The Town Board is nearly completion of its initial preparation of the 2020 Town Budget with the final budget work session schedule for the October 3 meeting; we’re moving ahead with the subcommittees advisory to the Planning Board in connection with a new Town Comprehensive Plan ( please read below – we seek interested residents ); we also are moving ahead with the Complete Count Committee (2020 U.S. Census); and as 2020 draws near, we’ll start at the October 15 Town Board meeting with delving into the Ten Year Capital Plan for 2020 through 2029.  
NEW POSTS
Coming Up on the October 3
Town Board Meeting

Final Budget Work Session

As we move toward what we are hopeful will be the final 2020 Budget Work Session, I wish to thank Comptroller Abraham Zambrano, our department heads and my Town Board colleagues in developing a prudent, fiscally responsible 2020 Town budget.  
Given the challenges which we have been anticipating for 2020, Comptroller Zambrano and I started work on the 2020 budget in late Fall 2018.   
To recap the timelines for the 2020 Town budget, Comptroller Zambrano in his capacity as budget officer for the 2020 Town budget will file with the Town Clerk the tentative budget by the end of October. The Town Board in November will review and as may be the case, modify the tentative budget and by resolution adopt the preliminary budget.  At the Town Board’s September 17 meeting we set a public hearing to seek comment on the preliminary budget after which the Town Board would adopt the final budget.
I will provide further information regarding the 2020 budget in my monthly report.
 
Note: the Town Board scheduled its first October meeting for Thursday, October 3, rather than the first Tuesday, which is October 1, to avoid coinciding with Rosh Hashanah.  

The agenda is not yet complete, as it normally would be on the Friday before the meeting.  As such, I will provide more information in my monthly report.  
Town of Bedford Achieves
Climate Smart Community Certification
I am pleased to report that on Thursday, September 26, Governor Cuomo announced that the Town of Bedford together with 15 other local governments were awarded certification as a Climate Smart Community .  This designation is in recognition of Bedford’s accomplishments “as a climate leader” in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and taking other measures to combat climate change. The Climate Smart Community program is a component of the Governor’s Green New Deal toward a carbon-free electricity system by 2040 and an 85% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050. 
I am grateful to Bedford 2020 and in particular Ellen Calves and summer interns who worked assiduously on the certification application and supporting documentation submitted to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation; Bedford 2020’s Kayla Brandt. 

I also wish to thank my interns Timothy Parker and Kenny Linder who worked with B2020 on the application. 
2020-2029 Capital Plan

Though not required under NYS law or regulation, the Town Board for several years has followed a systematic long-term fiscal planning process with a ten year capital plan for the physical assets of the Town. It covers a wide range: improvements to Town buildings; servers and computers for IT; paving; police patrol vehicles; Highway Department equipment replacements; road and sidewalk improvements to Town owned cemeteries; traffic safety equipment; commuter parking lot improvements; work at the 1787 Court House in Bedford Village; street light replacements; water main replacements; geothermal and HVAC systems; and upgrades and replacements in our hamlet parks, among other items. The Town pays down debt relatively rapidly which will enable us to carry out additional needed projects. 
Among the projects which I will ask the Town Board to consider include major renovations to the Bedford Hills Community House; infrastructure improvements to the hamlet centers; additional funding for cemetery improvements (columbarium/niches); postponement of Crusher Road Highway Garage improvements (as previously recommended to the Board and approved); and moving to 2022 the proposed municipal parking lot for Bedford Village.  
I will propose a Capital Plan Work Session for October 15 with a view to adopting the new Capital Plan at the second meeting in November so as to allow the opportunity for work on the BHCH over the winter prior to its needed use in June.  
Subcommittees to Develop New Town Comprehensive Plan

Planning Board Chair Deirdre Courtney Batson, Planning Director Jeff Osterman and I are hearing from and reaching out to residents who may be interested in serving on subcommittee advisory to the Planning Board to assist in the development of a new Town Comprehensive Plan (TCP).  As I mentioned previously, the TCP sets out the official land use policy of the Town and presents goals as well as a vision for the future to guide official decision-making.  You’ll see from the explanation below, that the Town Board places emphasis on the hamlet centers.  This is reflecting sentiments from residents and businesses alike.  It also dovetails with installation of a sewer system for the business districts of Bedford Hills and Katonah with completion scheduled in June 2021. 
As mentioned above, the Town Board will be adopting later this Fall, the 2020-2029 Capital Plan with consideration given to infrastructure improvements in the hamlet centers.  The hamlet subcommittees can provide valuable advice to us in this regard.  
The following is the background on the subcommittees (as mentioned last week – but important to repeat here):
          We are seeking residents with the interest and certain skills, experience and expertise to participate in subcommittees to help write the plan.   Please read on.  

The Board adopted a resolution to utilize topic-specific subcommittees to hone in on key areas of the TCP.  to utilize topic-specific subcommittees to hone in on key areas of the TCP.  The Planning Board will oversee and direct the entire process and with a consultancy firm write the draft plan. Following work sessions with the Town Board, the Planning Board will incorporate comments and revisions and ultimately submit to the Town Board a proposed TCP.
The following subcommittees were created at the September 17 Town Board meeting:

  1. Mini hamlet master plan subcommittees; one for each hamlet center: Bedford Hills, Katonah and Bedford Village
  2. Transportation infrastructure subcommittee
  3. Horse Farms and Other Agricultural Uses Subcommittee
  4. Sustainability Subcommittee

The next step is the Town Board, on recommendations from the Planning Board Chair, Planning and Director and myself, will appoint the members of each of the subcommittees and their respective chairs.  We hope to bring recommendations to the Town Board at the October 15 meeting. 
In incorporating the recommendations of the Planning Board, the Town Board concurred with the request to enlist help from residents with certain skills and experience.  You may have such skills, experience and, of course, interest and time to serve your community:   
a .     Skills, professional expertise and experience which should be considered:
  1.   If possible, each subcommittee should have one member with who is a member of the Planning Board or who has demonstrated expertise in planning.
  2.  If possible, each of the three hamlet subcommittees and the Horse Farms and Agricultural Uses Subcommittee to have one member who either is a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals or has demonstrated expertise with zoning codes and variances. Each of the hamlet subcommittees should also have an architect member, and someone versed in historic preservation and/or local history.
  3.  The Horse Farms/Agriculture subcommittee should also have at least one member who is active in Bedford’s riding community and/or has experience on a horse farm and one member who is a member of the Wetlands Control Commission, or has other experience with wetland issues.
  4. The Transportation Infrastructure Subcommittee should have at least one member who is an engineer, one member with demonstrated expertise in transportation and infrastructure and one member active in the cycling community.
  5. The Sustainability Subcommittee should have at least one member who represents Bedford 2020, one member from the Conservation Board, and one member from the Wetlands Control Commission or has demonstrated experience with wetland issues

If you are interested, please submit your resume and a cover letter or e-mail to supervisor@bedfordny.gov and kindly copy dcourtneybatson@bedfordny.gov and josterman@bedfordny.gov
Update on Sewer Project

The Bedford Hills-Katonah Sewer District project continues to move forward, achieving a major milestone of advertising for bids scheduled for September 30 th .  The bidding process will include coordination with prospective bidders at a pre-bid conference in October, as well as review of questions and updates via addendum as needed. Bids are anticipated to be opened in mid-November followed by a period of review before award.

Review of the bids will be critical to ensure that the lowest responsive bidder also meets the qualification and experience requirements included in the bid documents. After review, award of bids is anticipated by the end of December. Maintaining this schedule will allow construction work to begin in early 2020, with completion anticipated in summer 2021.

We are hoping for a competitive bid process, anticipating bids from multiple reputable general contractors, including potentially Kings Capital Construction, Gianfia Corporation, Joken Development Corporation, ELQ, Brennan Construction Co., Laura Li Industries, MTS Infrastructure LLC, and others. 

Based on the latest estimates the project continues to be on track with the overall budget as laid out in the Map, Plan, and Report .
REMINDER:
Complete Count Committee – the 2020 Census

We are pleased that Westchester County Planning Director Norma Drummond joined us at the Town Board meeting to make a compelling presentation on the critical need for counting every person in Bedford.  With the Town Board’s creation of a Complete Count Committee, we will become one of 17 municipalities who have taken such action. 

Why does it matter?  Primarily MONEY.  The census is critical to funding from the federal, state and county governments.  Did you know that the Town receives a portion of sales tax revenue that support our community such as funding for our senior programs, community activities, paving, and libraries? And that the portion of the sales tax revenue we receive is based on our population? 

We intend to vigorously work to ensure a complete count.  Please see my September 13 newsletter for a further discussion.

The resolution establishing the committee provides a target date of the October 3 Town Board meeting wish to appoint residents to the committee as soon as possible. Here, too, the Town is seeking residents with an interest and time to serve your community:

Between seven and nine residents of the Town of Bedford to include representatives of the faith-based community; schools; seniors; veterans; and historically undercounted populations in the Town of Bedford (we are interested in at least one resident fluent in Spanish).

If you are interested, please submit your resume and a cover letter or e-mail to supervisor@bedfordny.gov and kindly copy lfumagalli@bedfordny.gov and josterman@bedfordny.gov   
OTHER NEW POSTS
NOTICE:

School Taxes become delinquent after September 30. 
Please pay them on time. 

Our Tax Receiver has posted to the Town website the following notice regarding the collection of school taxes for the 2019-2020 fiscal year for the school districts.  
Tax bills were mailed out on August 23. If you did not receive your tax bill please call the Tax Receiver’s office at 914-666-4475. 

Bedford Police Department recognized for
the highest level of excellence accreditation
Pictured L-R: Council Chair, Chief Mark Henderson; Bedford Police Chief, Melvin Padilla, Lt. Michael Callahan, Lt. Vincent Gruppuso, Lt. Andrew Bellantone, DCJS Office of Public Safety, Deputy Commissioner, Michael Wood.
On September 5, 2019 in Albany, NY, the New York State Law Enforcement Agency Council re-accredited the Bedford Police Department for another five year term.

The accreditation recognizes t he Bedford Police Department for successfully demonstrating completion of a proven management system of written directives, delivery of comprehensive training, and the creation of greater organizational accountability.

This accomplishment demonstrates the commitment the men and women of the Bedford Police Department have to providing the highest level of excellence and professionalism in the field of law enforcement by continuing to meet the standards established by the Council.

Only 137 law enforcement agencies out of approximately 500 in New York State hold this distinction. 

We are proud of this well earned honor - Congratulations to the Bedford PD !
PRIOR POSTS OF
CONTINUED RELEVANCE
The 2020 Census – JOBS!

DID YOU KNOW?   There are jobs available right now for the 2020 Census.  2020 census.gov/jobs or call 1-855-JOB-2020   

The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people across the country – especially field jobs ascertaining addresses and census takers. 

Hours are flexible and the pay rate is quite competitive at $21.00 per hour for a census taker in Westchester County

And as a resident getting paid for your work, if you are assigned to Bedford, you will be helping your town get a complete count.
New Collective Bargaining Agreement
with our Office Workers

The negotiating teams of the Town of Bedford and the Teamsters 456 - White Collar Unit, which represents the Town’s office workers, met several times starting on January 25, 2019 to negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the period January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2022.  

The Board set certain parameters for the Town’s negotiating team with a view to producing a fair, equitable and fiscally responsible CBA.
Please see my September 13 newsletter for a further discussion.
Next Steps on I-684/84 - The “Corridor Study”

The NYS Department of Transportation has launched a study of the I-684/84 Corridor which will set forth recommendations for major renovations and reconfigurations of the highways from the interchange of the Saw Mill River Parkway/Route 35/I-684 up to the intersection with I-84 and I-84 East to the Connecticut line. The study should be completed by the fall of 2020. CDOT Presentation

The DOT held its kick off meeting with mayors, supervisors, other elected officials and representatives of the MTA and other stakeholders on July 25 to introduce us to the DOT team (under the able leadership of DOT’s Regional Planning and Program Manager Sandra Jobson), their consultants, provide a brief overview of the project and field questions. The next step in the involvement with Transportation Partnering Committee meeting for this study effort on Monday, September 16 inviting mayors, supervisors and other elected officials to discuss their greatest concerns and objectives.  

I wish to thank Town residents Peter Nardone and Geraldine Zikely, both of whom are engineers with familiarity with major roadway projects, who joined me at the meeting. I met with Peter and Geraldine to discuss the approach, project and priorities , and they graciously worked on very short notice to compile a list of recommendations which I distributed at the meeting and presented to the DOT and their consultancy firm.

I should note that since 2014 a consortium of elected representatives (of which I am one), under the leadership of North Salem Supervisor Warren Lucas, compiled a list of recommendations.

We are aligned in our approach and will work collaboratively to achieve objectives:

  • Relieve congestion – especially the bottlenecks at the intersection of SMRP/35; Goldens Bridge exit and I-84/684
  • Collaborate with the MTA to encourage use of trains and other public transportation (more parking at commuter lots, more and better located park and ride lots, easily accessible connections between lots and railroad stations).
  • Noise concerns – noise barriers
  • Consider ground mounted solar panels in DOT rights of way; EV charging stations at park and ride and rest stations. 

Please note that the DOT will be reaching out to the community (we’ll help) with a public meeting in December to solicit your input and those of our neighbors along the highway and any others who’d like to have their voices heard. Stay tuned! 
Reminder – No Knock Registry Law

We are receiving reports of unscrupulous, deceptive and fraudulent tactics of door to door salesman.  Please be reminded that the Town Board amended its solicitation law to provide a No Knock Registry . It prohibits such solicitation to the homes of residents who complete a request to be listed on a “no knock registry”. The law does not infringe upon political, educational or religious activities.  

The new law is now in effect. The Town Clerk maintain s the registry.   If you wish to sign up, you can find the No Knock Registry form on our website.

You also can c ome to the Town Clerk’s office at 321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills NY to register and obtain the decal, or for your convenience, fill out the form and mail it back. 

Displaying the decal is not a requirement for being on the Registry. Peddlers and other solicitors who are issued permits from the Town allowing them to go door-to-door will be required to download the current "No Knock Registry" list each day that they are in the Town.
Update on Wireless Master Plan

With the Planning Board considering applications for large wireless facilities – that is, cell towers, our Wireless Facilities Working Group is moving ahead with the consultants to develop a wireless master plan for the Town.  

The consultancy firm, CityScape Consultants working with Federal Engineering will be holding a public Initiation Meeting in October 22nd at which the consultants will provide a presentation and field questions and comments from the public.  

One of the principal objectives of the Wirele ss Master Plan is to lay out a path for a robust wireless communications netwo rk for both our first responders, including police, fire and volunteer ambulance and other agencies and cellular service providers. As an example, we have been made aware by ESS, the communications consultants to the Police Department, that the PD’s system needs a significant upgrade as it is nearing obsolescence.

We will continue to keep you apprised.
Adoption of New Local Law
Regulating Sale of Vape Products

The Town Board held a public hearing to implement a settlement of litigation against the Town which resulted in an injunction against the Town barring enforcement of our existing vape law.
Our thanks to Sally Corbett who speaking for herself and Charles Delapenna of the Town’s Drug Abuse Prevention Council, commended the Town Board for proceeding with a local law restricting the sale of vape products. The law is one of the toughest local laws in New York regulating such sales. 
Please see my September 6 newsletter for the details. 
REMINDER
It’s Leaf Blowing Season –
Change Over in Rules Affecting Hamlet Zones

COMMUNITY EVENTS CALENDAR  
WEEK OF 9.27-10.5

THIS WEEK:
September 28 from 9am-3pm
FDR State Park - Rt 202, Yorktown

September 29 from Noon-3pm

The Biodiversity of Bedford 

In cooperation with Bedford 2020, Bedford Audubon, Mianus River Gorge and the Town of Bedford, and in alliance with Inaturalist ( National Geographic and California Academy of Sciences) 

Wednesday October 2 at 7:00pm

PUBLIC HEARINGS
Bedford Village Firehouse (34 Village Green)

Wednesday, October 2nd at 7:00pm
Public meeting and information session to learn more about the budget and financing related to the proposed firehouse/emergency services department.

Tuesday, October 7th at 7:30pm
Special meeting of the Board of Fire Commissioners to make a bond vote resolution. Open to the public.
SAVE THE DATES!
OPENING OCTOBER 6
Sparkling Amazons presents the often-overlooked contribution by women artists to the Abstract Expressionist movement and the significant role they played as bold innovators within the New York School during the 1940s and 50s.
PRIOR POSTS OF CONTINUED RELEVANCE
(CONT)
 Tree Maintenance and Planting Program

Why we’re taking action:
 
To recognize and appreciate that trees produce oxygen, capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, provide air purification, prevent soil erosion, control flooding, assist in water purification, contribute to the quality of life by providing cooling shade, provide habitat for wildlife, reduce noise levels, and aesthetically enhance the landscape. 
-Inspiring words from the Town of Greenwich

We are moving ahead with the Town’s ambitious tree maintenance and planting program based on a plan which was funded by a grant from NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. The Town, following Conservation Board study and recommendation, selected the Davey Resource Group (DRG) to carry out the one year study of trees and potential tree planting sites on certain Town properties, including the hamlet parks, other Town green spaces and Town rights of way along Town roads. DRG issued a comprehensive Tree Maintenance and Planting Plan, which the Town has adopted resulting in the largest tree maintenance and planting program in the Town’s history. I know of no municipality in New York with as ambitious a program on a per capita basis.  Under the Town’s Capital Plan we are funding $65,000 per year for each of 2019, 2020 and 2021 for maintenance and planting.  
 
The Town’s Recreation & Parks Department for the most part will carry out DRG’s maintenance plan for Town parks and green spaces, though some outside contractors will be used. The Town’s Public Works Department, also for the most part, will be implementing the maintenance plan for the Town’s rights of way along Town roads, and will be utilizing Town contractors more extensively for take-downs and pruning.  
 
I met on Thursday with the group to discuss the planting plan. The tentative plan is to plant as many as 30 trees this Fall. The Parks Department aims to plant 10 and 20 would be planted by a contractor selected by the Town.   The group will be carefully selecting species and size of each tree, hand picking each one, and also carefully choosing the corresponding planting location from the 561 potential locations which the DRG Tree Maintenance and Planting Plan identified, and other appropriate sites. 
 
My thanks to the committee comprised of Heather Langham of the Tree Advisory Board, Linda Merrill of the Bedford Garden Club member, Virginia Maybank of the Bedford Garden Club, Simon Skolnik, chairman of the Conservation Board, Susan Roos of the Conservation Board, Public Works Commissioner Kevin Winn, Deputy Superintendent of Recreation & Parks Kim O’Brien, Comptroller Abraham Zambrano, Parks Foreman Tom Megna and Park Arborist John Goodman.  
Update on I-684 $13 Million Paving Project
Members of the Team that moved this forward in front of i684 before the press conference. Front row ( l to r:) Lee Roberts, Kate Galligan, Kitley Covill, Chris Burdick, Shelley Mayer, Andrea Stewart Cousins, Marie Therese Dominquez, Peter Harkham, MaryAnn Carr. Back row: Don Scott, David Buchwald, Lance MacMillan.
On Thursday, September 12, I joined State Senator Shelley Mayer, State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, State Senator Peter Harckham and Assemblyman David Buchwald in a press conference celebrating the I-684 paving project at long last coming to fruition. We were honored to be joined by New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez.
The $13 million project will provide asphalt pavement for the first time on the 50 year old road surface providing for safer, quieter and smoother travel.  It covers approximately two miles from Harris Road to just north of Exit 6 (Route 35 overpass).   This is a robust project which has sufficient funding to see it through to proper completion.  
I am delighted that the project will go beyond a temporary fix pending the outcome of the Department’s corridor study.  It will cover all lanes and exit and entrance ramps for the entire length of concrete road surface.  It also will address drainage problems and replace broken guide rails.   The road crews first are preparing the concrete surface, including replacement in the entirety of some badly deteriorated concrete slabs. The job is scheduled for completion in late November/early December, subject to weather and other unforeseen developments.    
Town Board Member MaryAnn Carr, Bedford Commissioner of Public Works Kevin Winn and Peter Nardone, who was instrumental in providing crucial data on safety issues regarding 684.
Community should please take note on project impacts and schedule:
  • A good portion of the work (but not all of it) will be carried out at night from 9:00 PM through 5:00 AM to reduce impact on motorists. One lane of traffic always will be kept open.
  • Motorists are advised that a closure is expected on the northbound and southbound ramps for Interstate 684 to and from Exit 6 (Route 35), nightly Sunday, September 15 through Thursday, September 26 from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., while crews perform construction activities, weather permitting.
  • Motorists should follow the posted detour and anticipate possible delays. We are grateful to NYS DOT Engineer in Charge Dina Colavito for ensuring that the detours will not take traffic onto local roads. 
  • As I mentioned last week, we all need to recognize that throughout the duration of the project, it will be noisy, dirty and the project sites will be floodlighted for the safety of the workers and driver. Please be patient.
Agreement with NYS Department of Environmental Conservation for $1 Million Grant for Sewer Project

My thanks to Public Works Commissioner Kevin Winn for securing a $1 million grant from DEC to help fund our Phase I sewer project.  

Commissioner Winn is submitting to the Town Board for approval an agreement providing for the grant and the Town’s responsibilities regarding it.  
September 3, 2019 Town Board Meeting 
in the

some excerpts from 9.13 below:
Public Statement Hearing on
NYSEG Proposed Rate Increase

On September 5, I submitted a statement to the New York State Public Service Commission at a public statement hearing in Yorktown with regard to NYSEG’s filing with the PSC for a 22.7% rate increase.  I do not believe that it is appropriate for the PSC at this time to grant NYSEG a rate increase. I consider the proposal unconscionable for a number of reasons:
 
1.        NYSEG’s unacceptable performance both for lack of proper preparation for, and poor response to, the March 2018 prolonged and widespread power outages.
2.       NYSEG previously had received a rate increase in 2016 funds for which should have been applied to the vegetation management and infrastructure improvements which NYSEG stated in its filing would be financed from any increase granted under this year’s filing. 
3.       NYSEG should proceed with the overdue projects to achieve greater resilience and reliability for its electricity distribution system.
4.       The PSC has not concluded its [investigation] into NYSEG’s performance in regard to the March 2018 power outages; an investigation requested by County Executive George Latimer, State Senator Shelley Mayer, Assemblyman David Buchwald, the Town of Bedford and other Westchester municipalities.
I addressed several components of the rate filing, as well as certain omissions from the rate filing.
 
Vegetation Management
           
NYSEG stated in its filing that it will provide a more robust vegetative management program (tree trimming and removal).  The more robust program would include “ground to sky” trimming, which has proven to be quite successful in Connecticut, and removal of the debris/wood if the property owner does want it. I am very pleased to have learned that NYSEG’s proposal includes the removal of the debris/wood, which has been a sore point for years.  NYSEG should, however, align its vegetative management program with Con Edison’s. Along with other northern Westchester supervisors and County Legislator Kitley Covill, we have asked the PSC to require NYSEG to adopt a three year trimming schedule, as in Con Edison’s service area, rather than the present five year schedule.  This will reduce the incidence of hacking and, in certain cases, destruction of trees which provide shade and screening.  The shorter schedule would allow a more sensitive and careful approach to tree trimming, while still reducing tree-related downed wires and outages.   
 
“Hardening the Grid” for Greater Resiliency and Reliability
 
Speakers at the hearing noted that NYSEG is using a good deal of 1950s technology in its power distribution system.  Over the year and a half since the March 2018 outages, NYSEG has embarked on important upgrades to “harden the grid”, some of which have been completed.  We applaud these efforts, however, there is much more to be done.  NYSEG’s rate filing states that it has significant further projects that it would carry out with the funds from the requested rate increase.  I asked the PSC to require NYSEG to specify on a municipality to municipality basis the projects which would be undertaken, including the schedule for performing the work and the anticipated enhancement in reliability and resiliency which would result.  
 
Geothermal and Electric Vehicles
 
We are pleased to learn that NYSEG intends to launch incentives for residential geothermal and electric vehicles.  I expressed concern that the proposals are vague and undefined, and importantly, there appears to be no plan to collaborate with NYSERDA or, here in Westchester, Sustainable Westchester on these programs.  
 
Response to Outages – Rate Filing is Silent
 
A significant omission in the filing is NYSEG’s plan for improving its response to outages, and in particular widespread and prolonged storm related outages.  I mentioned the following concerns which should be addressed:
 
1.        Failure to communicate with municipalities with regard to the status of storm damage assessment; deployment of make safe and line crews; “make safe” work (de-energizing power lines); clearance of downed lines, tree and debris; restoration of power.  
2.       Failure to coordinate with the public works departments of municipalities.  This has occurred on several occasions. NYSEG skips over valuable assistance which our road crews otherwise would provide in clearing downed lines, trees/debris and opening roads. This is nonsensical as it prolongs power outages.
3.       Dissemination of inaccurate information needlessly causing resident frustration and inability to plan.  The information posted to the NYSEG power outage map is notoriously inaccurate ranging from failure to identify areas with outages, an unreasonable length of time for “assessing” the storm damage and inaccurate and regularly broken estimated time for restoration of power.   
NYSEG president Carl Taylor acknowledged at a recent NYSEG Municipal Officials meeting that the Brewster Division lagged in reliability and resiliency, NYSEG’s substandard performance has taken a toll on confidence and trust; and NYSEG has to do much more to restore confidence and trust. While I commend his candor, it points to a more appropriate course with regard to the 22.7% requested rate increase.  NYSEG should perform now, show significant positive results and then the PSC might consider the filing. No increase should be granted now.   
 
The PSC is still seeking comments on NYSEG’s rate filing.
New Ramp installed at the Bedford Hills Post Office

It is a longer ramp with an low slope and easy access railings.
Our thanks to Al Ciraco, Superintendent of Buildings and Frank Zipp and crew for the installation.

COMMUNITY NEWS


Recreation & Parks
FALL BROCHURE

Recreation and Parks has a


Sharing the Road for Motorist & Cyclists

There is nothing better than getting out to enjoy a ride on a clear, crisp autumn morning. But there needs to be a partnership of shared responsibility of both the cyclist and motorist to keep everyone safe. 

Responsibility of the cyclist:

  • Wear a helmet.
  •  Be visible. Reflectors, lights, and reflective clothing help motorists see you.
  •  Follow traffic laws. Cyclists must follow the same traffic laws as motorists. 
  • Be predictable. Give motorists a sense of your direction and provide signals to show motorists your intentions to turn. 
  • Share the road. Try to stay as far to the right side of the roadway as safety allows. 
  • Do not impede traffic. Cyclists may ride a maximum of two abreast as long as normal traffic flow is not impeded.
  • Be alert and try to anticipate potential conflicts before they occur.

Responsibility of the motorist:

  • Be Patient. Only pass a cyclist when there is adequate site distance to do so without impacting oncoming traffic.
  • Share the road. When passing a cyclist, be sure to provide a minimum of three feet of buffer between you and the rider.
  • Right hand turn awareness. Avoid cutting off a cyclist by making a right hand turn in front of them.
  • Lookout for cyclists. When entering a roadway, don’t just check for cars, keep an eye out for cyclists too.

Working together will keep everyone safe and we can all enjoy the beautiful roads of Bedford.




HELP WANTED - High School Interns!

The Supervisor's office is seeking a few high school students to intern through
the fall. Community service hours will be honored while learning about local government. Computer skills, social media knowledge and an eagerness to help are required.

This is a fun position that will give you a broad range of experiences. Interested juniors and seniors - please send an email to pcohen@bedfordny.gov

IMPORTANT MESSAGE
REGARDING TRAFFIC SAFETY
ON THE FOX LANE CAMPUS

Superintendent of the Bedford Central School District, Christopher Manno posted this on the Stanwood-Cedar Downs Neighborhood FB page:


NWH Center for Healthy Living Grocery Tours
with a Registered Dietitian

Led by a Registered Dietitian, these tours will help community members choose the healthiest and most cost-effective grocery options.


Space is limited to 10 participants for each tour and
we do anticipate these tours to fill up fast. 
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 .
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 source 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).  
 
SENIOR NEWS




New Series at the
Bedford Playhouse

Lunch & A Flick
begins on
September 24!

Lunch at 12:30 followed
by a classic film hit.
Become of member of your Bedford Playhouse.

Discounted membership for ages 62+

This Saturday
September 28
from
9:00am
until
1:30pm
UPDATE for AT&T Cell Service Customers
Other Internet Service Issues?
My thanks for the post on the Katonah Parents Facebook group alerting me to the AT&T cell service outage (the mention of my name on KPFG triggered an e-mail notification to me – it worked!).  And thanks as well to those who e-mailed us with the specifics.   

We were in touch with AT&T Wireless on Wednesday and Thursday who contacted their field team.  Yesterday, I was put in contact with an AT&T representative higher up in the food chain. I don't know whether she was responsible for the service restoration or whether it was in the works anyway.

In any case I now have a person I can go to other than those lower down who we went to earlier this week when you folks alerted us to the problems. So please do let us know if you have any continuing or future service problems and we'll do our best to get it taken care of. Thanks for your patience.
      
And going forward, for anyone having service issues, here are some numbers: 

Customer Service for Verizon /Fios: 1 800 922 0204

Customer Service for Optimum/ Altice: 718 860 3513

Customer Service for AT&T (cell phone service): 800 288 2020

We’ll try to help after you've exhausted your options with customer service support. Please feel free to contact Phyllis Cohen at pcohen@bedfordny.gov or me and provide the following:
 
  • Name
  • Address
  • Account number
  • Phone number(s)
  • E-mail address
  • Description of the issue (dates of intermittent or lack of service, etc.)
Living Green
ClearGov – Transparency in Government
 
The Board approved the recommendation from Comptroller Abraham Zambrano to subscribe to ClearGov’s software for digitizing and organizing data and information from the Town Government to present it in a comprehensible format to the public. Please see the presentation regarding the ClearGov platform.

For more information go to ClearGovBedford
Incentives for Electric Vehicle Purchases
 
Over the last couple of issues of this newsletter, I’ve mentioned the financial and environmental benefits to municipalities and individuals which electric vehicles provide. As you may know, the Town of Bedford in partnership with Sustainable Westchester’s Clean Transportation Program is alerting residents to the attractive discounts and rebates for the purchase of electric vehicles.  

These include the following:
 
  1. The federal tax credits have entered the phase-out stage (a credit is a dollar for dollar reduction in any federal tax liability you may have and so is far more valuable than a deduction).  The phase-out varies by manufacturer depending upon their EV sales. Fortunately the $7,500 credit for the Nissan Leaf still is in place.
  2. Up to $2,000 instant discount off the sales price through New York State.
  3. $5,000 instant discount off the sales price through Sustainable Westchester’s agreement with Nissan of New Rochelle for Nissan Leafs.
 
Please click here for a complete list/chart of popular electric vehicle models and the applicable discounts and rebates. 

Also, don’t stop there, if you don’t see the model your considering, please contact Ron Kamen of Sustainable Westchester’s Clean Transportation Program at ron.kamen@earthkindenergy.com . Ron has offered to go into the dealership with you to negotiate a special discount (no guarantees, but he’s been pretty successful at this).
 
The Town of Bedford also has one of the highest (if not highest) number of electric vehicle charging stations per capita in the state, because we want our residents to have flexibility whether they are commuting to New York or enjoying one of our hamlet parks.  
Pollinator Pathways
 
You may have heard talk of “pollinator pathways”.  So what are they and why are they beneficial?  Let’s start with bees, butterflies, birds and other insects and animals which help pollinate flowers and plants, without which we have no food. According to the United States Forest Service, over 80 percent of flowering plants depend on insects or animals to help them pollinate. These insects and animals are the pollinators. Their habitat has been fragmented, reduced, compromised and damaged over the years.  

We can help by forming connections or pathways between green areas by keeping them healthy for the pollinators. 

 The Town of Bedford long has supported the Healthy Yards Program.  Please consider joining the Healthy Yard program . It’s easy to carry out and actually will reduce your yard and other landscaping costs.
 
Filippine de Haan of Bedford 2020 has graciously provided the following links for more information: Westchester Pollinators
 
Also the Bedford 2020 website has a special page for Bedford: Healthy Yards

What is happening in other areas of the country:
Yes we love these types of initiatives!
We already started talking about similar initiatives like this with the town.
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 https://www.heatsmartny.com/westchester 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.
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. 
Recycling News
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.
THE 2018 ANNUAL REPORT 

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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.