangular flashing beacon and LED lighting in the present crosswalk near the theater to enhance pedestrian safety. Pedestrians are strongly encouraged to use the crosswalks. There is one near the theater and the post office.
 
Other Concerns:
One member brought up the issue of vehicles making U turns in the area of the Bedford Village Fire Department causing safety concerns. The police department will monitor this concern.



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.


The meetings of the TSWG are open to the public.  


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. 
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.
 
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ABILITIES AND ATTRIBUTES:
  • 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: BedfordPolice@bedfordny.gov
Proposal to Allow Bed & Breakfasts

  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.   



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 https://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.
Update on Bedford’s Recycling Program

Some residents have asked me to clarify what may be recycled and what may not and whether Single Stream recycling is still in place.  Be assured that we still are continuing our Single Stream (SS) program here in Bedford and it is working well.  As you may be aware Bedford was the first northern town to convert to SS about five years ago and we have had and continue to have great success with this program.  

We were very pleased that Bedford won the award last year for the having the highest recycling rate in Westchester County.  Our SS program continues to thrive because of our concerted outreach and our materials are taken from the Somers Transfer Station to the City Carting material recovery facility (MRF) in Stamford, where City has built a state-of-the-art SS processing system about five years ago and has added capability and more sorters over the last year as the China disruption occurred.   

Because of market changes, Bedford has modified our recycling flyer and no longer accepts film plastics or bags and a few other small items at City Carting request, but we have found during our recent Zero Waste Challenge (ZWC) that we continue to collect and recycle over 98% of our prior list by weight.   We are also paying our carters a small recycling surcharge to enable City Carting and other Bedford haulers, which enable them to continue the SS program.  City Carting has assured us that their MRF is working well and they plan to continue and in fact expect the markets to improve. 
City indicates that with new equipment and more sorters they are able to maintain a low contamination rate and product marketability, which is likely to be something that other less efficient MRF’s have difficulty with.  

Please visit the Bedford 2020 web site at http://bedford2020.org/waste-and-recycling-task-force/ for more information and don’t hesitate to call me with any questions. I also suggest that you may wish to consider participating in our Community Composting Program for food waste operated in partnership with Bedford 2020.
See http://bedford2020.org/communitycompost/ for more information and thanks for recycling. 
Leaf Blower Use Limitations

OFF SEASON LIMITATIONS FOR USE OF LEAF BLOWERS
ARE NOW IN EFFECT
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. 
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. 
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.
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
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.