September 18, 2017
Supervisor's Column for September 18, 2017
Supervisor’s column September 18, 2017
The weather on Saturday was picture perfect for the hundreds of attendees who enjoyed the annual Tastin’ the Blues festivities. The music by Steve Grills and the Roadmasters with Joe Beard was fabulous, as it has been for the last decade!
A special thank you to all the chili contest participants and to those who won the judges’ and people’s choice awards. This event closes out the 2017 Penfield Amphitheater & Kiwanis Stage series. I would like to recognize Steve Orsini of Penfield Recreation and all the staff who supported him in making this another wonderful season. The shell will be taken down over the next few weeks and stored for the winter, but rest assured the 2018 series is being planned and we look forward to another great season to kick-off in late May!
Last week I had the honor of attending the grand opening and ribbon cutting at the Hampton Inn on Panorama Trail South, the newest business to open in Penfield. Indus Hospitality Group and president Jett Mehta have moved their corporate offices to this location. I have heard from many residents who have had family and friends stay at this hotel. They rave about the staff, accommodations, and the location. Please join me in welcoming Indus Hospitality Group to the community of Penfield.
I want to give a shout-out to Laurie Broccolo and her team at Broccolo Tree & Lawn Care for the opening of the B-Friendly Farm at their garden center, 2755 Penfield Road. The B-Friendly Farm is an ecologically friendly agricultural educational destination. The farm supports both agricultural production and biodiversity working in harmony to improve the local community. The property features a butterfly house, laying hens, honey bees, and a wildflower field. Broccolo has included wonderful examples of sustainable landscaping using permeable pavers, walkways made of recycled tires, turf grass and gardens managed through integrated pest management practices, rain gardens, rain barrels, and a green roof. I encourage visits to their garden center, it is a great learning experience for all ages!
The 2017-18 school year is now well underway and family routines are getting back to normal, making this a good time to refocus attention on the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf (PEFS). This wonderful organization provides assistance to more than 80 families on a weekly basis and there are a number of ways you can support their efforts. Your family, neighborhood, or business could adopt a shelf. You can donate when you order from Amazon, donate empty bottles and cans, donate your garden harvest, host a food drive, donate through the United Way, or make a tax deductible monetary donation. For more information on how you can support the PEFS, go to www.penfieldecumenicalfoodshelf.org.
Mark your calendars for the annual Penfield Community Bike Drop sponsored by Penfield Rotary and the Penfield Recreation to be held on Saturday, October 7 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Penfield Community Center. Used bicycles will be collected and donated to R Community Bikes, Inc., a Rochester based organization that repairs and distributes bicycles free of charge to Rochester’s needy children and adults. This is a great way to clean out your garage for the winter and donate those bikes, tricycles, big wheels and more to a great organization and a future bike owner!
The next Nels Carman Big Band Night is Tuesday, October 5 from 7:30 to 9:30 PM at the Penfield Community Center in the gym. The fee is $1.00 at the door. The Penfield Rotary Band will play your favorite big band sounds for dancing and listening. The dates for the rest of the 2017 performances are November 7 and December 5.
Until next week, enjoy this great warm weather! Visit a park, hike a trail, or explore a playground. This is a great time of the year to be outside and enjoying our community!
September 11, 2017
Supervisor's Column for September 11, 2017
Today marks the sixteenth anniversary of September 11 when this country was brutally attacked and many lives were lost and families impacted. I would ask all of our residents to take a minute to reflect on this terrible event in our history and remember all of those individuals who lost their lives. We will not falter. We will not fear. We will not fail. We will not forget!
Mark your calendars…we will be hosting the next “Passport Night in Penfield” on Tuesday, October 17, 5:30 – 7:30PM in the auditorium at the Town Hall. Passport night has been an extremely popular for individuals thinking about getting a passport or updating one that has expired. Signing up in advance is encouraged, but not required. For more details, contact the Town Clerk’s Office at 340-8629.
Last reminder…please stop in this Saturday, September 16, from 12 to 4PM at the Penfield Amphitheater for the fourteenth annual Tastin’ the Blues. This is a wonderful event with good music (Steve Grills and the Roadmasters), Genesee Brew House sampling, great food all day, and of course a host of many great chili recipes to try. Please stop by and try all of the award-winning chili recipes and vote for your favorite!
The comptroller and I presented the 2018 tentative budget to the Town Board last week. This tentative budget will become the preliminary budget, and a public hearing will be held October 4 to hear any and all comments and to answer any specific questions our residents have on the proposed $19.1M budget. The 2018 tax rate remains at $2.69 per $1,000 of assessed property value, which is the same as the 2017 rate. Additionally, the proposed tax levy increase is below the increase allowed by New York State.
The budget is available on-line at www.penfield.org (go to “quick links,” and “Town Budget”). Copies are also available at the Penfield Public Library or by contacting the Office of the Comptroller at the Town Hall at 340-8621.
Since the dedication of Jack’s Place at Rothfuss Park, this playground has been the hottest spot in the county for kids to come and play. The new playground includes slides, bridges, tunnels, swings, balance beams, climbing elements, a dinosaur dig, and a little library. On behalf of the Town Board and the entire Penfield community, I would like to once again recognize the JACK Foundation and Anne & AJ Heiligman for the donation of this wonderful playground to Penfield. To support and learn more about JACK Foundation, please visit www.jack-foundation.org and follow JACK Foundation on Facebook.
Do you want a break from cooking breakfast and dinner for a weekend? Well, I have two wonderful food events coming up that will get you out of the kitchen and support two great organizations. First, Boy Scout Troop 312—celebrating their 52nd year—will be sponsoring their annual Pancake Breakfast the weekend of September 30 and October 1 at the Penfield Fire Hall in the Four Corners. Breakfast will be served from 8 to 11AM.
For dinner, the First Baptist Church of Penfield will be hosting a chicken barbeque on Saturday, September 30 from 2 to 6PM (or until sold out). Chickens will be prepared on site by Gale-Wyn Catering, dinners are $10.50 and include a half barbequed chicken, coleslaw or macaroni salad, salt potatoes, roll & butter and a dessert. Bring your family and tell your neighbors—you can eat in or take out! Thank you in advance for supporting our service and church organizations in Penfield.
September 10–16 is National Assisted Living Week. The theme this year is “Family is Forever,” which recognizes the unique bonds assisted living residents and staff members form. Assisted living is a long-term care service that fosters choice, dignity, independence, and autonomy in our elderly nationwide. I urge all citizens to visit friends and loved ones who reside at these facilities, and also to learn more about assisted living services and how they benefit our communities.
Until next week, enjoy the start of the fall weather, and consider visiting one of our many farm markets to load up on the fall harvest and other wonderful treats they offer!
September 8, 2017
Supervisor, Comptroller present 2018 Tentative Budget, Public Hearing set
Penfield Supervisor Tony LaFountain and Town Comptroller Barbara Chirdo presented the proposed 2018 Tentative Town Budget to the Penfield Town Board and community on Wednesday, September 6.
The proposed 2018 Tentative Budget, including special districts, is $19.1M. The proposed Town Operating Budget (without special districts) is $16.2M.
As in previous years, expenditures not under the Town of Penfield’s control continue to see double-digit increases. In 2018, this includes an estimated 10 percent increase in health insurance premiums and continued contributions to the NYS retirement system of approximately 15 to 20 percent of payroll. Though the Town was able to mitigate the cost of workers compensation by choosing a new carrier through competitive solicitation, workers compensation represents nearly six percent of payroll.
Estimated revenues will increase due to major funding sources coming in stronger than in recent years. This is an encouraging sign of an improving economy; however, the Town continues to estimate revenue conservatively.
The proposed 2018 town tax rate remains at $2.69 per $1,000 of assessed property value, which is the same as the 2017 rate. At the proposed 2018 rate, a property in Penfield with a valuation of $190,000 will be $511.10 for general governmental services. Once again, the proposed town tax levy increase is below the increase allowed by New York State.
Penfield’s property tax rate remains one of the lowest of the 19 towns in in Monroe County. The town general taxes continue to account for approximately eight percent of each tax dollar. County taxes account for 24 percent, and school taxes account for the remaining 68 percent.
With this Tentative Budget, there will be no cuts to services or programs. New services and programs for youth are coming in 2018 through partnerships with Earthworks Institute and Rochester Parkour. PenRec will also become a satellite location for OSHER, a provider of senior education programs.
“This is the eighth budget I have helped prepare with our comptroller and department heads as town supervisor. I continue to be impressed with their attention to detail and creative ways to maintain services, absorb any unfunded mandates, stay under the state imposed tax cap, and still look for expanded opportunities for shared services publicly and privately,” said Supervisor Tony LaFountain. “We are able to maintain the current tax rate of 2.69 per $1,000 of assessed property value for 2018, giving our residents year-on-year stability of their town taxes without impacting any current services.”
Penfield’s growth rate for 2018 is again among the highest in the county. The positive impact of actual new “bricks and mortar” properties has resulted in an allowable tax base growth factor increase of nearly one percent and therefore more contributors to the tax levy.
With its history of fiscal discipline, the financial world consistently recognizes Penfield as one of the most financially responsible towns in New York State. Moody’s Investors Service continues its Aa1 credit rating of Penfield—one of the highest in the county and state. This rating allows Penfield to secure low-interest financing for capital projects (sewers, roadways, bridges), and assists with cash flow throughout the year. The Moody’s rating also reflects Penfield’s history of stable financial operations and strong management practices.
As of September 7, print copies of the 2018 Tentative Budget are available at the Penfield Public Library, 1985 Baird Road or by contacting the Office of the Comptroller in the Penfield Town Hall, 3100 Atlantic Avenue, in Penfield. The Tentative Budget is also available online at www.penfield.org (go to ‘Quick Links,’ ‘Town Budget’). A public hearing to receive comments on the Preliminary Budget is set for October 4. The Penfield Town Board reviews comments now through October 12.
September 6, 2017
Supervisor's Column for September 6, 2017
School is beginning and fall is around the corner, which means it is time for Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser to start their 2017-18 program. The First Baptist Church of Penfield (FBP), 1862 Penfield Road, invites you the 3rd Saturday each month from now through June for delicious pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage, and more…all for just $5.00 per person.
FBP’s next event will be held on Saturday, September 16 from 8:00 to 10:00 AM and the proceeds will help support Willow Domestic Violence Center. Their vision is a community free from domestic violence where healthy relationships thrive. Bring the whole family, meet up with friends, or make new ones. FBP’s Fellowship Hall is handicapped accessible, and the breakfast is outstanding! For more information and details, please log-on at www.fbpenfield.org.
I am reminded by AAA that about one third of current drivers do no stop for school buses when they have their red flashing lights activated—this is unacceptable! New York State law states that when a stopped school bus flashes its red light(s), traffic approaching from either direction, even in front of the school and in school parking lots, must stop before reaching the bus. You should stop at least 20 feet (6 m) away from the bus. This law applies on all roadways in New York State. You must stop for a school bus, even if it is on the opposite side of a divided highway.
School begins this week and law enforcement is cracking down on this bad behavior. School buses are picking up or dropping off our children and grandchildren. Please save yourself the price of a ticket and points on your license, not to mention the most important factor—the safety of our children!
The 2018 tentative budget will be officially presented to the Town Board on Wednesday, September 6, and will be available on-line at penfield.org. Hard copies of the budget are also available for review at the Penfield Public Library and the Town Hall in the Comptroller’s office. The tentative budget will become the preliminary budget. There will be a public hearing on October 4 to hear any and all comments from our residents on the 2018 budget. The public comment period will run from September 6 through October 12. If you would like to discuss any aspect of the budget, please contact the Comptroller at 340-8621, or me at 340-8630.
The Friends of the Penfield Public Library 41st annual used book sale is just around the corner, running from September 12 through 16 at the Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. The sale features more than 85,000 items sorted into 50 categories in four themed rooms. Proceeds benefit the Penfield Public Library. Book sale hours are as follows: Tuesday, September 12, 2-9PM members only ($5, join in advance or at the door); Wednesday and Thursday, September 13 and 14, 10AM-9PM; Friday, September 15, 10AM-6PM (half price day); and Saturday, September 16, 9AM-2PM ($3 bag, specials remain half-price). Shoppers should bring their own bags, no food or drink allowed, and please do not bring baby strollers or shopping carts.
The grand opening, and I mean the GRAND OPENING, of JACK’s Place dinosaur-themed playground was recently held at Rothfuss Park with more than 1,200 people on hand to help celebrate this wonderful new addition to the park. When the Rothfuss family approached the town and the Nature Conservancy in the early 2000s to discuss how this 70+ acre site could be preserved for future generations, this is exactly what Jim Rothfuss had envisioned! Rothfuss Park plays host to thousands of our youngest residents annually playing sports, riding bikes, flying kites, utilizing the walkways, and now enjoying JACK’s Place. I would like to once again recognize the Rothfuss family for their vision in making this park a destination in Penfield, and to the JACK Foundation for adding the latest gem that will be enjoyed for decades to come.
Please note—the annual Penfield-Webster Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off will be next Saturday, September 16 from 7:45AM to 1:00PM at the Webster Highway Garage, 1005 Picture Parkway. This is an appointment service only, and you can make your appointment on-line at www.monroecounty.gov/hhw, or call Penfield DPW at 340-8710 through Friday, September 15 at 3:00PM.
Until next week, please remember to observe stopped school buses!