March 30, 2020
Supervisor’s March 30, 2020 Update
I previously announced that Town facilities would be temporarily closed through April 3. Since then, Governor Cuomo has extended New York State’s "New York on PAUSE" policy through April 15, meaning non-essential businesses and schools will continue to stay closed. Gatherings of any size for any reason will remain cancelled and all New Yorkers continue to be directed to practice social distancing by staying home and keeping six feet of space from others when in public.
The Town of Penfield is supporting this directive in the following ways:
- Town offices and facilities remain temporarily closed through April 15; we will continue to revisit this as the course of COVID-19 evolves.
- We are maintaining essential staff and services. As always, we will respond to emergencies like fallen trees, highway and sewer issues, and wind, snow, and ice management.
- Playgrounds and basketball courts are off-limits. Despite signs and caution tape, some people continue to use these facilities. Effective social distancing includes no gathering and sharing of playground equipment and no close contact sports like basketball.
- Near term meetings have been cancelled through April 15. Future meetings are being decided week to week, but expect them to be cancelled through the next several weeks. When we do resume, remember you can watch and participate remotely through our Penfield TV resources.
- Town employees are still working remotely, monitoring email and voicemail. They are helping residents manage as best they can over the phone and online; please be patient, we are handling the most urgent matters first.
- We are providing fact-based updates specific to the Town of Penfield at www.penfield.org and through social media. We are also sharing fact-based information from Monroe County https://www2.monroecounty.gov/health-coronavirus and NYS. See our COVID-19 information page.
Hunting/Fishing License Transactions
Due to our temporary closure, the Town Clerk’s office is unavailable to complete Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) transactions. However, you can still order or renew hunting/fishing licenses through the DEC call center or website.
By Phone - The DEC call center is available at 1-866-933-2257, Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. You will be given a transaction number to carry with you to use as a license registration when fishing.
Online - You can also purchase your license online at https://www.dec.ny.gov/63.html and receive your permit by mail. You can also print fishing and trapping licenses yourself on your home printer. Website customers also have the option to record and carry their fishing license transaction number with them.
The Town Clerk's Office will provide updates from the DEC if there are any changes to these options.
We have received inquiries from residents and organizations wishing to volunteer to help our region during this crisis. Please note, the United Way is the lead agency for coordinating needs and volunteers. Learn more at https://uwrochester.org/ .
- The due date for 3rd and 4th property tax installments has been extended to April 30 with no penalty. In-person payment of real property taxes at all county and town facilities is prohibited during this State of Emergency. See details at https://www.monroecounty.gov/?q=node/9360
- Non-urgent matters. Please email departments (contact info at www.penfield.org) with specific questions and be patient as we triage customer service from our homes.
- Use our parks and trails but observe social distancing. Walk apart and don't cluster, keep dogs on leashes and clean up after them (and dispose of properly) for the good of all.
- Report emergencies to 911. If you see any hazards or threats to public safety (like fallen trees or other unsafe conditions) do not call our DPW. Call 911 and they will contact the Town DPW. If you call DPW directly you will get voicemail and the response may not be timely because staff could be deployed to another task.
On behalf of the Penfield community, thank you to all the front line workers of this crisis: healthcare professionals, doctors, nurses, EMTs, firefighters, police officers, food industry workers, delivery services, manufacturing operations, and countless others. They are showing up to work every day to help others.
Let’s all do our part to support them by committing to follow all social distancing and hygiene guidelines. Our cooperation is the single most important thing we can do to help them, keep our community strong, and protect our most vulnerable. The success of our healthcare system is directly related to how successfully we commit to these principals. When we slow the flow of COVID-19 patients to hospitals we help our healthcare system manage resources. We don't want the healthcare system to have to implement surge plans to cope with the number of patients in our community.
I want to thank you all for your patience and support as we adapt to new practices and priorities for the greater good.
Be well and be safe,
Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain
March 23, 2020
Supervisor’s column March 23, 2020
Here we are on March 23; the past few weeks have been fast-moving and life-changing as we enter new territory globally and right here in Penfield.
We all have a role to play in reducing the spread of COVID-19. The Town’s primary focus is protection of staff and residents by helping to interrupt the chain of transmission in the community.
What we are doing at the Town:
Facilities/Services - Although Town offices and facilities are temporarily closed, we are maintaining essential staff and services. As always, we will respond to emergencies like fallen trees, highway and sewer issues, and wind, snow, and ice management.
Meetings - We are working closely with county, state and federal leaders and following state of emergency directives. Near term meetings have been cancelled. Future meetings are being decided week to week, but expect them to be cancelled through the next several weeks. When we do resume, remember you can watch and participate remotely through our Penfield TV resources.
Town Staff - Town employees are working remotely, monitoring email and voicemail. They are helping residents manage as best they can over the phone and online; please be patient, we are handling the most urgent matters first.
What can wait:
The due date for 3rd and 4th property tax installments has been extended to April 30 with no penalty. In-person payment of real property taxes at all county and town facilities is prohibited during this State of Emergency. See details at https://www.monroecounty.gov/?q=node/9360
Non-urgent matters. Please email departments (contact info at www.penfield.org) with specific questions and be patient as we triage customer service from our homes.
What you can do:
Report emergencies to 911. If you see any hazards or threats to public safety (like fallen trees or other unsafe conditions) do not call our DPW. Call 911 and they will contact the Town DPW. If you call DPW directly you will get voicemail and the response may not be timely because staff could be deployed to another task.
Submit your Census information online while you are at home practicing social distancing. Why? You will help your community. The federal and state response to COVID-19 is an example of the importance of being counted and being seen. Deployment of resources is influenced by demographics. Be sure to include children in your count, they have historically been under-counted in previous census efforts.
“Ignore the hype, don’t flush a wipe!”
Here's a critical issue we were about to address even before COVID-19, and the behavior has gotten worse in recent weeks--the flushing of wipes and other materials down the toilet. Really? Yes, really. This may seem trivial, but our sanitary sewer system is being strangled by “flushable” wipes. To be clear, ONLY toilet paper is flushable. Wipes clog and strangle pump stations no matter what a product claims to be safe. With all the cleaning and sanitizing during the COVID-19 outbreak this situation has become even worse with people flushing cleaning wipes and paper towels down their toilets. Just because a wipe appears to clear your plumbing does not mean it has cleared the town and county sewers and many pump stations along the way. Our community does not need a completely preventable sewer emergency now or ever. Please do your part and "ignore the hype, don't flush a wipe!" Learn more about the issue:
Lastly, I would like to recognize the efforts of town staff to serve our Penfield community while following directives to keep themselves and their families safe. We will keep the Town-related facts and essential services coming. I am proud of Town employees and their quickness to identify community needs and adapt to new working conditions. They are innovative, committed, and have your back.
I also want to thank all of you in the Penfield community for your patience and support. Please continue to be good to one another. Check on your neighbors (especially seniors) with a simple phone call. Follow directives for social distancing, hand washing, and the like.
Down the road, when it's appropriate, please remember to support our local business community. Some local restaurants have been rapidly innovating; take-out and curbside meal delivery is available around town if you need cooked meals. When we come out the other side of this, our Penfield businesses will need your patronage more than ever -- many of them support us, children's sports leagues, and other community groups all year long. Indeed, strong businesses make a strong community.
Stay home, stop the spread, save lives.
Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain
March 20, 2020
Prohibit in-person payment of Monroe County property taxes in County and town facilities.
Monroe County Emergency Order 3-20-2020 (Read Full Document)
Prohibit in-person payment of Monroe County real property taxes in County and town facilities during this State of Emergency.
I, Adam J. Bello, County Executive of the County of Monroe, in accordance with a declaration of a State of Emergency issued on March 14, 2020 and pursuant to Article 2B, Section 24, of the New York State Executive Law, do hereby ORDER:
To protect life and help bring the emergency under control by reducing the number of individuals entering municipal office buildings, I hereby prohibit the in-person payment of Monroe County real property taxes in County and town facilities during this State of Emergency.
The following provisions shall be made to carry out the intent of this Order:
1. I hereby defer the due date of the third (394) installment of Town and County real property taxes set forth in Monroe County Code Section 673 14g from March 31, 2020 to April 30, 2020. Third installment payments that are made on or before April 30, 2020 shall not accrue interest over what would have otherwise accrued as of March 1, 2020 pursuant to the Monroe County Tax Act. The intention of this deferral is that, if a property owner is current on his/her/its installment payments as of the date of this Order and pays the third and fourth installation payments on or before April 30, 2020, the property owner will pay only the sum of the third and fourth payments shown on the property's 2020 Combined Town and County tax bill;
2. Monroe County will absorb user fees charged for online payments made through the County's vendor;
3. The Monroe County Department of Finance is directed to install a lockbox as soon as reasonably possible in the County Office Building for collecting property tax payments; and
4. Payment of Monroe County real property taxes shall continue to be accepted by mail.
This Order shall take effect immediately and shall remain in effect for five days unless rescinded earlier by my order.
March 20, 2020 at 4:35 PM
ADAM J. BELLO
March 12, 2020
A message from Supervisor LaFountain: Town facilities, programs, coronavirus protocol
Dear residents and visitors:
The health and welfare of our employees and visitors to Town facilities is our top priority; this includes maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all.
As such, we are closely monitoring the evolving situation regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We will continue to update our protocol in response to the guidance and recommendations from the Center for Disease Control, the New York State Department of Health, and the Monroe County Health Department. We also encourage all our visitors and staff to monitor updates and take hygiene precautions as recommended by these agencies.
The Town of Penfield is implementing practices at the Town Hall, Penfield Community Center, and other town facilities. Our preparation includes:
- Hand sanitizer at all facilities; restrooms offer hot water and soap
- Additional cleaning and sanitizing of handrails, door handles, high-touch surfaces, etc.
- Monitoring communications and directives from the CDC, New York State Dept. of Health and Monroe County Health Dept.
- Staff and volunteers are reminded to consistently wash their hands and to stay home if they are sick.
- Visitors are asked to stay home if they are feeling ill and avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. Parents are also asked to not bring their children if they are feeling ill.
Town of Penfield/Penfield Recreation will continue to monitor the situation and take our cues regarding programs and public gatherings from the experts. Penfield Recreation will also follow school district decisions regarding programming and cancellations.
At this time, based on information from these and other authorities, all events are proceeding as scheduled. However, if you are registered for a Penfield Recreation program but would like to cancel, you will receive a credit or refund. In the event of a program cancellation you will receive a refund.
This a fluid situation and subject to change at any time. Changes to programming and schedules will be communicated via email, social media, and posted on our website. Please contact Penfield Recreation at 340-8655 with any additional questions.
March 12, 2020
A message from Supervisor LaFountain & Penfield Town Board: Public meetings and alternatives for participation
Dear Penfield Residents,
In light of public concerns regarding attending community gatherings, a growing number of people are choosing to observe ‘social distancing’ to help prevent the spread of illness as the situation regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve. As such, the Town Board and I would like to remind you there are alternatives to personally attending public meetings in Penfield. Live broadcasts from PenfieldTV make it easy to follow topics of importance to you right from the comfort of your own home.
Town Board, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, and other public meetings are broadcast live on Penfield TV Government Access Channel – Spectrum Cable Channel 1303. You may also watch live on your streaming media device: ROKU, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire. Search ‘Penfield TV’ in your device’s app store, it is free. Additionally, meetings are web streamed live at www.Penfield.org. If you can’t tune in during a live meeting you can watch on demand when you like. Like and follow us on social media to be alerted to live meetings. Find those links at www.penfield.org. (*see details below)
During live Town Board meetings, viewers have an opportunity to share their comments in “public participation” segments by phone at (585) 340-8771, by electronic submission at penfield.org or @townofpenfield on Twitter.
We will continue to monitor the novel coronavirus situation and take our cues from the experts. The safety and well-being of town staff and visitors to town facilities is our top priority. As such, we encourage all residents and staff to monitor updates and take hygiene precautions as suggested by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the New York State and Monroe County departments of public health.
To learn more, New Yorkers can call the NYS Department of Health's coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065 with any concerns about symptoms or travel. In addition, visit the NYS Department of Health's dedicated website for more resources and updates about COVID-19. https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/
Media Streaming Device
Apple TV: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/penfield-tv/id1293996786
Amazon Fire: https://www.amazon.com/TelVue-Corporation-Penfield-TV/dp/B081ZFD8XL
March 9, 2020
Supervisor’s column March 9, 2020
Reminder…the town board will be holding a public information meeting on the DRAFT Conceptual Master Plan for Shadow Pines this Wednesday, March 11, at 7:00 PM. This is an opportunity for all interested residents to comment on the draft plan. The town board welcomes all thoughts and ideas for the overall use of this site. The plan is available for review prior to the meeting at www.penfield.org (online documents/draft documents).
Additionally, the Penfield Trails Committee will host its next hike at Shadow Pines on Saturday, March 14. Join them from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM to walk the site. Hike guides will have copies of the DRAFT plan so you are able to see the proposed layout that engineering consultants have come up with and get a feel for how plans might fit within the overall property. Meet at the parking lot off Whalen Road and look for the hike signs. The hike is free but pre-registration with Penfield Recreation is requested at 340-8655. All hikes are held rain or shine and please, no pets on hikes.
The next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Penfield (FBP) will be held on Saturday, March 21 from 8:00 to 10:00 AM at 1862 Penfield Road. THIS EVENT IS CANCELLED FBP invites you for delicious pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage and more…all for just $6.00 per person. March proceeds will go directly to benefit Flower City Habitat for Humanity (FCHH) 2020 house build. FCHH brings partners together to build homeownership, communities and hope. The homeowner helps to build their own house and pays an affordable mortgage. So bring the whole family, meet up with friends, or make new ones. Fellowship Hall is accessible and the breakfast is outstanding! For more information and details, please go to www.fbpenfield.org. Also, mark your calendar for the April 11 Flapjack Benefit Breakfast, as there will be an Easter egg hunt in addition to the breakfast. The Easter egg hunt will begin at 9:00 AM rain or shine; it will be fun for the whole family!
Over the weekend, I had the honor of attending the Webster Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD) 2020 Annual Banquet. The WVFD supports the northeasterly portion of Penfield. This banquet is a time to recognize all the members and their accomplishments. This committed group of men and women stand ready to support the Webster/Penfield communities for any emergencies that arise during the year. While it would be difficult to list everyone who was recognized during the evening, I would like to give you a sense of commitment this organization has for their communities. The 2020 service awards were presented in five-year increments: Robert Duthoy was recognized for 70 years of service and Mary Craft for 65 years of service. What a wonderful and special level of service to residents in our communities! Thank you Robert and Mary for giving us so much of your time, dedication, and support of emergency services. And to the entire WVFD family, thank you for your service to make our communities safe…be well and be safe!
I am reminded that the annual Shepherd Home gala will be held on Saturday, April 25 at the Inn on Broadway. The Shepherd Home is a home for the dying and is also referred to as a comfort care home. The Shepherd Home provides support to families and friends and fosters community acceptance that dying is an integral part of living. They welcomed their first resident in November 2002 and have cared for more than 100 residents to date. This gala is a main source of funding for the year. Please visit www.shepherdhome.org for information on gala, to learn more about this wonderful resource, and to learn how you can support their mission as a volunteer, with your financial support, or by helping out at one of their many events—you can make a difference!
Until next week, enjoy the recent taste of spring with the warm weather and sunshine!
March 2, 2020
Supervisor’s column March 2, 2020
REMINDER…the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) will be hosting an open house information session regarding future intersection improvements at Atlantic Ave. and Five Mile Line Road on Tuesday, March 3 from 4:00 to 7:00PM in the town hall auditorium. Those interested in attending may arrive at any time during the scheduled session to review the current details of the project and provide input. NYSDOT staff will be on hand to answer individual questions. There will not be any formal presentations as part of this session. For further information or to request an interpreter, please contact Project Engineer Howard Ressel at (585) 371-9280 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the weekend, I had the honor of attending the Penfield Volunteer Emergency Ambulance (PVEA) annual recognition and awards dinner. All active members were celebrated and thanked for the time they spend supporting the Penfield Community—in 2019, PVEA responded to more than 4,500 calls for medical emergencies. The following members received special awards:
The following members received special awards:
Outstanding Service: Christina M. Alexander. This is PVEA's highest honor, recognizing a member who, over a period of time, has consistently worked to maintain the integrity and vision of PVEA.
ALS Provider of the Year: Daniel J. Swingle. This award recognizes an advance life support (ALS) provider who went above and beyond to serve PVEA with exemplary dedication, responsibility, professional behavior, and skills when providing prehospital emergency medical care.
BLS Provider of the Year: Lancye W. Douglas. This award recognizes a basic life support (BLS) provider who went above and beyond to serve PVEA with exemplary dedication, responsibility, professional behavior, and skills when providing prehospital emergency medical care.
Explorer pf the Year: Savannah Taylor. This award recognizes an explorer who went above and beyond to serve PVEA with exemplary dedication, responsibility, professional behavior, and skills during their EMS training.
Service hours awards: Glenn Becker – 1,251; Richard Sperduto – 1,162; Skip Sackrider – 589; Cameron Hubbard – 546, Pat Markovitz – 512, and Caleb Stamler – 510.
Years of service awards: Karen Manetta – 15; Mike St.Martin – 10; Christopher Szatkowski – 5; Bryan Podgorski – 5: and Paige Kuebler – 5.
On behalf of the entire Penfield Community, I want to recognize and thank all the members of the PVEA for their training, dedication, and time they spend supporting Penfield residents during medical emergencies. The value you provide to our town is amazing each and every day with each and every call…thank you!
There has been a lot of news coverage lately regarding the impact of the Lake Ontario water level on neighboring towns—especially Greece, Hamlin, Irondequoit, Webster, and the City of Rochester. While Penfield is not directly on the lake, a portion of Irondequoit Bay is within our jurisdiction. New York State is providing funding for improvements along the lake known as the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI). Penfield was awarded $125,000 to protect our two pump stations on Empire Blvd. This work will be started in the June timeframe with completion by early fall. Additionally, when the NYSDOT milled and re-paved Empire Blvd. in 2019, they raised the lowest portion of the road by 8 to 9 inches to offer more protection from flooding.
The next time you visit the town hall and pop your head into my office you will notice some recent changes. Anna Knapton, who has been the supervisor’s office confidential administrator for the last three supervisors, has retired after 39 years of service to the town. Anna began her career in the Recreation Department and over the years supported many of the departments across the town. She was a big asset to Penfield residents and town staff and will be missed. I wish Anna all the best on her next chapter and plans to spend more time with family, travel a bit, and pursue her love of music. Anna, thank you for your support and enjoy your retirement, it is well deserved.
Please join me in welcoming Lisa Grosser as confidential administrator to the supervisor’s office. Lisa has been with the town for more than 17 years and most recently served as deputy town clerk. Lisa brings a broad background of town experience to the supervisor’s office and looks forward to serving all of our residents in this new role.
Until next week, hold tight, things are starting to look up after this cold snap. We set the clocks ahead next weekend and will start to enjoy longer days!