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December 29, 2014
A Message from Supervisor LaFountain regarding the 2015 Combined Town and County Tax Bill

Dear Penfield Property Taxpayer:
The 2015 Combined Town and County Tax Bills will be mailed to property owners on December 31, 2014.

I would like to share information you may find helpful as you review your bill. You may wish to have your tax bill on-hand as you read through this information.
Please note:

  • Your bill may not contain all of the elements I will describe because not all properties are located within parks, lighting, sewer, or other special districts.
  • Some items on your tax bill are based on the assessed valuation of your property and others are charged at a flat rate.
  • The Combined Town and County Tax Bill does not include the operation of school districts. The Penfield, Pittsford, and Webster school districts that serve Penfield residents are separate entities with their own elected school boards and budgets. School district taxes are levied in September of each year.

Town Tax Rate
The 2015 Town of Penfield tax rate is $2.645 per $1,000 assessed property valuation. As an example, a property with an assessed valuation of $175,000 (shown on the tax bill as “Total Assessed Value”) will have a town tax of $462.88 (175,000 divided by 1,000 = 175; 175 x 2.645 = 462.88).

County Tax Rate
The 2015 Monroe County budget tax rate is $8.39 per $1,000 assessed valuation for the Town of Penfield after the town’s allocation of county sales tax is applied.

Note: The City of Rochester, villages, and school districts receive their sales tax allocations in cash. Towns receive a portion of county sales tax in cash; the balance is given as a sales tax credit on the county tax rate.

The following is a description of some elements of your tax bill:

Tax Levy
The town tax levy finances town services such as snow removal, repair, and maintenance of town roads. The tax levy also funds the services of the public library, parks, recreation programs, town courts, and general town operations. The town receives reimbursement from Monroe County and New York State for snow and ice control. Approximately 39% of the town tax supports the Department of Public Works with necessary equipment and supplies.

Special Districts

  • Fire District rates vary depending on property location. The Town of Penfield has three fire districts, each with its own elected commissioners who prepare a budget and levy a tax. The Town of Penfield acts as tax collector for fire districts; it does not have responsibility for fire district budgets.
  • The Penfield Ambulance tax is $.022 per $1,000 and applies only to residents in that district.
  • The County Pure Waters District 2 (PW2) charge is for capital cost (CAP) and operation and maintenance (O&M). Homes not in a sanitary sewer district pay only the parcel charge. Pure Waters funds cover debt services on the County Pure Waters sewer system that was designed to help abate pollution of Irondequoit Creek and Irondequoit Bay.
  • The Town-wide Light District charge of $.059 per $1,000 funds maintenance of streetlights commissioned by the town board.
  • The Consolidated Water District charge funds debt service for this town-wide district; the rate is $.002 per $1,000 for 2015.
  • The Penfield Drainage District levy funds maintenance and improvement of the town-wide storm drainage system, which includes storm sewers as well as many creeks and streams. The levy per household is approximately $3.83; the levy for vacant land is calculated using a formula based on acreage.
  • The Sewer Debt Service charge supports the debt of the Consolidated Sewer District. All properties within the Penfield Consolidated Sanitary Sewers District pay sewer debt service of $66.27 per household (unit). Only properties that are connected to the sanitary sewer system are required to pay operation and maintenance; the Sewer Operation and Maintenance charge for 2015 is $41.42.

Tax bills may be paid in full or by installment using the payment stubs at the bottom of the tax bill. Payments may be made by mail, in person at the Tax Receiver’s office in the Penfield Town Hall (3100 Atlantic Avenue, Penfield, NY 14526), at M&T Bank locations in Penfield, or at the drop box at the town hall. Please call the Tax Receiver with any questions at 340-8626.

R. Anthony LaFountain
Town Supervisor

December 29, 2014
Supervisor’s column: Week of 12/29

Several months ago the town board met with Chris Bilow, Penfield’s Recreation Director, and asked that PenRec look into offering more organized winter and spring break week programs. The board’s interest was to provide more programs for families that may not be traveling during school break weeks and give parents peace of mind that their children are safe and being watched over while engaged in entertaining activities. Programs during breaks would also allow parents to reserve vacation time for future family activities. I’m happy to share that PenRec has come up with several options for upcoming breaks. Children can pursue an interest, develop a skill, or just have fun! Sessions will be filled with a variety of activities including arts and crafts, special events, and physical and recreational activities. You may register for the entire week or individual days based on your family’s needs. Learn more at

The Fire Marshal’s Office would like to share some thoughts on the safe use of space heaters and fireplaces. While these heating devices may help you feel cozy and warm, they can become extremely dangerous if not used properly. On average, research shows that heating equipment is involved in in an estimated 60,420 reported U.S. home fires per year. These fires resulted in 488 civilian deaths, 1,621 civilian injuries, and $913 million in direct property damage per year.

Home heating fires are largely preventable when you know the rules. The Town of Penfield’s goal is to reduce the number of home-heating fires in our community; however, we need your help. We are urging Penfield families to use extra caution this winter when heating homes. Four out of five heating fire deaths (81 percent), more than two-thirds of the injuries (70 percent), and half of the property damage (51 percent) involve stationary or portable space heaters, including wood stoves.

To help keep our community safe and warm this season, the Fire Marshal’s Office recommends the following guidelines:

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home. For the best protection interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one alarm sounds, they all sound. Test smoke alarms at least once a month. Be sure your home has both photoelectric and ionization smoke alarms, or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms also known as dual sensor smoke alarms. 
  • Remember that space heaters need space. Keep all things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least three feet away from heating equipment. Turn portable heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room. Plug power cords only into outlets with sufficient capacity, and never into an extension cord. Inspect for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections and replace before using. 
  • If you have a fireplace, have your chimney inspected each year by a qualified professional and cleaned if necessary. Use a sturdy fireplace screen. Allow ashes to cool before disposing, and placed those cooled ashes in a metal container. 
  • Install and maintain a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Never use an oven to heat your home. With these simple and easy precautions, help us meet our goal of decreasing home-heating fires this winter.

I would like to recognize and thank Rabbi Yitzi Hein, Co-director, Chabad of Pittsford, for organizing the purchase and placement of the Menorah located in Schaufelberger Park. The town board looks forward to this Menorah being lit annually as part of our holiday celebration.

Until next week, may all of you and your families have a happy, healthy and joyous New Year!


December 22, 2014
Town of Penfield website earns top ranking among NYS municipalities

The Town of Penfield earned top ranking among municipal websites in New York State, in a report put out recently by the Empire Center for Public Policy. Penfield was recognized for its website’s ease of use and access to information for residents. The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) think-tank based in Albany, NY.

The report reviewed the 500 most populous county, town, city, village and school district websites in New York State between July and September 2014. Websites were evaluated based on the availability of information such as contact information, spending data, labor contracts and public meeting records, and the ease of locating the items.

“It is our goal to ensure that Penfield residents have access to all public information on our website within one business day of its release to the public,” said Town of Penfield webmaster David Renner. “Our site is not real flashy, but we pride ourselves on transparency and the content we provide.”

Eighty-five percent of the municipalities evaluated earned a failing grade, according to the report. The report states, “Most of the 500 local government and school district websites we reviewed…need major improvements before they will be providing citizens with all the public information to which they are entitled.” Further, 427 of the websites failed to receive even a minimum passing grade of “D,” based on the report’s scoring criteria. Penfield received a “B” rating by earning the highest number of points (122 of a possible 146) among the 103 evaluated town websites. The report also highlighted Penfield as one of the “good examples” for others to follow to improve their websites. No websites achieved an “A” rating.

“I would like to thank Town of Penfield staff for their efforts to consistently look for ways to improve and enhance our website,” said Penfield Town Supervisor Tony LaFountain. “Our website has become an essential part of daily business and is used regularly by our residents and the general public.”

Penfield has had a website presence since the early 1990s, and currently develops and implements all of the content in-house.

December 22, 2014
Supervisor’s column: Week of 12/22

Recent snowfall has prompted the Fire Marshal’s Office to remind us all that a clearly visible and accessible fire hydrant could save your home – or even your life! If a fire hydrant is lost or buried in snow, firefighters can lose valuable time trying to locate it when they first arrive at a fire. You can perform a valuable public service and protect yourself, your family, and your neighbors, by taking the responsibility for shoveling out and clearing any fire hydrants near your home during and after a snowstorm.

With more snow sure to be on the way for this winter season, they have offered the following suggestions: Know the location of any fire hydrants in your neighborhood and make sure they are shoveled clear after each snowfall. Clear the snow three feet all around hydrants so firefighters have enough room to connect a hose. Look out for elderly or handicapped neighbors by taking a few extra minutes to shovel out the hydrants in front of their homes. So please take some time now to save precious minutes during a fire emergency. A few scoops of snow today could make all the difference in a timely response.

The Penfield Trails Committee invites you to participate in the next guided hike to be held in Ellison Park on Saturday, January 10 from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Dust off your cross-country skis or snowshoes and join in for an exhilarating trip through the scenic park. If there is not snow, the hike will still take place. While the hike is free, all participants are asked to pre-register by calling Penfield Recreation at 340-8655. Meet at the north side of the parking lot off Blossom Road and look for the hike signs.

You may have noticed that the buildings adjacent to Mark’s Pizza were recently torn down in the Four Corners. This is the first phase of the Mark’s Pizza expansion. In the spring of 2015 a new building will be constructed on the site to provide expanded services including indoor seating. Later in the summer they will open outdoor dining that will be adjacent to and incorporated with Schaufelberger Park. Once this is completed the existing Mark’s will be razed to make way for expanded parking and interconnection to Canandaigua National Bank, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, and Yotini’s. During the completed demo and reconstruction Mark’s will remain open to serve their customers. Owner Mark Crane has been working with the town board and historic preservation board over the last year to design a building in keeping with the historic character of the Four Corners. Watch the progress of the new construction starting this spring.

I recently had the pleasure of stopping in at the Penfield Rotary annual holiday party to pay the membership a visit and thank them for their service to the Penfield Community. Rotary is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. Rotary's primary motto is "Service Above Self.” Its secondary motto is "One profits most who serves best." If you have an interest in the Penfield Rotary, please log on to for more information. On behalf of all the residents of Penfield, I would like to recognize and thank current president Steve Ketch and the entire Penfield membership for your service and commitment to our community, it does make a difference.

One last reminder, registration begins January 2 (unless otherwise noted) for all of the winter/spring programs offered by the Penfield Recreation Department. Check out all the details in current PenRec brochure that was recently delivered in your mailbox or log on to

Be well and be safe during this holiday season!


December 15, 2014
Supervisor’s column: Week of 12/15

I would like to recognize our Highway and Parks/Facilities Departments for all their efforts last week to respond to the first measurable snow of the season. Crews spent many hours to help ensure the roadways, sidewalks and community parking lots were plowed and salted for the safety of our residents. When the rate of snow comes as it did, combined with the high moisture rate, it is very difficult to keep up with accumulation and the routes take longer to clear. Crews concentrate on plowing all major arteries and the subdivisions follow. With this particular snow pattern once we have completed a plow pass throughout the entire town, it needs to be done again. Thank you for your patience. Please drive with care and allow extra time for your commute.

Another important reminder from your Highway Department: New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law and New York State Highway Law prohibit depositing any snow upon the highway or its shoulders. This includes pushing snow across a highway or into a cul-de-sac. Many neighbors complain about this during the winter months. The Monroe County Sheriff Deputies will issue tickets if this occurs. Plow contractors must push the snow only onto a customer’s property only.
I would like to recognize and give a special thank you to the Creative Gardeners of Penfield for decorating the rotunda area of the Penfield Town Hall for the holidays with wreaths, ribbons, and festive decorations. The team of stealth decorators truly operated like Santa’s elves and were in and out of the town hall before we could get their names! Thank you ladies, your work has been enjoyed by employees and the many residents that visit the town hall this time of year. I would also like to recognize Town Clerk Amy Steklof for the Hanukkah display in the rotunda.

Several weeks ago I had a plug in my column for walkers and runners to wear reflective clothing when out before dawn or after dusk. I was reminded by several avid walkers and runners to encourage drivers to be more aware of their surroundings. In this age of everyone being in a hurry and talking on cell-phones and texting, drivers are concentrating less on the road, crosswalks, and stop signs. Therefore, even though reflective clothing is being worn, drivers are not seeing people in the roadway and many near misses have occurred. Further, in this wintry season, everyone needs to be mindful of reduced road surface and high snow banks after a big snowfall. If you are running or walking can you be seen and can you quickly get out of the way of an oncoming vehicle? If you are driving in wintry conditions are you prepared to avoid people in the road? Let’s be safe this winter.

Penfield Library staff wants families to know there are two exciting programs coming up at the end of the year. The first is Doll’s Winter Tea Party on Tuesday, December 30 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. for children K-5. The second is Happy “New Year” Game Day on Wednesday, December 31 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. for children ages four and up accompanied by an adult. (Children under four will be unable to attend the program.) Registration for these programs begins December 17. For more details on these programs and many more, go to

I was recently asked about the 2015 season dates for the excellent Penfield Rotary Band. Mark your calendars for these six Tuesday night programs: January 6, February 3, March 3, April 7, May 5, and June 2. All of the performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. You will enjoy joining co-musical directors Howie Rowe and Steve Quance, as well as band manager Nels Carman, Jr. Admission is just $1.00 at the door!

With the holiday schedule the Messenger Post Newspaper will be combining the content of the different eastside papers into one issue for the weeks of December 22 and 29; therefore this will be my last column in print for this year. However, I will still be writing my column and you can find it as always on the home page at On behalf of the entire Penfield Town Board, town employees, and the LaFountain family, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a wonderful and healthy New Year. I look forward to serving you in 2015.


December 12, 2014
Clearing Neighborhood Hydrants - Message from Fire Marshal

Due to a recent snowfall here in Penfield the Office of the Fire Marshal would like to remind you that a clearly visible, accessible fire hydrant could save your home, or even your life. If a fire hydrant is lost or buried in snow, firefighters can lose valuable time trying to locate it when they first arrive at a fire. You can perform a valuable public service, and protect yourself, your family, and your neighbors by taking the responsibility of shoveling out and clearing any fire hydrants near your home during and after a snowstorm.

With more snow sure to be on the way, we’d like to offer these suggestions:

1) Know the location of any fire hydrants in your neighborhood.
2) Make sure they are shoveled clear after each snowfall.
3) Clear any snow and ice in the area surrounding these fire hydrants.
4) Clear the snow three feet all around the hydrant so firefighters have enough room to connect a hose.

We would also like to remind you to look out for your elderly, or handicap neighbors, when taking a few extra minutes to shovel out their hydrants. Please take some time now to save precious minutes in case of fire. A few scoops of snow today could make all the difference later.

For more information contact: Tom Tette, Penfield Fire Marshal, at 585-340-8643

December 8, 2014
Supervisor’s column: Week of 12/8

The 2015 Winter/Spring edition of the Penfield Recreation "PenRec" brochure will be hitting mailboxes in the coming week. Registration begins Friday, January 2 unless otherwise noted. Popular programs fill up quickly, so do not delay signing up for your favorites. Please visit to view the brochure online and register.

There is still time to drop off non-perishable food goods for the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf (PEFS) for the upcoming holiday season. You can find donation containers inside the Penfield Community Center adjacent to the Recreation Office and at the town hall in the rotunda. All donated items will be dropped off to PEFS by December 20. Thank you to all who have been so generous to date, your generosity does make a difference for many of our Penfield families.

Are you looking for a different gift to give this holiday season? Are the holidays coming too quickly, and are you feeling pressure that you have not even started your Christmas shopping? We may be able to help you! Gift certificates from Penfield Recreation are available in any denomination and can be used for classes, wellness merchandise, performances, lodge rentals, and much more. To purchase with your credit card call the office at 340-8655(option 6) or stop by the office, our staff would love to see you!

Once again, I have been reminded by the Monroe County Sheriff's Department, Zone A to "watch out" for those who want to do their holiday shopping at your expense. Vehicle break-ins are at their highest level at this time of the year. Make sure your vehicle is always locked and do not leave gifts or valuables in your vehicle overnight. If you are out at the store or mall consider locking gifts in the trunk and out of sight or cover them up to disguise. Also, vehicle break-ins at gyms and other sports facilities are higher this time of the year. Be aware of your surroundings, park in a lit area, have your cell phone in hand, and do not place your purse or wallet in the trunk at the facility before you walk in to exercise— you never know who is watching!

The Shepherd Home presents its annual "Wings of Light Luminaria" event on Monday, December 15 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. The luminaries are small bags holding sand and a lighted candle. They will all be lit at once to create a glowing nighttime holiday display on the grounds of the Shepherd Home at 1959 Five Mile Line Road. There is still time to purchase but don't delay. You can honor or memorialize a friend or loved one with a personalized luminary. Come join in a peaceful evening of light, laughter, and love. To learn more, please visit

I would like to recognize and thank Dave Woodward, owner and operator of Woody Acres Farm located at 1530 Harris Road, for donating the annual Christmas tree for the Town Hall rotunda. The 14-foot tree will be enjoyed by many Penfield residents throughout the holiday season. This is another example of the very generous and caring residents we have in this great community. Dave, may you and your entire family have a very healthy and happy holiday season.

Mark your calendars for a special holiday donation. The American Red Cross is holding a holiday blood drive on Wednesday, December 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Penfield Community Center. You can schedule a donation appointment by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or just walk in! This is one of the best presents I can think of giving this holiday season.

I would like to recognize and thank Boy Scout Troop 312 for donating two wreaths to the Town of Penfield at our last town board meeting. Boy Scout Mitchell Krenzer was on hand to represent the troop and present the wreaths to his aunt, and town board member, Paula Metzler. The troop wanted to recognize the Town of Penfield for support during the year including Eagle projects and attending various troop functions. The wreaths will be proudly displayed at town facilities.

Until next week, enjoy the current mild weather for this time of the year…be well and be safe!


December 3, 2014
Guided Hike at Thousand Acre Swamp
The Penfield Trails Committee will sponsor a free guided hike at The Nature Conservancy’s Thousand Acre Swamp on Saturday, December 13, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.

This guided 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.

Thousand Acre Swamp is located next to Penfield Volunteer Ambulance base (1587 Jackson Road). Participants should turn into the access road next to the ambulance base and follow the hike signs to the parking area/trail meet up.

While the hike is free, participants are asked to pre-register by calling Penfield Recreation at 340-8655, option 6.

Penfield Trails Committee is always seeking volunteers to serve on its planning committee, as well as to do manual labor for trails maintenance. For more information, please call Penfield Recreation at (585) 340-8655.

December 3, 2014
YOHP to Perform 'Christmas Carol High School'

Penfield Recreation’s Young Open and Honest Players, a teen drama group, will perform Christmas Carol High School by Mark Landon Smith on Friday, December 12 at Penfield Community Center, beginning at 7:30 pm.

Christmas Carol High School is a humorous re-telling of the classic Dickens’ tale 'A Christmas Carol'. It is a fun, fast comedy that shows us all what the true meaning of Christmas is all about. This is a great way to celebrate the holiday season with your family.

Tickets are $5 and are available at the Penfield Recreation Department and at the door. For more information or to order show tickets in advance, call 340-8655, option 6. 

December 3, 2014
Family Holiday Celebration Dec 5

Join Santa and your friends at Penfield Recreation for our annual Holiday Celebration! Beginning at 5:30 bring your family for a tasty PANCAKE DINNER! Tickets are just $4 per person. Buy tickets in advance at the Recreation office or at the door.

Then, beginning at 6:00 pm, enjoy all the FREE HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES throughout the community center, including: crafts, music, games, visiting with Santa, a Christmas play, and more!

Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Rd.
Dinner: 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Activities: 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Sponsored in part by Starbucks.

December 2, 2014
Be an H20 Hero: Clear leaves from drainage areas

The transition from fall to winter creates unique drainage and water quality issues. Please clear leaves and other debris from drainage areas, gutters, and catch basins to allow stormwater and melting snow to move freely. Learn more at

December 1, 2014
Supervisor’s column: Week of 12/1

After several years of planning, working with property owners, and receiving the required Federal and State permits, Mott’s Lane extension has been completed from Five Mile Line Road to Rt. 441 opposite Liberty Street. Several members of the town board, town staff and the Penfield Business Association, were on hand to cut the ribbon and officially open up this roadway. Over the years the town board has been following a plan to enhance traffic and parking in the Historic Four Corners area. The completion of this roadway is another piece to the puzzle that will improve traffic flow and provide alternate access for businesses. The project also improves off-street parking facilities, pedestrian safety, and the physical environments. I would like to recognize and give a special thank you to the Penfield staff who worked so hard to complete this project: Geoff Benway, Jim Costello, and all the members of the DPW.

Members of the Penfield Trails Committee invite you to their next guided hike on Saturday, December 13 at the Thousand Acre Swamp. This hike will tour the paths and boardwalks of this Nature Conservancy gem in the heart of our great community. 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 (provided there is snow) and other signs of animals. The hike will run from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Please meet at the rear of the Penfield Volunteer Emergency Ambulance building at 1585 Jackson Road and look for the hike signs. While the hike is free, you are asked to pre-register by calling the Penfield Recreation Office at 340-8655.

Eldersource Care Management Services, a collaborative of Lifespan and the Catholic Family Center, is a community intake assessment and care management system. It features one telephone number entry into age-related services and professional social workers who guide older adults and care-givers through the complex long-term care system. For information please call 325-2800. An Eldersource case worker will be at the Penfield Community Center the last Tuesday of every month from 10:00 noon.

The Penfield Business Association (PBA) is holding its annual tree lighting ceremony Monday, December 1 at 5:00 p.m. in Schaufelberger Park at the Four Corners for all who would like to attend. They will also host their 2014 Holiday Party at the Angus House & Lounge, 2126 Five Mile Line Road from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. for all who wish to join in the festivities. The event is free for members and $10 per person for non-members and guests. If you have questions or would like to know more please contact the PBA at

I have noticed with the extended nice weather many residents are enjoying more walking, running and exercising their four-legged friends. I want to remind everyone that mornings and late afternoons are very dark this time of the year. I encourage everyone to wear light clothing and some type of reflective gear so they can be seen by motorists. Please protect yourself from injury. Consider some type of reflective clothing or a vest to reduce the chances of being struck and injured…be well and be safe!

Important Dates and Events in History: December 4, 1619 – The first Thanksgiving is celebrated; December 5, 1933 – The 21st Amendment is added to the Constitution. This Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment that had mandated nationwide prohibition on alcohol on January 17, 1920. It is unique among the 27 amendments of the U.S. Constitution for being the only one to have been ratified by state ratifying conventions; December 6, 1973 – Gerald Ford is sworn in as the 40th vice president of the United States; and December 7, 1941 – Pearl Harbor attack; December 7, 1994 – National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day established by Congress. American flags should be flown at half-mast to honor the 2,000 Americans who gave their lives in the surprise attack.

Until next week, I hope you see you out in our great community!



Town of Penfield
3100 Atlantic Ave, Penfield, New York, 14526 - (585) 340-8600
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