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August 27, 2013
Time Warner Cable Subscribers

August 21, 2013 

Dear Municipal Official:

I am writing to you as part of our ongoing efforts to keep you apprised of developments affecting Time Warner Cable subscribers in the Western New York Division.

Time Warner Cable’s agreements with programmers and broadcasters to carry their services and stations routinely expire from time to time. We are usually able to obtain renewals or extensions of such agreements, but in order to comply with applicable regulations, we must inform you when an agreement is about to expire. The following agreements are due to expire soon, and we may be required to cease carriage of one or more of these services/stations in the near future where these services are offered:

CBS College Sports, CBS College Sports HD, E!, E! HD, Flix, G4, G4HD, GOL TV, GOL TV HD, Lifetime, Lifetime HD, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Movie Network HD, Lifetime Real Women, Music Choice, NHL, NHL HD, NHL Center Ice, NHL Center Ice HD, Showtime SD/HD & West, Showtime Beyond SD/HD & West, Showtime Extreme SD/HD & Beyond, Showtime Family SD/HD & West, Showtime Showcase SD/HD & West, Showtime Too SD/HD & West. Smithsonian OD, Smithsonian HD, Sprout, Style, Style HD, TMC SD/HD & West, TMC Xtra SD/HD & West, YouToo, WONS-LP

In addition, from time to time, we make certain changes in the services that we offer in order to better serve our customers. The following changes are planned:

  • Pro Sports On Demand will be added on or about August 20, 2013
  • Health On Demand will rebrand to Be Healthy on Demand on or about August 26, 2013
  • Universal Sports SD & HD will be added on or about August 28, 2013
  • GSN (Game Show Network) will be added on or about September 12, 2013
  • QVC Plus will be added on or about September 24, 2013
  • ESPN 3D will be dropped on or about September 30, 2013
  • We SD & HD will be added to Rochester Central on or about September 30, 2013

Some of the new services listed above cannot be accessed by CableCard-equipped Unidirectional Digital Cable Products purchased at retail without additional, two-way capable equipment.

Sincerely,

Chris Mueller

Director, Government Relations

Time Warner Cable - WNY


August 26, 2013
Supervisor’s Column: Week of 8/26

Penfield had the honor of AutismUp hosting its first annual KiteFlite Parade, Festival and Expo this past Saturday at Rothfuss Park. AutismUp is an organization whose mission is to support local individuals with autism and their families by enriching lives while providing greater opportunities in greater Rochester and surrounding areas. Fundraising proceeds will be used to support the expansion of AutismUP’s educational programs for people living with autism in our community. On behalf of the Penfeild community, I would like to recognize Penfield resident Sarah Milko, President of AutismUp, and her team for a successful event that hopefully raised more than $40,000; and on behalf of our entire town board, I extend an invitation to hold your second annual KiteFlite Festival in 2014 and for many years to come!

Have you been thinking about getting a passport or updating an expired one? If so, mark your calendar for Thursday, August 29 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and join us for “Passport Night in Penfield” at the town hall. The event is hosted by Monroe County Clerk Cheryl Dinolfo, Town Clerk Amy Steklof and Town Councilwoman Paula Metzler. For more information, please contact the Town Clerk’s Office at 340-8629. You are encouraged to sign up in advance, however registration is not required.

Hopefully, as you are reading this column, you have already received your fall 2013 Pen-Rec brochure. The 46-page booklet is filled hundreds of programs and activities for the whole family. Registration starts September 3, so do not delay! Many programs fill up fast due to their popularity. I also encourage you to sign up online—it is easy, and in many cases you are able to receive a discount on programs. Please take special note of the program “Roots of Wellness” designed by our Recreation Department team; they continue to expand program offerings that touch on social, physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual wellness.

Interested in expanding your knowledge of Penfield history? Consider joining the Penfield Trails Committee and Town Historian Kathy Kanauer to relive East Penfield circa 1900. This program will be held at Smith Pioneer Cemetery on Saturday, September 14 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Smith Cemetery is located on Gloria Drive, south of Sweets Corners Road. This event will be held rain or shine. To register, call Penfield Recreation at 340-8655. There is no fee for this program. For information on other hikes planned for the rest of 2013 log on to www.penfieldrec.org and click on “Penfield Trails.”

The first Tuesday of each month The Penfield Rotary Band-Nels Carman Big Band Night will play two hours of your favorite big band sounds for your dancing and listening enjoyment. Programs are scheduled for September 3, October 1, November 5 and December 3 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Penfield Community Center. The fee is $1.00, pay at the door.

Supervisor’s “throw-down”…so do you think you have a great chili recipe? Do you want to have some fun? Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 14 from noon to 4:00 p.m. for our 10th annual “Tastin’ the Blues.” Let’s go head-to-head for either the “People’s Choice” or “Judged” category for the best chili! This year I am challenging all participants to consider using only Penfield-grown products in their chili. Visit your favorite farm stand or farm market for those choice onions, peppers, beans and more. This is a wonderful event with great music, tastings of Dundee Ales & Lagers, cruise car parking, and of course, a host of many great chili recipes to sample. So let the trash-talking begin…do you think you have a winning chili? Well, bring it on and let’s see what the judges and attendees think!

Until next week, enjoy the last week before Labor Day. It is hard to believe the summer passed so quickly!

Tony

340-8631

supervisor@penfield.org


August 26, 2013
Family First Penfield 5K Challenge XI
The Family First Penfield 5K Challenge XI will be held on Sunday, September 29, 2013. This 11th annual race will begin at Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Rd, Penfield at 9:00 am.

Registration is now open. Runners who register before September 23 will receive $5 off the registration fee of $25. The first 200 runners to register will receive a commemorative t-shirt.There will be over $1,000 in prizes awarded. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top male and female finishers in each age category.

“This event continues to grow every year,” said Chris Bilow, director of recreation. “People are really embracing their personal wellness and we are so proud to help them to do that.”

The course is certified by the USATF/RRTC #NY04023KL. Computerized race results provided by PCR Timing Services.

This year’s race is sponsored by Family First Federal Credit Union, Town of Penfield, Eastside YMCA, Nalgene, Tri Running and Walking, Eastside Medical Urgent Care, The Spa at LaBella, and Genesee Valley Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation PC. 

Additional information and race registration form is available at www.penfieldrec.org, or at the Penfield Recreation office. For questions, please call Penfield Recreation at (585) 340-8655.

August 26, 2013
Guest Columnist week of 8/26: Chris Bilow, Recreation Director

It is a pleasure and privilege to guest write for the supervisor’s column on behalf of the Recreation Department.

The Recreation Department is coming off one its busiest summers in a long time and I would like to say ‘thank you’ to the Penfield community for choosing to spend a part of your summer with us! We saw a number of our youth programs with record attendance. We also saw our senior program become even more expansive with the addition of several new DEAR programs. As we look back on program participation, more than 2,100 youth attend a camp sponsored by the Recreation Department, at least 100 seniors attend a DEAR workshop or lecture, and our Young, Open and Honest Players delivered successful performances of Brighton Beach Memoirs. The annual Independence Day Celebration at Harris Whalen Park was again a huge hit this summer. Unfortunately the parade was cancelled due to rain; however attendance at Harris Whalen Park for the Recreation Department annual fireworks show was nothing less than massive! The Recreation Department again offered a community walking challenge with close to 120 motivated participants.

As you have seen over the past few years, the Town of Penfield has put an emphasis on wellness. The Recreation Department is always looking to bring you healthy program opportunities. This fall we are presenting a new look with our “Roots of Wellness” logo. The logo is a tree with the department’s core areas of wellness as the roots. It’s with these core areas that we build our program base. Knowing wellness is a personal choice, we hope you look to us to help start a healthy lifestyle!

As we head into a busy fall season there are a few special events coming up that we invite you to make note of:

Join us September 14 for the Annual Tastin’ the Blues event at Penfield Amphitheater and Kiwanis Stage. On September 15 Renee Robert LaSalle will lead a Historic Canoe Ride through Ellison Park’s Wetlands. September 29 features two events─the Annual Family First Penfield 5K Challenge and the Recreation Department’s new REC’reate Wellness Day. On October 5 donate unwanted bikes in any condition to the Penfield Recreation/Penfield Rotary Bike Drop for R Community Bikes. October 18 is our annual Halloween event and Ghost Walk. October 29 is the Pre-School Halloween Party with the Penfield Seniors. November 7 is the Veterans seminar and Honor Flight presentation. The Penfield Players will present six performances of the classic comedy Born Yesterday in November. Please join us for any or all of these activities.

For details on any of the above special events or Recreation Department programs please contact us at www.penfieldrec.org, recreation@penfield.org or 340-8655. We look forward to seeing you at an event this fall!


August 21, 2013
“Passport Night in Penfield” Thursday, August 29 5:30-7:30

Penfield residents in need of a new or updated passport are invited to attend “Passport Night in Penfield” on Thursday, August 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, Town Clerk Amy Steklof, and Town Councilwoman Paula Metzler. Please call the Town Clerk’s office at 340-8627 to sign up in advance, however registration is not required.

“We’ve hosted “Passport Night in Penfield” multiple times a year since 2009. Resident feedback has been terrific—so many people have told me they appreciate the convenience and efficiency of this service. I’m looking forward to helping more Penfield families manage their passport needs on August 29,” said Town Clerk Amy Steklof.

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. Some passport renewals may be eligible to renew by mail and save the $25 processing fee. County Clerk staff will review options with applicants on an individual basis.

“Passport Night in Penfield is a great opportunity to get documents in order. It’s not too early to get organized for 2014 travel,” said Councilwoman Paula Metzler.

“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 Penfield Town Hall, I commend Penfield leaders for partnering with me in order to bring these important services to the people of this community.”

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 and their parents’ names; 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 website 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 website 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 along with a copy of their Driver License.


August 19, 2013
Supervisor’s Column: Week of 8/19

The “Friends of the Penfield Public Library” asked me to remind you that their 37th annual used book sale is just around the corner, running from September 10-14. More than 95,000 items will be for sale including books, videos, DVDs, CDs, vinyl records, games, puzzles and software. The sale begins with a member only pre-sale on Tuesday, September 10 from 2:00 to 9:00 p.m. If you are not a member, no problem! Stop in at the library before the sale and join, a one-year membership is only $5.00. The sale runs Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday is half-price day and sale hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Saturday is $3.00 per bag day from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Shoppers are encouraged to bring their own bags, and baby strollers and shopping carts are prohibited due to narrow aisles.

Interested in a canoe adventure and reliving LaSalle’s exploration along Irondequoit Bay? Try taking a guided trip led by naturalist and historian Dick Frietas. Eight “explorers” per “war canoe” will travel the Ellison Park Wetlands to LaSalle’s Landing and learn about his multiple trips to our great community. The adventure takes place three different times on Sunday, September 15 from Bay Creek Paddle Center located at 1099 Empire Blvd., choose from tours at 12-2 p.m., 2-4 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. Please register through the Penfield Recreation Department by calling 340-8655 or log on at www.penfieldrec.org. There is a $22.00 fee for this program.

2014 budget update…next year’s budget continues to take shape and I will be presenting the “Tentative Budget” to the Town Board with Town Comptroller Bob Beedon on Wednesday, September 11 at 7:30 p.m. Please note that this would normally have been done the first Wednesday of the month; however, due to the Rosh Hashanah Holiday, we have moved it a week and will have a special town board legislative session in conjunction with our normal work session. The Office of the State Comptroller recently set the allowable levy growth factor for local governments with fiscal year beginning January 1, 2014 at 1.66%. Under the tax levy cap formula put in place two years ago, the allowable rate of increase in the levy is limited to the rate of inflation or 2%, whichever is less. As the inflation factor is currently at 1.66%, the legally permitted increase in the levy is set at 1.66% for 2014. The inflation growth factor is based on growth in the 12-month average of the Consumer Price Index at a point six months before the start of a fiscal year.

As I was doing some much needed clean up and clean out of the LaFountain shed and garage over the weekend, I accumulated a rather large pile of items to be discarded. Our normal refuse collection day is Tuesday and it would have been very easy to add most of the items to the normal trash collection this week. However, as our family continues to look for ways to reduce materials that get sent to the landfill, I pulled out my “ecopark” list of accepted items card to check out what I could recycle. Amazing…I was able to recycle the following items in a one stop drop: electronic waste, bulk cardboard, printer cartridges, Styrofoam packing, fluorescent bulbs, clothing, scrap metal, several flags, and approximately seven gallons of old paint. This is only about a third of the list of items that Ecopark will accept; I wish I had a bigger truck! If you have visited “ecopark” you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you should check it out. It is located at 10 Avion Drive, 14624 and open Wednesday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Household Hazardous Waste drop-off requires an appointment. For more information, log-on at www.monroecounty.gov/ecopark. Consider getting a few neighbors together to pool your recyclable items and take over a car or truck load of materials—you will be glad to get rid of items you never use and you will feel good about recycling and not impacting the landfills!

As I am writing this column, it dawns on me that Labor Day is just a few short weeks away. Please enjoy this time before the kids head back to school and we get into our fall routine. Be well and be safe…I look forward to seeing you out and about this great town!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org

 


August 19, 2013
Guest Columnist week of 8/19: Thomas Tette, Director of Building, Fire Marshal, Code Compliance & Zoning

It is a pleasure and privilege to guest write for the supervisor’s column on behalf of the Building, Code Enforcement, Fire Marshal & Zoning Department.

The town of Penfield is a busy, growing community of families, businesses and organizations. The department of Building, Code Enforcement, Fire Marshal & Zoning serves the community in many ways—some more visible than others. Whatever the task, every day we work to make our community a safe place to live, gather, and conduct business.

As you may imagine, our team supports nearly every private and commercial project in town. It is our job to ensure homes, businesses, and small and large projects come to fruition in a way that meets compliance requirements and keeps our community safe.

To do this, we issue permits for construction, renovations, and operations as required by New York State and international building codes. The Town of Penfield, when necessary, has additional, more restrictive, building and code compliance regulations for the well being of all who live, work and visit our town.

Department inspectors review properties and respond to complaints to enforce Town Code. The Fire Marshal weighs in on new development projects as a member of the town’s Project Review Committee, and inspects new and existing properties for compliance. Our Zoning department guides residents and developers on Code compliance and serves as a liaison to the Zoning Board of Appeals to receive and review property owner requests for variances to Town Code. If you’re curious about Town Code, you can read it all online at www.penfield.org under ‘online documents.’

So what have we been busy with the past several months? Here are a few highlights:

In 2012 the Building Department issued 140 new building permits for single family homes and 102 building permits for other home improvement projects in Penfield such as sheds, pools, decks and additions. Do you know Penfield led Monroe County in building new homes in 2012? This year is also active; we have issued 73 permits for new homes through July.

Our Code Compliance officers investigated more than 200 complaints in 2012. This year, to date, we have investigated more than 120 complaints that include, but are not limited to, such things as illegally parked vehicles, nuisance trash or debris, high grass and weeds, and illegal outside storage. All of these violations fall under the umbrella of “property maintenance.”

In 2012 the Fire Marshal inspected and issued 98 Operating Permits for areas of public assembly. He also inspected 58 multiple dwellings building. This year’s Fire Marshal inspections have yielded 118 Operating Permits through the month of July.

The Zoning Board of Appeals acted on 75 applications for variances in 2012, each requiring extensive research and deliberation. Through June of 2013 the board has reviewed 31 applications. The Zoning Board meets every third Thursday of the month in the town hall auditorium.

What is going on around town right now? Besides the normal building of single family homes, you may have seen that a Tim Hortons is currently under construction at 2230 Penfield Road near the Route 250/441 intersection. Also, the Hess Gas Station at 2180 Penfield Road is putting in a drive-through around the back to accommodate a new Burger King, and BayTowne Plaza redevelopment is well underway with a new “street of shops” concept in the former Tops location. Check it out if you are nearby.

Before you begin any project, we welcome your questions and visits to help ensure your safety and success. Please feel free to drop in and visit us on the second floor of the Penfield Town Hall or call us at these numbers: Building Department at 340-8636, Code Enforcement at 340-8635, or Fire Marshal at 340-8643.


August 15, 2013
Friends of Penfield Library Used Book Sale 9/10-14

The “Friends of the Penfield Library” (FPL) will host the group’s 37th Annual Used Book Sale September 10-14 at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road.

More than 95,000 items will be for sale including books, videos, DVDs, CDs, vinyl records, games, puzzles, and software. Items are conveniently sorted by category.

“With their proceeds from the Book Sale, the Friends generously support programming for all ages here at the library,” said Bernadette Brinkman, Penfield Library Director. “The Friends also pay for enhancements to library service for the community beyond the provisions of our operating budget, such as an upgrade to our assistive listening device, so those with hearing challenges can enjoy programming in our Braman Room, and a device to clean and resurface our DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, so borrowers can rely on their playability.”

The sale begins with a members-only pre-sale on Tuesday, September 10 from 2:00 to 9:00 p.m. Supporters may join at the door, however because of crowds, the Friends recommend joining or renewing in advance of the sale at the Penfield Library. A one-year membership is $5.00 (the same low fee for many years).

The general public is welcome to attend the sale September 11-14. Hours and daily specials are as follows:

Wednesday, 9/11 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, 9/12 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Friday, 9/13 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (half-price day)

Saturday, 9/14 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. ($3 bag)

Shoppers should bring their own bags. Food and drink are not allowed. Also, because of narrow aisles, please do not bring baby strollers or shopping carts.


August 13, 2013
Supervisor’s Column: Week of 8/12

This past weekend I attended a retirement gathering for Carol Enfonde, who retired after 36 years with the Town of Penfield. I first met Carol in 1977 and had an opportunity to work with her over the years as she supported many town departments. Some may remember her from the Town Clerk’s Office as Receiver of Taxes; many may have dealt with her at the Building Department when picking up a permit for a home, an addition, or a pool. I understand that Carol’s next job is to be a full-time grandmother and do some gardening. On behalf of all town employees, congratulations Carol on a great career and best wishes for the next chapter of your life!

I was also honored to attend an 80th birthday gathering for Don Nelson-Nasca. Don is an active member of the Local History Room Advisory Committee and a long-time resident of East Penfield. You may have seen Don in his replica civil war uniform giving one of his many lectures describing the tactics of the Union and Confederate Generals and what might have happened if Abraham Lincoln had not been re-elected in 1864. Maybe you have seen him demonstrating the method for loading his smooth-bore musket with ammunition, or highlighting the contents of a standard backpack and describing battlefield food preparation. Don, thank you for all you do in our community to share your knowledge of American history, and congratulations on what you told me was the 30th anniversary of your 50th birthday!

2014 budget update…in last week’s column I spoke about health care costs, specifically about the fact that our consortium was able to hold the 2014 cost increase to 9 percent before the additional taxes and fees of 3.5 percent that are being levied by the Federal Government. A resident, to his credit, called me on the 9 percent by saying it seems as though we are celebrating that the rates are only up 9 percent, and the consortium should be demanding even lower costs from health care providers, as the current model of significant increases for health care year-on-year are not sustainable. This resident was spot-on with his observation, and all of us in business, government, and as individuals, must look for ways to reduce the cost of medical as we move forward. I will take this as a challenge to help our consortium better focus on educating members to be better advocates for themselves and their families on early detection, knowing “their numbers,” and overall wellness education as these are ways to help better mange costs. I want to thank this resident for not accepting good practices but demanding best practices!

The Town’s Employee Wellness Committee asked me to share some interesting facts on the “rule of threes”: you can live three minutes without air; three days without water; and three weeks without food; if you have an endless supply of water you could live for months without food but not without water! By reaching for water instead of a soda you will save money, reduce calories, and create a healthy lifestyle habit. In a world of specialty coffees, soft drinks, and energy boosters, please do yourself a favor and remember to chose water above all other drinks. Your body needs water to function and survive…and it’s good for you!

Mark your calendars for the eleventh annual Family First/Town of Penfield 5K Challenge to be held on Sunday, September 29 starting at the Community Center. Check-in is at 8:00 a.m. and the race will begin at 9:00 a.m. The race fee before September 23 is $20 or $25 after that. There will be more than $1,000 in prizes given away, including $100 to each of the top male and female finishers in each age category. For more information on the 5K Challenge and more fall events, log on to www.penfieldrec.org.

Important dates and events in history: August 14, 1945 – Japan surrenders “unofficially” ending World War II; August 15, 1914 – The Panama Canal opens for business; August 21, 1959 – Hawaii is the fiftieth state admitted to the Union.

Until next week, be well and be safe…and consider drinking a few extra glasses of water!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org
 


August 12, 2013
Guest Columnist week of 8/12: Geoffrey Benway, Town Engineer, PE

It is an honor to be this week’s guest columnist for the supervisor. As Town Engineer, I will provide a peek into the activities of the town’s busy Engineering Department.

The Engineering Department works with the supervisor’s office and other departments on a wide variety of projects. We provide technical support for most public works projects, and we oversee the construction of new housing and commercial developments.

Our group includes Junior Engineer, Mark DiFrancesco; Engineering Assistant, Jim Fletcher; part-time clerk, Lisa Smith, and me. We also coordinate all activities with the Town Landscaping Consultant, Bruce Zaretsky.

One of our most significant jobs is to support the town board and planning board by reviewing plans submitted for their review and approval. Our duties include overseeing the construction of approved projects through inspections and management of letters of credit. These are financial guarantees provided by developers to insure that all improvements are built to town specifications and that all conditions imposed by the approving board have been followed.

Do you know there are approximately 60 miles of sidewalks in Penfield? The Engineering Department oversees the town’s sidewalk program including design, permitting, easement preparations, and construction. The town board establishes the annual budget for sidewalk funds to construct new sidewalks and repair damaged areas. In addition to the town’s sidewalk efforts, the department must oversee sidewalks that are installed as part of the requirements for new developments. The Town of Penfield Sidewalk Policy is available on the town’s website, and we always welcome suggestions for areas in need of sidewalk or repair. In fact, the town’s website provides a form to submit sidewalk requests. You can find the sidewalk policy and suggestion form online at www.penfield.org, then choose ‘departments’, ‘engineering,’ ‘sidewalks;’ or contact us at 340.8619, engineer@penfield.org, or by letter.

One of our busiest and perhaps most misunderstood duties is addressing drainage concerns and projects. Our department receives countless calls on the topic of drainage. Calls are at their peak during spring rain events, or in years like 2013, when we get higher than average rainfalls in summer months. The drainage review process involves a site visit to collect data and a review of existing property documents, maps and easements. If a public works project is merited, we prepare the necessary design work and submit it to the Public Works Department via a work order. The timing of a project depends upon DPW workload, availability of materials, weather, staffing conflicts, and special equipment needs. Some projects require the town to obtain an easement from property owners or a permit from the MCDOT, NYSDOT, NYSDEC, or the USACOE. Gaining permits from third parties can take anywhere from two to 12 months! At the same time, for the benefit of the entire community and the environment, we try to maintain our existing storm sewers and drainage ways. This includes hikes down steep slopes to inspect our facilities and obtain necessary permits to keep ditches clear to preserve our valuable agricultural lands as well as protect our homes and businesses. These projects also require permits before any work can be done.

We also encourage residents to check their property instrument survey maps prior to starting any improvement project. Important easements may be in place for various purposes including protection of buried utilities or providing access to staff and equipment.

The Engineering Department directly manages “Topsoil Sales” permits and “Fill/Excavation” permits. Any placement of fill or digging of soil in excess of 50 cubic yards (about five full truckloads) requires a permit. It is always best to contact the Engineering Department before starting any major earth moving project.

The Engineering Department is here to assist you! Please contact us at 585.340.8681 or email us at engineer@penfield.org

 


August 5, 2013
Guest Columnist week of 8/5: Peggy Revelle, Receiver of Taxes, Town of Penfield
I’d like to take my opportunity as guest columnist to share information on the tax collection and payment process, and share details that may make payments more convenient.
 
The Town of Penfield Tax Office, located at the town hall, handles the collection of property taxes for 13,300 parcels of land. In addition to collecting Town/County taxes, the tax office is responsible for the collection of school taxes in Penfield for Penfield Central School District, Webster Central School District, and the Pittsford Central School district. We also collect school taxes for Penfield CSD residents who live in the towns of Walworth and Macedon. 
 
Back-to-school season is approaching—and that means school tax collection will soon be upon us. School tax bills will be mailed the last business day of August and should reach mailboxes the first week of September. School taxes are collected September 1 to October 
1, 2013. Due to the Labor Day holiday, our first day of collection is September 3. Now is the time to call if you have an address change or if you need your bill mailed to a temporary address. We can also can email your tax bill or mail a copy to a winter residence. 
 
Do you know there are a few different ways to pay tax bills? Many residents choose to pay in person at the town hall during business hours, Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. After business hours, payments can still be made at the town hall by using our payment drop box at the main entrance. Just slip your payment into the secure box. It is emptied at 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., and payments are date-stamped on that business day. 
M&T Bank provides yet another payment option at its Penfield branch locations (2201 Penfield Road, 625 Panorama Trail, and 1838 Empire Blvd.) M&T will accept full payment of school taxes through October 1. After October 1 this option is no longer available.
The Monroe County Treasury office offers online payment with credit cards or e-checks. This option comes with a bank service fee. We encourage anyone using online bill payments with their own personal bank to submit the payment 10 business days before the due date. Why? Payments made through online bill pay services do not include a postmark, the payment date becomes the day the check arrives in our office mail and your payment is calculated based on this date—not the day your bank issued the check! Therefore, when you pay by online banking, you do so at your own risk.
 
School tax payments may also be made in three installments. The full schedule is on the town website, www.penfield.org. The first installment is due September 15; if paid September 16 to 20, add (1%). The first installment is paid at or mailed to the Penfield Town Hall. The second installment (due October 15) and third installment (due November 15) are payable to the Monroe County Treasury. Payments made outside those dates are subject to interest payments. All payments are processed according to the U.S. dated postmark. 
 
Town and County Taxes bills are mailed on the last business day of December and due February 10. Payments made after February 10 are subject to interest penalties. Special mailings are available upon request. Please call ahead if you wish to pay your tax bill in the current calendar year. In January 2010 a third payment option was introduced that allows partial payments. The first payment is the first installment, or 25 percent of the total bill. Each additional payment must be a minimum of $100. Each payment is calculated with the accrued interest at 1.5 percent per month after February 10.
 
If you are a new homeowner and find the escrow process confusing, feel free to call and I will assist you. Escrow accounts can sometimes be inaccurate; I can provide a letter for your mortgage holder to help correct any discrepancies.
 
For information about other payment options, please contact me at 340.8625 or visit the Monroe County Treasury or visit the County website at http://www.monroecounty.gov/apps/propertyapp.php 
 
We are here to serve you.

August 5, 2013
Supervisor's Column: Week of 8/5
Over the weekend I had the pleasure to work with about forty representatives from The Nature Conservancy, Lexmark and the PGA of America on a program the PGA sponsored to plant trees at Penfield’s Rothfuss Park. These trees will help offset the impact of printing and paper products generated over the course of the seven day 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club this week. Penfield has had a long-standing relationship with The Nature Conservancy and has collaborated on many projects and programs over the years. The purchase of the Rothfuss property was a joint venture by the Town and the Nature Conservancy in an effort to keep a valuable piece of farm land, part of Penfield’s rich agricultural heritage, as a passive and active park while also adding land to the Thousand Acre Swamp Preserve. I was delighted that The Nature Conservancy selected the Rothfuss Park site to plant 18 oak trees and 15 disease-resistant elm trees, and I want to thank Lexmark and the PGA of America for their positive commitment to the environment. I would also like to recognize our DPW staff for having all the holes prepared to complete the plantings. Over the next several years it will be exciting to see these trees grow and develop, which will add even more beauty to this wonderful park.

2014 budget update…last week I discussed run-away pension costs; this week I would like to update you on medical costs. As I have mentioned in the past, Penfield is part of a twelve-member health care consortium with several towns, villages, small cities and the Rochester Housing Authority. By forming this consortium we were able to better leverage and mange overall costs. For 2014 our group was able to keep the increase to 9%, however, there is more to this story! What we recently learned is that while we were able to keep these costs below double digits, which will not be the norm for many other communities, we were hit with the reality of the impact of the increased fees and taxes to be charged by the federal government to pay for the new Health Care Act…REALLY! On top of the 9% increase we planned for, these additional fees and taxes by the federal government adds 3.5% of costs to our medical premiums…UNBELIEVEABLE! Our department heads and Town Board continue to look for ways to help offset these growing and unfunded costs being pushed down by the state and federal governments. Our commitment remains the same to you our taxpayers: to look for ways internally to cut costs and reduce spending to minimize the impact. We continue to streamline all of our processes, selectively replace employees who have retired, and look for more ways to partner with other communities. As you have the opportunity to see your state and federal representatives, please take a moment and ask them what they are doing to help reduce costs and cut spending. I assume you might have the same experience as I did when you ask this question, which included the response “You can not appreciate the bigger picture that we are working on,” and the famous “Let’s change the subject so I do not have to answer the difficult questions!” We have to keep the pressure on and ask those difficult questions. Government has gotten too big and is spending money on many of the wrong things.

I was recently asked about the Penfield DPW performing work at the MCC campus. For the last 10+ years Penfield has been invited to bid on work at MCC for parking lot construction and maintenance, curbing and drainage. We will spend two to three weeks performing this type of work. This helps to generate additional revenue for projects in our community, which we may not have had the money to do otherwise. We are always sensitive to the amount of time we spend out of the community; however the revenue generated makes this a win/win for Penfield.

I would like you to mark your calendars for Saturday, September 14 for the 10th annual Tastin’ the Blues, to be held at Penfield Amphitheater and Kiwanis Stage from 12 – 4PM. Steve Grills and the Roadmasters will be on the stage, Dundee will be providing a line up of locally brewed beer for sampling, and chili contestants will have hot chili available for judging. I have already started to gather my materials for the award winning chili “The Pride of Penfield.” I hope to see you there!

Until next week - enjoy the wonderful weather ahead, it looks to be an almost perfect week!

Tony
supervisor@penfield.org              

August 2, 2013
PGA Tree Planting Event Rothfuss Park 8/4
The Nature Conservancy will team up with Lexmark International, Inc., and the Town of Penfield Parks Department on Sunday, August 4 at 1:00 p.m. to support The PGA of America with a tree-planting event at Rothfuss Park in Penfield. The new trees will help offset the impact of printing and paper products generated over the course of the seven-day 2013 PGA Championship at the Oak Hill Country Club, August 5-11. Read full announcement.



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