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April 30, 2020
Supervisor’s Update: Thursday, April 30

I have a few items to share today.

 

We were just starting to publicize our annual spring National Drive Electric Week car show when New York on Pause began. We never did fully get the word out, but just in case you did hear about it, the May 2 car show has been canceled. This shouldn’t be a surprise, I just wanted to be sure to pass that along. We look forward to hosting this popular event in the future.

 

I also want to let you know that although we will soon raise the shell at the Penfield Amphitheater & Kiwanis Stage, all music and events scheduled for June are canceled. We will evaluate the rest of the season as we go and follow health department directives.

 

You may have heard in yesterday’s news cycle that the Monroe County Department of Motor Vehicles is suspending all Mobile DMV units for the remainder of 2020. The county is reviewing its operations to determine how DMV services will return in a way that adapts to physical distancing practices.

 

That was all news about what is not happening. So what is happening? We all continue to work together for the safety and health for all in our community. We are wearing our face coverings and keeping our distance from one another to limit COVID-19 spread, calling our neighbors to see if they are in need of any help, supporting the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf, and being creative with how we connect to our loved ones.

 

At the Town level, most departments continue to work remotely. Planning, Engineering, Zoning, and Code Enforcement departments continue appropriate field work. DPW is working half-and-half shifts, and we are all making plans to get back to work in new ways once that is allowed. Currently, New York on Pause is in place through May 15. We look forward to an update from the Governor’s office as to what’s next. When we are back in full force and open to the public you can expect new procedures to be in place at Town facilities for the safety of all.

 

Find COVID-19 resources at www.penfield.org. Direct questions or concerns to the Monroe County COVID-19 hotline at (585) 753-5555 or COVID19@monroecounty.gov

 

Stay home, stop the spread, save lives,

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain

 


April 28, 2020
Supervisor’s Update: Tuesday, April 28
MemorialDay.png 
I recently shared that our annual Memorial Day Ceremony of Remembrance will not be held as usual in Veterans’ Memorial Park because social distancing prevents us from gathering in person. Instead, Penfield TV will present a video tribute. This may be viewed on Monday, May 25 on Spectrum cable channel 1303, web stream at www.penfieldtv.org , and through the Penfield Television app on your streaming media device—ROKU, AppleTV, and Amazon Fire. Search your device's app store for "Penfield TV." Our guest speaker this year is Rick Gough from the Penfield American Legion Braman Post #1229.

While the celebration format has changed, the Town of Penfield, in conjunction with American Legion Braman Post #1229 Penfield, will still hold the traditional Memorial Day Essay Contest for students in grades 6-8 who live in Penfield or who attend a school in the Penfield school district. This year’s theme is “What Makes America Great?” Cash prizes will be awarded!
 
This is a great opportunity for students to reflect upon the topic and express themselves at this unprecedented time. If you have students in grades 6-8 in your life, please encourage them to participate.
 
For an application form and contest guidelines, please click here.
 
Mail essays to:
Town of Penfield Memorial Day Essay Contest
c/o Penfield Recreation
1985 Baird Road
Penfield, NY 14526
 
Find COVID-19 resources at www.penfield.org. Direct questions or concerns to the Monroe County COVID-19 hotline at (585) 753-5555 or COVID19@monroecounty.gov
 
Stay home, stop the spread, save lives,
Tony
Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain

April 27, 2020
Supervisor’s Update: Monday, April 27

 

I would like to share a new program launched last week by Monroe County Executive Adam Bello called “Take 5 Monroe.” It is a county-wide campaign encouraging us all to take five (5) minutes out of each day to care for ourselves, our neighbors, colleagues, and loved ones, during this period of continued social distancing. 

 

Here are details from the April 22 press release:

 

As part of a state-wide effort promoted by the New York State Association of Counties, “Take 5 Monroe” promotes positive messaging and activities to help people stay optimistic, connected, and healthy as we navigate this unprecedented public health crisis. “As the pandemic continues to impact our daily lives in ways large and small, people may feel anxious, fearful, or confused,” said Bello. “I want people to realize that they have the power to make a huge difference in someone else’s life. We should all make a concerted effort to stay connected and do what we can to uplift each other.”

 

Through a collaboration with Coordinated Care Services, Inc., the Gandhi Institute and a host of community partners and instructors, the wellness campaign will feature:

  • 5-minute videos to help people with easy movement and relaxation activities
  • spiritual guidance and counselling through local faith-based leaders
  • key messaging of how to reach out and connect with others
  • helpful hints for agency leaders and department heads on supporting their teams, and
  • calls to action from County Executive Bello and his partners in government for recognition and encouragement.

 

“Take 5 Monroe” is calling on elected officials, community, business and faith leaders, and each and every one of us across Monroe County, to take just five minutes of our day to reach out to a loved one, neighbor, co-worker or stranger to help lift their spirits. “While people continue to stay socially distanced, we need to ensure that we remain socially connected. Please, take time out of your day to make someone else feel cared for and special. We are all in this together, and taking care of one another is what is going to carry us through.” This statewide campaign is being launched with the hashtags #Take5Monroe and #Take5ForNY.

 

On the topic of social distancing, more and more people are complying with community masking and wearing face coverings when outside their homes. As a reminder, we are asked to use face coverings in addition to—not instead of—keeping six feet away from others. BOTH practices are needed to stop the spread. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Stay home, stop the spread, save lives,

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain

 


April 24, 2020
Supervisor’s Update: Friday, April 24

We’ve come through another week of staying at home, teaching our children, tackling our to-do lists, learning new skills, and finding new ways to connect with the important people in our lives. By doing all these things we are keeping our entire community safe by flattening the spread of COVID-19.

 

Many of our department heads and I attend daily conference calls that connect us with county officials, agencies, and other municipalities. We are all focused on common goals to slow the rate of infection to keep our communities healthy and prevent a surge that would overwhelm our resources. Every day we hear reports and statistics: numbers of new positives, quarantines, hospitalizations, and deaths. And every day we must remember that behind those numbers are people and families who are suffering from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you all for your patient cooperation as we continue learn and adapt to this situation.

 

I’d like to follow up on a few questions that came in after my update yesterday about DPW projects.  I mentioned crews have started making repairs to lawns damaged by town plows over the winter. To be clear, you do not need to request a visit to have your lawn repaired. Crews travel up and down every street and make repairs as they go. The process includes every property and will take a few weeks but they will make it down your street. Also, even though half of DPW employees are returning to work, we cannot re-open brush drop-off because we do not have enough workers to manage the process. (Unfortunately, we cannot leave the pile unattended because people regularly try to dump materials that cannot be accepted, which causes problems and more work.) We will look to return brush drop-off as soon as we can safely manage it.

 

We are looking at a mixed weather this weekend, with Saturday promising to be the best day to be outdoors. This is a good time for me to remind everyone to follow local, state, and national directives for physical distancing and wearing face coverings in shared public spaces—including parks and trails. Playgrounds and sports facilities are off-limits until further notice.

While you enjoy Penfield’s open spaces it is your responsibility to: 

  • Stay home if you are exhibiting any signs of illness

  • Follow CDC guidance on personal hygiene prior to and while using parks and trails

  • Wear a face covering

  • Maintain a physical distance of six (6) feet from others (even with a face covering)

  • Create space between yourself and walking partners

  • Share trails and yield to other walkers to create distance

  • Change location or leave and return another time if the site is crowded

  • Prepare for no access to restrooms or water fountains

 

Do NOT:

  •  Visit in groups, cluster or hang out in any way

  • Use playground equipment, basketball courts, sports fields

  • Use any frequently touched surfaces like tables, seating, gazebos

 

And as always, keep dogs on leashes and dispose of pet waste or take it with you. Do not toss bags of pet waste for others to deal with.

 

It is every visitor’s responsibility to comply with these expectations to protect each other and our access to Penfield’s many open spaces. If you witness people who are not complying you can report the situation to 911. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will take it from there. 

 

Find COVID-19 resources at www.penfield.org. Direct questions or concerns to the Monroe County COVID-19 hotline at (585) 753-5555 or COVID19@monroecounty.gov

 

Stay home, stop the spread, save lives,

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain

 


April 24, 2020
NYSEG and RG&E Remind Customers to Call 811 Before You Dig

Proper marking prevents damage and injury

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — April 23, 2020 —With the warmer weather approaching, NYSEG and RG&E, AVANGRID companies, remind contractors and homeowners to have

underground utilities marked before starting any excavation project. This is essential to protect themselves and others from injury and to prevent damage to underground electric

lines and gas pipes. Remember to contact Dig Safely New York by calling 811 at least two and not more than 10 full working days before the start of any excavation project.

Every year, there are dozens of incidents involving third-party damage to NYSEG and RG&E underground natural gas and electric facilities. These incidents can put people’s lives in danger and interrupt essential utility service.

“Contractors are required by law to call Dig Safely New York before digging, and we strongly encourage do-it-yourselfers to call as well,” said Greg George, Vice President of Gas Engineering, NYSEG and RG&E. “Whether you’re putting in a foundation or building a deck, making this simple call will help keep everyone safe.” Dig Safely New York is free and available to receive calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Follow these tips for a safer project:

  • Plan to have underground utilities marked as part of all underground construction
  • Mark out the area of construction
  • Call Dig Safely New York, a free and easy service at 811 or 1.800.962.7962
  • Provide adequate training and supervision on a jobsite to assure that good construction practices are followed
  • Properly maintain all underground utility markings
  • Hand dig in the area of underground facilities
  • Provide adequate protection and support for underground facilities
  • If our underground facilities are damaged or disturbed, notify RG&E at 1.800.743.1702 for natural gas or 1.800.743.1701 for electricity. NYSEG can be notified by calling 1.800.572.1121 for a natural gas emergency and 1.800.572.1131 for an electric emergency. We'll come right away to ensure the site is safe and make repairs if required
  • Use and properly install suitable backfill material around underground facilities For more information, visit Dig Safely New York at digsafelynewyork.com

April 23, 2020
Supervisor’s Update: Thursday, April 23

County Executive Adam Bello announced he will sign an Executive Order on Friday continuing the due date extension for the third and fourth installments of Town and County real property taxes from April 30, 2020 to May 31, 2020. He will also continue to prohibit the in-person payment of real property taxes at all County and Town facilities through May 31.

“As the COVID-19 crisis continues, it is important to ensure that people don’t need to make unnecessary trips just to pay their property taxes,” said Bello. “This order will also help protect Town and County employees and make sure that residents don’t face financial penalties because in-person payments are prohibited.”

Monroe County will continue to absorb the third-party processing fee for online payments and the county will also hold steady the March 3% interest rate on installment payments until May 31.

Payments will continue to be accepted by mail, and a lockbox to accept payment has been installed at the County Office Building, 39 W. Main Street. Penfield residents may also use the drop-box located at the east entrance to the town hall.

Our Department of Public Works began working with half of employees reporting this week in keeping with New York on Pause directives. DPW crews will wear additional PPE and observe social distancing protocols. With fewer workers on hand, we have assigned people and vehicles so only one person will use one truck for the entire week. On Friday, each person will sanitize their vehicle so it is clean and ready to hand over to the second group of workers who will report to work next week. We will observe this scheduling practice for the time being.

This week, DPW crews removed winter gear and began a multi-week project to repair lawns that were damaged by town plows. It’s a promising sign of spring when snow fencing finally comes down and we can focus on lawn and road repairs. Now we need the weather to commit to spring!

Find COVID-19 resources at www.penfield.org. Direct questions or concerns to the Monroe County COVID-19 hotline at (585) 753-5555 or COVID19@monroecounty.gov

Stay home, stop the spread, save lives,

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain


April 22, 2020
Supervisor’s Update: Wednesday, April 22

Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. How can we honor this important milestone in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic?

 

In Penfield, we happen to be coming up on the one-year anniversary of commissioning our solar array at the DPW complex on Jackson Road. This array offsets roughly 70 percent of the electricity use by town facilities. It has been producing power and sending it back to the grid since last May.

 

Social distancing and Earth Day have inspired many families to plant gardens this year. Some residents have asked if we have stocked the mulch pile at the town hall. The answer is yes, mulch is available as usual in the parking area on Columbus Crossing near the softball fields. What’s not usual is how we want people to collect their mulch. The pile can be a busy place, and we ask folks to be safe and courteous while there. Please wait your turn and keep at least six feet away from anyone else accessing the pile. Bring a face covering and wear it if you are not alone at the pile. Come with as few people as possible and do not bring children or dogs. This is a common sense safety practice at all times, not just during a pandemic. It’s easy to lose track of where others are while digging and moving vehicles.

 

Trash haulers and Environmental Services workers are essential! We can help them out during New York on Pause (and every week) by following the tips below; doing so will also help to assure you receive quality service:

  • Garbage should be placed in a hauler issued garbage cart or other provided receptacle on your designated pickup day.

  • Garbage should be bagged! Limit loose items in garbage cans.

  • Contact your hauler directly regarding bulk pickups like furniture, mattresses, carpet pieces and construction materials. These services may be temporarily reduced.

  • TVs and monitors cannot be taken by haulers per New York State law, do not leave them at the curb. You are responsible for disposing of those materials at an appropriate facility or electronics recycling event. (At this time you may have to wait for an opportunity to dispose of these items.)

  • Cardboard recycling MUST be broken down and contained.

  • All other recyclables (paper, plastic bottles, plastic jugs, plastic jars, plastic tubs, glass bottles or jars, metal cans and containers) should be placed in your recycling bin or cart and left at the curb on your designated pickup day.

  • All materials MUST be clean and dry.

  • Recycling material in plastic bags will NOT be accepted.

In celebration of the anniversary of Earth Day, Monroe County’s Department of Environmental Services announced the release of a special coloring book to commemorate Earth Day 2020.

 

Recycling continues to be an important endeavor for Monroe County, especially while residents are staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic. It is imperative that recycling be done correctly to lessen the burden on waste haulers and the recycling system. That’s why this coloring book was developed, which is suitable for all ages and reinforces the County’s “Recycling Right” message.

 

Created in cooperation with local illustrator Chris Lyons, the ten-page book chronicles the adventures of Boxie the cardboard box, Can-Can the aluminum can, and Jughead, the plastic bottle from the grocery store to the home, into the curbside bin and to the recycling center, where they are sorted. They return to the home as new products, completing the recycling loop. The book also includes activity pages, including a word search and matching game.

 

This looks like a fun and meaningful resource to share with kids while they are all being home-schooled! You can download the coloring book at https://www2.monroecounty.gov/des-coloring-book

 

The timing is unfortunate for Earth Day, but the Monroe County/Waste Management ecopark remains temporarily closed. Be sure to check the ecopark website for their most current information www.ecoparkmcny.com

 

Find COVID-19 resources at www.penfield.org. Direct questions or concerns to the Monroe County COVID-19 hotline at (585) 753-5555 or COVID19@monroecounty.gov

 

Stay home, stop the spread, save lives,

 

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain


April 21, 2020
Supervisor’s Update: Tuesday, April 21

 

Supervisor’s Update: Tuesday, April 21

 

Stop the presses! The COVID-19 outbreak and New York on Pause has affected nearly every aspect of operating the Town of Penfield. We have had to make tough decisions to cancel or postpone a number of meetings, events, programs, and the like. Given these circumstances, the town board has made a decision to halt the printing and mailing of the 2020 Penfield Recreation Summer Program brochure that would normally be hitting mailboxes late April. Sadly, it’s likely many of the programs will be affected one way or another, and it would be a frustrating customer service experience for you if we need to cancel, reschedule or refund programs and payments.

 

Instead, we will stick to publishing the digital version of the brochure online in the next few weeks at www.penfieldrec.org. This gives us the ability to respond to health department directives and provide you with one source for reliable information. Make this your go-to destination for details on the status of individual programs and events for the summer. If you subscribe to the Recreation E-news you will receive updates directly from the Recreation Department. Sign up here: http://www.penfieldrec.org/E_News.php

 

When health and safety restrictions are eased and summer comes into focus, programs can be evaluated and scheduled—or not—in keeping with directives from the New York State and Monroe County departments of health. Our summer camps are subject to permitting through the Monroe County Health Department to ensure a safe environment for all our children and camp staff. We are applying for our camp permits as usual so we will be prepared if we are allowed to offer summer camps or a modified camp experience. Although we are getting the process started there are no guarantees that camps and other summer programs will be available. This is a disappointing reality but one we all have to anticipate. While New York on Pause (currently in place until May 15) is in effect we will comply with Executive Orders for the safety of all.

 

I will keep you up to date as a decision regarding summer plans unfold. It’s a week-to-week situation right now for Penfield and every other town in the county and state.

 

Last week I shared that our 2020 Memorial Day Ceremony of Remembrance is going online with a video tribute on May 25 because social distancing prevents us from gathering as usual in Veterans’ Memorial Park. It will be a different kind of remembrance this year but no less important or respectful than in the past. Here’s a link to details including how you can watch and how you can request a rose for the Ceremony of Roses. http://www.penfield.org/Memorial_Day_Ceremony.php?nosessionkill=1

 

Find COVID-19 resources at www.penfield.org. Direct questions or concerns to the Monroe County COVID-19 hotline at (585) 753-5555 or COVID19@monroecounty.gov

 

Stay home, stop the spread, save lives,

Tony

 

supervisor@penfield.org 

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain

 


April 20, 2020
Supervisor’s Update: Monday, April 20

When I received a call from Paul Dondorfer, county legislator and member of law enforcement, and Bob Ockenden, town councilman and fire service member, saying they wanted to coordinate a food drive for the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf (PEFS) I thought it was a wonderful idea, having just learned the number of families in our community needing support had jumped from an average of 80-plus per week to 130-plus per week due to the impact of the Covid-19 virus. We quickly contacted Kathy Cummins and the team at the PEFS to choose a date and identify what they needed most to restock their shelves. We made a plan for April 19, put together a critical needs list, and started to spread the word through many town and community communication channels.

What happened next was absolutely amazing…yesterday morning the community of Penfield came out in full force to support Bob and Paul’s effort. During the four-hour event there was a steady stream of cars pulling into the community center to drop off food, paper products, personal care items, and so much more. When the event came to a close they had collected 11 van loads and two SUV loads full of food. They also received more than $2,000 in donations for the PEFS. Wow, Penfield residents rocked the day! This was the largest one-day food drive ever held for the PEFS and it was successful because our generous community stepped up to help their neighbors in need. I think we also received many donations from caring neighbors from nearby towns. The food drive was a beautiful example of community helping community.

Many volunteers stepped in to assist this effort by taking donations from car trunks, packing boxes, loading and off-loading vans, and many more organizational tasks—all while observing social distancing protocols and wearing mask and gloves. Thank you all for pitching in to make this memorable food drive a success. Thanks too to local media for your coverage before and during the event, your efforts helped with the generous community response.

Bob and Paul, not only are you heroes as first responders in your professional careers, you are heroes to the many Penfield families who are currently struggling with lay-offs, job loss, illness, and other challenges. On behalf of all Penfield, great job guys, and thank you for your efforts to support your community! 

For people who would like to contribute but could not attend the food drive, you can donate to the PEFS 24/7 using their drop box at the back of the food pantry at 1618 Jackson Road. You can also visit www.penfieldecumenicalfoodshelf.org  or follow them on Facebook.

Stay home, stop the spread, save lives,

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain


April 17, 2020
Supervisor’s Update: Friday, April 17

It’s the end of another work week during New York on Pause, which Governor Cuomo has extended through May 15. This extension includes all Town facilities, programs, events, and brush drop-off. Staff will stay the course and continue to work remotely. Beginning next week, the DPW workforce will phase back in at 50 percent in order to observe social distancing and PPE safety measures. They will alternate work weeks until we can return to a normal schedule.

I have just a few updates to close out the week.

We had our first socially distanced town board legislative session April 15. That went pretty well as we blended even more technology into our already robust broadcast system; we will be ready for our next town board meeting on Wednesday, May 6. There will be no town board work session April 22. As always, follow www.penfield.org for all details including ways to watch and participate.

As state and county leaders strategize on how to responsibly “unpause” New York State and Monroe County we will work at the local level to plan a phased return to business. Every day I am connected in some way to local leaders, including other town supervisors, who are collaborating to share news, issues, and work toward mutual goals. We are all facing the same issues: keeping residents and employees safe while we run our organizations, current and future fiscal challenges, and rethinking what a return to business will look like for all. We will look for ways to be better than ever in our new normal.

If you head out and about this weekend for essential trips please observe social distancing—keep six feet from others, and wear a face covering when you cannot maintain your personal space as called for by an Executive Order that goes into effect at 8:00 PM tonight. Keep in mind, wearing a face covering does not mean it is safe to get closer than six feet.

I thank Town employees for their commitment and flexibility as we serve the residents of Penfield. I thank residents for your cooperation and patience. We are all working together to keep each other safe.

Find COVID-19 resources at www.penfield.org. Direct questions or concerns to the Monroe County COVID-19 hotline at (585) 753-5555 or COVID19@monroecounty.gov

Stay home, stop the spread, save lives,

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain


April 16, 2020
Supervisor’s Update: Thursday, April 16

 

Today Governor Cuomo announced the extension of New York on Pause through May 15. Non-essential workers must continue to stay home and social distancing rules remain in place. This includes Town facilities and services including brush drop-off. Also, because of social distancing requirements, Spring Drop-off is cancelled for May 17 and 18. Decisions on that service will be made in the coming weeks.

 

Follow www.penfield.org to stay up to date on all news, closings, and delays. This is your best resource for accurate Town information. Click below the red bar at the top of the home page. Note the most current closure dates at the top of that page.

 

At this time of year we start planning for the next year’s budget. Every May the supervisor’s office issues a “call for the budget” to all department heads. The town comptroller and supervisor then meet with department heads on their plans and budgets throughout the summer and we prepare a tentative budget for presentation to the town board in September. In October we have a final budget in place.

 

This time around, we already know the COVID-19 outbreak will impact the 2021 budget in a number of ways. First, we are sure to lose revenue. The biggest effect will be Penfield’s loss of New York State mortgage tax and sales tax revenues (usually about $4+ million or 20 percent of our budget) which are both taking a substantial hit from New York on Pause. COVID-19 has already caused us to start reviewing all projects and programs we had planned from now through the end of 2020 to see where we may need to cut back to ease our fiscal entry into 2021. We are also losing revenue from canceled lodge rentals, and we are awaiting guidance from state and county health departments on our ability to proceed with summer camps and recreation programs. With so much in flux, I will keep you posted as we learn more. Like all levels of government, the Town is looking at a challenging budget process for 2021.

 

Dr. Michael Mendoza, County Health Director, reminds us that the data he shares each day is reflective of our social distancing compliance from roughly 10 days prior to his report. He urges us to remain committed to social distancing and community masking to keep our trends moving in the right direction.

 

Find COVID-19 resources at www.penfield.org. Direct questions or concerns to the Monroe County COVID-19 hotline at (585) 753-5555 or COVID19@monroecounty.gov

 

Stay home, stop the spread, save lives,

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain

 


April 15, 2020
Supervisor’s Update: Wednesday, April 15

 

If you’ve been tracking daily reports from New York State and Monroe County, you know that data trends for new COVID-19 cases, hospitalization, and other statistics tracked by public health officials are stabilizing. This encouraging news shows us that social distancing practices are working—our choices and actions are helping to flatten the curve. This is not a time to relax and think we have come out the other side of this pandemic, because we have not. It means we all need to double-down on our commitment to staying home and practicing good hygiene. If we do leave the house for an essential trip, we wear face coverings and practice physical distancing. The actions we take today determine the infection rate of tomorrow.

 

Today, Governor Cuomo stated he would soon be issuing a new Executive Order that will require people to wear a face covering when in public if they cannot keep six feet away from other people. For example, if you are out on a walk on your street and you can safely stay at least six feet away from others a face covering is not required. However, if you go into a setting where you are not in control of your personal space (like a grocery store) you will be expected to wear a non-medical mask that covers your mouth and nose. This Executive Order is expected to be in effect this Saturday, April 18.

 

Town meetings are getting back underway beginning with tonight’s town board meeting at 7:00 PM. (See my Monday, April 13 update for details on how you can watch and participate.) We will continue next week with the town board work session on April 22 followed by planning and zoning board meetings in May.

 

When we do get to a place that is considered “the other side” of the COVID-19 outbreak we will be heading into a new normal, not necessarily how things used to be. This will be a gradual and well-considered process. Over time, we will determine what this means in Penfield. For now, we are week-to-week as we look ahead at Town operations, public meetings, programs, and events. Please know the town board and town staff will adhere to all public health requirements in making our decisions.

 

REMINDER: The Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf is experiencing shortages due to the COVID-19 outbreak. To help replenish their shelves, Legislator Paul Dondorfer, a member of law enforcement, and Councilman Bob Ockenden, a member of fire services, have teamed up to organize a food drive for this Sunday, April 19 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The drop off site is the Penfield Community Center (1985 Baird Road) where cars can easily flow around the circle. The process will be contact-free; Paul, Bob, and any helpers will observe social distancing and take food from vehicles. You can stay in your car the whole time.

 

The PEFS will accept all non-perishable food and personal care items, but they especially need chicken/beef broth, ramen noodles, dry and canned pastas, chili/beef stew/hash, mayonnaise, dish and laundry soap, toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner/deodorant, paper products.

 

Find COVID-19 resources at www.penfield.org. Direct questions or concerns to the Monroe County COVID-19 hotline at (585) 753-5555 or COVID19@monroecounty.gov

 

Please stay home and make choices for the safety of all.

 

Be well and be safe,

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain

 


April 14, 2020
Supervisor’s Update: Tuesday, April 14

Happily, yesterday’s cold front did not bring extreme winds to our community and we were spared downed trees and potential power outages. This leaves us free to focus on the business of the Town and resident requests.

Penfield Recreation will soon be mailing the summer program brochure. As the brochure was heading to the printer we had to make a judgment call on the status of summer programs. We have gone to print with programs listed as planned. However, because the timing of COVID-19 social distancing protocols is unknowable at this time, you will see the following note on the cover advising that all offerings are subject to change:

“At the time of printing there are still many unknowns related to COVID-19. This catalog represents what we hope to offer you this summer, however, all programs within are subject to change or cancellation. For the most current information, please be sure to visit www.penfieldrec.org often and follow us on Facebook/PenfieldRecreation. We will also keep you up-to-date via our weekly e-newsletter; please subscribe to that on our website. We look forward to recreating with you again when circumstances allow. Be Active + Be Well!”

Recreation Supervisor Sabrina Renner has been hard at work planning another meaningful Memorial Day Ceremony of Remembrance for 2020. As you may expect, social distancing prevents us from gathering at the amphitheater in Veterans’ Memorial Park to honor those who have served our country. Instead, we are adjusting plans for an alternative video-based celebration. Plans are still coming together, so stay tuned. I will keep you updated on details and you can also follow www.penfield.org for news. Thank you, Sabrina, for your efforts to present a new version of our distinguished Ceremony of Remembrance this Memorial Day. Thanks also to PCTV for working to make this possible.

We are in a cool temperature pattern for the next several days but that won’t keep everyone indoors. If you do venture outside for some exercise, please remember to maintain a physical distance of six feet from others not in your household, and cover your face. Physical distancing helps to stop the spread of COVID-19 and lessens the demands on our healthcare system. When making choices about your own actions please keep the health of the greater community in mind.

 

Be well and be safe,

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain


April 13, 2020
Supervisor’s Update: Monday, April 13

We begin another week with most Town staff working remotely and essential staff reporting as needed. Our DPW is on alert today because of the possibility of damage from high winds. I spoke to RG&E this morning about expected winds; they are prepared with additional crews on standby across the county to respond to power outages if needed. Last Friday also brought high winds and we made the decision to remove flags from Town facilities until we get past today’s wind event to protect them from wear and tear. When flags go back up we will return them to half-staff to honor those we have lost to COVID-19.

So what’s going on with Town meetings? We have been working on modified protocols for boards and public hearings in light of the current Executive Orders and COVID-19 protocols.

The April 15 town board meeting will take place as scheduled at 7:00 PM. As expected, the meeting will not be open to the public due to town offices being temporarily closed, but thanks to our outstanding Penfield Television team we will stream it to you live, and you can watch it another time at your convenience.

Ways to watch:

  • Penfield TV Government Access Channel – Spectrum Cable Channel 1303
  • Streaming media device: ROKU, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire. Search ‘Penfield TV’ in your device’s app store, it is free.
  • Web streamed live at www.Penfield.org

Ways to participate:

During live meetings, viewers may share their comments by phone at (585) 340-8771, or by electronic submission at www.penfield.org or @townofpenfield on Twitter.

The April 16 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting is cancelled. Matters before the board on the next agenda include public hearings that require legal public notices, postcards, and making materials available for review on-line. With a process in place to satisfy these requirements we will schedule the next ZBA accordingly. Watch the website for information.

The Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf is experiencing shortages as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. To help replenish their shelves, Legislator Paul Dondorfer, a member of law enforcement, and Councilman Bob Ockenden, a member of fire services have teamed up to organize a food drive for this Sunday, April 19 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The drop off site is the Penfield Community Center (1985 Baird Road) where cars can easily flow around the circle. The process will be contact-free; Paul, Bob, and any helpers will observe social distancing and take food from vehicles. You can stay in your car the whole time.

I asked Kathy Cummins of the PEFS what they need most. She told me demand for support has increased significantly in recent weeks and they will accept all non-perishable food and personal care items, but here’s what she says they are always in need of:

  • Chicken/beef broth
  • Ramen noodles
  • Canned pastas like Spaghettios/Raviolis
  • Chili/beef stew/hash
  • Mayonnaise
  • Dish soap
  • Laundry soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo/conditioner/deodorant
  • Boxed Pasta
  • Paper Towels

I will continue to add my voice to other community leaders in reminding everyone this is not a time to become fatigued by social distancing practices. Please stay home to protect yourself and others. If you must go out in public, cover your face—you may be contagious without even realizing you are carrying the COVID-19 virus. Social and physical distancing is helping our healthcare systems, front line heroes, and most vulnerable citizens. Let’s keep it up!

If you are visiting town parks and trails please commit to remaining at least six feet away from people not from your household. Do not travel in groups and do not congregate. Make room for others on trails. Also, playgrounds, basketball courts, and sports fields are off limits until further notice.

Thank you for your cooperation and caring for your neighbors.

Be well and be safe,

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain


April 9, 2020
Supervisor’s Update: Tuesday, April 9, 2020

Governor Cuomo has ordered all flags on state and government buildings to be flown at half-staff to honor those we have lost to COVID-19. He stated, “Every single New Yorker we have lost to this vicious virus is in our hearts. The flags will remain lowered while New York remains on PAUSE.” Flags at Town facilities have been lowered in observation of this order and in compassion with all those who are grieving. Please do your part and commit to social distancing protocols: Stay home! If you must go out, cover your face and keep six feet apart, wash your hands!

April 6 to 12 is National Public Health Week. As we are in the midst of the most challenging public health crisis of our lifetimes, people are more mindful than ever of public health and the role we each play in keeping our communities safe. On behalf of Penfield, I thank public health professionals everywhere for their commitment to keeping our community healthy and safe. Learn more about National Public Health Week at http://www.nphw.org/nphw-2020

Have you completed your 2020 Census questionnaire yet? About six out of every 10 of you have. Our Census partner tells us that as of this morning, Penfield has a 61.6% response rate! New York State is at 40.5% and the national response rate is 46.2%. We are doing well! Let’s keep up the momentum to be sure all of Penfield is counted. If you haven’t replied yet, this is a good time to respond online, by phone, or mail. It’s quick, easy, and critical for government representation and allocation of resources that depend on accurate demographics. Replying now (online, phone or mail) will reduce the need for door-to-door inquiries by Census workers.

Visit www.2020census.gov or use the links below:

Many thanks to all who donated blood at the Red Cross collection in Penfield on April 6. Appointments for the collection were filled days before the event, but the need for blood is constant. Blood donation appointments are required at this time. If you missed the Penfield event but would like to donate find a drive at https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/drive-results?order=DATE&range=10&zipSponsor=14526

Passover is underway and Easter weekend begins tomorrow with Good Friday. Our holidays are rich in tradition with worship, family gatherings, and special foods. This year we are all challenged to honor our family traditions in a new way. We will do this, and we will be creative in our efforts. We will do this to protect all those who are working at the risk of their own well-being to protect us. And we will do this to protect the very people we wish we could be with.

We are all given the gift of perspective and much time to reflect as we stay home for the good of all. Who do you stay home for? You can share your answer as part of New York State’s #Istayhomefor social media campaign. Check it out and add your voice.

Find COVID-19 resources at www.penfield.org. Direct questions or concerns to the Monroe County COVID-19 hotline at (585) 753-5555 or COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

Be well and be safe,

Tony

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain


April 8, 2020
Residents and builders regarding the Governor's recent Executive Order 202.6 restricting construction

“New York Pause” COVID-19

The Town of Penfield has received many inquiries from residents and builders regarding the Governor's recent Executive Order 202.6 restricting construction to “essential projects only” in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Per guidelines, the Order does not impact projects relating to roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters. (The ultimate authority on this matter is New York State. We recommend that you reach out to the State for clarification if you have any questions as to whether or not the work you are performing is in accordance with the Executive Order. Please direct your inquires to the Empire State Development Corporation at https://esd.ny.gov/. Here is a link to submit a request for designation as an essential business for purposes of Executive Order 202.6 https://esd.ny.gov/content/request-designation-essential-business-purposes-executive-order-2026 )

I would like to share with you the information we are providing to people who need clarification for their construction projects in Penfield. Can you finish a current project or begin a new one? What happens if your project is an emergency necessary to protect the health and safety of occupants? What if it’s non-essential but only one person is doing the work? That all depends. Please read on for information and resources to help you better understand how we are operating under this Executive Order.

At this time, the Town’s interpretation of this Executive Order as it pertains to construction in Penfield is described below:

  1. No new permits for non-essential new construction will be issued and work should not continue unless the project meets the requirements of #4 below.
  2. An existing foundation of a non-essential construction project may be completed and backfilled to approximate grade and then fenced off to prohibit access.
  3. An existing non-essential construction project that is at the framing stage may continue with framing, roofing, and weatherproof membrane (Tyvek). It must then be fenced off to prohibit access unless the project meets the requirements of #4 below.
  4. All other non-essential construction projects, existing or new, may continue if there is only one sole employee/worker on a job site (per guidelines of the Executive Order). This could potentially include decks, sheds, small additions like porches, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, painting, trim work, siding, etc.

The Building Department is still accepting building permit applications for review. If the project meets the conditions above, the Town may issue the permit. If the project does not meet the conditions above, the Town cannot issue the permit until the State mandate allows us to do so.

When permit applications are submitted or inspections are requested, the Building Department will determine whether a permit can be issued or if an inspection can be scheduled. Work completed without inspections or permits will not meet building code requirements and is subject to a violation. Further, the State has established a $10,000 fine associated with each violation of the Executive Order.

The Building Department is currently performing inspections if the above requirements are met. However, because of social distancing protocols, no permits or inspections will be issued or performed for projects that include interior work of an occupied home or business. This typically includes, but is not limited to, finished basements, interior renovations, and fireplace inserts. Please note, this exception does not relieve the applicant/homeowner from the requirement of the NYS uniform Building Code. These projects should be postponed until inspections can be performed.

The Town of Penfield is committed to observing all directives and guidelines set forth by federal, state and local agencies. Our cooperation and enforcement is the single most important thing we can do to help keep our community strong and protect the safety and welfare of our community, our employees, and all who do business with the Town. 

Please contact the Building Department at (585) 340-8636 or building@penfield.org with any questions. Your inquiries are important to us and we appreciate your patience as you await your response.

Find COVID-19 resources at www.penfield.org. Direct questions or concerns to the Monroe County COVID-19 hotline at (585) 753-5555 or COVID19@monroecounty.gov. 

Be well and be safe,
Tony
Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain
supervisor@penfield.org 



April 7, 2020
How to responsibly enjoy Penfield’s parks, trails, and open spaces

COVID-2020-04-02-Park-rules.jpgTuesday, April 7, 2020

How to responsibly enjoy Penfield’s parks, trails, and open spaces

Like most communities, Penfield is seeing an increase in visitors to Town parks, trails and open spaces during the COVID-19 outbreak. People are seeking safe outdoor activities and a mental break from many days of social distancing indoors. Most—but not all—people understand social distancing demands physical distancing. That’s why visitors to Penfield’s open spaces are seeing new signage reminding them of their responsibilities to themselves and their neighbors while enjoying time outside.

To this point, Governor Cuomo emphasized the seriousness of physical distancing in public spaces when he stated in his April 6 briefing, “I'm increasing the maximum fine for violations of the state's social distancing protocol from $500 to $1,000. This increase is targeted at any lack of adherence to social distancing protocols. Now is not the time to be lax about distance. Localities have the authority to enforce the protocols and they need to do so.”

I want to remind all who visit our open spaces that the Town of Penfield expects everyone to follow local, state, and national ordinances and guidelines for physical distancing. As of April 6, we are also asked to wear face coverings in shared public spaces—that includes our parks and trails.

Here is what you need to know—and do—for our community to continue to enjoy access to Penfield’s open spaces.

First, if you are exhibiting any symptoms of illness please stay home. Do not venture out anywhere. Contact your healthcare provider for assistance and instructions.

While you enjoy Penfield’s open spaces it is your responsibility to: 

  • Follow CDC guidance on personal hygiene prior to and while using parks and trails

  • Wear a face covering

  • Maintain a physical distance of six (6) feet from others 

  • Create space between yourself and walking partners

  • Share trails and yield to other walkers to create distance

  • Change location or leave and return another time if the site is crowded

  • Prepare for no access to restrooms or water fountains

Do NOT:

  • Visit in groups, cluster or hang out in any way

  • Use playground equipment, basketball courts, sports fields

  • Use any frequently touched surfaces like tables, seating, gazebos

And as always, keep dogs on leashes and dispose of pet waste or take it with you. Do not toss bags of pet waste for others to deal with.

Let's keep access to these resources safe and available for all! As the days of social distancing continue and spring weather kicks in, demand for our parks and trails will only increase. With “New York on Pause” now extended to April 29, school children will need access to safe outdoor activities. 

It is every visitor’s responsibility to comply with these expectations to protect each other and our access to Penfield’s many open spaces. If you witness people who are not complying you can report the situation to 911. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will take it from there. 

Find COVID-19 resources at www.penfield.org. Direct questions or concerns to the Monroe County COVID-19 hotline at (585) 753-5555 or COVID19@monroecounty.gov

Be well and be safe,

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain


April 6, 2020
Supervisor’s Update: Monday, April 6

The Town of Penfield is still in operation and getting work done. Although Town offices and facilities have been closed to visitors for about three weeks now, Town staff have been working as much as they can to stay on top of things within the directives and constraints issued from Monroe County and NYS. It is our goal to keep business moving along in Penfield as much as possible. Most staff are working remotely and a few employees with essential duties have come in to work as needed while observing all necessary precautions of social distancing and hygiene. 

Town departments are triaging resident requests; less urgent matters go to our to-do list and urgent matters that pose a safety concern, like a fallen tree hazard in the right of way over the weekend, will be attended to by on duty employees. Many services can be provided over the phone or online, so I encourage you to use the contact information at www.penfield.org to reach out to any department for assistance if you need help with any matter from dog or DEC licensing to building and zoning questions. I am impressed with the many innovative ways Town employees have come together using technology, plain old common sense, and a willingness to support one another.

On a daily basis, many department heads and I are in touch with leadership teams from Monroe County and NYS. We attend multiple conference calls to get updates, capture directives and data, and identify information that will impact Penfield residents. Together, we implement new directives, reinforce messages, and connect residents to COVID-19 resources. I also have regular calls with fellow supervisors in Monroe County to share and compare news. We will continue this pattern throughout this COVID-19 state of emergency.

This message can’t be stressed enough: Stay safe at home to protect yourself and others. You may be contagious without even realizing you are carrying the COVID-19 virus. Our healthcare systems, front line heroes, and most vulnerable citizens depend on every one of us to take social distancing and hygiene seriously.

Dr. Michael Mendoza, Monroe County Health Department Commissioner, said a few days ago, “Social distancing is the treatment for COVID-19.” Our cooperation is the single most important thing we can do to help flatten the outbreak curve.

I want to thank you all for your commitment, patience, and creativity in finding ways to stay in touch while staying apart.

Be well and be safe,

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain


April 5, 2020
How to responsibly enjoy Penfield’s parks, trails, and open spaces
How to responsibly enjoy Penfield’s parks, trails, and open spaces
Let's keep access to these resources safe and available for all!
As we commit to physical distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 outbreak, we can continue to use parks, trails, and open spaces in a safe manner that brings mental and physical health benefits to our community. 
In these shared settings, the Town of Penfield expects you to follow local, state and national ordinances and guidelines. If you are exhibiting any symptoms of illness please leave and contact your healthcare provider.
While you enjoy Penfield’s open spaces please: 
  • Follow CDC guidance on personal hygiene prior to and during use of parks and trails
  • Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from others 
  • Create space between yourself and anyone you are walking with or meet along the way
  • Share trails and yield to other walkers to create space
  • If this is not possible, find an alternate location or leave and come back another time
  • Prepare for no access to public restrooms or water fountains
  • Do not cluster or hang out in any type of group
  • Do not use playground equipment,  basketball courts, or any areas with frequently touched surfaces  
  • Keep dogs on leads, clean up after them, dispose of pet waste or take it with you

Every visitor is expected to follow safe practices so we may continue to enjoy our shared open spaces.
Find COVID-19 resources at www.penfield.org.

Direct questions or concerns to the Monroe County COVID-19 hotline at (585) 753-5555 or COVID19@monroecounty.gov



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