March 26, 2012
Supervisor's Column: Week of 3/26
Penfield business owner Sara Jane Clifford has asked me to help spread the word that the Gymnastics Training Center (GTC) and her team will be hosting a free computer/electronics recycling event on Sunday, April 1 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at their facility, 2051 Fairport Nine Mile Point Road. This is a great opportunity to get a jump on your spring cleaning and help a wonderful cause by bringing in old and unwanted equipment including computers, monitors, TVs, modems, microwave ovens, fax machines, copiers, other audio visual components and more. Not only does this event help the environment by keeping electronics out of the landfill, GTC will be compensated on a per pound basis by the recycling company. Proceeds will be used to provide gymnastic programs for children with disabilities.
Chris Bilow, Penfield Recreation Department Director, informs me that the Wegmans healthy vending machine located at the Community Center outside the library has been a tremendous hit-and in its first week sold out of product. We have received rave reviews from many of you who have been at the Community Center and taken advantage of the healthy choices. This program is a perfect fit with the town's "wellness" theme, and we are delighted to be the first town to be selected for installation of a healthy snack vending machine. Chris also informs me that we will be installing a Keurig vending machine on a trial basis to meet the coffee and hot drink needs of all our residents and visitors.
The landscaping around the Community Center has served its useful life, specifically the large pines on the south and west side of the building. When originally planted in the 1960s they were an appropriate size and scale for the facility. Today the pines have matured to the point that they tower over the building and cause us several thousands of dollars in labor and maintenance of plugged drain lines, HVAC repairs and water damage to the roof. Additionally, these trees are now damaged from storms and disease and they will have to be taken down. The Town Board has been working with our landscaping architect on plans to replace the trees and provide new sitting and gathering areas outside the building. Our goal is to display landscaping plans at the Penfield Library for residents to view and offer comments. We would like to start work this year with a completion date of 2013.
I would like to recognize and thank Governor Cuomo for the passage of a historic pension reform bill that is looking to save the state and local governments and school districts nearly $80 billion over the next 30 years. The new tier VI creates progressive contribution rates for future state and local employees. I would encourage the governor to next work on the many other unfunded mandates that flow down to local communities. This past year a 2% tax cap was put in place for all local governments and school districts; Penfield met that mandate by controlling costs and reduced spending to keep the rate flat for our residents. As I have stated before, New York State has only addressed the tip of the ice berg. While progress is being made, we must be more aggressive in reducing costs and controlling runaway spending. I encourage all of us to continue keeping the pressure on all elected officials to reduce the size of government at all levels-taxpayers can not sustain these increased costs year on year!
Important dates and events in history: March 29, 1961 - the 23rd amendment is added to the Constitution, giving the District of Columbia the ability to vote for president and vice president, as they were not able to do this before because they were not a state. March 29, 1973 - the last of the American forces leave Vietnam.
I hope everyone has been enjoying the unusually warm weather, so until next week, be well and be safe!
March 19, 2012
Mulch Pile Available as of March 19
|As of Monday, March 19, the community mulch pile will be available at the Town Hall, 3100 Atlantic Ave, in the Columbus Crossing parking lot (near softball fields). The pile will be replenished while the mulch supply lasts. For safety purposes please do not bring small children or pets to the mulch pile and be mindful of vehicles coming, going and loading.
March 19, 2012
Supervisor's Column: Week of 3/19
I have been notified that Town Engineer Geoff Benway will be receiving the American Public Works Association (APWA) Harry S. Swearingen Award for the New York State Chapter in recognition of his past and continued dedication and service to APWA. Geoff will receive the award at the statewide conference and awards banquet scheduled at the end of March. On behalf of the town staff, I would like to congratulate Geoff on receiving this prestigious award.
I recently received an update from the Workers' Compensation Policy Institute informing us that a surcharge added to workers' compensation costs for all New York State employers is nearly five times the average of the same surcharges imposed in other states. These assessments are a tax on workers' compensation premiums. In the past two years New York State increased this tax by 10.4 percent and 27 percent. Penfield, like most municipalities, is finding itself between a rock and a hard place. The Penfield Town Board met the requirements of the 2 percent tax cap that was required for the 2012 budget; however, there are no constraints on unfunded mandates or the high cost of health insurance, retirement, Medicaid and workers compensation. New York State has only addressed the tip of the iceberg as it relates to increased costs and runaway spending-left unchecked all communities across this state will be looking at bankruptcy!
Now is the time to start planning for spring cleaning, so mark your calendars for these community events. For details on all events go to "Quick Links" on home page of www.penfield.org and choose "The Great Penfield Cleanup."
Saturday, April 21, 7:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Monroe County Household Hazardous Waste Collection for Penfield and Webster at the Penfield Highway Garage, 1607 Jackson Road. This service is by appointment for your safety and convenience. To make an appointment call 585.340.8710 or http://www.monroecounty.gov/hhw through April 20.
Saturday, April 28: Two events!
Penfield Cleanup Day, 9 a.m. to noon at the Penfield Community Center. Call 585.340.8655 for info and to pre-register your group or family.
Electronics Recycling and Secure Document Destruction, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
at the Penfield Highway Garage, 1607 Jackson Road. In partnership with Regional Computer Recycling & Recovery (www.ewaste.com ) and Cascade Recovery U.S., Inc. (www.recoverycascades.com ). See details and accepted materials on respective websites.
MAY 10, 11, 12: Spring Drop-off
Thursday and Friday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Penfield Highway Garage, 1607 Jackson Road.
The next Penfield Rotary Band "Nels Carman Big Band Night" is scheduled for Tuesday, April 3, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Penfield Community Center. The fee is one dollar, payable at the door. The band will play two hours of your favorite big band sounds for dancing and listening.
Eldersource Care Management Services, a collaborative of LIFESPAN and Catholic Family Center, is a community intake, assessment and care management system. This program features a one telephone number entry into age-related services and professional social workers who guide older adults and caregivers through the very complex long-term care system. For information call 325-2800. An Eldersource case worker will be at the Penfield Community Center the last Tuesday of every month. The next date will be March 27.
Until next week, be well and be safe!
March 16, 2012
Passport Night March 29
|Penfield residents in need of a new or updated passport are invited to attend "Passport Night in Penfield" on Thursday, March 29, 5:30 to 7:30 PM, at the Town Hall, 3100 Atlantic Avenue. This event comes to Penfield through the partnership of Monroe County Clerk Cheryl Dinolfo, Monroe County Legislators Debbie Drawe and Dan Quatro, and Penfield Town Clerk Amy Steklof. Please call the Town Hall at 340-8627 to sign up in advance, however registration is not required.
"Passport Night in Penfield is always a popular event. The convenience of applying for passports right here in Penfield can't be beat. Many families still need new documents to visit Canada, this is the night to get that done." said Supervisor Tony LaFountain.
"Once again, I am very pleased to work with Supervisor LaFountain and the Town of Penfield to help local residents conveniently apply for their passports," said County Clerk Cheryl Dinolfo. "Whether it's Passport Night or locating our Mobile DMV Unit at the Town Hall, I commend Penfield leaders for partnering with me in order to bring these important services to the people of this community."
"With previous passport nights being a tremendous success, we are thrilled to be providing this service in conjunction with County Clerk Cheryl Dinolfo, Supervisor Tony LaFountain and Town Clerk Amy Steklof," said Legislators Drawe and Quatro. "We encourage everyone to take full advantage of this great and convenient opportunity."
Residents may also apply for a Passport Card, which is limited to land and sea crossing between the US and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.
"I am excited to partner with County Clerk Cheryl Dinolfo and Legislators Drawe and Quatro to make the passport process easy for our residents. Penfield residents can visit the Town Hall without disruption to their work or school schedules. They come in, process their applications, and leave knowing their documents are submitted correctly," said Town Clerk Amy Steklof.
Passport applicants must provide proof of U.S. citizenship in one of three forms: a certified copy of a birth certificate with a raised seal; original naturalization papers, or an old U.S. passport issued in the person's name. Children under 16 will still need to bring their raised seal birth certificate even if they have an old passport. Proof of identity is also required in the form of a valid NYS Driver License or non-Driver ID, a valid military ID, naturalization papers issued to the applicant as an adult, or an INS Alien Registration Card. People born in Monroe County may obtain a copy of their birth certificate by contacting the Bureau of Vital Statistics. Visit the department's Web site at http://www.monroecounty.gov/clerk-records.php#band for details.
The fee for a new US Passport for an applicant 16 and older is $135 ($110 plus a $25 application fee). For an applicant under 16 the fee is $105 ($80 plus a $25 application fee). Renewals by mail are $110. Passport cards - which may be used only for travel by land or sea between the US, Canada, and Mexico - are $55 ($30 plus a $25 application fee) for age 16 and older and $40 ($15 plus a $25 application fee) for applicants under 16. Passport card renewals are $30.00. Passport photos remain at $7.00 for a set of two.
For application requirements, residents can visit the County Clerk's website at http://www.monroecounty.gov/clerk-passports.php . Residents may download a passport application to complete in advance. Forms are available on the US Department of State's Travel Web site at http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html .
Passport processing time typically takes 4-6 weeks. Please call the Monroe County Clerk's Office at 585-753-1600 with specific questions regarding the passport application process.
Please Note: Applicants between the ages of 16 to 18 must appear with a parent or legal guardian. Children under 16 must appear with both parents or legal guardians or one parent or guardian may appear, if and only if, the parent or guardian that is not present completes and has notarized a DS-3053 Form, Statement of Consent: Issuance of a Passport to a Minor Under Age 16.
March 16, 2012
"The Great Penfield Spring Cleanup" Events
The Town of Penfield and its Energy and Environment Advisory Committee invite residents to join in "The Great Penfield Spring Cleanup 2012" from April to May. This is a unique opportunity for residents to pitch in to clean up around town and responsibly clear out their houses, file cabinets, garages, basements, sheds and more. Together, these events will beautify the town, support responsible disposal of hazardous materials, redirect materials from landfills to recycling centers and help protect residents from identity theft.
"THE GREAT PENFIELD SPRING CLEANUP" EVENTS
SATURDAY, APRIL 21, 7:45 AM-1 PM
Monroe County Household Hazardous Waste Collection
For Penfield & Webster
By appointment for your safety and convenience
For appt. call 585.340.8710 or http://www.monroecounty.gov/hhw through April 20
Penfield Highway Garage, 1607 Jackson Road
See details on what can and cannot be disposed of at www.penfield.org
SATURDAY, APRIL 28: Two events
PENFIELD CLEANUP DAY, 9 AM-Noon
Penfield Community Center
Call 585.340.8655 for info and to pre-register your group or family
ELECTRONICS RECYCLING & SECURE DOCUMENT DESTRUCTION, 9 AM-2 PM
Penfield Highway Garage, 1607 Jackson Rd
In partnership with Regional Computer Recycling & Recovery (www.ewaste.com ) and Cascade Recovery U.S., Inc. (www.recoverycascades.com ). See details and accepted materials on respective websites.
MAY 10, 11, 12
Thursday and Friday: 9 AM-6 PM, Saturday: 9 AM-4 PM
Penfield Highway Garage, 1607 Jackson Rd
ACCEPTED: HOUSEHOLD items - furniture, appliances (including refrigerators, dehumidifiers, air conditioners), lawn mowers (fluids drained), car tires (limit four), vehicle batteries, broken concrete, brush
NOT ACCEPTED: TVs, computers, monitors, propane tanks, grass clippings, leaves, chemical drums, hazardous materials, gasoline, motor oil, paint, driveway sealer (see above for hazardous waste). For items of this nature and more, see Monroe County EcoPark "prospector" at http://www.monroecounty.gov/ecopark .
"The Town Board and Energy & Environment Advisory Committee continue to provide opportunities for residents to responsibly dispose of unwanted items," said Supervisor Tony LaFountain. He adds, "These events cover it all-disposal of household hazardous waste, beautifying our town, clearing clutter, free electronics recycling, and safe destruction of confidential papers."
The town's 2011 spring and fall electronics recycling events removed a total of 34.7 tons of material from the waste stream, one secure document destruction event took in 4.8 tons of paper, and the brush pile yielded 400 cubic yards of mulch for resident use.
For details on all these events go to www.penfield.org , click on the home page "The Great Penfield Cleanup" quick-link.
March 12, 2012
Supervisor's Column: Week of 3/12
As supervisor, I represent Penfield on the 19-member Monroe County Supervisors Association. Each of the supervisors has liaison responsibilities to various boards and committees. I am liaison to the 2012 Operating Practices Board for the 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Department and the County Fire Advisory Board. Prior to becoming supervisor, I was the Director of Fire and Security at Kodak that included a 9-1-1 communications center. I am honored to represent the Supervisors Association on these very important Public Safety Boards.
Fuel costs have been in the news of late and I recently spoke with a local news station on the impact of rising costs on our town budget. The Highway Department has the largest fleet with more than 30 major pieces of equipment. The cost of fuel is a key component of the budget that has continually grown over the years. From a history standpoint, in 2009 the fuel budget was $145,400, in 2010 it was $183,400, in 2011 it grew to $223,200 and our 2012 budget stands at $290,000. Other costs that have been impacted by increased oil costs are blacktop, plastic sewer and drainage pipe, and more. To help reduce fuel use at the town level we have a ‘no idol' policy, we minimize trips to job sites and minimize the number of vehicles taken out for projects. The mild winter has helped with managing costs and we will be looking for other creative ways to manage these costs as prices increase.
The next Penfield Symphony Orchestra (PSO) performance is "Music for a Sunday Afternoon" on March 25 at Casa Larga. A variety of selections will be performed by the PSO and other musicians. For more details and tickets, please log on to www.penfieldsymphony.org . This show sells out early so do not delay in reserving your tickets.
With spring just around the corner, consider becoming involved with Penfield's Community Victory Garden. There will be a class on the subject Thursday, March 29 at 7 p.m. at the Community Center. Come familiarize yourself with the garden, its policies and your fellow community gardeners. Also learn about the Rochester area "Plant-a-Row for the Hungry" program. For more information or to register for this event, log on at www.penfield.org and click on ‘Parks and Recreation.'
"Be in Contact." Register for text messaging notifications for Penfield Recreation programs to receive updates and information like weather cancellations, field changes and location changes. Minimize extra trips and be on top of the information that affects your family's plans. Log in to WebTrac online registration, select "contact us," in the comment area add your cell phone number and carrier, and you will "be in contact"!
There is one more free informational meeting scheduled for the Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) program on Tuesday, April 17 at the Eastside YMCA, 1821 Fairport Nine Mile Point Road (Route 250) at 7 p.m. Enjoy delicious seasonal and locally grown produce by joining the Wickham Farms CSA program. Refreshments will be served, no registration is required.
Important dates and events in history: March 15, 1820 - Maine is the 23rd state admitted to the Union. March 16, 1802 - Congress establishes the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
A March Wellness Tip...donating blood is an easy way to save a life!
Until next week, I hope to see you out and about in this great community.
March 9, 2012
Penfield Recreation Holds Special Training for Superheroes
will offer a “Superhero Training Mini Camp” for children ages 4-7 on April 9
and 11, 9:00 – 11:00 am at Penfield
Community Center, 1985 Baird Rd.,
Training Camp allows your little one to go on an adventure of heroic
proportions while learning to be a quality superhero! This engaging program
immerses children in a fun and educational experience. Your little hero will
create their own special superhero identity. They will rotate through stations
such as a bat cave crawl, subway chase on scooters, and flying like a
superhero. Amongst all the fun, children will build social skills based on what
superheroes symbolize, highlighting positive character development traits such
as courage, respect, and responsibility. These elements will be connected with
skills like how to handle bullying situations in a non-violent manner. On the
second day of camp your tiny titan can come dressed in their favorite superhero
costume and they will also meet a real-life superhero!
Camp instructed by
Christine Magee, NYS Licensed School Social Worker and Cub Scout Leader.
Program cost is $28.00. Please register online at www.penfield.org, or print a
registration form from the website and mail to Penfield Recreation with
information, please call Penfield Recreation at (585) 340-8655 ext. 6.
March 7, 2012
Town Updating Open Space Plan, New Committee
|The Town of Penfield's 2010 Comprehensive Plan calls for continued commitment to open space preservation. In support of this recommendation, the Penfield Town Board has formed a new 2012 Open Space Committee to review and update the 2006 Open Space Plan. The committee is charged to review the town's existing open space inventory and identify new properties for consideration for open space designation.
The original open space index was established in the 1970s and has been updated throughout the decades, most recently in 2006. Since 2001, with the adoption of the town's Open Space Plan, approximately 1,200 acres have been preserved in the town of Penfield, most of which is farmland. Notable examples of open space preservation designated for public use are Rothfuss Park (active recreation) and Sherwood Fields (passive recreation). The 2012 committee is reviewing remaining parcels from the 2006 inventory with specific criteria in mind such as preservation of fragile terrain, connection of trail systems, and preservation of parcels with environmental significance.
The committee invites Penfield property owners to nominate their own parcels for consideration of open space preservation. Parcels must be at least five acres with attributes like environmentally sensitive features, proximity to other open spaces, the potential for active or passive recreation, and preservation of plant or wildlife species.
"Penfield continues to be noted for providing a balance of residential, business and open space growth across the town," said Supervisor Tony LaFountain. "This great community started generations ago on a strong agricultural and open space foundation, and the goal is to preserve that for many generations to come."
Property owners who would like to nominate their own land for consideration of open space preservation should complete an online submission form (see details below) or contact Planning Department Head Mark Valentine at 340-8645 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, March 30.
Only property owners may recommend parcels for consideration. If a property is already under consideration by the Town of Penfield is does not need to be re-submitted.
While most of the funds from the $10 million bond for open space preservation approved by tax payers in 2002 have been spent, it is important to have a list of priority parcels should grant funding or other mechanisms of funding become available. The Town Board is committed to using a portion of funds generated through the Incentive Zoning Local Law for future open space presentation.
The 2006 Open Space Plan, details regarding the 2012 Open Space Committee and a property nomination form are all available online. To learn more go to www.penfield.org homepage and choose "Open Space Update Committee" in the "Quick Links" box on the left.
Town of Penfield's Open Space History
Penfield's Open Space Plan was adopted by the Penfield Town Board in 2001. In February 2002, the Town Board voted unanimously to allow local residents to decide whether or not the community should borrow up to $10 million to purchase properties and development rights targeted for preservation in the Open Space Plan.
While $10 million was authorized by the residents of Penfield by referendum vote, Penfield has successfully won grant funding totaling nearly $900,000, which reduces the total amount the Town is borrowing for its Open Space program.
The Open Space referendum was held on April 23, 2002. The vote created the largest non-election turn-out in Penfield history, with voters approving the referendum by a 2:1 margin.
The majority of the acreage already preserved under the 2002 Plan is farmland, where the development rights were purchased. A few properties are being preserved through Open Space Easements, which expire after a certain number of years.
The Open Space Plan Update is available for public review; a copy of the update is also available in the Penfield Public Library and on the Town's website, www.penfield.org .
The Town of Penfield Open Space Plan has been admired, reviewed and adapted by many other municipalities across New York State. The property identification and ranking process is easily described in the Plan and adaptable to the circumstances and needs of other communities. In September 2002, the Town of Penfield received an award from the Upstate New York Chapter of the American Planning Association for its Open Space Plan. The Town was awarded the 2002 Outstanding Planning Project - Implementation, for its efforts toward resource preservation.
March 5, 2012
Free Guided Hike at Sherwood Fields Park
|The Penfield Trails Committee will sponsor a free guided hike at Sherwood Fields Park on Saturday, March 10 at 10:00 am.
Sherwood Fields Park is Penfield's newest park; it is being developed as a nature preserve with low impact use. It provides a variety of terrain and a good opportunity for family outings.
The park is located at 2514 Penfield Rd., next to the East Penfield Fire Station. Total time for the hike will be about two hours. The hike will be led by Penfield Trails Committee members.
The program is free, but participants are asked to register with Penfield Recreation at 340-8655.
Penfield Trails Committee was established in 1997 as a sub-committee of Penfield Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Penfield Trails Committee's mission is to work with the Town of Penfield to promote, improve and develop present and future trails/routes that best meet the needs of the residents of the Town of Penfield.
March 5, 2012
Supervisor's Column: Week of 3/5
The Penfield Public Library is hosting its 11th annual "March into Arts" month and second annual "Spring into Arts" celebration. As part of the festivities, the Penfield Public Library will be hosting a visiting author invited to Rochester by Writers & Books to participate in the community-wide event "If All of Rochester Read the Same Book" that runs March 28-31. Debra Dean, author of "The Madonnas of Leningrad," will be the featured speaker at the library on Wednesday evening March 28. All are invited to participate in the community-wide event. A number of special activities and programs for all ages are planned throughout March and into early April. For more information about this program and all events, please log on to www.penfieldlibrary.org .
The Penfield School District has much to celebrate. First, the Bay Trail Middle School's Science Olympiad teams took first place at the New York State Science Olympiad Midwestern Regional Competition that was held at St. John Fisher College. This is the first time Penfield has ever won first place in this competition, and the team took home medals in 16 of the 17 events. Congratulations to Science Teacher Dion Terwilliger and all the students who participated in this competition. Also, the top-seeded Penfield girls basketball team won the class AAA championship against Gates Chili. This was a rematch of last year's final game in which Gates Chili prevailed. Great job by Coach Mark Vogt and the entire team for a very impressive undefeated season-and congratulations ladies! Additionally, congratulations go to Margot Hetzke for being named the tournament MVP.
The Penfield Trails Committee will be hosting a free guided hike at Sherwood Fields on Saturday, March 10 at 10:00 a.m. Sherwood Fields is the newest town park that was dedicated and opened in August 2011. This park features several miles of trails, three distinct areas of natural habitats for wildlife, a major waterway (Commission Ditch) and a wonderful bridge structure known as the Don Cranson Bridge. The park is located off Route 441 east of Harris Road. Please use the driveway for the Penfield Fire District Station 3 and follow the signs for parking.
Save the date for the annual "household hazardous waste" drop-off scheduled for Saturday, April 21 at the Penfield Highway Department located at 1607 Jackson Road. This is a great opportunity to clean out old paint cans, pesticides and herbicides, cleaning solutions, photo and pool chemicals, solvents, oils, and more. More details will be available on our website, this column and in the local media over the next several weeks. Get a jump on spring cleaning by properly disposing of these types of products to avoid dumping down drains or into stormwater systems which will pollute our valuable ground water and waterways.
The Penfield Recreation Department and Senior Citizens invite you to their annual St. Patrick's Day Party on Tuesday, March 13 at 12:00 noon for a corn beef and cabbage lunch. The price is $4.00; tickets are available at the Recreation Department by calling 340-8655. I have attended this event several times and the food is wonderful!
I have been invited to attend a meeting of the Monroe County Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Task Force. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss group goals and the organization of municipalities and private entities to improve the overall community response to the infestation of EAB. The Superintendent of Horticulture for the Monroe County Parks Department will be hosting the program. As more information becomes available, we will post it on the town website and provide additional links.
Until next week, be well and be safe!