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August 29, 2016
Supervisor’s column August 29, 2016

Supervisor’s column August 29, 2016

On August 24th, Marisa Zwick, an inspired young environmentalist and sixth grade student at Bay Trail, attended the town’s Energy & Environmental Advisory Committee meeting to tell us about her goal to eliminate litter in our town. I will share a bit of her message:

“…A few friends and I started Rock the Earth, a non-profit organization that helps the environment. Our current project is picking up litter to help clean up Penfield. I really think that people have to be aware about littering. Litter is not only in our neighborhoods, but also in community areas like ponds, cemeteries, hiking trials and parks. If you see litter, please pick it up and put it into a garbage can. Be aware of where your garbage goes!”

This summer Marisa and her friends from the Rock the Earth club have focused on clearing litter from the two retention ponds on Baird Road across from the community center. She told us that the most ironic piece of litter they removed was an old beat up “Save the Earth” flyer.

Marisa has applied for a Walt Disney Company “Summer of Service” grant for young change-makers to fund the purchase of protective gloves, trash grabbers, trash bags, and other supplies to support club’s litter collecting projects. She will find out if they were successful with the grant application this fall.

If you would like to support the club’s efforts please contact me and I will connect you with the Zwick family. In the meantime, we can all help Rock the Earth by not littering in the first place! Put trash where it belongs and be sure to recycle at every opportunity. I expect Marisa and her friends would be happy to find less litter in Penfield so they can move ahead to other great projects!

With young residents like Marisa and her friends I believe the future of Penfield is bright.

Mark your calendars for the annual Family First Penfield 5K Challenge XIV to be held Sunday, October 2, with check-in at 8:00 AM and the race start at 9:00 AM. The race will begin and end at Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. The fees are as follows: Before 9/23 - $20.00; 9/26 - 9/30 - $25.00;
Day of Race - $30.00. Cash prizes will be awarded to top male and top female finishers.  There will also be prizes for male and female winners in each age category. Computerized race results will be provided by PCR Timing Services. For more information and to register, go to

September 6th begins another season of Penfield Recreation sponsoring Nels Carman Big Band Nights featuring the Penfield Rotary Band. The 17-member band performs the first Tuesday of every month (except July and August) from 7:30 to 9:30 PM at Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road.

The Penfield Rotary Band was formed in 1954. The band offers western New York's best representation of both the classical sound of late the 1930s through 1940s big band sound as well as showcasing modern big band arrangers, led by The Tonight Show band leader "Doc" Severenson. The band is equally adept at two set swing dance ballroom venues and outdoor stage concerts. The fee is just $1.00 at the door and all are welcome.

Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day is still celebrated in cities and towns across the United States with parades, picnics, barbecues, and other public gatherings. For many Americans, particularly children and young adults, it represents the end of the summer and the start of the back-to-school season.

It is hard to believe we are speaking about Labor Day when just a few short months ago we were celebrating Memorial Day! Please note that all town offices will be closed on Labor Day, Monday, September 5th. May you and your families enjoy the upcoming long weekend as we close out another summer season and prepare for what we hope will be a wonderful fall in Penfield.







August 24, 2016
Penfield Library 40th annual used book sale Sep 13-17
The “Friends of the Penfield Public Library” (FPPL) will host the group’s 40th Annual Used Book Sale September 13–17 at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. Proceeds benefit the Penfield Public Library. All are welcome.

The sale features more than 85,000 items sorted into 50 categories in four rooms. Categories include books, audio books, videos, DVDs, CDs, vinyl records, games, puzzles, and software. Hardcover books are $1.00 and paperbacks are 50 cents. Many specials are individually priced.

“Happy Anniversary to the Friends’ Book Sale,” said Bernadette Brinkman, Penfield Library Director. “Over the 40-year course of this annual event, the Penfield community has benefitted from many additions and improvements to the library made possible by the funds raised by the Friends for that purpose. Last year, Friends’ funds allowed us to upgrade the furniture in our Young Adult area, as well as to continue to completely support the programming for all ages that we are fortunate to be able to offer, thanks to them.”

The library board will host a 40th book sale anniversary celebration with cake for book sale customers on Wednesday, September 14, at 4:00 PM.

The sale begins with a members-only pre-sale on Tuesday, September 13 from 2:00 to 9:00 PM. Supporters may join at the door, however the FPPL 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).

Book sale hours and daily specials are as follows:

MEMBERS ONLY ($5, join in advance or at door)
Tuesday, 9/13               2:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Wednesday, 9/14       10:00 AM – 9:00 PM, anniversary cake at 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, 9/15           10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Friday, 9/16                10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, half-price day
Saturday, 9/17             9:00 AM – 2:00 PM, $3 bag, specials remain half-price

Shoppers should bring their own bags. (Wegmans/Tops reusable bags are appropriate.) Food and drink are not allowed. Aisles are narrow, please do not bring baby strollers or shopping carts.  

August 22, 2016
Supervisor’s column August 22, 2016

Rothfuss Park is always active this time of year with children playing soccer and other sports, families walking the paved trails, and our youngest residents enjoying the playground. However, this past Saturday, Rothfuss Park was even more active as hundreds of families and friends participated in AutismUp’s fourth annual Kiteflite Festival and Expo. Many vendors were on hand to provide valuable information and resources in support of those with autism and their families. Participants enjoyed inflatable climbing walls, slides and a bounce house, hay rides, raffles, face painting, demos by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, Penfield Ambulance, Penfield DPW, and plenty of food.

This ultimate family fundraising festival helps to support the expansion of AutismUp’s unique education programs for those in our community living with autism. On behalf of the Penfield Town Board and our Recreation Department, we are delighted to partner with Executive Director Sara Milko and her entire team at AutismUp to host this wonderful event in Penfield at Rothfuss Park. I have seen this program grow each year and it is our hope our important partnership continues. To learn more about AutismUp and all the great things this organization does for the community go to

Penfield Recreation and the Penfield Public Library are working with Lifespan to determine if there is interest in establishing a volunteer program to provide transportation for senior citizens in the Brighton and Penfield areas, similar to programs in other Monroe County communities. A survey to identify needs and gauge interest is available in hard copy at the Penfield Public Library and is digitally accessible at or

I recently attended the 55+ Fun Fair at the Eastside Y sponsored by Senator Rich Funke. There were many activities for participants including Silver Sneaker Cardio, proper stretching techniques, cooking demonstrations, a presentation on chronic disease prevention, and more. Many vendors were on hand to support this great event. A special thank you to the Eastside Y for hosting and Wickham Farms for offering hayrides. I look forward to this event growing each year to support our seniors in Penfield.

The next hike sponsored by the Penfield Trails Committee will take place at Channing Philbrick Park on Saturday, September 10. Join Town Historian Kathy Kanauer for this Penfield history hike to learn about the life and accomplishments of town founder Daniel Penfield. The hike runs from 9:00 to 11:00 AM; please meet at pavilion in the park and look for the hike signs.

Mark your calendars for the 40th Annual Used Book Sale at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road, sponsored by the Friends of Penfield Public Library. This popular event will run from Wednesday, September 14 through Saturday, September 17. Come and join the fun, four rooms filled with 85,000+ books, CDs, DVDs VHS tapes, records, games, and more! This year, the FPPL will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the sale with cake on September 14 at 4:00 PM.

The subject of my 2017 town budget update this week is how we manage debt. A decision to incur debt is not made lightly. It must be done with an eye on the long-term needs of our community and an understanding of the impact borrowing will make on future budgets. As the town’s infrastructure ages, the town board must look out over the next five to ten years to determine when multi-million dollar projects will be undertaken to minimize the impact to taxpayers. Each budget cycle, the town board works to keep the overall percentage of the town budget appropriated for debt payments to approximately 11 percent, taking care to add new debt as older debt service is retired. The philosophy of long-term planning, staggering the incurrence of debt, and debt stabilization are major reasons the Town of Penfield was recently upgraded to an Aa1 credit rating by Moody’s Investor Services – Penfield is notably one of the few towns in the region to attain this excellent rating.

In addition to prudent borrowing, the Town of Penfield has an aggressive debt schedule, retiring more than 87 percent of principal in ten years. As with any borrowing, the shorter the term of a loan the more favorable the interest rate, thereby saving taxpayer dollars.

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




August 15, 2016
Supervisor’s column August 15, 2016

Heads-up: the Pen-Rec Fall 2016 brochure will be hitting your mailbox any day. This brochure is filled with hundreds of programs offered from now until year-end. You can also view the brochure online right now at Registration begins Tuesday, September 6. Popular programs fill up quickly, so early register early!

Registering online is quick and easy. If you are new to the town or have not registered online in the past go to  to create an account in WebTrac. Click “registration” then “need an account.” After the form is submitted to the Recreation Office a user name and password will be issued to your household. You will use that information to select classes, place them in your shopping cart, and check out on our secure site using Visa, MasterCard or Discover. You will receive a printable receipt for your records.

We look forward to supporting you and your family with our vast array of program offerings. If you would like to suggest a program you do not see offered, please contact our Recreation Department at 340-8655 to speak with one of our team members. All requests are reviewed for consideration — it is how we keep our programs fresh and current.

I had the honor of presenting a certificate of recognition last week to Edward Barton who celebrated his 100th birthday on August 6th. Ed resides at Legacy at Willow Pond. Born in Salinas, Colorado he taught himself electronics from a book titled The Boy Mechanic and earned money fixing everything from radios to washing machines, including setting up and maintaining sound systems for a large traveling circus. Ed served in the US Navy in the South Pacific and achieved the rank of chief petty officer. After the war he traveled the world working at Trans World Airlines.

Starting in the 1950s Ed worked as an electrical engineer for Delco and Xerox, earning several patents for his inventions. He enjoyed ham radio as a hobby and after retirement volunteered on Habitat homes, did taxes for free for seniors, performed all of his own car and HVAC maintenance, and helped fine-tune the loudspeakers for the Hill Cumorah pageant. Happy Birthday Ed!

As I indicated last week, I will provide a snapshot update of the 2017 budget process in the coming weeks leading up to the release of the Tentative Budget on September 7, 2016. As you can imagine, shrinking revenue and increasing costs continue to challenge us in the preparation of the annual budget. Ever-increasing costs and mandates from New York State put the squeeze on local governments and their ability to provide services to residents. It will be no different this year.

Let’s get started. As most of you are aware based on your own family budgets, the cost of health care continues to be a challenge with rates estimated to be up 10 to 12 percent again this year. We continue our membership with a 15-community health care consortium which has helped to keep these costs from rising even higher.

Each year we are faced with updating and replacing various pieces of equipment to help keep our fleet of snowplows reasonably current and reliable. Our DPW fleet includes 20 heavy-duty trucks which are used every day for hauling materials; in winter months they take on the added role of plowing roads and spreading salt. We typically plan to get a minimum 12 to 15 years of service from these trucks. Half our fleet is now ten-plus years old and a few vehicles are less than three years old.

Here’s an example to give you a sense of the magnitude of budgeting to replace just one heavy-duty snow plow at a current cost of $250,000. Penfield’s current town tax rate is $2.69 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Every $25,000 of a roughly $18 M budget equates to one-cent of the $2.69 rate. Therefore, from a simple math standpoint, purchasing one new plow truck would represent ten cents of the tax rate. Obviously, every time we need to replace heavy equipment we can’t “just go buy a truck” and hike the tax rate up by ten cents — that would be irresponsible and costly. Instead, we have to plan appropriately to offset the cost of a truck and other major equipment against other operational and service needs.  

This is just one example of the give and take we explore while balancing public safety, reliability, and costs. Line items within the budget change from year-to-year while we work to maintain services and a steady tax structure.

Next week I will provide an overview of the current debt we carry from improvements to buildings and facilities. Debt has an impact on both tax rate and credit rating.

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; and August 24, 1814 – The British set fire to Washington, D.C.

Until next…the rain was a welcome visitor last weekend, here is hoping we receive a bit more!


August 8, 2016
Senior Volunteer Transportation Need Survey
The Towns of Brighton and Penfield are conducting a survey to determine the need for senior transportation in our areas.  If you would like to participate or know of a senior who may be in need of  transportation please go to this website to take a short survey: Bri-Pen Senior Rides Transportation Survey.  This survey is also available to print in our fall brochure and online at  The deadline for the survey is September 15. 

August 8, 2016
Supervisor’s column August 8, 2016

In this time of drought in our community, the Penfield Fire Marshal’s office has asked me to remind residents of recreational fire safety practices. Extreme heat and lack of rain have caused excessively dry conditions and burned-out lawns. Recently, two severe grass fires were started in Penfield by children playing with sparklers. Large expanses of lawns were burned and damaged before being extinguished by the fire department.

With this in mind, I join the Fire Marshal in asking all residents to use extreme caution when burning a recreational fire of any kind — this includes backyard fire pits.

When burning a recreational fire using a fixed or portable fire pit make sure your device is far from combustible structures and on a non-combustible surface. The fire should never exceed the size of the fireplace and should not be greater than three feet in diameter. Always have a source of water at the ready — like a charged hose or water buckets — to control or extinguish a fire. You may even want to water down the area before lighting your fire.

If a recreational fire creates property damage, personal injury, or is deemed a nuisance, it may be cause for action to be taken by the Fire Marshal or law enforcement. Any fire causing the fire department or police to be called may be considered by the responding official as a nuisance fire, and nuisance fires must always be extinguished. 

Please be smart and keep your families safe as we wait for much needed rain.

At the last town board meeting, board members “took their hats off” to the Penfield Little League (PLL) in celebration of the most successful season in the league’s 64-year history with five teams moving forward to World Series Tournament Play.

Congratulations to all the boys and girls, coaches, parents and the PLL organization, you make our community proud! Here is a brief summary of their accomplishments for this season:

  • The girls senior team was awarded district and sectional titles for New York District 4 and earned a spot in the New York State Championships. Overall, the team finished third in NYS Little League Softball.
  • The boys senior team — for the third straight year — moved on to sectional play in the World Series Tournament. They were defeated at sectionals, however they stand as a multi-year district champion.
  • The boys junior team made it to district finals falling to Webster in the championship game.
  • The intermediate boys team — for the third straight year — went undefeated through districts and state.
  • The 12-year-old majors team finished fourth in all of New York State.
  • The 11-year-old majors team won districts and lost in the sectional tournament. This young team is now in position to take the mantle at the 12-year-old level in 2017.
  • The 11-12 local tournament team won the New York Districts local division tournament which is played as “prep” tournament for next year, getting the teams ready to play in bigger tournaments.

I am already eager for next season to watch these boys and girls continue their quest to win the Little League World Series. Congratulations, all of you have hit a home run in Penfield!

One last reminder for the Saturday, August 13 Penfield Trails Committee guided hike at Ellison Park. Meet at the south entrance, 1008 Penfield Road, at 8:45 AM and look for the hike signs. The hike runs from 9:00 to 11:00 AM. Please wear proper footwear. No pets please and children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Starting next week, and for several weeks thereafter, I will be updating you on the 2017 budget as I prepare to present the Tentative Budget to the town board and our residents on September 7.

Until next week, be well and be safe!



August 3, 2016
Route 441 Eastbound at Linden Avenue, Penfield to be Closed This Weekend

Motorists are advised that the first planned weekend intersection closure on Route 441 eastbound at Linden Avenue in the town of Penfield, Monroe County, has been rescheduled to take place on Friday, August 5, beginning at 7 p.m. through Monday morning by 6 a.m. August 8,  while crews replace a large concrete slab at the intersection.  In case of inclement weather, the work will be rescheduled.


During the weekend closure, Route 441 in the eastbound direction, will be closed between Linden Oaks and Panorama Trail.  Truck and emergency access to the neighborhood off Linden north of Route 441 will be provided at the western point on Route 441.   The driveway to Linden Oaks will be open and accessible.


Detours for weekend closure will be posted utilizing I-490 east to Exit 24 /East Rochester/Commercial Street to Route 153 (S. Washington St) back to Route 441.  Motorists will be prohibited from crossing the closed area and should allow time to divert around the work site. See attached map.


Route 441 in the westbound direction will remain open and motorists will be able to turn right to the neighborhood to the north and will be able to turn right from Linden Ave. to Route 441 west. 


Once the section in the eastbound lanes is complete, work will shift to the westbound lanes with similar closures later this summer.


This work is part of the ongoing $5 million project to repair the concrete sections on Route 441, replace pavement markings, and provide a new cross walk with pedestrian signals at Linden Avenue.  In addition, the driving surface of three bridges will be repaired.


For up-to-date travel information, call 511, visit, or the mobile site at


Follow New York State DOT on Twitter: @NYSDOT. Find us on Facebook at For tweets from NYSDOT’s Rochester Office, follow @NYSDOTRochester.                                      


August 1, 2016
Route 441 Westbound to be Reduced to a Single Lane Aug 2 for Roadwork - Westbound Ramps at Route 153 Interchange to Close at Same Time


Motorists are advised that travel on Route 441 westbound will be reduced to a single lane between the intersection of Penfield Road/Linear Park entrance and Linden Oaks Drive in the town of Penfield, Monroe County, beginning tomorrow, August 2, for six weeks.  Westbound ramp closures at Route 153 (Panorama Trail) to also close on same day for two weeks. Detours will be posted.


The right lane in the westbound direction, followed by the left lane in westbound direction, will be closed for a total of six weeks while crews restore sections of the concrete pavement.


On the same day, the Route 441 westbound exit ramp to Route 153 (Panorama Trail) as well as the on-ramp from Route 153 to Route 441 west will be closed for two weeks for similar work.


A posted detour will direct westbound motorists on Route 441 destined for Route 153 (Panorama Trail) to take Penfield Road to Route 153 (Panorama Trail.)  A posted detour will direct motorists on Route 153 destined for Route 441 westbound to take Route 153 (Panorama Trail) to N. Washington Street to Linden Avenue back to Route 441.


This work is part of the ongoing $5 million project to restore the concrete sections on Route 441 -- including the ramps to Route 153 (Panorama Trail) -- replace pavement markings, and provide a new cross walk with pedestrian signals at Linden Avenue.  In addition, the driving surface of three bridges will be repaired.


For up-to-date travel information, call 511, visit, or the mobile site at


Follow New York State DOT on Twitter: @NYSDOT. Find us on Facebook at For tweets from NYSDOT’s Rochester Office, follow @NYSDOTRochester.


August 1, 2016
Supervisor’s column August 1, 2016

Mark your calendar for a great event on Sunday, August 14 from 1:30 to 4:30 PM. You can keep cool while learning cool things if you attend the Penfield Public Library’s “How-To Festival” featuring 20 stations demonstrating quick skills. Learn how to knot a plant hanger, craft frosting roses, play Pokemon Go, choose produce, select a family pet, administer basic first aid, research house history, and more. Refreshments will be provided and there will be door prizes ranging from library services to grocery store gift cards. The great team at the Penfield Library is always looking for new and exciting programs for our residents — please come join the fun!

This week completes Cool Jazz Tuesdays and Kids Fest Thursdays. The next big event at the Penfield Amphitheater & Kiwanis Stage is “Tastin’ the Blues” on Saturday, September 17 from 12:00 to 4:00 PM. Enjoy music by Steve Grills and the Roadmasters with Joe Beard. Dundee will again provide a lineup of locally brewed beer samples — and of course there will be chili! If you think you have a winning chili recipe why not put it to the test? Perhaps your chili will impress our judges or be voted the audience’s favorite choice.  My “Pride of Penfield” recipe will be bubbling away in hopes of a prize. I hope to see you there, it is always a great event!

Recreation Director Chris Bilow informed me that the third session of kids programs and summer camp is a huge success with 58 program offerings and 620-plus participants. The third day-camp session itself has 320 registered children, and overall attendance for summer youth programs will exceed 2,000 active participants. Great job by the Recreation Department and staff for continuing to grow and expand these programs for our residents…you all make a difference each and every week!

Speaking of activities for our youth, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge our sponsors who give so much back to our great community in support of youth development. I encourage you to thank them as you visit their places of business. Sponsors are: Master Kim’s Tae Kwon Do Institute, Wickham Farms, Wegmans, Mathnasium, Penfield Library, Penfield Strikers, Gymnastics Training Center, Penfield Youth Lacrosse, Penfield Youth Wrestling, Penfield Central School District, Penfield Sport & Fitness, The Kids Miracle Making Club, Penfield Rangers, and Penfield Little League. All of these businesses and organizations are wonderful partners with the town and we thank them for their ongoing support!

Several residents have recently asked me about properties on Penfield Road where houses have been demolished and active construction is underway. Here’s the scoop: Houses at 2128 and 2132 Penfield Road (directly across from the main entrance of Wegmans) were demolished and a new U of R Urgent Care facility is under construction. A little farther east at 2142 Penfield Road (next to Summit Credit Union) is the new home of Eyesite advanced eyecare center which is relocating from Parkside Plaza. We welcome the U of R Urgent Care to our community and congratulate Eyesite on its new location in Penfield.  

Here is another request to remember the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf during these busy summer months. Their need is still great this time of year. Vacations, kids’ activities, and other summer plans make our lives very busy and we may not think about this great organization as much as we do in the fall and winter months. It’s easy to help. Please go to  to view the current wish list of needed items needed. Thank you in advance for making a difference to Penfield neighbors in need.

Important dates and events in history: August 1, 1870 – Colorado is the 38th state admitted to the Union; August 2, 1964 – US Destroyer “Maddox” is attacked in international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin, beginning America’s major involvement in the Vietnam War; August 2, 1990 – Iraqi forces invade Kuwait and operation “Desert Shield” begins.

Until next week please keep your fingers crossed for some much needed rain for our local farmers!




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