September 17, 2018
Supervisor's column September 17, 2018
The 15th annual Tastin’ the Blues saw more than 500 people in attendance on what was one of the hottest days for this event since it was started by now retired Assistant Recreation Director Steve Orsini in 2003. Eight chili contestants came ready to claim a prize for the judges and people’s choice awards; congratulations to all of the winners! A special shout-out to Genesee Beer House and North American Breweries who supplied all of the beer for sampling. And let’s not forget the music…Steve Grills and the Roadmasters with special guest Joe Beard rocked the amphitheater and Kiwanis Stage with some of the best blues music in Monroe County!
I would like to recognize this year’s amphitheater sponsors: Penfield-Perinton Kiwanis, Synergy IT Solutions, Tutor Doctor, and Farmers Insurance. Without their support we would not be able to provide all the wonderful music events and programs. I also want to thank the entire Penfield Recreation Team, lead by Director Chris Bilow, for their efforts and commitment to making the 2018 season one of the best to date. Great job all, I am looking forward to the 2019 season already!
I had the honor and pleasure of kicking off the first meeting of the 2020 Comprehensive Plan Update Committee last week. This group of fourteen residents came together excited to work on this important plan that will help guide the town’s next decade of growth. This update is due to be completed late next year will become the road map for future development, capital improvements, and new or updated policies, zoning, and strategies until the next update in 2030. The committee will solicit and consider resident ideas and will hold at least one public information meeting to allow residents an opportunity to provide input. The committee will also encourage residents to submit written feedback throughout the process.
We intended to have the brush pile at Shadow Pines ground up last week; however, due to mechanical breakdowns and the need for parts from the manufacturer, the tub-grinder that we borrow from Monroe County is out of service for a few weeks. They promise that once it is repaired it will be delivered to the site and within a few days the pile will be processed.
Please note that due to the Yom Kippur holiday there will not be a town board legislative meeting this Wednesday, September 19. The next legislative meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 3 and will include the public hearing on the 2019 Preliminary Budget. The complete budget summary and details can be found by logging on at www.penfield.org and clicking on quick links in the left hand column. Copies are also available for review at the Penfield Public Library, the town clerk’s office, or by contacting the Town Comptroller at 340-8621.
Consider signing up for the “City of Light” day tour of Buffalo on Friday, September 28. Experience Buffalo through the eyes of author Lauren Belfar’s novel, “The City of Light,” set in Buffalo at the dawn of the twentieth century. The trip includes round trip transportation from the Penfield Community Center, a personal guided tour of historic sites described in the book, admissions, lunch at one of Buffalo’s historic restaurants, and refreshments. The cost is $90.00. Vans leave at 8:30 AM and return at approximately 6:30 PM. For more information, please go to www.penfieldrec.org or contact the Recreation Department at 340-8655.
The next guided hike by the Penfield Trails Committee will be held on Saturday, October 13 from 10:00 AM to noon at Lucien Morin Park. Mark your calendars, more details will come in the next few weeks.
The Daytime Education at Recreation (DEAR) programs continue to be very popular and the program offerings grow each quarter. Most classes are free and do not require Penfield residency to attend. Please check out the complete list of programs at www.penfieldrec.org. I guarantee there will be something of interest for everyone!
Important dates and events in history: September 17, 1787 – The Constitution of the United States is adopted and signed in Philadelphia; September 17, 1796 – George Washington gives his farewell address to the nation; September 17, 1862 – Union forces win the Battle of Antietam; and on September 20, 1814 – the “Star-Spangled Banner” becomes the official National Anthem.
Until next week, enjoy the continued stretch of mild weather. Be well and be safe!
September 13, 2018
A message from Supervisor LaFountain: 2019 Preliminary Budget
The 2019 Preliminary Town Budget is now available for review at this link (or www.penfield.org, see Quick Links).
The proposed budget, including special districts, is $20,259,606, an increase of $1,120,212 from 2018. The Town Operating Budget, without special districts, is $17,300,547.
With this budget, the 2019 town tax rate is $2.78 per $1,000 of assessed property value, an increase of approximately 9 cents from 2018. (At this tax rate, a property in Penfield with a valuation of $190,000 will pay $528.20 for general governmental services, which is an increase of $17.10 over last year.)
The planning process for the 2019 budget is unique because of the purchase of Shadow Pines Golf Course that was approved by 80 percent of voters in a February 2018 special election. We came into this budget cycle anticipating a tax increase of 10 to 12 cents to cover the Shadow Pines debt and estimated ownership and maintenance costs.
I’m please to share that through the efforts of town staff and the town board, the 9 cent tax increase covers the Shadow Pines debt—along with financing for the purchase of capital equipment for DPW—and is actually lower than was estimated at the time of the public referendum to purchase Shadow Pines.
How did we do that? To begin, after the referendum, the town board chose to purchase the Clark House portion of the Shadow Pines with cash on hand, reducing the bond debt and related interest by $260,000. Next, sales tax revenue came in higher than expected, and DPW generated income from special projects for the Penfield Central School District and Monroe County. Further, we will use reserve funding that grew significantly in 2018 (rather than borrowing) to finance capital equipment for DPW including a sweeper, 6-wheeler, 10-wheeler, and other vehicle replacements. This budget also includes a new playground at Harris Whalen Park to be financed through a dedicated recreation trust.
As in previous years, the annual challenge of expenditures that are not under the Town of Penfield’s control continue to see increases. In 2019, we budgeted an 8.5 percent increase in health insurance premiums and continued contributions to the New York State retirement system of approximately 15 to 20 percent of payroll. The cost of workers compensation will remain flat at nearly six percent of payroll.
With this proposed budget, we continue our long-standing financial discipline of a forecasting a five-year outlook as we mange debt, expenses, revenue, and special districts.
In summary, we lowered our expected debt exposure, took in more revenue than projected, and used reserve funds to develop the 2019 budget with a 9 cent rate increase versus the anticipated 10 to 12 cent increase. This Preliminary Budget delivers the same level of services, finances the Shadow Pines purchase and maintenance, updates DPW equipment, and adds a new playground at Harris Whalen Park. Once again, the town tax levy increase is below the increase allowed by the New York State tax cap.
I thank Town Comptroller Barbara Chirdo, town staff, and the town board for their commitment and professionalism preparing the 2019 Preliminary Town Budget.
The public comment period for the 2019 Budget runs September 12 through October 11. A public hearing to receive comments on the Preliminary Budget will be held at the October 3 Penfield Town Board meeting at 7:00 PM in the town hall auditorium.
The 2019 Preliminary Town Budget is available for review on the town website, the town clerk’s office, and the Penfield Public Library. Additionally, if you would like to speak with the Town Comptroller regarding the 2019 budget, please call 340-8621 or call my office at 340-8630.
September 10, 2018
Supervisor's column September 10, 2018
Tomorrow marks the 17th anniversary of the attacks of September 11th, a day that will have a lasting impact on our great country. Nearly 3,000 people died when hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. It was the deadliest terror attack on American soil. We will not falter…we will not fear…we will not fail…we will not forget!
Mark your calendars for the 42nd annual Penfield Used Book Sale this week at the Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. The sale features more than 85,000 used books, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, and videos at bargain prices. All items are sorted into categories that include local history, numerous specials, records, games, puzzles, computer software, and more. This sale is presented by the Friends of the Penfield Public Library and proceeds will benefit the Penfield Public Library. Payment may be made with cash, check or credit card. Due to narrow aisles, no strollers are permitted; and no food or beverages will be allowed on the sales floor. Please bring your own bags.
Used book sale schedule: Pre-sale for Friends of Penfield Public Library is Tuesday, September 11, 2:00 to 9:00 PM (memberships are $5.00 per family; renew early or sign up at the door). Open to all Wednesday, September 12 and Thursday, September 13, 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM; Friday, September 14, 10:00 AM to 6:00 pm (half-price day); and Saturday, September 15, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM ($3.00 bag sale, Wegmans/Tops reusable bags are acceptable; specials remain half-price).
Insider information…according to Gary Richardson, this year’s book sale co-chair, there will be an unusually high number of local history titles and some very desirable DVD sets of television shows—so get there early so as not to miss out!
September 9 to 15 is National Assisted Living Week with the theme of “Capture the Moment.” This year’s theme hopes to inspire residents to realize their dreams and seize the day. Simultaneously, the theme also supports reflection, as residents may look back on pivotal moments of their lives. With the theme’s word play referencing photography, residents may refer to pictures or videos from their past.
This evening I will have the honor and pleasure of joining Senator Rich Funke at Heathwood Penfield Community to present a proclamation recognizing the importance of this week and to proclaim September 9 to 15 as National Assisted Living Week in the Town of Penfield.
Please join me in recognizing Heathwood Penfield community staff, caregivers, residents, and families for all they do throughout the year. Penfield is proud to be a wellness community with a tradition of honoring its residents and recognizing them for their contributions to our town, county and country.
My office has received many resident calls asking if the Town will be hosting a fall drop-off event like we do in the spring. The answer is “no” to a general drop off event. We will, however, be holding our sixth annual “Fall Recycling Day” on Saturday, October 13 from 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM at the DPW complex, 1607 Jackson Road. Residents may bring the following materials to this event: brush/branches (not leaves); metals and appliances; papers for secure document destruction, and clothing/linens for the St. Pauly textile shed. There will be NO ELECTRONICS recycling due to the complexity and costs of the ever-changing electronics market. Monroe County’s “ecopark” will accept electronics for a fee, please visit www.monroecounty.gov/ecopark for more details.
The Penfield Symphony Orchestra’s 2018-2019 schedule is hot off the press! Their first concert is Monday, October 22 with “Wonderful Williams” sponsored by Heathwood Assisted Living. The PSO has provided excellence in classical music for more than 60 years and this year marks Dr. David Harman’s 19th year as Music Director and Conductor. All concerts begin at 7:30 PM at the Penfield High School auditorium with convenient parking. Free rides to concerts are available from Lifespan by calling 872-0774. Please call two weeks before the concerts to schedule a ride. For more information on this concert and others please go to www.penfieldsymphony.org.
Pen-Rec’s next out-to-lunch event is Friday, October 12 with a visit to Wagner Vineyards Estate Winery. This winery is one of the oldest and most recognized wineries in the Finger Lakes Region and upstate New York. Wagner Vineyards has 30 award winning wines ranging from bone dry to dessert wine sweet. Whether your palate prefers red wine, white wine, light and sweet wines made from grapes native to the Finger Lakes region, or dry European or vinifera style wines, you will be sure to find a wine to enjoy! Depart the Penfield Community Center at 11:00 AM and return at 4:00 PM. For more information or to reserve your seat, please go to www.penfieldrec.org or call the Recreation Department at 340-8655.
I hope to see you at Tastin’ the Blues this coming Saturday, September 15 from noon to 4:00 PM where you can enjoy good food, a variety of beer samples, and great music…it will be fun for the entire family!
Until next week, enjoy the start of our fall weather and please support our local farm markets this season. Also, remember to watch out for stopped school buses with their flashing lights picking up or dropping off our youngest residents!
September 4, 2018
Supervisor's column September 4, 2018
Budget 2019: The Town Comptroller and I will be presenting the 2019 Tentative Budget to the public on Wednesday, September 12 at 7:00 PM at the Penfield Town Board meeting. With revenues (such as sales tax distribution) coming in strong to help offset increases in items like health care, we are proposing an anticipated increase in taxes that will essentially cover the cost of the purchase of the former Shadow Pines Golf Course property that was approved by 80% of voters in a February 2018 special election. As we continue our five-year budget outlook, we are also proposing an investment in capital equipment to maintain town services in the coming years. I’m please to share that the proposed tax increase to cover new debt, capital equipment, and operations is less than what was anticipated at the time of the public referendum to purchase Shadow Pines.
The town board will hold a formal public hearing on the budget at its October 3 legislative meeting to hear all interested parties. All budget documents will be available for review on the town website, the town clerk’s office, and at the Penfield Public Library. Additionally, if you would like to speak with the Town Comptroller regarding the 2019 budget, please call 340-8621 or my office at 340-8630.
Dust off your favorite chili recipe and enter it in the chili judging contest at the annual “Tastin the Blues” to be held on Saturday, September 15 from noon to 4:00 PM at the Penfield Amphitheater and Kiwanis Stage in Veterans’ Memorial Park. There will be two separate categories for judging, the “People’s Choice” and “Judged.” Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in both categories. A $100 cash prize will go to 1st place in the “judged” category. Get your entry form on page 7 of the fall Pen-Rec brochure, online at www.penfieldrec.org, or stop in at the Penfield Recreation Department at 1985 Baird Road. Steve Grills and the Roadmasters with special guest Joe Beard Blues will provide music for the afternoon. Along with chili sampling there will be a food concession stand and Genesee Brew House beer samples. I hope to see you there!
There’s more! “Dogs’ Day Out” is a new addition to Tastin’ the Blues, so bring the whole family to this event, including the dog! Starting at noon, come join in on a free dog handling demo for kids, presentation on scent work for dogs, games for dogs and their humans, DIY healthy dog treats, and more. Dogs must be vaccinated, friendly, and on-leash for this event. Owners are required to pick up after their dogs.
Register now for the 2nd annual Penfield Education Foundation 5K to be held on Sunday, October 14 at 9:00 AM at the Penfield High school track. This community 5K race/run is intended to provide a morning of healthy exercise while supporting the Penfield Education Foundation. A children’s “fun run” (that will not be officially timed) will follow the running of the 5K. Register at: https://runsignup.com/race/ny/penfield/penfieldeducationfoundation5k.
As we prepare for the winter months many of us clean our garages so we can park cars inside and out of the winter weather. Doing so, we may find an old bike or trike in a corner collecting dust and taking up valuable space. Here’s a solution that serves! Donate used bicycles to Penfield Rotary’s collection for R Community Bikes, Inc. on Saturday, October 6 at the Community Center, 1985 Baird Road from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. This Rochester-based organization repairs and distributes bicycles free of charge to Rochester’s needy children and adults. Receipts will be provided documenting all donations. The Penfield Community “bike drop” is free and open to the public.
Program registration for Pen-Rec programs begins on Wednesday, September 5. Popular programs fill up quickly so do not delay!
Dates to remember: Saturday, September 8 is the next free guided hike sponsored by the Trails Committee from 9:00 to 11:00 AM at Philbrick Park. This will be a history hike. Saturday September 15 is the annual Penfield/Webster Household Hazardous Waste event at the Penfield DPW, 1607 Jackson Road from 7:45 AM to 1:00PM. Appointments are required, schedule online at www.monroecounty.gov/ecopark or call DPW offices at 340-8710. And here’s one more plug for Tastin’ the Blues on Saturday, September 15 from noon to 4:00 PM at the amphitheater behind the town hall with music, chili and beer samples, food concession, dog demonstrations, and more!
Until next week, I hope the first week back to school goes smoothly for all. I remind all drivers to watch out for our youngest residents catching the bus; please be patient and do not pass buses with their flashing red lights…our children’s safety is our number one priority!