Presentation by Sustainable Westchester at Bronxville Board Meeting

By Stephen E. Lipken

Mayor Mary C. Marvin opened the February 12 Board of Trustees meeting by introducing Noam Bramson, Executive Director, Sustainable Westchester and Nick Tedrow, Senior Manager, SW Westchester Power Program.

“There is an enormous challenge in front of us, with climate change, particularly in New York with flooding a big issue,” Tedrow began.  “We have to act fast getting these solutions in place.

“Westchester Power is a program that helps communities and municipalities across Westchester leverage their collective buying power as consumers of electricity in bulk, purchasing it at competitive rates.  We launched this program back in 2016, starting with 20 municipalities; we are up to 29, Yonkers being the most recent in 2022.  There are 145,000 accounts between residents and small businesses; ConEd manages the power delivery.  

“We solicit bids and hold an RFP bidding process where we invite Energy Service Companies in New York State to bid against each other in reverse auctions for the right to be suppliers for our communities, ranging from a 50% to 100% renewable supply at this point. Con Ed offers a variable rate; we offer a fixed rate which protects against spikes in utility bills, particularly in winter.  We had a big impact in 2023 with 270,000 metric tons of CO2 mitigated, equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road for a year.”

Tedrow stressed that people are free to opt out of Westchester Power and return to Con Edison at any time.

Moving to New Business, Administrator Jim Palmer noted that a Public Hearing is scheduled for March 11th, regarding Local #1-2024, Sanitary Sewer Laterals, Inspections, Repairs and Ongoing Maintenance, requiring homeowners to inspect their Sewer Laterals from their homes to the public main, providing proof of inspection, a Discharge Certificate to prevent backups in their basements.

Another Resolution authorized a $1,000 Permit Fee for Stormwater Applications, covering home improvements that could involve impervious surfaces.  

Other Resolutions encompassed a Tax Lien Sale on March 14th; Public Hearing for Proposed Local Law #2-2024, Tax Cap Override and permitting Village Treasurer to execute agreement with Fiscal Advisors and Marketing.