By Mary Marvin, Bronxville Mayor
Jul. 22, 2020: Given the time of year and the recent spate of incredibly warm weather, there is no denying that summer is truly here, making a column about summer activities truly apropos.
The Village tennis program is up and running. Applications may be printed off of the Village website, and either mailed to Village Hall or delivered in person between 9 am and 4 pm weekdays. As the COVID crisis is still very much with us, all play must have an online booking, and maximum play time is one hour 45 minutes to allow time for sanitizing. The bathrooms and water fountain remain closed, and masks are required to be worn to and from the tennis courts. The Bronxville School track is also re-opened for exercise.
While we were unable to have a summer paddle program, we are opening up the Fall/Winter program early. Applications will be online beginning August 10th, and courts will be open on August 17th. Instructions for court usage will be posted at the facility.
Bikes & Skates
As so many residents are now outside enjoying the summer temperatures and taking advantage of the wonderful walkable quality of our Village, it is important to remember that bicycles, skateboards, and in-line skates are prohibited on the sidewalks of both business districts regardless of the age of the rider. This regulation is critical as congested sidewalks create a very dangerous situation both for personal safety and the ability to distance properly. All of the regulations pertaining to bikes and skates are contained in the Village Code Section 260 -10.
Swing Sets & Pools
If you should desire to erect a swing set, add an above ground pool or a temporary tent for summer enjoyment, permits are required for all except pools of two feet in height or less. The reason for this requirement is to control the placement on one’s property, so the equipment doesn’t become a nuisance or eyesore for neighbors or cause any water issues.
Dogs & Invisible Fences
We are also seeing more of our four-legged friends out and about in yards and just want to remind residents that dogs must be registered at Eastchester Town Hall at 40 Mill Road, Eastchester. Registration ensures that pets have all the proper shots should an animal ever be in some sort of altercation with persons or other pets.
Again, to increase the benefit of the walkability of our Village, we are reviewing the use of invisible fences – many of which seem to go right up to one’s property line and, as a result, extend into the Village right of way. We have had a recent spate of cases where Con Edison has gone to do work in the right way only to find the underground equipment associated with an invisible fence, resulting in potentially very dangerous situations. The issue has prompted us to look at the whole concept of invisible fences. Since the red flags are often removed after a pet has been adequately trained, neither the Village nor any passersby know if there is a fence on any property. Dogs running at full tilt up to the edge of their property have scared many a walker, young child, or delivery person. Going forward, we will most likely require a permit and signage saying that there is indeed a fence in use. Currently, without a permitting process, we do not know if the fence has been properly installed and is adequately maintained or even their location throughout the Village.
As a general reminder, dogs walked off a private property must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet. The Village also has regulations in the noise ordinance about prolonged dog barking, which elevates to a nuisance. The police desk would be the proper place to call if this becomes an issue. Westchester County currently has what is known as a dangerous dog registry, and at this juncture, there are two dogs in the Village who are on that list.
Social Distancing and Masks
Again, due to the nice weather that has brought us all outside, it has become clear that the social distancing rules and accompanying mask wearing have become less vigilant. Many of the calls and emails received on this issue relate to our young residents who congregate tightly together often on street corners, parking lots, and parks and are not wearing or carrying masks. Unfortunately, there seems to be a direct correlation from this behavior and testing positive for COVID as the numbers in the last two weeks in the Village have jumped to 15 with the majority being residents 18 and under while our May and June numbers were only 4 and 3 respectively.
As a direct consequence, we are going to review behaviors, and if the situation remains the same, regrettably, we may have to re-institute our evening curfew.
On a related subject, we also receive a distressing number of emails and phone calls expressing concern about joggers whose routes take them past diners and walkers who are within six feet. To all our runners, if you even think you may be in an area where you have a chance of running close to pedestrians, you must have a mask at the ready. On a parallel path, we are also working with all of our restaurants to make sure tables and waiting areas meet the proper distancing rules. To supplement this effort, we have police officers on weekend nights in the business district to help maintain the proper protocols. Very proudly, the Village has been the community with the lowest per capita positive tests for COVID in Westchester County since March, and we don’t want to take our foot off the gas and cause an unnecessary spike.
Finally, Con Edison had reached out to us to have us remind residents how to conserve energy, particularly air conditioning use, during these extremely warm and humid days.
-Set your air conditioning to the highest comfortable temperature as every degree you lower the thermostat drives up your bill by 6%.
-When the AC is running, close doors and use ceiling fans and floor fans to increase circulation.
-Keep shades, blinds, and curtains closed as about 40% of unwanted heat comes through windows.
-Keep AC filters clean.
-Run appliances during off hours as heat and moisture are reduced in one’s home by running appliances in the early morning or evening when it is cooler outside.
-Set your computer to go to sleep after 20 minutes of inactivity.
Customers can report service outages and check service restoration status at www.coned.com or by calling 1-800 75 - Coned or 1-800-752-6633. When reporting an outage, customers should have their Con Edison account number ready and report whether their neighbors also have lost power.
Photo by A. Warner
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