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Preventing Roof Collapses and Snow Loads

The snowfall that has occurred in Western New York over the past 72 hours has been unprecedented. Snowfall totals in excess of 8 feet have fallen in parts of Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee and Wyoming Counties taxing municipal resources. Roofs collapses have begun to be reported in all of these Counties. The following are proactive steps local governments can take in managing the current snow loads and preparing for the rain event and transitional temperatures coming this weekend.

Large accumulations of snow (snow loads) and water weight (from coming rain event and moderating temperatures) increase the likelihood of a roof collapse when the weight of snow and water build-up are too great for the roof to carry.  Most damage arising from this condition involves partial or total roof collapse; roof leaks; other structural damage and damage to contents. Bodily injury is possible if there are occupants in or around the building should it collapse.

Determining the Weight of Snow

The weight of snow can be determined by multiplying the snow depth in feet by 10-15 pounds per cubic foot, depending on relative wetness. Snow that has partially thawed and refrozen has the density of ice, which is 40-60 pounds per cubic foot.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension Service publishes this table to measure the weight of snow loads:

Snow Depth
on Roof (ft.)
"Dry Snow"
(lbs. /sq. ft.)
"In Between Snow"
(lbs. /sq. ft.)
“Wet Snow”
(lbs. /sq. ft.)

For depths exceeding 5 feet, add 62.4 pounds per foot for the weight of the snow load 1
1Curtis, Joel. Snow Loads. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved from

Warning Signs Associated with Potential Roof Collapse

Prior to a roof collapse, buildings generally exhibit signs the roof is in distress and action should
be taken. The following are some of the signs that have been reported prior to roof failure:

• Sagging roof steel - visually deformed
• Cracked or split wood members
• Leaks around skylights
• Doors that pop open
• Doors or windows that are difficult to open
• Bowed utility pipes or conduit attached at ceiling
• Creaking, cracking or popping sounds

Actions You Can Take To Prevent Roof Collapse or Snow Damage
The following are some steps to take to reduce the potential for a roof collapse due to snow accumulation:

• Try to ensure roof drains are not obstructed to allow snow melt to drain. Remove snow around roof drains to avoid ice buildup.
• Keep gutters and downspouts clear so they will flow freely.
• Keep the bottom of downspouts clear of snow and ice so the water has a place to drain.
• Ensure that snow is not plowed or shoveled against downspouts, prevents proper drainage.
• Carefully remove snow accumulations from the roof when approximately 50% of design strength is reached
Snow Removal

The removal of snow accumulations on roofs is the best way to prevent a loss. A plan should be developed based on your building's layout. hnproper snow removal can create uneven loading on a roof. The following items should be considered:

• Evaluate if snow removal can be performed safely. Safety is Priority # 1!
• Drifted snow should be removed first, which will generally be on lower roofs. Drifted snow can also occur around rooftop mechanical vents, skylights, parapet walls and around penthouse walls.
• It is important to remove snow evenly from both sides of the roof so that the live load on one side of the roof is not significantly greater than the other side. For peaked roofs, the snow should be removed from the center of a given bay on one side of the roof and then removed on the same bay on the other side of the ridge or peak.
• Do not pile snow from upper roofs onto lower roofs.
• Take care while removing snow and/or ice accumulation to prevent damage to the roof membrane. A void removal within 2 inches of the surface of the roof membrane. The use of plastic snow shovels is recommended.
• When removing snow from one section of a roof, avoid travelling over and compacting snow on adjacent roof sections.
• Try to avoid piling snow against buildings. Upon rapid melt, this could contribute to groundwater infiltration.
• If water infiltration occurs, remove and discard water damaged ceiling tiles; clean up water as soon as possible and utilize drying equipment (fans and dehumidifiers).
• In the event water gets on or underneath a wood floor, call a restoration company or flooring expert ASAP. It needs to be addressed rapidly in order to avoid significant loss.
• When necessary, contact a restoration company for emergency mitigation services.
• The use of salt on most roofs will void the manufacturer's warranty.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Sewer Rent

Q: What is a Sewer Rent?
A: Sewer Rent is a fee that more fairly pays for needed repairs and replacement of the Village’s sewer system than the traditional property tax system.

Q: Don’t I already pay a Port Chester Sewer Tax?
A: The Port Chester Sewer Tax is actually a Westchester County tax to pay for the County owned sewage treatment plant that serves our community. It does not cover the costs of maintenance and repair of village owned sewer lines.

Q: Why is Sewer Rent better than what we did before?
A: Rather than the flat rate that property owners now pay for sewer service, sewer Rent will scale the cost relative to the use of the sewer. Those who use the sewer more will now pay more for the service. Those who use it less will now pay less for the service. This reflects the best and fairest way to raise money for sewer repair.

Before: Under the current system, if your house is valued the same as a laundromat, you would pay about the same in property taxes. If you pay about the same in property taxes, you are paying about the same towards sewer maintenance. But a laundromat puts many times more gallons of waste into the sewer than a home, so this is unfair.
Now: Under Sewer Rent, the Laundromat will pay for each gallon of water they dump in the sewer, and that large volume will cost the laundromat more than the small amount of water that a home dumps in the sewer.

Q: What does this mean to Tax Exempt Properties?
A: This system will allow the village to obtain funds from tax exempt properties to maintain the sewers. Before, tax exempt properties paid nothing towards sewers. This will keep the burden of sewer expenses lower for Property Tax paying citizens.

Q: Did the Village reach out to the community before enacting this program?
A: The Program was enacted a year ago after multiple public meetings. The required state approvals and contracts to complete implementation of the project were made this year. Dozens of public, advertised meetings were held to discuss the program. Direct mailings went out to the public last March, this March, and this April. Local newspapers, community access TV, and the village website have also promoted the program.

Q: How much is this going to cost ME? (How can I calculate my costs?)
A: The average household cost for Sewer Rent this year should be approximately $156, based on the amount of water used.

You can calculate your approximate cost by looking at last year’s water consumption on your united water bills. For every 1 CCF (CCF is equal to 100 cubic feet of water) of water used, you will pay about $1.30.
Next year, the rate will be about $1.34 per CCF.
Remember, you can keep that cost down by conserving water whenever possible.

Q: Where will the money go?
A: The Village is legally bound to spend this revenue only on sewer improvements.

Q: I don’t agree with amount of my sewer rent fee, how can I challenge the sewer rent fee?
A: If you would like to contest the amount of water used, call United Water at 888-876-1672.  If you would like to contest the sewer rent rate, you may apply to the Board of Trustees for review of the fee by writing a letter to the board explaining your challenge and requesting a hearing.

Q: How long do I have to pay the sewer rent fee and what happens if I’m late?
A: All bills are due within 25 days of issuance. A 1% penalty will be charged for any bill that remains unpaid after 25 days, and will incur another 1% penalty for each succeeding month or any portion of a month in which sewer rent continues to remain unpaid. Unpaid sewer rents, penalties and interest shall be enforced by lien upon the property.

Preguntas más frecuentes acera de alquiler de alcantarillado

¿Cuál es el propósito del Programa de Renta de alcantarillado?
El Programa de Renta Alcantarillado ayuda el costo de las reparaciones de alcantarillado sanitario y el mantenimiento lejos de sus impuestos a la propiedad y en un manera más justa reparte los costos asociados de una cuota de usuario ; principalmente mediante la captura de fondos de todos los usuarios del sistema de alcantarillado sanitario . La tarifa se basa
en un tasa establecida , multiplicado por el consumo de agua anual. En breve recibirá una factura de Alcantarilla alquiler. Será similar en apariencia a la factura de muestra adjunta.

¿Cuál fue el proceso para establecer el programa?
Después de tres ( 3 ) años de desarrollo, negociaciones y aprobaciones de las agencias ; el pueblo de Port Chester promulgó el Programa de Renta Alcantarillado en 2013 para realinear la fuente de financiamiento para el mantenimiento de alcantarillado necesaria y otra reparaciones. El programa fue aprobado como parte del Presupuesto de 2013-2014
y de la aprobación del público y múltiples fases contractuales. Cada paso del proceso fue anunciado en los siguientes lugares:

Reuniones Públicas abierto para el publico.
Correo directo enviado el invierno pasado , este invierno , y tambien reciente como de este abril.
Periódicos locales.
Comunidad de TV por cable.
Sitio Web del Pueblo.

¿Cuándo debo esperar la primera factura?
Su primer factura de alcantarillado se debe recibir este mes dependiente de su ciclo
de facturación de agua. La cuenta de alcantarillado no se enviará por correo con su cuenta de agua, pero llegará en un horario similar.

¿Cuánto le debo?
Su Alcantarillado renta es igual a la tasa anual ( $1.30002 dólares de este año), multiplicado por el número de los CCF (cien pies cúbicos de agua) que utiliza. Su cuenta tendrá la información que necesita para hacer su cálculo. El promedio Propietarios unifamiliar utiliza 120 CCF al año, que equivale $160 cuenta de alcantarillado aproximada de este año. La tasa puede cambiar cada año a partir del 1 de junio.

Su primera cuenta reflejará esta tarifa dependiendo en el consumo de agua para el año fiscal que comienza el 1 de junio 2013 y finalizando la fecha indicada en la cuenta . Esto refleja
la cantidad adeudada desde la aprobacíon pública del programa . Cuentas posteriores reflejarán el monto adeudado de un ciclo de facturación estándar. El reverso della cuenta muestra adjunta incluye información importante acerca de cómo pagar tu cuenta de alcantarillado.

Nota * La tasa de alcantarillado comienza a partir 01 de junio 2014 es de $ 1.338999 aprobada en el Presupuesto final de FY2014 -15.


To view the proposed Starwood/United Hospital Site
Conceptual Presentation click on the links below.


To view the proposed
Port Chester Municipal Complex
animation video click on the links below.


The Village of Port Chester’s Beautification Commission is looking for new, energetic, and community-conscious members.

The mission of the Port Chester Beautification Commission is to work with the community to take a greater initiative towards improving the aesthetics and the perception of the village.~ The Beautification Commission, through public events, programs and services, will strive to make Port Chester a beautiful, healthy and safe place to live.

If this describes you and your hopes for Port Chester, and you are a resident, please submit a brief letter via mail or fax stating why you would like to join the PC Beautification Commission to:

Mayor Neil Pagano & Board of Trustees
c/o Village Clerk’s Office
222 Grace Church Street
Port Chester, NY 10573
Fax:  (914) 305-2560

Many thanks and have a great day.
The Port Chester Beautification Commission

A campaign was started by Richard Cuddy in 2012 to replace the missing memorial plaques and to refurbish the remaining ones in Lyon Park with an acrylic finish.  These plaques honor the Port Chester residents who gave their lives for our Country.

Mr. Cuddy, with the support of the Park Commission, the Mayor and the Board of Trustees of the Village of Port Chester would like to place the plaques together in a location between the Bush-Lyon Homestead and the Vietnam Memorial in Lyon Park.  The plaques will be imbedded in blocks of concrete and bolted in place.

A fundraiser has already begun which includes selling Memorial Bricks (pavers) at a cost of $100.00 each.

These bricks will be place around the plaques and may be personalized.

Thank you for your support.

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Village of Port Chester, 222 Grace Church Street, Port Chester, New York 10573
914-939-5200 Fax: (914) 937-3169 | Contact Us | Disclaimer