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April 30, 2019
Richard H. Vendel Memorial Rain Garden Dedication May 16

The Town of Penfield will dedicate its Public Works facility rain garden in memory of Richard H. “Dick” Vendel (1953–2017) on Thursday, May 16 at 1:00 PM at 1607 Jackson Road. The community is welcome to join the Vendel family and town officials at the dedication ceremony.

The newly named Richard H. Vendel Memorial Rain Garden was installed in 2007. It was designed by Zaretsky and Associates, Inc. with engineering by Mark Valentine, Town Engineer. Dick Vendel, a valued town employee for nearly 30 years, was the construction manager for the innovative stormwater management project and was involved in every aspect of site preparation and installation. 

Rain gardens are planted areas designed to capture and manage excess rainwater run-off and melted snow. They are usually placed in low-lying areas located near an impervious surface (like a parking lot or driveway) or structure. They are designed to reproduce natural water retention and filtration. 

Native plant materials are selected for their water tolerance and ability to naturally filter substances like salt and solvents in rainwater. Plants are typically those you would find in a wetland setting including grasses, shrubs and trees. Rain gardens can be as simple as a few well-chosen plants placed near a home’s downspout or an elaborate large-scale design for a public or commercial setting.

The town’s now mature one-third acre rain garden has an extensive underground drainage system that directs stormwater from a high point at one end to a low point at the opposite end. As stormwater travels, it passes through plantings that filter and improve water quality before it becomes groundwater at that site, which is adjacent to the Thousand Acre Swamp. 

“We periodically look at water samples from this garden. I’m pleased to share that the rain garden is working as designed,” said Town engineer Mark Valentine. “Stormwater is usually brown and murky as it enters the garden, and it’s visibly clear as it exits.”

Supervisor Tony LaFountain adds, “Dick Vendel brought the rain garden to life. His love of nature and connection to this sustainability project were key to its success. People who know about and appreciate this garden think of Dick Vendel when they pass by. It is fitting that we honor his memory with this dedication.”

April 29, 2019
Supervisor's column April 29, 2019

Mother Nature was not kind to many of the scheduled activities over the weekend. Opening Day for Penfield Little League was canceled and will be scheduled at a later date. The electric car show at the community center continued as planned in the middle of a snow storm, all the participants were dressed for winter weather and the coffee/hot chocolate was plentiful to help keep their spirits warm. The children’s bike safety program was also pushed into the gym to make the experience a bit more fun for those participating. 

In a sure sign of spring despite recent weather, DPW crews are out repairing lawn damage from winter plows. And now that the asphalt plants are open for the season, crews are also beginning to permanently patch potholes throughout the town. Each year we oil and stone approximately 18 miles of town roads. Streets receiving this treatment in 2019 will receive a letter from DPW explaining the process, scheduling, and a phone number to contact the department with any questions or concerns. 

I recently attended the Penfield Fire Commission’s Annual inspection of the Penfield Fire Company. I had the opportunity to say a few words to the membership and to thank them for their service to our community. This volunteer group of men and women train for hundreds of hours during the course of the year to be prepared to respond to any emergency in Penfield. Their dedication to the profession is second to none. I would also like to recognize and thank the spouses, significant others, and family members of these volunteers who support them and share them with all of us on a daily basis. To the Fire Company membership, be well and be safe on every call you respond to in Penfield or while providing mutual aid support to adjacent communities. Again, thank you for your service. 

The next scenic trek hosted by the Penfield Trails Committee will be held on Saturday, May 11 at Harris Whalen Park. Hike through the woods to discover spring flowers, and also learn about the park history and geology. Meet at the upper pavilion and look for the hike signs. The program begins at 9:00 AM sharp and runs until 11:00 AM. No pets please, and wear appropriate footwear for occasional steep terrain and slippery conditions. While the hike is FREE, please pre-register by calling 340-8655 ext 0.  

As the Bri-Pen Senior Rides continues to gain in popularity, so does the need for “hero drivers.” If you are interested in supporting this wonderful program, please call the Penfield Recreation Department at 340-8674. Drivers are trained by Lifespan’s Give a Lift program and are given FREE supplemental car insurance. This program supports Brighton and Penfield Seniors to get to appointments, religious services, or town recreation centers. Also, if you want to help but do not feel like driving, you can volunteer to dispatch for the program one day a week from your home by retrieving messages and making phone calls.

The fifth annual Terry Rothfuss “Good Neighbor Day” will be held on Saturday, May 11 from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Terry was a farmer in East Penfield and a friend to everyone. He was always ready and willing to help anyone at any time. Terrry’s passing left a huge hole, not only for his family but also the Penfield Community. We are looking for volunteers to do light yard work and spring cleanup for seniors, veterans, and those who are disabled. We need volunteers of all ages, so bring the whole family. The event will take place rain or shine. If you are able to help out for even a short time, please contact Sabrina Renner at 340-8651. Volunteers are asked to meet at the Rothfuss Farm, 1865 Salt Road. All you need to bring are simple gardening tools like rakes, shovels, hand pruners, and gardening gloves. Garbage bags and refreshments will be provided.

I close my column this week on a sad note. Late in January, Anne Freitas passed away. Anne was involved with our Recreation program for decades teaching fitness and wellness to our residents. She was ahead of her time in the wellness movement and helped set the tone for many of our current programs. Last week, Anne’s husband Richard F. “Dick” Freitas passed away. Dick was also involved in the town in many ways including the Recreation Department, Trails Committee, Master Plans, open space preservation, and much more. I enjoyed our regular meetings when Dick would bring in a hand drawn sketch, notes listing his thoughts and ideas, or an assignment for me to work on. He was always looking for ways to improve the parks and open space experience in Penfield.

This husband and wife team of more than 59 years had a common goal…to make Penfield the best community in the county. They have made a lasting mark in our town’s history and I thank their family for sharing their time, energy, and talent with all of us. To their children Marie, Rick, Dan—and their families—our thoughts are with you at this very difficult time. Anne and Dick, rest in peace!

Until next week…be well and be safe!


April 23, 2019
A message from Supervisor LaFountain: Shadow Pines Land Use Advisory Committee report received

The Shadow Pines Land Use Advisory Committee members submitted their final report to the Penfield Town Board at its April 17 legislative meeting. The committee was formed in July 2018 following the town’s purchase of the former golf course. Since commencing its work about seven months ago, the committee has toured the property, shared information, solicited community input, discussed and vetted ideas. Now, as charged, the committee has reported back to the Penfield Town Board with its final recommendations on possible land uses and how each use might be supported, implemented, and funded. 

The Town Board will review and discuss the report at a future work session, and will look to hold a public hearing in the fall to review the recommendations and allow residents to comment. The Town Board is also awaiting the Recreation Master Plan Update (public hearing May 15) and the town’s 2020 Comprehensive Plan Update due this fall. After the Town Board receives these plans it will work to align the recommendations for Shadow Pines in context of the goals set forth in all plans. 

This means no final decisions will be made for Shadow Pines land use until all this plays out. In the meantime, the public may enjoy passive recreation activities at Shadow Pines. 

On behalf of the Town Board, town staff, and Penfield residents, I thank the Shadow Pines Land Use Advisory Committee members for their earnest commitment to this process for the benefit of the Penfield community. 

April 22, 2019
Supervisor's column April 22, 2019

There have been several reports from residents hiking at Shadow Pines of dirt bikes/motorcycles riding throughout the former back nine of the property. Motorcycles and four wheels are not permitted on any town property. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has been notified of this concern and those hiking the property are asked to call 911 to report with a description of bikes and individuals. We are concerned for the safety of hikers and we are also concerned about damage caused by a few misguided individuals. Anyone caught violating this restriction will be issued the appropriate tickets and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

At the last town board meeting, the board set a public hearing for May 15 to hear public comments on the final draft report of the Penfield Five-year Recreation & Parks Master Plan Update. This citizen driven plan is updated every five years to help establish a clear direction to guide staff, committees, and elected officials in their efforts to enhance the community’s parks and recreation programs. It provides information to help identify facilities and resources that are needed to meet the town’s short-term goals while providing a long-term foundation for future generations. Additionally, this master plan is a key reference document that will influence the Town of Penfield’s broader 2020 Comprehensive Plan Update. The plan is available at the Recreation Department, Penfield Public Library, town hall, and will soon be online for your review. We welcome any and all comments at the public hearing.

Last week, the Shadow Pines Land Use Advisory Committee submitted its “final report” to the town board. This twelve-member committee worked for more than seven months to prepare this document. They held a public information meeting, brought in different groups and organizations to discuss needs and interests, and reviewed hundreds of written comments via email from our residents. I would like to recognize and thank those residents for making the commitment to prepare this plan. Over the next several months the town board will review the plan and look to hold a public hearing in the early fall. This report will also be a key reference document that will influence the Town of Penfield’s broader 2020 Comprehensive Plan Update.

Final construction of the solar project adjacent to the DPW Facility on Jackson Road has been completed and accepted for permission to operate by RG&E. The goal of this facility is to generate approximately 75% of the total electric used for the town hall, DPW, and community center facilities. We are working to set up information on the town’s website to share updates on generation as compared to usage for residents to view. Stay tuned.

The last Penfield Symphony Orchestra concert of the 2018-2019 season will be held on Monday, May 6 at 7:30 PM at the Penfield High School Auditorium. This concert entitled “Winners and Pictures” is sponsored by Harris Beach PLLC and will feature the Jo Amish Young Artist Competition winner. For more information on this concert and the PSO, please go to or follow them on Facebook at

A reminder of several events coming up in Penfield this weekend: First, the Town of Penfield will host an electric car show Saturday, April 27, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. The show is free and open to the public. All enthusiasts are invited to participate and register for the event at Next, also on April 27, is the annual opening day of Penfield Little League that begins at 9:00 AM with the traditional parade followed by an opening welcome, comments, and the familiar call of “play ball!” I hope to see you at these community events.

Until next week, enjoy the start of the spring weather!



April 16, 2019
Electric Vehicle Car Show April 27

The Town of Penfield will host an electric car show Saturday, April 27, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. The show is free and open to the public. All enthusiasts are invited to participate and register for the event at

Cars from private owners, dealers, and members of the New York State Electric Auto Association will be on display, and members will be on-hand to answer questions. Attendees will have the opportunity to test drive a variety of electric cars provided by the Rochester Electric Vehicle Accelerator. The show is expected to include a the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Volkswagen e-Golf, BMW i3, Chevy Bolt, and a strong showing from the local Tesla club. “This year’s electric car show is one of hundreds taking place nationwide on National Drive Electric Earth Day,” said Bob Kanauer, show organizer. “Each year the number of cars and visitors increases as more automobile companies are offering new models. This is a great opportunity to see and learn more about plug-in electric vehicles.” 

This is the eighth year the town is hosting the electric car show since installing the first publicly available charging station in Monroe County at the Penfield Community Center in 2012. The town installed a second charging station at the town hall complex in 2013, and a third followed in Harris Whalen Park.

Supervisor Tony LaFountain said, “This annual car show has become a wonderful tradition in Penfield. We are happy to help educate residents on the benefits of the growing electric vehicle industry and showcase the newest models along with cars owned by innovative enthusiasts.”

Event organizers include the Town of Penfield Energy and Environmental Advisory Committee (EEAC), The New York State Electric Automobile Association (NYSEAA), and Greater Rochester Clean Cities (GRCC).

Direct questions regarding the event to show organizer Bob Kanauer at or 585.377.2783.

April 16, 2019
Supervisor's column April 16, 2019

The New York State Department of Transportation has awarded a construction contract on a $4 million project to rehabilitate Empire Boulevard (also known as State Routes 941B and 404) between Helendale Road in the town of Irondequoit and Gravel Road in the town of Webster. The project, which includes the resurfacing of the road and the addition of new turning lanes and pedestrian accommodations, will improve driving conditions along this busy thoroughfare that stretches through the town of Penfield and serves a busy commercial corridor in our community. 

In addition to resurfacing the road, the project will add pavement markings and turning lanes at key locations to improve traffic flow and enhance safety. These include a center, two-way left turn lane between Plank Road and the Bay/Creek Street intersection and a new left turn lane for westbound traffic turning onto Plank Road. Construction will soon be underway and is expected to last through the fall. Motorists are reminded that fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone. In accordance with the Work Zone Safety Act of 2005, convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual’s driver’s license. 

The Penfield Players is a non-profit community theater organization sponsored by the Penfield Recreation Department. The group is in its 53rd season of providing an entertaining, welcoming, and intimate theater experience for its ensemble and audience members. They are currently getting ready for the spring melodrama entitled Peril on the High Seas, or Let's Get Together and Do Launch by Billy St. John.

All aboard the H.M.S. Majestic for a riotous adventure in this full length melodrama set in the Roaring Twenties! Little does our heroine, the heiress Merry Ann Sweet, know that she is the intended victim of the villainous Snively Swine's kidnapping plot. With his partner, the slinky and exotic Aracnia Webb, Swine disguises himself as Sir Reginald Rottentot, a British nobleman, in order to gain the confidence of Merry and her flapper friends, Mitzi, Ritzy, and Ditzy. But Merry falls for the handsome waiter, Cary de Mille. Poor Cary - he loves Merry, too, but ship's policy says he can't get involved with a passenger. Must these two ships pass in the night? Not if Merry's flapper friends can help it! Together, they transform Merry from a shy young lady into a red-hot jazz baby. Meanwhile, Swine launches his kidnap scheme. It's sink or swim for Cary. Can he save Merry and stay out of Aracnia's clutches? It's up to the passengers - movie star Mary Pickaxe, gossip columnist Hedda Hoper, detective Willy Ketchum and more - to help Cary put the damper on Swine.

Performances will be held at 8:00 PM Friday and Saturday April 26, 27 and May 3,4,10, 11. There will be a Sunday matinee at 2:00 PM on May 5. All performances will be held at the Penfield Community Center (1985 Baird Road) and tickets can be purchased online at You may sign in or if you do not have a login, click "Browse Tickets," select a performance, and then follow the prompts. Tickets will be held at the door (will call) of the Penfield Community Center. Ticket pre-sales online for $12.00 will stop at 4:00 PM on Friday for that weekend's show. Tickets are $15.00 at the door. You may also purchase tickets by phone at 340-8655 between 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

Mark your calendars for the opening day of Penfield Little League, scheduled for Saturday, April 27 starting at 9:00 AM. This annual event attracts several thousand baseball and softball players and their families and, in my mind, truly represents the arrival of spring. While I will remain optimistic, a rain date is scheduled for Sunday, April 28 if the weather on the 27th is wet, I hope to see you there…play ball!

The Penfield Recreation Department will be holding a Bike Safe Workshop for kids on Saturday, April 27, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. This workshop is for children ages 8 to 14. This workshop is a great way to get ready for National Bike Month, which begins May 1. Biking is a great way to stay in shape, enjoy the great outdoors and the beautiful Penfield community, save money on gas, and reduce pollution. In this three-hour course kids will learn important bike safety skills through on- and off-bike lessons, including bike basics, proper helmet usage, pre-biking safety checks, rules of riding, rules of the road, hand signals, and more. Fun games will be included to help with skill mastery.

The fee for this program is $15.00 per student and the program is open to residents and non-residents of Penfield. Participants must register through Penfield Recreation at, or at the Penfield Recreation office at Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. For questions or more information, please call Penfield Recreation at 340-8655, option 0.

Until next week, please be well and be safe!


April 8, 2019
Supervisor’s column April 8, 2019: Guest columnist Jim Costello, Director of Development Services

It is my pleasure to give you my annual update of construction activity and new business development taking place within the town. The most talked about topic this season is the status of the Clark House and the former Shadow Pines golf course. The Shadow Pines Land Use Committee has been working feverishly since last September to prepare and finalize its land use recommendations to the Town Board.  The Committee is expected to complete its report to the board on April 9th. The report will be available to the public on the town’s website shortly thereafter. The town has also prepared a Request for Proposals (RFP) for prospective entrepreneurs who may be interested in leasing the Clark House. The RFP was made available on the town’s website ( on March 7th along with an extensive video tour of the facility. Anyone interested in leasing the Clark House is encouraged to contact Anna Knapton at 340-8630 for more information and to schedule a tour of the building.

Many other projects are in various stages of development or are in review and approval phases with the Town Board and Planning Board. In the Four Corners area, Dr. Merkley is in the process of completing his new 5,000 square foot dental office at 2099 Five Mile Line Road. He will be relocating from 2084 Five Mile Line Road and we are happy to see him remain in the Four Corners. Speaking of dental offices, Dr. You Jia is finalizing work on her new 2,000 square foot dental office at 2100 Penfield Road and we wish her the best as well.

The Town Board approved the development of the Laurelton Animal Hospital at 1467 Empire Blvd. Dr. Ken Boehm is relocating his business from Irondequoit to Penfield. Construction on his new 6,000 square foot animal hospital will start in the next month or two. We welcome Ken to Penfield.

Penfield Veterinary Hospital at 1672 Penfield Road is in the process of constructing a 1,400 square foot addition to its facility. The addition will provide additional work area for staff. Between our new dental offices and veterinary improvements, Penfield residents and their pets should have the healthiest teeth in Monroe County!

Both the Ellison Height 180 unit apartment project at 1200 Penfield Road and the Waters’ Edge 339 unit apartment project on Empire Blvd. adjacent to Murphy’s Law have been completed and are occupied.

The Oak and Apple Cidery, located at 1600 Dublin Road, was constructed last year and opened last August. Owners Christian and Christina Krapf, to their amazement, had a very successful first season, selling out all of their various hard and sweet ciders. We look forward to their continued success. 

Wickham Farms has received all of its approvals and is relocating its agri-business operation from 1821 Fairport Nine Mile Point Road to 1315 Sweets Corners Road. Wickham’s agri-business continues to include his Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, corn mazes, apple picking, agricultural educational events and birthday parties on the south side of Sweets Corners Road, at the intersection of Dublin Road; and yes, the giant bouncy pillow will be relocated as well.

Wickham Farms has sold its property located immediately to the north of the Eastside Y, at 1821 Fairport Nine Mile Point Road, also located in the Mixed Use zoning district, to Home Leasing and Episcopal Senior Communities. The two have partnered and have received approval from the Planning Board to construct 183 apartment units consisting of 113 independent units, 40 assisted living units and 30 memory care units as well as 7,800 square feet of commercial area. Construction is anticipated to start by the end of this year. This project was the first residential application to be approved by the town in the recently created Mixed Use zoning district. 

The Planning Board has received an application for the development of an office park for 350,000 square feet of gross building space on 55+/- acres, on the west side of Panorama Trail, south of Panorama Creek Drive. In 2018, the Town Board issued a grading permit to allow the construction of an access road to allow the developers, John Summers and Rich LeFrois, the ability to market the site to interested parties. They are currently before the Planning Board to address any environmental issues relating to the project. Portions of the property include the former Camp Haccamo site and residual lands formerly owned by Thermo Fisher Scientific and the DelMonte Corp.

Penfield saw several popular businesses close in recent months. Most notably Party City, Payless Shoes, and Famous Footwear at Panorama Plaza, Bruegger’s Bagels at PenFair Plaza, Arby’s on Creek Street, Grossman’s Nursery on Fairport Nine Mile Point Road, Lindburger’s Restaurant at Wegman’s Plaza on Penfield Road, Itacate Mexican Restaurant on Penfield Road, ABVI Goodwill Fashions on Bay Road, and Napa Valley Pizza at Baytowne Plaza. 

The good news is that there are several new businesses that have opened or are about to open such as Secret Ingredients Cupcakes at 1991 Empire Blvd., Verizon Wireless at 1930 Empire Blvd., Ferrari’s Pizza and Shoe Dept. at Baytowne Plaza, Spiedie Restaurant at 1998 Empire Blvd., Cam’s Pizzeria at 2487 Browncroft Blvd., Board and Brush at 900 Panorama Trail South, and Planet Fitness at Panorama Plaza. Also, Quicklee’s is in the process of purchasing the former Penfield Service Center at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Fairport Nine Mile Point Road, the former Schoenhardt Mobil at the intersection of Penfield Road and Fairport Nine Mile Point Road, and the former Hess station at Panorama Plaza.  Upgrades are proposed for all three sites. The Four Corners has recently welcomed several new businesses as well. Among them are Joey Gatt’s Food and Cocktails, Aspenleiter Vacuum and Sewing Machine Sales & Service, Gurcan Tailors, the relocation of Panorama Oral Surgery, Radiant Sun Acupuncture, and Whitman Art Works.

There are several residential projects under construction. Most notably, Abbington Place, located on the west side of Fairport Nine Mile Point Road, is starting its sixth, and final phase of construction this summer. This 14 lot phase will complete the 102 single family patio home project constructed by Crosstown Construction. Redstone Builders has requested approval to construct the final phase of the Crown Pointe subdivision, consisting of 7 lots located on the south side of Plank Road, east of Shoecraft Road. This will complete the 88 lot subdivision. Construction is expected to start this summer. Redstone Builders is also currently before the Planning Board requesting approval of a 13 lot subdivision at 1725 Scribner Road. Mascot Homes has received approval to construct a 16 lot subdivision, known as Capstone, on the east side of Creek Street, north of Bunker Hill Drive. The developer has completed the roadway, drainage system, and construction of new homes is underway.

Ryan Homes has met with the Planning Board to discuss the conceptual development of a 75 lot subdivision on the southeast corner of Plank and Jackson Roads. The Planning Board is preparing a response to the developers as of the date of this article.  

Finally, Heritage Christian Services has acquired the former Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah’s Witnesses at 1280 Fairport Nine Mile Point Road. The site has been vacant for some time and they intend to use the building for day habilitation programs for their clients and are currently before the Zoning Board of Appeals seeking approval for the use.

I hope this helps to inform you to what is happening in the areas of new construction (both proposed and underway) and business development in Penfield. Please do not hesitate to contact me at if you have any questions regarding any of the projects discussed in this article.

April 3, 2019
Solar array at DPW now online

The Town of Penfield has completed installation of a 1.2 MW solar photovoltaic array at its DPW complex at 1607 Jackson Road. The solar array was tested and commissioned by RG&E on March 29; it is now online and delivering renewable power to the grid.

The solar array consists of 3,648 solar modules (each 345 watts) driving 38 inverters. The system is expected to generate 1.2 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy annually. Solar panels are attached to pile driven racks and the entire array is fenced in. 

The energy produced by this array is directly connected to RG&E’s utility grid and is expected to offset approximately 75 percent of the Town of Penfield’s overall electrical usage at its main facilities (town hall, community center, DPW). This production is the equivalent of powering 120 households for one year. 

“The Town of Penfield has a goal of achieving long-term energy cost reductions and price predictability using clean, sustainable energy for the benefit of the environment and Penfield taxpayers,” said supervisor Tony LaFountain. “The town board, Energy and Environmental Advisory Committee (EEAC), and staff began working with Larsen Engineering in 2013 to explore, then pursue, this solar project.”

Since then, the town has been working with Larsen Engineering to design, fund, and implement a ground-mount solar photovoltaic (PV) array at the DPW complex. Larsen engineers studied the town’s historical electric billing records and property assets to identify optimal locations for developing a solar project. Technical and economic criteria were considered for site evaluation, and ultimately Larsen proposed a solar array at the Jackson Road DPW. 

The project is being funded through New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) NY-Sun solar PV incentive program for grid-connected solar photovoltaic systems. 

Like many municipal solar installations, the solar array is being financed through a solar power purchase agreement (PPA)—an agreement in which a developer arranges for the design, permitting, financing and installation of a solar energy system on a customer’s property at little to no cost to taxpayers. 

The system is entirely designed, engineered, installed, and funded by developer. The developer sells the power generated to the host customer at a fixed rate that is lower than the local utility’s retail rate. 

The customer and developer both benefit from the PPA. The customer benefits short- and long-term from lower, predictable electricity compared to electricity purchase directly from the grid. The developer benefits from income received from the sale of electricity and any tax credits or incentives generated from the system. 

PPAs typically range from 10 to 25 years. Throughout the contract period, the developer is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the system. At the end of the PPA contract, the customer may opt to extend the PPA, buy the system from the developer and receive the direct benefit of the low-cost electricity, or have the developer remove the system. 

In this case, the customer is the Town of Penfield, the site is the DPW complex at 1607 Jackson Road, the designer is Larsen Engineering, and the developer/provider is Tesla. 

Supervisor LaFountain adds, “I have been asked why we chose solar, and how this system can possibly work in our cloudy, snowy climate. We chose this path because sunlight is a renewable energy resource. Solar electric systems convert energy from the sun into electricity even on cloudy days. Compared to electricity generated by fossil fuels, electricity generated by solar arrays are sustainable and create no noise, air, or water pollution. Importantly, solar-sourced electricity and the ability to lock in electricity costs over a period of time through a PPA will reduce energy costs and save taxpayer dollars.”

To date, the town has successfully implemented three other solar projects. The first is a small self-sufficient sewer pump station that went online in 2012. Next, a solar powered crosswalk signal was installed at on Scribner Road at Scribner Road elementary school in 2013. That was followed in March, 2014 with a solar panel array installation on the roof of the Harris Whalen Lodge that provides nearly half of that facility’s annual electric needs. This installation has the ability to expand in the future. 

The Town of Penfield will continuously look for more ways to reduce energy use through energy efficient lighting (including LED streetlight replacements), HVAC upgrades, improved insulation, window replacements, electric vehicle charging stations, and other sustainable practices. 

April 1, 2019
Supervisor's guest column from Chris Bilow, Recreation Director, April 1, 2019

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

The summer period is a busy time for all and the Recreation Department is no different! We have many programs and events planned for this summer, so be sure to check out the summer brochure which will be available in early April. Look for several NEW formats to a number of the regular seasonal events and programs. 

To begin, the Penfield Amphitheater and Kiwanis Stage the concert series format has changed. All performances will be on Tuesday nights (except the Food Truck Rodeo and Tastin’ the Blues). The season opens Tuesday, June 11 and extends all the way through the summer with the final concert on August 27. This expanded season now provides 13 concerts plus two special events; the Food Truck Rodeo on June 7 will kick off the season and Tastin’ the Blues on September 14 will again be our finale.

We are also making some changes to our Summer Camp session format to give busy families more flexibility. We are offering NEW one-week sessions to better match family schedules, and our Scribner Road Elementary School camp will join the Penfield Community Center as a second location offering “before” and “after” programs to accommodate the need for early drop off and late pick up. 

I am excited to share that we are launching a NEW program for our youngest campers with Pee Wee Summer Day Camp at Scribner Road Elementary School. This program is for children ages 3 to 6 who might not be ready for regular Summer Day Camp. Campers will enjoy a wide range of age-appropriate activities and experiences. Pen-Rec Pee Wee participants can registered to attend morning, afternoon, or full day.

In March, the Recreation & Parks Five Year Master Plan Update committee finalized its draft of the update. A public hearing on the draft is scheduled for May 15 at the Town Hall beginning at 7:00 PM. The committee solicited opinions and ideas on recreation needs through a community survey, community input session, electronic input submissions, and general feedback. We also gathered information from a variety of community stakeholders as they relate to the recreation field. 

I would like to thank the committee volunteers who worked diligently to collect and review community input; we could not have developed a Master Plan Update without your commitment.

I feel that this plan will serve the town well for the next five years as it clearly has identified several recommendations to work towards to provide recreational opportunities for all in the Penfield community. 

Be on the lookout for a NEW logo from Penfield Recreation. This new logo will be highlighted in everything we do as a department. Our focus was to create a logo that depicts Penfield Recreation and the wellness theme that drives our programs. I anticipate the logo to be revealed by the summer season.

Please mark your calendars with these key spring and summer program dates:

Good Neighbor Day: May 11

Memorial Day: May 27

Summer concert series begins: June 7 (Food Truck Rodeo)

Independence Day Parade and Fireworks: June 29

As always, the “Passport to Play” and “Hit the Trail Passport” are available year-round at Penfield Recreation

For details on any of the above special events or programs please contact us at, or 340-8655.

We look forward to seeing you at an event this summer! I am always available to discuss any questions or comments you may have that relate to the Recreation Department and our many programs and events.

Chris Bilow

Penfield Recreation Director


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