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December 10, 2018
Supervisor's column December 10, 2018

Steady progress continues on the solar array located adjacent to the DPW facility on Jackson Road. As I last reported, all of the I-beams had been driven for the foundation and work had begun on the rack bracing that will support the solar panels. This bracing will be completed in the next few days. The conduit containing the wiring is being buried, and the last four utility poles that will connect us to the electrical grid were set last week. We are projecting this system will generate enough electricity to cover approximately 70 to 75 percent of our total electrical usage for the town hall, community center, and DPW facility. 

We took delivery of 3,648 solar panels last week and the contractor (Tesla) will begin installation of those panels this week. At this point we are running ahead of the projected February 22 “permission to operate” from RG&E. We hope to begin testing in January and delivering electricity to the grid by early February.

This week, DPW crews will begin clearing dead, dying, and diseased trees on the former back nine of Shadow Pines—roughly 113 acres on the south side of Clark and Whalen Roads. The very wet weather this fall delayed work on many DPW projects such as installation of snow fencing, preparation of vehicles for salting/plowing, mowing of major drainage ditches, and other seasonal tasks. Our plan is to work on tree removal between snow and ice events with the goal of opening that portion of the property for hiking, sledding, cross-country skiing, and other passive activities in early 2019. I will keep everyone posted via this column and our website.

Please join Councilwoman Paula Metzler, her family, and boy scouts from Troop 312 for a tree decorating and lighting ceremony in Schaufelberger Park in the Four Corners this Thursday, December 13. Tree decorating begins at 5:30 PM and the lighting ceremony is at 6:00 PM. Paula and her family are sponsoring this patriotic tree in honor of the brave men and women serving our country who will not be home for the holidays. All are welcome to participate.

Reminder…the next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Penfield (FBP) will be held on Saturday, December 15 from 8:00 to 10:00 AM at 1862 Penfield Road. FBP invites you for delicious pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage, and more…all for just $5.00 per person. There will also be a special guest for this Flapjack Saturday…Santa will be joining you for breakfast! Fellowship Hall is handicap accessible and the breakfast is outstanding! For more information and details, please go to www.fbpenfield.org.

The AARP Driver Safety Program is designed for the mature licensed driver to tune-up driving skills. This program will run each month from January to May. The class runs six hours over two mornings; upon completion, participants may receive up to a 10 percent multi-year discount on auto insurance and DMV may assess up to a four-point reduction. The first program will be held January 15 and 17 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. The cost is $20.00 for AARP members and $25.00 for non-members, payment may only be made by check payable to AARP. For more information and details on remaining programs please refer to page 28 of the Winter/Spring 2019 Pen-Rec brochure or go to www.penfieldrec.org

Do the winter months limit your activity? Are you looking to try something new or different? Why not join in on the hottest new sport in the country for all ages including adults 60-plus? Consider signing up for Beginning Pickleball. A cross between tennis and ping-pong, this sport is a great way for mature athletes to stay fit. This program begins on January 14 and will introduce participants to the basic rules of play and allow novice players to get familiar with serving, scoring, rules, and equipment. Find more details at www.penfieldrec.org

HERO drivers are needed for the Bri-Pen Senior Rides. Bri-Pen rides is a community volunteer transportation service for seniors age 65 and older who require transportation to medical appointments, religious services and town community centers. This service is available to seniors who live or pay taxes within Brighton or Penfield. Training and insurance coverage are provided. If you are interested in learning more about this program and how to get involved, please call 340-8674.

The American Red Cross will be holding a Holiday Blood Drive on Friday, December 21 at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road from 1:00 to 6:00 PM. Each presenting donor will receive a FREE long-sleeve Red Cross T-shirt while supplies last. To schedule a donation appointment to help save a life during the holiday season, please call 1-800-Red Cross or go to www.redcrossblood.org. Walk-ins are also welcome.

Important dates and events in history: December 11, 1941 – Germany and Italy declare war on the United States; December 12, 1800 – Washington, D.C. becomes the official capital of the United States; and December 15, 1791 – The First Ten Amendments to the Constitution known as the “Bill of Rights” are ratified. 

Until next week, enjoy the stretch of mild in the coming days.

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 


December 5, 2018
A Message from Supervisor LaFountain: National Day of Mourning for President George H.W. Bush

Today is a National Day of Mourning for our 41st president, George H.W. Bush. As our former president is laid to rest today, citizens throughout the United States honor his service and memory. In our town of Penfield, we also remember and honor the Bush family’s humble Penfield roots. President Bush’s third great-grandparents, Timothy and Lydia Bush, were early Penfield residents. Timothy (1766-1850) worked as a blacksmith in Penfield; he is buried in Oakwood Cemetery alongside Lydia and daughter Lovina. President Bush acknowledged his Penfield lineage in a 1988 letter to former Rep. Frank Horton: “Now I can claim Monroe County as yet another home base.” We are indeed honored to count the Bush family among Penfield’s first families. The Town of Penfield thanks President George H. W. Bush for his lifetime of service to our nation, and we offer our condolences to the entire Bush family.


December 3, 2018
Supervisor's column December 3, 2018

The Winter/Spring 2019 Pen-Rec Brochure should have hit mailboxes over the weekend or will early this week, and the online version is now available at www.penfieldrec.org. Program registration begins January 2, so don’t miss out on signing up for your favorite programs!

Wisdom at its finest hour…the new lineup of Daytime Education at Recreation (DEAR) programs presents an exciting offering of classes and lectures for lifetime learners. Engaging in intellectual, socially viable cognitive activities to helps keep minds sharp and alert while reducing the risk or delaying the onset of age-related concerns. DEAR at the Penfield Community Center has become an important staple for adults who understand the significance of this concept and would like to reshape the way they spend their leisure time while meeting new and interesting people. Come join the national movement to learn and share life experience with others, exploring the multitude of FREE programs available. PLEASE NOTE MOST CLASSES ARE FREE BUT REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED! For a complete listing of programs please review pages 36-42 in the Winter/Spring 2019 Pen-Rec brochure or go to www.penfieldrec.org and click on the PDF.

Did you know that the Penfield Public Library, located at 1985 Baird Road, is a “Safe Place” community partner? Young people seeking assistance with housing, safety, or other crisis situations will be connected at the library with outreach workers from the Center for Youth who will assess the needs of the young person in question and access necessary services.

Adults 55+…come join Pen-Rec for lunch every Tuesday at the Community Center for only $4.00—this is no ordinary lunch! Menus are carefully selected and cooked on the premises that day using the freshest ingredients. We also partner with wonderful organizations like Legacy at Willow Pond to provide lunches. Lunch tickets must be purchased 24 hours in advance as we shop the morning of the lunch. Menus for “Tuesday Lunch” are available at the community center and online at www.penfieldrec.org. Here’s are samples from the lunch menu: Grilled Chicken Provolone with pesto and sundried tomato spread topped with baby spinach, blueberry cucumber salad; individual pizzas topped with smoked mozzarella and roasted vegetables; warm pasta bruschetta salad with balsamic glaze and fresh basil; marinated pork tenderloin sandwich on French bread topped with a crunchy Asian coleslaw and mustard chive sauce. Where else can you go for an amazing $4.00 lunch?

SportsNet is a service for residents with disabilities in partnership with CP Rochester, Rochester Rehabilitation, and the Al Sigl Community of Agencies. This partnership enhances SportsNet's offerings and provides a greater selection of fitness, adaptive sports, and inclusive recreation opportunities to individuals with disabilities. For more info, call the SportsNet office at 334-6000 ext.1120.

Penfield Television has been an integral part of the Public, Education, and Government Access network for more than 33 years. It serves the Penfield Community with a broadcast signal through Spectrum Cable, channels 1301 and 1303, high definition web stream at penfieldTV.org, and through ROKU. Penfield TV broadcasts LIVE proceedings of Town, Planning, and Zoning Board of Appeals meetings, along with informational meetings and public hearings. Additionally, school district, county, state, and national programs are also submitted for broadcast. Board meetings and other local programs are made available on-demand through YouTube, Vimeo, and ROKU under channel “Penfield Television.” Please tune in to see what is going on in your community!

I was recently reminded of the upcoming annual ”Wings of Light Luminaria” and open house at the Shepherd Home, 1959 Five Mile Line Road. The Shepherd Home is a two-bedroom home that operates under the hospice philosophy, providing 24-hour care for the terminally ill in a residential setting. Please join Shepherd Home Executive Director Ashley Tack, the Board of Directors, and many of the amazing volunteers for an evening of remembrance on Monday, December 10, 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Remember your loved ones or honor other angels by ordering your luminaria online at www.shepherdhome.org. They will be lighting and displaying luminaries on the grounds of the Shepherd Home; refreshments will be served and everyone is welcome.

As we head into the first full week of December, let us not forget National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day this Friday. Each year on December 7, Pearl Harbor survivors, veterans, and visitors from all over the world come together to honor and remember the 2,403 service members and civilians who were killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Also, 1,178 people were injured in the attack that permanently sank two U.S. Navy battleships (the USS Arizona and the USS Utah) and destroyed 188 aircraft. The flag should be flown at half-mast to honor those who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Until next week…be well and be safe!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 


November 26, 2018
Supervisor's column November 26, 2018

The next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Penfield (FBP) will be held on Saturday, December 15 from 8:00 to 10:00 AM at 1862 Penfield Road. FBP invites you for delicious pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage and more…all for just $5.00 per person. All December proceeds will go directly to benefit the new Open Door Mission’s Women & Children’s Residential Recovery Program. This initiative will provide a supportive transitional housing program for women and children in an environment that strengthens families through education, faith, responsibility, and independence. So bring the whole family, meet up with friends, or make new ones. Also there will be a special guest for this Flapjack Saturday…Santa will be joining you for breakfast! Fellowship Hall is handicap accessible and the breakfast is outstanding! For more information and details, please go to www.fbpenfield.org.

The next guided hike by the Penfield Trails Committee will be held on Saturday, December 8 from 10:00 AM to noon at the Thousand Acre Swamp. This hike will tour the paths and boardwalks of the Nature Conservancy’s Thousand Acre Swamp. A variety of habitats including woods, meadows, and a pond will be covered. The guide will emphasize winter nature lore such as identifying trees in their winter dress, looking for tracks (if there is snow) and other signs of animals. Meet at the rear of Penfield Volunteer Ambulance, 1585 Jackson Road and look for the “hike signs.”

The 2019 Town of Penfield calendar is now available. This calendar lists all of the board and committee meetings, community activities, hikes, important phone numbers, recipes, and much more. This calendar is sponsored by the Penfield Recreation Department in conjunction with Wegmans, Hong Wah restaurant, and Woody Acres Farm. Pick up your copy at the community center, town hall or one of our sponsor’s locations.

Be on the lookout for the Winter/Spring 2019 Pen-Rec Brochure that will be hitting mailboxes over the next week. The online version will be available later this week. Program registration begins January 2, so do not delay in signing up as our programs are very popular and fill up quickly!

Solar array project update…as I mentioned last week, the solar array project is back on track. Over the next few months I will provide a regular update on the progress of this project located adjacent to the DPW facility on Jackson Road. Last week, the contractor completed the installation of approximately 350 I-beams that were driven into the ground to support racking and panels. Additionally, the trenching for all wire conduits began and is scheduled to be completed over the next several weeks. The racking frames were delivered last week and installation will begin over the next week or so, and the solar panels are due to arrive in mid-December. The current schedule shows a “permission to operate” (PTO) from RG&E towards the end of February.

Town employees sponsor a food drop container for the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf (PEFS) in the rotunda of the town hall and deliver the non-perishable food goods at the end of each month. If you are in the town hall please feel free to drop off can goods and other items for PEFS—the difference your generosity can make in the lives of many Penfield families is amazing. I would like to recognize Heidi Boehl and her team in Building/Zoning/Fire Marshal for coordinating this effort. 

The next Pen-Rec “out-to-lunch” is scheduled for Friday, December 14 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the newly restored Lamberton Conservatory. You will depart from and return to the Community Center. The Lamberton Conservatory was originally constructed in 1911 and named in honor of Alexander B. Lamberton who was the president of the parks board from 1902 to 1915. Come and enjoy the beautiful scenery and wonderful flora. The registration number for this program is 449450-07 and the fee is $12.00. 

The Hanukkah holiday begins at sundown on Sunday December 2 and runs through Monday, December 10. In celebration of Hanukkah, the Town of Penfield’s 5th annual menorah lighting will take place Tuesday, December 4 at 5:30 PM in Schaufelberger Park in the Four Corners. For more information, please contact Amy Steklof in the Town Clerk’s office at 340-8629 or steklof@penfield.org

Important dates and events in history: November 28, 1775 – The Continental Navy is established by the Continental Congress; December 2, 1823 – The Monroe Doctrine is affirmed by President James Monroe in an address to Congress; December 3, 1818 – Illinois is the 21st state admitted to the Union.

Until next week, please consider visiting one of our many tree farms and farm markets to pick out a tree, wreath and other local products for this holiday season. Supporting local businesses makes a difference to our community in so many ways…thank you in advance!  

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 


November 19, 2018
Supervisor's column November 19, 2018

The 2018 Penfield Recreation Master Plan Committee recently completed a Recreation Input Survey to gather feedback from residents on the town’s recreation resources and offerings. They would now like to invite Penfield residents to participate in the next step of the Master Plan Update process, which is a Public Input Forum to be held on Thursday, November 29, 7:15 to 8:30 PM at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. This is an opportunity to speak directly to staff and the committee regarding Penfield's current and future indoor and outdoor recreation opportunities and needs.

The more input received from the community, the more effective the plan will be for the next five years. If you are interested in this topic please attend and participate in person. If you have ideas to share but cannot attend there is also an opportunity to give input online at www.penfieldrec.org (click on the quick links on the right side and choose 2018 Master Plan Update). Thank you in advance for your support on this very important project! 

Does your family have what it takes to be elves? Why not find out at Santa's Little Elf Training Workshop on Saturday, December 8 at Dolomite Lodge to learn the basic skills needed to be Santa's helper! Meet Santa himself and take part in his ultimate training program. Register as a family for $10.00 and choose your time: 11:00 AM (#412660-A) or 12:30 PM (#412660-B) There is limited enrollment, please register early!  

Holiday gift wrapping help needed: The Monroe County Sheriff's Office needs help wrapping gifts for their 2018 toy drive on Tuesday, December 18, 8:30 to 11:30 AM. Bus transportation to the Monroe County Sheriff's headquarters downtown will be provided and will depart the Penfield Community Center at 8:30 AM. Participants should meet at the community center no later than 8:15 AM. Dozens of gifts will be waiting to be wrapped, refreshments will be provided, and there will be a tour of the facility and a meet-and-greet with some of the officers of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. If you would like to be a part of the team, please call 340-8655, option 0 to reserve a spot.

One last reminder… residents may begin reserving Penfield lodges and shelters for 2019 on Wednesday, December 5 at 10:00 AM. Lodges and shelters may be reserved online or in-person; however, we highly recommend reserving online. You will need a Penfield Recreation household account in order to reserve, so please make sure you do this BEFORE December 5 to avoid reservation delays. For more information and to obtain a household account, please log-on at www.penfieldrec.org. Our lodges are very popular and demand is high, sign-in early to get your preferred date(s) for rental.

Mark your calendars for the Penfield Symphony Orchestra concert to be held on Monday, December 3 at 7:30 PM in the Penfield High School Auditorium. This concert is entitled Favorites for the Holidays and is sponsored by Canandaigua National Bank & Trust. Music Director and Conductor Dr. David Harman has lead the PSO for nineteen years and promises another wonderful performance to help everyone get into the holiday spirit. Free rides to the concerts are available through Lifespan by calling 872-0774. Please call two weeks before the concert, rides are subject to driver availability. For more information on this concert and others during the 2018-2019 season, please go to www.penfieldsymphony.org.

After a long delay by the contractor, work has actively started back up on the town’s 1.2-plus kilowatt solar project located at the DPW facility on Jackson Road. This project we are undertaking with Tesla is now due to be completed in the first quarter of 2019. Power generated from this system will go towards off-setting the cost of electricity for our three major facilities: the town hall, community center, and DPW. To give you a sense of the electrical power projected to be generated annually from this system, it would power the equivalent of 300 homes per year for the life of the panels which is project to be 25-plus years. The installation costs and materials are being paid for by Tesla with no Penfield taxpayer funding. Tesla and the Town of Penfield will share in the profits generated from the project. 

Until next week, please enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends and remember why the day was established. In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November. Sadly, what Thanksgiving has become to many is a cloud of media hype, sales pitches, marketing tactics, and blitz commercialism. Please take a moment during the day to give thanks!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 


November 13, 2018
Supervisor's column November 13, 2018

As we prepare for the 2018-19 snow season, the Department of Public Works and Monroe County Sheriff’s Department would like to remind homeowners that Section 1219 of the Vehicle and Traffic law and section 214 of the Highway Law of New York State specifically prohibit placing snow, ice or other substances upon the highway, including pavement, shoulders, and ditches. These restrictions include pushing snow across a highway or into a cul-de-sac. 

Many neighbors complain about violations of these laws during the winter months. Failure to comply with these laws may result in response, tickets, and fines from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Please help keep our roadways safe for all residents in our community by plowing, blowing or shoveling snow only onto your own property. If you contract with a snow plowing service please share this communication and ask them to ensure you are in compliance with the law. Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

Bri-Pen rides is a community volunteer transportation service for seniors age 65 and older who require transportation to medical appointments, religious services and town community centers. Clients must be ambulatory and not on oxygen (canes and walkers are acceptable; however, this service cannot accommodate wheelchairs). This service is available to seniors who live or pay taxes within Brighton or Penfield. Rides are available from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (except holidays) weekdays for medical appointments, weekends for religious services and any day for community centers. For planning purposes, ride requests must be made one to three weeks in advance. Rides are dependent on driver availability, and the service may not be used for medical appointments that require any type of sedation.

Please note that VOLUNTEER DRIVERS AND DISPATCHERS ARE NEEDED! Volunteer drivers are screened and trained by Lifespan’s Give a Lift program and they receive supplemental insurance for their services. Dispatchers work out of their home one day a week three hours or less. If you are interested, please call 585-340-8674 to request enrollment in the program, to schedule a ride, volunteer, or make a donation.

Tonight (November 13) at 7:00 PM the Shadow Pines Land Use Advisory Committee will be holding a public information meeting to give residents an opportunity to offer up their ideas on how the property should be used in the future. If you are unable to attend this meeting, you may go online and fill out an electronic form to submit your ideas to the committee. This form will be available until December 4.

As you can imagine, there are a number of rumors and false statements on social media about what will or will not happen to the property and buildings. As I have stated before, please refer to the town’s website for the most accurate information about this project and other projects in our community. Some misinformed individuals are intentionally or unintentionally sharing inaccurate details about the Clark House, overall use of the property, and are making other generally false statements. Complete details on the current status of the property can be found by logging on to www.penfield.org, and clicking on Shadow Pines. 

The holidays are fast approaching—are you looking for a unique and always appreciated gift for someone? Give your friend or loved one a gift certificate for Penfield Recreation! Certificates are available in any denomination and may be purchased at the Recreation office, 1985 Baird Road, or over the phone with a credit card at (585) 340-8655, option 0. Gift certificates are good for any of Penfield Recreation’s programs or services. Give them a gift they can use, the gift of wellness!

Important dates and events in history: November 11, 1918 – the Allied and Central Powers sign an Armistice, ending World War I, now celebrated as Veterans Day. I hope everyone took a moment to reflect on this 100 year anniversary. November 17, 1869 – the Suez Canal opens for business, in Egypt, linking the Mediterranean and Red seas; November 18, 1805 – Lewis and Clark reach the Pacific Ocean.

Until next week be well and be safe!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 


November 13, 2018
Recreation Master Plan Community Input Forum

Penfield residents and organizations recently completed a Recreation Input Survey as part of the public input on the 2018 Penfield Recreation Master Plan Update. The Master Plan Update Committee invites residents and organizations to participate in the next step in the process—a Community Input Forum—on Thursday, November 29, 7:15 to 8:30 PM at Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road, Penfield.

“The more input we receive from the community, the more efficient the plan we can put in place for the next five years,” said Penfield Recreation Director Chris Bilow. “I encourage folks to come and participate in person, however, we realize not everyone will be able to attend, so there is also an opportunity to give input through our website.” 

This event will allow an informal opportunity to interact with town staff, as well as the Master Plan Committee members, and share their vision for the future of recreation in Penfield. The focus of this session will be to gather input on the four core areas of the Master Plan: Facilities, Programs, Parks and People.


November 6, 2018
Supervisor's column November 6, 2018

With the heating season upon us, RG&E has asked me to remind residents to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas that can quickly harm you and your family. Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms including headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, and loss of muscle control. Prolonged exposure to CO can lead to serious illness and even death. CO is produced by incomplete combustion from boilers, furnaces, water heaters, gasoline engines, stoves, generators, lanterns and natural gas ranges. The incomplete combustion of charcoal, oil, wood or propane also can produce CO, which may reach dangerous levels in enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces and poorly ventilated areas. To help keep you safe, RG&E recommends that you:

Use CO detectors. (New York state law now requires CO detectors in most residences.)

Have a professional check heating systems, chimneys, flues and vents once a year.

Always read, understand, and follow manufacturer’s instructions when using supplemental heat sources such as space heaters or fireplaces.

Never use an emergency generator indoors, including the garage.

Never use a natural gas stove, oven or charcoal grill as an indoor heat source.

It is hard to believe we are starting to discuss the 2018-2019 snow season! Please note that snow plow rules are in effect in the town of Penfield from November 15 through April 1. This means no parking is allowed on all roads and highways between 2:00 AM and 7:00 AM to allow highway crews to safely and effectively maintain roads. Thank you in advance for your understanding and support!

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and school officials are concerned about the growing dangerous behavior of drivers not stopping for school buses that are picking up or dropping off our children and grandchildren. Please save yourself the price of a ticket and points on your license and stop for stopped school buses. Most importantly, protect the safety of our children! 

Residents may begin reserving the Penfield lodges and shelters for 2019 on Wednesday, December 5 at 10:00 AM. Lodges and shelters may be reserved online or in person; however, we highly recommend reserving online. You will need a Penfield Recreation household account in order to reserve, so please make sure you do this BEFORE December 5 to avoid reservation delays. For more information and to obtain a household account, please go to www.penfieldrec.org.

The Penfield Public Library offers many wonderful children’s programs throughout the year. The one that recently caught my eye that I would like to share with you is the Gingerbread House Workshop on Saturday, December 8 from 10:30 AM to 12:15 PM and 2:00 to 3:45 PM. This program is for children in first through fifth grades accompanied by an adult. For more information on this and other programs please visit www.penfieldlibrary.org. These programs are sponsored by the Friends of Penfield Public Library.

Keep an eye out for the Pen-Rec “Winter/Spring 2019” brochure due out in the next week to 10 days. This edition will feature many seasonal favorites along with a number of new programs. Remember to register early as our programs are very popular and tend to fill up quickly. 

Another reminder…with the heavy rains this past week and with more rain in the forecast, please remember to clean the leaves from catch basins and yard inlets in front of your home. Do not pile leaves in swales or drainage ways and never pile leaves in roadways. Thank you in advance for helping to minimize flooding in your neighborhood.

Until next week, be well and be safe. Please remember to watch out for stopped school buses with their warning lights on. It is against the law to pass a stopped bus with the lights on; violations result in a significant fine and points on your license.

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org


October 31, 2018
A message from the Department of Public Works re winter safety and rules

Winter, snow, and ice will soon be upon us. Our Department of Public Works is prepared for the season and ready to keep Penfield roads safe for all who travel in our town. DPW crews manage 18 plow routes covering 445 miles of roads with 21 plow/salt trucks. We also plow 45 sidewalk miles with 3 plows.

Even with all our resources, we depend on residents to do their part to keep roads clear and safe for all. 

With that in mind, please note the following winter rules and safety reminders:

Never race or pass a snowplow.

For your own safety, never pass a plow on the right, stay back 100 feet, be aware of your surroundings, and remember that many of our trucks weigh in excess of 30,000 lbs. with plow, wing and a load of salt. When in an accident, plows tend to suffer minor damage but cars can be totaled and injuries can be serious. Please give yourself time to travel to your destination and give our crews the space they need to perform their duties to clear roadways.

Do not move snow from your property onto the roadway or a neighbor’s property. 

Section 1219 of the Vehicle and Traffic law and section 214 of the Highway Law of New York State specifically prohibit placing snow, ice or other substances upon the highway, including pavement, shoulders, and ditches. These restrictions include pushing snow across a highway or into a cul-de-sac. 

Your snow is your snow—you may only plow, blow or shovel snow onto your own property. Many neighbors complain about violations of this law during the winter months. Failure to comply with these laws may result in a visit, tickets, and fines from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. If you contract with a snow plowing service please share this communication and ask them to ensure you are in compliance with the law. 

Winter parking rules are in effect November 15 to April 1.

This means no parking is allowed on all roads and highways between 2:00 AM and 7:00 AM to allow DPW crews to safely and effectively maintain roads. Vehicles in violation of this rule will be towed at the owner’s expense.

The town will replace mailboxes only when damaged by a direct strike from a town-operated plow blade.

Regrettably, mailboxes are damaged by plows in extreme winter conditions and during storm events. (Roadside mailboxes are placed in the highway right-of-way as a courtesy to the US Postal Service, making them vulnerable to damage by town and private plows or passing cars in winter months.)

Mailbox damage from plows occurs either from the extreme force of snow coming off a blade or from a direct hit from a blade. In most cases, snow force it the cause of damage, especially when there is rapid snowfall and low visibility. 

When a damaged mailbox or post shows evidence of an impact, it was probably struck directly by a town or private contractor’s plow blade or a passing vehicle. The angle at which the mailbox has fallen can help determine the source of damage. Before moving a damaged mailbox try to determine if the angle is consistent with traffic flow or a nearby driveway. Take a photo if you can.

If you believe your mailbox was damaged by a town plow blade strike please call the DPW at 585.340.8710. If you have a photo of the damaged mailbox please email it to highway@penfield.org along with your address and contact information. If the damage is determined to have been caused by a blade strike from a town-operated plow the Town of Penfield will replace the mailbox with a standard-issue silver metal box and a single 4x4 post. However, if damage was caused by snow force alone, the town will not replace the mailbox. 

If you hire a private contractor to plow your driveway please be sure to learn the company’s policy regarding damage to your (or your neighbor’s) property caused by their operators or equipment. 

Thank you for your cooperation on these public safety matters. Together, we will do our best to keep Penfield roadways safe for all this winter season. If you have questions or concerns about any of this information please contact us at 585.340.8710.

Sincerely,

Town of Penfield Department of Public Works


October 29, 2018
Public Info meeting Nov 13 to gather Shadow Pines land use ideas

The Town of Penfield’s Shadow Pines Land Use Advisory Committee will host a Public Information Meeting on Tuesday, November 13 at 7:00 PM in the town hall auditorium to solicit resident ideas for future land uses for the former Shadow Pines Golf Club property now owned by the Town of Penfield. 

The purpose of the meeting is to give Penfield residents an opportunity to speak before the committee to present ideas and suggestions for land uses of the 212-acre property. The committee will collect and consider all suggestions as it prepares its land use recommendations in a final report to the Penfield Town Board by the end of the first quarter of 2019. No decisions will be made at this meeting.

Town staff will provide a brief overview of terms of the purchase, land characteristics, and permitted uses. Maps of the property and other resources will be available for review before and during the meeting. The public will be invited to speak following this presentation.

Residents who wish to submit ideas but cannot attend the meeting may submit written comments online at any time at www.penfield.org or by mail to Town of Penfield, Planning Department, 3100 Atlantic Avenue, 14526.

“It is important to get all potential thoughts and ideas for the use of this property on the table to best serve all Penfield residents, not just small groups with a single focus,” said Supervisor Tony LaFountain. “Planning multiple uses throughout the property will provide individuals and families with the broadest use of this land for generations to come.” 

Future uses of the six-acre parcel that includes the Clark House and grounds are being reviewed separately by the town board and are not included in the scope of the Shadow Pines Land Use Advisory Committee.

The Town of Penfield purchased the former Shadow Pines Golf Course, Clark House, and other site structures on April 27, 2018 following a February 27, 2018 public referendum in which residents voted four to one in favor of the town’s acquisition of the 212-acre property. On July 18, 2018, the town board passed a resolution forming the Shadow Pines Land Use Advisory Committee. The committee is charged with presenting a written report to the town board with recommendations for future land uses that best serve the greater Penfield community.

Residents are encouraged to review background information and details in advance of the meeting at The Shadows project page at http://www.penfield.org/SPCHP.php. For more information please call the Planning Department at 340-8640.


October 29, 2018
Supervisor's column October 29, 2018

Harris Hill principal Marc Nelson and his team recently invited a group of community leaders to visit and observe the school’s Kinesthetic Movement Lab. Kinesthetic is a multi-sensory approach to teaching math and literacy that incorporates physical exercise (hop, walk, crawl, dance, and stretch) to encourage students to practice concepts such as addition and subtraction, telling time, mapping, managing money, and other skills. 

The Kinesthetic program helps students master concepts while simultaneously offering teachers and students an overall sense of well-being. Incorporating these exercises during the day, before testing, or during transitions allows teachers and students to feel energized, focused, and prepared to learn. Here are a few comments we heard from students about the program: “It makes learning fun,” “It is good to move around and learn (rather) than just sitting in class all day,” and “I can better focus.”

I would like to recognize and thank Principal Nelson, Physical Education Teacher Pam Stark, and fourth grade teacher Janine Roode and her class, for allowing us to join in for part of their school day—it was a wonderful experience! Programs like this help to make the Penfield School District one of the leaders in Monroe County and New York State.

Over the weekend, I attended the 13th annual closing reception and awards ceremony for Penfield Art Association’s Autumn Show and Sale at Legacy Willow Pond. This was the ninth year I had the honor of selecting and presenting the award for the “Best Penfield Scene.” All of the artists do a wonderful job of capturing a part of Penfield that they enjoy from the past or present. This year the award went to Kathy Lindsley for her watercolor work entitled “The Clark House.”

The Penfield Art Association (PAA) presents three annual shows: one in October at the Legacy at Willow Pond Way of Penfield, one juried show in February at Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Pittsford, and the Spring Show and Sale at the Penfield Community Center in June. Additionally, the group has rotating exhibits of members' artwork in various public and business establishments. To learn more about this organization that has been part of the Penfield Community for more than 55 years, please visit www.penfieldartassociation.com

The next guided scenic trek hosted by the Penfield Trails Committee will be held on Saturday, November 10 from 10:00 AM to noon at the Webster Four Mile Creek Preserve. Join the committee and meander through deep woods pockets along the twisting water course glens winding toward Lake Ontario. Meet in the parking lot at the southeast corner of Phillips and Lake Roads and look for the hike signs. While the hike is free you are asked to register by contacting the Penfield Recreation department at 340-8655, option 0.

As we are knocking on November’s door and the Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching, please consider donating to the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf (PEFS). The food shelf is a wonderful resource to help support individuals and families in Penfield with fresh and non-perishable food. Each week the PEFS supports more than 95 families; during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays they will provide more than 470 dinners. Thank you in advance for supporting this wonderful organization. Your donations do make a difference in many lives. For more information on PEFS or to see their current list of needed items, please go to www.penfieldecumenicalfoodshelf.org.

Join the Penfield Recreation Department for a trip to Geva Theater on Wednesday, November 7 from 12:45 to 5:00 PM for the performance of Thurgood, by George Stevens, Jr. and directed by Lou Bellamy. This is the inspiring story of the first African-American to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States. Thurgood spans the impressive 58-year career of Justice Thurgood Marshall from his early days as the civil rights lawyer arguing the landmark case of Brown vs. Board of Education to the end of institutionalized segregation in 1954, and his appointment to the highest court in the land. The bus leaves the community center at 12:45 PM and returns at 5:00 PM. For more information, please contact Pen-Rec at 340-8655. 

Important dates and events in history: October 29, 1929 – The New York Stock Market crashes to an all-time low (referred to as “Black Tuesday”), signaling the start of the Great Depression; November 1, 1952 – the United States detonates the 1st thermonuclear device; and on November 2, 1783 – the Continental Army is disbanded. 

Reminder: Please check catch basins near or in front of your home for leaves that may be blocking the flow of storm water. We do not want to see anyone’s property flooded by the recent heavy rains we have experienced and will be seeing again later this week…thank you in advance for your attention.

Until next week, keep a watchful eye out for the safety of our youngest residents as they are out trick-or-treating this Wednesday in the dark and dreary weather. We want everyone to have a good time and get home safely!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org


October 24, 2018
2018 Community Recreation Input Survey

Penfield Recreation Department, with assistance from the Recreation Master Plan Committee, is seeking feedback to help us better serve the public and update the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Please take a moment to take a brief survey regarding the Town of Penfield's recreation programs. All responses will be included in a full report which will include results of the needs assessment, general public input, and focus group sessions. We greatly appreciate your time and support.

TAKE SURVEY

 

 


October 22, 2018
Supervisor's column October 22, 2018

Attention fans of the Penfield Public Library…there is an opening on the library’s nine-member Board of Trustees due to the retirement of a longtime board member. Board of Trustee members are responsible for crafting a strategic plan and vision in conjunction with library personnel, developing and reviewing policies, reviewing and approving the budget and financial matters, and communicating with the community and local legislators.

The Board of Trustees meets regularly at 7:00 PM on the third Tuesday of each month in the Ruth Braman Room of the Penfield Public Library. Meetings are open to the public and they usually end by 9:00 PM. Residents of the town of Penfield interested in applying for the Penfield Public Library Board of Trustees must submit a letter of interest and a resume to Chris Fluit, Personnel Committee Chairman, Penfield Public Library, 1985 Baird Road. Applications must be received by November 10, 2018. Interviews will be scheduled for late November and the new trustee will begin their term in January 2019.

The Town Board adopted the Final 2019 Budget at the October 17 legislative meeting. The final budget, including special districts, is $20,259,606, an increase of $1,120,212 from 2018. The Town Operating Budget, without special districts, is $17,300,547. With this budget, the 2019 town tax rate is $2.78 per $1,000 of assessed property value, an increase of approximately 9 cents from 2018. (At this tax rate, a property in Penfield with a valuation of $190,000 will pay $528.20 for general governmental services, which is an increase of $17.10 over last year.) Once again, the town tax levy increase is below the increase allowed by the New York State tax cap. As of October 19, print copies of the Final 2019 Budget are available at the Penfield Public Library, 1985 Baird Road or by contacting the Office of the Comptroller in the Penfield Town Hall, 3100 Atlantic Avenue. The Final Budget is also available online at www.penfield.org  (go to ‘Quick Links,’ ‘Town Budget’). 

Say NO to bullying! Over the weekend I had the honor of joining more than 50 principals, teachers and other educators at Master Kim’s Taekwondo Institute (located in Panorama Plaza) to break a board in support of their annual “bully busting” program. More than 175 students were in attendance to learn about this very important topic. They watched a bully prevention movie, participated in active role playing, and listened to a detailed lecture about how to deal with bullies. 

I was so impressed with all the teachers who took time out of their weekend to participate. They have made a commitment to “bully busting” in our community—and they are all great role models. I also want to recognize and thank Master Kim and his staff for all they do in the Penfield community. His commitment to our youth is a benchmark in Penfield and across this county with the many classes, after school programs, fun camps, and more that he offers. As a grandfather, I have had first-hand experience with Master Kim’s Taekwondo Institute by watching both our granddaughters gain confidence and grow their character, which will help them and all the students of the institute become our future leaders. To learn more about the wonderful programs and to see the teachers break their boards, log on to www.masterkims.com.

As the Shadow Pines Land Use Committee prepares for a November 13 public information meeting to listen to residents’ thoughts and ideas for future use and development of the property, we have developed a “public input page” on the town website for those unable to attend the meeting to offer up their input and feedback. The link is now available in the quick links at www.penfield.org. All resident input will be valuable to the committee as it looks to make recommendations to the town board by the end of the first quarter of 2019. Thank you in advance for participating in this very important process.

The Town’s employee wellness team would like to remind everyone of the importance of getting a flu vaccination. The flu shot works because it prompts your immune system to produce antibodies. In turn, these antibodies help the body fight off the types of flu virus that are present in the vaccine. After receiving the flu shot it takes about two weeks for these antibodies to fully develop. The shots are not 100 percent effective in preventing the flu; however, they are the most effective method to protect against this virus and its related complications. Here is hoping for a season free of the flu!

Until next week, here’s a reminder from our Fire Marshal’s Office…October is National Fire Prevention Month, please make sure to replace batteries in smoke alarms twice a year. A good reminder is to change the batteries when the time changes in the spring and fall. This includes alarms wired directly into your ceiling because they will operate the smoke alarm by battery during a power outage. Also replace smoke alarms every 8 to 10 years to ensure the highest level of safety for your family.

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 


October 18, 2018
Penfield 2019 Final Town Budget Adopted

Penfield Town Supervisor Tony LaFountain and the Penfield Town Board adopted the town’s Final 2019 Budget at the October 17 legislative meeting. The final budget, including special districts, is $20,259,606, an increase of $1,120,212 from 2018. The Town Operating Budget, without special districts, is $17,300,547.

With this budget, the 2019 town tax rate is $2.78 per $1,000 of assessed property value, an increase of approximately 9 cents from 2018. (At this tax rate, a property in Penfield with a valuation of $190,000 will pay $528.20 for general governmental services, which is an increase of $17.10 over last year.) Once again, the town tax levy increase is below the increase allowed by the New York State tax cap.

The planning process for the 2019 budget was unique because of the purchase of Shadow Pines Golf Course property that was approved by 80 percent of voters in a February 2018 special election. Because of the results of that vote, the town board entered this budget cycle anticipating a tax increase of 10 to 12 cents to cover the new debt along with ownership and maintenance costs.

However, through the efforts of the town board and town staff, this budget delivers a lower than projected town tax increase of nine cents that covers the Shadow Pines debt as well as an investment in capital equipment to maintain town services for the coming years.

A few factors contributed to the lower than expected tax increase. First, following the public referendum to purchase Shadow Pines, the town board chose to purchase the Clark House portion of the Shadow Pines with cash on hand, reducing the bond debt and related interest by $260,000. Next, revenue came in higher than expected due to an increase in sales tax distribution and additional income from DPW paving projects for the Penfield Central School District and Monroe County. Further, the town board chose to use reserve funding that grew in 2018 (rather than borrowing) to finance capital equipment for DPW, and a new playground at Harris Whalen Park will be financed through a dedicated recreation trust.

As in previous years, expenditures not under the Town of Penfield's control continued to increase with a projected 8.5 percent increase in health insurance premiums and continued contributions to the New York State retirement system of approximately 15 to 20 percent of payroll. The cost of workers compensation will remain flat at nearly six percent of payroll.

"This budget, with a lower than projected increase, provides the same level of services, finances the Shadow Pines purchase and maintenance, updates DPW equipment, and adds a new playground at Harris Whalen Park," said Supervisor Tony LaFountain. "We continue our long-standing financial discipline of forecasting a five-year outlook as we mange debt, expenses, revenue, and special districts."

Penfield's property tax rate remains one of the lowest of the 19 towns in in Monroe County. The town general taxes continue to account for approximately 8 percent of each tax dollar. County taxes account for 24 percent, and school taxes account for the remaining 68 percent.

Penfield's growth rate was one percent in 2018, resulting in a positive impact of actual new "bricks and mortar" properties and therefore more contributors to the tax levy.

With its history of fiscal discipline, the financial world consistently recognizes Penfield as one of the most financially responsible towns in New York State. Moody's Investors Service continues its Aa1 credit rating of Penfield--one of the highest in the county and state. This rating allows Penfield to secure low-interest financing for capital projects (sewers, roadways, bridges), and assists with cash flow throughout the year. The Moody's rating also reflects Penfield's history of stable financial operations and strong management practices.

Further, the Town of Penfield continues to receive a respected "no designation" in New York State's Fiscal Monitoring system. With a low score of just 1.7 in 2017, the Town of Penfield is once again well below the 44.9 percent tolerance point that New York State deems to be an indicator of possible fiscal stress. Factors included in the NYS's review include cash ratio, employee salaries, debt burden, and fund balance.

Town Comptroller Barbara Chirdo stated, "Though we have received "no designation" each year since this program of fiscal monitoring began, the Town's position at the end of 2017 was even stronger receiving one of the lowest scores in our region. The Town Board structures fiscally sound budgets that continue to offer quality services to our residents.

As of October 19, print copies of the Final 2019 Budget are available at the Penfield Public Library, 1985 Baird Road or by contacting the Office of the Comptroller in the Penfield Town Hall, 3100 Atlantic Avenue, in Penfield. The Final Budget is also available online at www.penfield.org (go to "Quick Links," "Town Budget").


PENFIELD 2019 BUDGET TIMELINE

June to September 2018- Town Supervisor, Town Comptroller and staff conduct budget work sessions; prepare 2019 Tentative Budget

September 12, 2018: Town Supervisor, Town Comptroller present a summary of the 2019 Tentative Budget to the Town Board and community; document made public for review (during this period, Tentative Budget becomes the Preliminary Budget)

September 12-October 11, 2018: Public comment period

October 3, 2018: Public hearing on2019 Preliminary Budget; public comments received

October 4-16, 2018: Town Board reviews comments, develops a Final Budget

October 17, 2018: Town Board legislative meeting, adoption of a Final 2019 Budget

October 19, 2018: Town submits the Penfield Adopted 2019 Budget to County of Monroe, Adopted Budget made public


October 15, 2018
Supervisor's column October 15, 2018

The next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Penfield (FBP) will be held on Saturday, October 20 from 8:00 to 10:00 AM at 1862 Penfield Road. FBP invites you for delicious pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage, and more…all for just $5.00 per person. All October proceeds will go directly to benefit Resolve of Greater Rochester, a group dedicated to intervening and preventing domestic and sexual violence against women (www.resolve-roc.org). So bring the whole family, meet up with friends, or make new ones. Fellowship Hall is handicapped accessible and the breakfast is outstanding! For more information and details, please log-on at www.fbpenfield.org.

Last week, I had the opportunity to join the Penfield Business Chamber in a ribbon cutting cutting for Orangetheory Fitness Baytowne, located at 1900 Empire Blvd. just down from DiBella’s Subs. Orangetheory Fitness offers 60-minute workout sessions split into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training with heart rate monitors to track intensity and maximize metabolic burn. Increase energy, get visible results, and burn more calories—even after leaving the studio. That's the Orange Effect! Please stop in and visit one of Penfield’s newest businesses and sign up for a class.

Seats are still available for the November and December AARP Driver Safety Program through the Penfield Recreation Department. This program is designed for the mature licensed driver to tune-up driving skills, update knowledge of age related physical changes and adjust driving for these changes. Upon completion, participants may receive up to a 10 percent multi-year discount on auto insurance and DMV may assess up to a four-point reduction. The program is $20.00 for AARP members and $25.00 for non-members. Program dates are November 13 and 15 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and December 11 and 13 from 9:00AM to 12:00PM. For more information, please go to www.penfieldrec.org or call 340-8655.

Pen-Rec‘s next van day trip is Wednesday, November 14 for a visit to Vidler’s Five and Dime! Take a trip down memory lane as you walk down the store’s wooden floors and eat a 10 cent bag of popcorn. Vidler’s is much more than a store…it is shopping entertainment at its best! So relax and take a step back in time as you stroll through this amazing five and dime. Lunch is on your own in town. After lunch there will be a quick visit to the Copper Shop Gallery on the Roycroft campus for a little more shopping before heading back to Penfield. The van departs the community center at 9:30 AM and returns at 4:30 PM. The fee is $20.00.

Two reminders: The first is the Family Halloween Fun event this coming Friday, October 19 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the community center. Come enjoy games, trick-or-treat, hayrides, crafts, and more!

Next, the Penfield Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 2018-2019 season at the Penfield High School Auditorium with “Wonderful Williams.” The concert begins at 7:30 PM. For more information about this concert and the season, please visit www.penfieldsymphony.org

The Penfield Library has many programs for our youngest residents to enjoy including Spooky Halloween Snacks, Little Maker Mondays, Pumpkin Science, Nutcracker Storytime, Tales for Tails, Library Lego Lab, Gingerbread House, Doll’s Winter Tea Party, and the New Year’s Eve Family Game Day. For complete details check out the Pen-Rec Brochure page 43, log-on at www.penfieldlibrary.org, or call 340-8720. 

Important dates and events in history: October 15, 1991 – National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial dedicated; October 17, 1946 – Winston Churchill proclaims “an Iron Curtain” has swept across the continent (Europe), beginning the Cold War; October 19, 1845 – US Naval Academy at Annapolis is founded; and October 22, 1861 – the transcontinental telegraph is complete.  

Until next week…as the leaves fall and collect in gutters and catch basins, please help keep these areas clear to avoid flooding of your property and that of your neighbors. Thank you in advance for your attention and assistance on this matter.

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org




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