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December 31, 2019
Supervisor’s column December 31, 2019

I would like to recognize and thank Rabbi Yitzi Hein, Co-director, Chabad of Pittsford, for organizing the sixth annual lighting of the Menorah located in Schaufelberger Park last Thursday evening. We had one of our largest gatherings for this wonderful event and I thank everyone for attending and making this a key element of our holiday celebration in Penfield.

Reminder…your 2020 combined Town and County Tax bill will be mailed on December 31. Tax bills may be paid in full or by installment using the payment stubs at the bottom of the tax bill. Payments may be made by mail, in person at the Tax Receiver’s office in the Penfield Town Hall (3100 Atlantic Avenue, Penfield, NY 14526) or M&T Bank locations in Penfield, or at the drop box at the east entrance to the town hall. If you are traveling and need your bill to go to a winter address, please contact the Tax Office at 340-8626. Also, my annual letter explaining the tax bill in detail can be found on the Tax Receiver’s Town & County Tax page (scroll down) at www.penfield.org; hard copies are available at the Tax Office. 

As we get ready to begin a new year, please connect with the Town of Penfield at www.penfield.org to stay informed. You can follow community news from this column, messages from the supervisor, live streaming and recorded video of town meetings, event calendars, links to social media (Facebook and Twitter) and much more. There are many wonderful programs planned in 2020 for residents of all ages.

With the recent mild weather, I have started thinking about spring planning—I know it’s a bit early—however it’s important to get an early start on things! On Saturday, January 25 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM the Penfield Community Victory Garden and the Flower City Garden Network are sponsoring a “Seed Swap.” Bring seeds you have collected or saved (see the website www.flowercitygardennetwork.com for seed-saving tips) and join them whether you have seeds to contribute or not, there will be plenty for everyone! This program is FREE and open to the public but pre-registration is requested by emailing flowercitygardennetwork@gmail.com. Come join in on a fun winter Saturday to share seeds and houseplants, enjoy some refreshments, and hear a couple of fun talks on spring gardening by garden designer Carol Southby and Ellen Folts, owner of Amanda’s Garden Native Perennial Nursery. 

Final reminder…program registration for Pen-Rec Programs begins January 2, so don’t delay as many of our programs fill up quickly! “Break Camps” for winter (February 17–21) and spring (April 6–10) have become very popular. Check out these and many more programs in the 2020 Winter/Spring Pen-Rec brochure that you should have recently received in the mail or go to www.penfieldrec.org.   

The Penfield Public Library has its January through May lineup of programs ready for 2020. Those that have caught my eye in January include an open house for Penfield area preschoolers; a Magic Show with Chris Wilkinson; a Lego Lab; and a parent/child book group. All the details are in the Pen-Rec brochure or at www.penfield.libraryweb.org.   

Many businesses, individuals, and organizations help offset the cost of printing the Pen-Rec brochure by placing ads. Please consider supporting these various groups in our community, it does make a difference; if you are able, please thank them for their support, I know they will appreciate the kind words.

As I wrap up my last column of 2019, I would like to thank all of our residents for their support over the year. It has been my honor to serve you and the Penfield community as your supervisor. I look forward to the start of a new term serving this great community in 2020. On behalf of the entire LaFountain family, we wish all of you a very safe, healthy and happy New Year!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org


December 24, 2019
Supervisor’s column December 23, 2019

I am pleased to introduce you to Krystina H. Lizak, the new Penfield Received of Taxes. Krys comes to us with experience in the private sector working as an accountant and in local government with experience in the Town of Irondequoit and Village of Webster. Krys asked me to remind you that the Town and County Tax bills will be available on December 31. If you are traveling and need your bill to go to a winter address, please contact the Tax Office at 340-8626.

I would also like to recognize and thank Margaret Revelle for her service to Penfield as Tax Receiver for more than 13 years. Peggy retired just before Thanksgiving and has moved to Tennessee with her husband and their dogs to enjoy the next chapter of their lives…best wishes Peggy, and enjoy your retirement! 

Christmas tree recycling is once again offered at the DPW facility, 1607 Jackson Road. All trees dropped off will be ground up and made part of the free mulch pile that is available at the town hall in the early spring until we run out of material. Look for the recycling signs at DPW, and thank you in advance for not sending your tree to the landfill.

The sixth annual outdoor Menorah Lighting will take place Thursday, December 26 at 5:30 PM in the Four Corners at Schaufelberger Park. This event is open to the entire community; donuts and potato pancakes (latkes) will be served to all who attend.

Reminder…program registration for all Penfield Recreation’s Winter/Spring 2020 offerings begins on Thursday, January 2, 2020. Do not delay as our programs fill up fast due to popularity!

The January 2 meeting of the Penfield Town Board is the organizational meeting for the year. At this meeting all of the appointments are made for boards and committees, salaries are established, various contracts are authorized, banking arrangements are confirmed, consultants are named, and much more. Please tune in to watch town board meetings live on PCTV channel 1301; you can also go to www.penfield.org for live streaming video and to view recorded video of past meetings of interest. Please stay connected to your local government.

Prior to the start of the town board meeting, there will be a short swearing in ceremony that begins at 6:00 PM for the elected positions of town supervisor, town board, and town justice; this program is open to the public and will be held in the auditorium.

The next scenic trek sponsored by the Penfield Trails Committee will be held on Saturday, January 11 from 10:00 AM to 12:00PM at Ellison Park. Dust off your cross country skis or snowshoes and join in on an exhilarating trip through this very scenic park. If there isn’t any snow a hike will take place. You will follow the predominantly flat portions of Ellison Park on the north side of Blossom Road.

Town offices will be closed on Wednesday, December 25 and Wednesday, January 1. The Penfield Public Library will be closed Tuesday, December 24 through Thursday, December 25 and will reopen on Friday, December 27.

This is the last column before Christmas…on behalf of the town board and all of the employees of the Town of Penfield, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe holiday season!

Tony
supervisor@penfield.org 


December 16, 2019
Penfield Town Board accepting resumes for open town board seat

A message from Supervisor LaFountain:

The Penfield Town Board invites any individuals wishing to be considered for an open town board seat to submit a resume and cover letter expressing their interest in the position to Supervisor LaFountain by 5:00 PM on Monday, December 23.  

Resumes may be submitted by email to supervisor@penfield.org or by regular mail to Supervisor LaFountain, Penfield Town Hall, 3100 Atlantic Avenue, Penfield, NY 14526. They may also be delivered in person to the supervisor’s office at the town hall. 

The Penfield Town Board will interview candidates on Saturday, December 28 and Sunday, December 29. The selected candidate will be appointed at the Penfield Town Board’s January 2, 2020 organizational meeting. Please direct any questions to me at supervisor@penfield.org.


December 16, 2019
Supervisor’s column December 16, 2019

Did you know that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, Americans generate 25 percent more waste per week than normal? That’s five million tons of extra waste during the 2019 holidays. This can be changed through some creative recycling and gift-giving ideas that can help divert some of that waste from landfills:

Reuse ribbons and bows from last year, bonus points if they already perfectly fit your gift box!

Make the package part of the gift—use a basket, blanket, or another useful item when packaging your gift.

Repurpose Christmas cards you’ve received into festive gift tags. Cut off the front of the card, punch a hole, and add a ribbon—or just tape directly onto your package. 

Plan a treasure hunt to find gifts instead of wrapping each one. The little ones will love this, and it will give you a little peace during the hectic holidays.

Make recycling easy to find for guests at your holiday party, from dishware to packaging and everything in between.

Include rechargeable batteries with electronic gifts—it’s one less item that will end up in the landfill.

Many big box stores may recycle your old electronics. Out with the old and slow, in with the new and speedy!

In Penfield, live Christmas trees may be dropped off at the Department of Public Works, 1607 Jackson Road. They will be ground up and added to our mulch pile. 

Finally, don’t forget Monroe County’s “ecopark” for paper, metal, glass, plastic, and much more. Go to www.monroecounty.gov/ecopark for details. 

Last week I joined the Penfield Business Chamber (PBC) for their “Morning Spark” hosted by the Eastside YMCA. Morning Spark is a networking event that gives businesses the opportunity to grab a cup of coffee and share thoughts and ideas. When appropriate, the group also tours the business or facility. I would like to recognize Anne Thornton, Executive Director of the Y, for their hospitality. I also thank the leadership of the PBC for connecting the membership to the many businesses involved with the chamber.

I read with interest the article in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle that stated our region was ranked sixth among top metro areas for 2020 for real estate growth and sales. In Penfield, we are seeing homes sell very quickly; many are not on the market very long and they are selling for tens of thousands over asking prices. Jobs, quality of life, schools, and many more attributes are bringing people to the region and our community.

Last Monday evening I had the honor of joining the Penfield Rotary Club and President-elect Barbara Power for the lighting of the Rotary Holiday Tree in the Four Corners. The tree was donated by Penfield Business Chamber (PBC) President Marie Cinti and her husband Steven. Several members of Rotary, PBC, and residents were on hand for the lighting, singing, and of course hot chocolate and munchkins. A special thank you to the Penfield Rotary for hosting this wonderful event.

This will be the last in the series for ways to “Beat Holiday Stress” from the Town’s Employee Wellness Committee…from all of them to all of you, happy holidays and Merry Christmas! Avoid isolation—the holidays can be a depressing time for those who’ve lost loved ones. Get out of the house whenever possible and reconnect with old friends. Make a gratitude list—review it whenever you are feeling depressed, anxious, or stressed out. Take a time out—indulge in things you stopped doing because you “just don’t have time for anymore” like a long lunch or night out with friends.

The Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf will be very busy over the next several weeks as they look to provide food for more than 125 families that may not have enough over this holiday season. Thank you in advance for any support you may give to this wonderful organization that does so much for those who need an extra helping hand, especially at this time of the year!

Are you looking for something to do and give back to your community? Please consider volunteering with Bri-Pen Senior Rides. Bring Brighton and Penfield Seniors to medical appointments, religious services or the town recreation centers. Drivers are trained by Lifespan’s Give a Lift program and are given FREE supplemental care insurance. If interested in learning more or helping out, please call 340-8674! 

Until next week, be well and be safe!

Tony 

supervisor@penfield.org 

 


December 9, 2019
Town's Solar Array at Department of Public Works: Performance Snapshot

A message from Supervisor LaFountain: 

The Town’s solar array at the Department of Public Works complex on Jackson Road has been fully operational since May 2019—pushing energy to the grid, earning energy credits, and reducing the Town of Penfield’s electric bill. Now that we have six full months of performance behind us, I would like to provide a snapshot of our experience to date.  

The solar array consists of 3,648 solar modules driving 38 inverters. The system is expected to generate 1.2 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy annually. From May to October it produced and delivered 767,837 kWh of electricity to the RG&E grid. 

Image_SolarArraySun.jpg

Solar Panels at Department of Public Works Complex

In 2017 and 2018, the Town’s electric bills for all its facilities for the period May 1 to October 31 were approximately $124,600 and $123,200 respectively. I am pleased to share that our bill for the same period in 2019 was $84,200, a reduction of roughly $40,000. Based on this performance, we conservatively project a savings of $90,000 for the Town’s electric bill for 2020. Solar arrays reliably produce energy on cloudy days—and the panels perform most efficiently in cold weather—so we are confident the array will continue to deliver electricity to RG&E’s grid throughout the winter. 

Image_SolarArrayDPWBefore.jpgImage_SolarArrayPanels.jpg

Department of Public Works complex before and after installation

On October 23, the Energy & Environmental Advisory Committee visited the solar array for a tour and update from Facilities Director and project manager, Jim Kreckman. He gave us an overview of the array’s technology and performance. A big takeaway for the EEAC was a practical context Jim described when he told us the electricity the array had already produced and delivered to RG&E’s grid was equivalent to the Penfield Community Center’s (PCC) monthly electric bill. Essentially, our electricity production had already offset electricity used by the facility that houses the Penfield Library, Penfield Recreation, and Town Courts—all of which operate day and night, creating high peak demand costs. Jim was especially happy to point out that our energy credits even offset those peak demand fees, an achievement that Jim called “a beautiful thing."

Image_SolarArrayDPWBefore.jpgImage_SolarArrayKreckmanEEAC.jpg

Jim Kreckman of the Town of Penfield speaking with Energy and Environmental Advisory Committee members at Department of Public Works complex

I will provide another snapshot around our one-year anniversary date when we will have a full year’s worth of data to share. 

For those not familiar with this project, the solar array was installed in keeping with the Town’s goal of achieving long-term energy cost reductions and price predictability using clean, sustainable energy for the benefit of the environment and Penfield residents. The energy produced by this array is directly connected to RG&E’s utility grid and is expected to offset approximately nearly three-quarters 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. 

To learn more about the solar array please read this press release from April 3, 2019 for more details. 

http://www.penfield.org/docmanager/PR2019-04-03%20Solar%20array%20at%20DPW%20online.pdf


December 9, 2019
Supervisor’s column December 9, 2019

I was very sad to learn of the passing of former supervisor Anna Bundschuh. I had the honor of working for and with Anna for many years. Anna served on the Penfield Town Board from 1976 to 1980 and was the thirty-sixth Penfield Supervisor from 1980-1981. She served on the Penfield Planning Board for five years and was a member of the Penfield Local History Room Advisory Committee for 30 years. Anna was a member of the Penfield Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors and was an officer of the Friends of the Penfield Public Library, the Penfield Heritage Association, and the Penfield Friday Club. She also chaired the Shepherd Home Annual Fund Drive for five years.

Needless to say, Anna was passionate about supporting her community. The organization she most enjoyed was the League of Women Voters. She served on the Board of Directors in the 1960s and was President of the Rochester Metropolitan Area League from 1972 to 1974. Later, in 1986, she was the coordinator of a book entitled Monroe County - Guide to Local Government. Anna received the Rochester Chamber of Commerce government award that year. In 2015, she received a Lifetime of Service Award from the local League of Women Voters.

Anna will be remembered for her attention to detail in all she did, love of family, passion for the parks and trails, strong planning for the town’s overall growth, and her sincere love of the Penfield community. Thank you Anna for all your efforts on behalf of the residents of Penfield; you did make a difference in our town and your impact will last for generations to come. 

Last week, I had the honor of attending the ground-breaking ceremony for Penfield Square located at 1835 Fairport Nine Mile Point Road adjacent to the Eastside YMCA. This project is a partnership with the Episcopal Senior Life Communities and Home Leasing that will include independent living, assisted living, and memory care facilities to serve the Penfield community. Completion of this $29 million project will be in 2021.

As we get a short break from the recent winter weather, and before the next round of snow and cold hits, I want to address a few questions that I typically receive this time of the year. If your mailbox is damaged by a strike from a Town plow blade contact DPW at 340-8710 so we can evaluate and repair or replace it quickly. Please note, replacement mailboxes are standard issue metal on a single 4x4 post. If there is any lawn damage to your property from a Town plow, that will be repaired in the spring. Also, please make sure your plow contractor is not plowing your snow across the road, this is illegal under state law and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will ticket the plow contractor. All snow must remain on your property. Read more details regarding winter parking rules, snowplows, mailboxes, and New York State highway laws at www.penfield.org (click departments/public works/roadways). 

Keep an eye out for the 2020 Winter/Spring edition of Penfield Recreation brochure that will be arriving in mailboxes in the coming week. This 50-page brochure has hundreds of program opportunities for all ages. Have a look and enjoy, I hope to see you at a number of the planned events!

Reminders…first, the next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser and breakfast with Santa sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Penfield (FBP) will be held Saturday, December 14 from 8:00 to 10:00 AM at 1862 Penfield Road. The price is $6.00 per person. All December breakfast proceeds will go directly to help support the Open Door Mission. For more information and details, please go to www.fbpenfield.org. Next is the Penfield Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Gifts concert on Monday, December 16 at 7:30 PM in the Penfield High School auditorium. For more details about this concert and the rest of the 2019-2020 season, please go to www.penfieldsymphony.org

The Town’s Employee Wellness Committee would like to share a few more ways to “Beat Holiday Stress.” First, pare down gift giving – for extended family and social groups, suggest each person give one gift by drawing names out of a hat. Take some time off work – don’t cram all errands and shopping trips into the precious little time you have outside work hours. Avoiding the weekend crowds will allow you to get more done. Finally, ask for help – if you’re playing host, assign chores and duties to your spouse and children.

Until next week, I hope to see you out in our great community, please stop me and say hello!

Tony 

supervisor@penfield.org 


December 3, 2019
Supervisor’s column December 3, 2019

The next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser and breakfast with Santa sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Penfield (FBP) is Saturday, December 14 from 8:00 to 10:00AM at 1862 Penfield Road. FBP invites you for delicious pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage, and more…all for just $6.00 per person. All December breakfast proceeds will directly support the Open Door Mission—a Christian Rescue Mission founded on the belief that with proper resources, hope can be restored and lives of impoverished men, women, and children of Rochester/Monroe County can be forever changed. Fellowship Hall is handicapped accessible and the breakfast is outstanding! For more information and details, please go to www.fbpenfield.org

Wisdom at its finest hour…the new lineup of Daytime Education at Recreation (DEAR) programs features an exciting offering of classes and lectures for lifetime learners interested in engaging in intellectual, socially viable cognitive activities to help keep their minds sharp and alert while reducing the risk or delaying the onset of age-related concerns. DEAR at the Penfield Community Center has become an important staple to adults who understand the significance of this idea and would like to reshape the way they spend leisure time while meeting new and interesting people along the way. Come join the national movement to learn and share life experience with others, exploring the multitude of FREE programs available. PLEASE NOTE THAT MOST CLASSES ARE FREE BUT REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED! For a complete listing of programs please visit www.penfieldrec.org and click on the PDF.

I have been asked to share this important “Winter Reminder” from RG&E: Keep vents and gas meters clear of snow and ice as blocked vents, meters and regulators can pose safety hazards. Snow, ice and other debris can block exhaust vents for furnaces, water heaters and similar appliances, potentially causing toxic fumes and poisonous carbon monoxide to build up indoors. Furthermore, snow and ice accumulated around natural gas meters and regulators can prevent gas company personnel and first-responders from locating and accessing them during an emergency. 

Customers should note the location of outdoor vents, including sidewall vents, as well as meters and regulators to make sure they remain clear and accessible. After any storm passes, snow and debris should be removed gently by hand or with a broom to avoid damage. Customers should also be alert to potential ice build-up on rooftops and gutters. Falling ice and snow can damage utility meters and regulators. 

To report emergencies: Call RG&E at 1.800.743.1702 to report gas leaks, odors or damaged gas equipment. If you suspect a leak, get up and get out, leave the area or building and call from a safe place. If there’s an immediate danger, call 911. 

Reminder…the December scenic trek sponsored by the Penfield Trails Committee will take place on Saturday, December 14 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Thousand Acre Swamp. Meet at the rear of the Penfield Volunteer Emergency Ambulance Building on Jackson Road and look for the hike signs.

The Town Employee’s Wellness Committee asked that I remind the community of ways to “beat holiday stress.” If the thought of upcoming holidays fill you with dread, you are not alone. Many People get stretched pretty thin this time of year by money and social obligations. In the coming weeks we will share a few ways to keep your sleigh on track this season. Set realistic expectations – things aren’t going to go perfectly and that’s okay. You can’t control every outcome, but you can prepare yourself mentally by visualizing your calm, positive response to negative events. Get moving – it’s not the chores like shopping, and Uncle Stanley’s visit that’s stressing you out – it’s your anticipation of them! Act now by creating a to-do list, and tackle one or two items per week through the holidays. And finally, budget your holiday expenditures – set per person limits on gift giving and stick to them. Don’t overlook special outlays for travel, decorations, food and entertainment.

Until next be well and be safe…winter weather looks like it is here to stay! Please remember that winter parking rules are in effect now through Wednesday, April 1. This means NO PARKING is allowed on any roadway in Penfield from 2:00 AM to 7:00 AM to allow our DPW crews to safely and effectively plow and salt roadways. Thank you in advance for observing these rules!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org

 




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