Steady progress continues on the solar array located adjacent to the DPW facility on Jackson Road. As I last reported, all of the I-beams had been driven for the foundation and work had begun on the rack bracing that will support the solar panels. This bracing will be completed in the next few days. The conduit containing the wiring is being buried, and the last four utility poles that will connect us to the electrical grid were set last week. We are projecting this system will generate enough electricity to cover approximately 70 to 75 percent of our total electrical usage for the town hall, community center, and DPW facility.
We took delivery of 3,648 solar panels last week and the contractor (Tesla) will begin installation of those panels this week. At this point we are running ahead of the projected February 22 “permission to operate” from RG&E. We hope to begin testing in January and delivering electricity to the grid by early February.
This week, DPW crews will begin clearing dead, dying, and diseased trees on the former back nine of Shadow Pines—roughly 113 acres on the south side of Clark and Whalen Roads. The very wet weather this fall delayed work on many DPW projects such as installation of snow fencing, preparation of vehicles for salting/plowing, mowing of major drainage ditches, and other seasonal tasks. Our plan is to work on tree removal between snow and ice events with the goal of opening that portion of the property for hiking, sledding, cross-country skiing, and other passive activities in early 2019. I will keep everyone posted via this column and our website.
Please join Councilwoman Paula Metzler, her family, and boy scouts from Troop 312 for a tree decorating and lighting ceremony in Schaufelberger Park in the Four Corners this Thursday, December 13. Tree decorating begins at 5:30 PM and the lighting ceremony is at 6:00 PM. Paula and her family are sponsoring this patriotic tree in honor of the brave men and women serving our country who will not be home for the holidays. All are welcome to participate.
Reminder…the next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Penfield (FBP) will be held on Saturday, December 15 from 8:00 to 10:00 AM at 1862 Penfield Road. FBP invites you for delicious pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage, and more…all for just $5.00 per person. There will also be a special guest for this Flapjack Saturday…Santa will be joining you for breakfast! Fellowship Hall is handicap accessible and the breakfast is outstanding! For more information and details, please go to www.fbpenfield.org.
The AARP Driver Safety Program is designed for the mature licensed driver to tune-up driving skills. This program will run each month from January to May. The class runs six hours over two mornings; upon completion, participants may receive up to a 10 percent multi-year discount on auto insurance and DMV may assess up to a four-point reduction. The first program will be held January 15 and 17 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. The cost is $20.00 for AARP members and $25.00 for non-members, payment may only be made by check payable to AARP. For more information and details on remaining programs please refer to page 28 of the Winter/Spring 2019 Pen-Rec brochure or go to www.penfieldrec.org.
Do the winter months limit your activity? Are you looking to try something new or different? Why not join in on the hottest new sport in the country for all ages including adults 60-plus? Consider signing up for Beginning Pickleball. A cross between tennis and ping-pong, this sport is a great way for mature athletes to stay fit. This program begins on January 14 and will introduce participants to the basic rules of play and allow novice players to get familiar with serving, scoring, rules, and equipment. Find more details at www.penfieldrec.org.
HERO drivers are needed for the Bri-Pen Senior Rides. Bri-Pen rides is a community volunteer transportation service for seniors age 65 and older who require transportation to medical appointments, religious services and town community centers. This service is available to seniors who live or pay taxes within Brighton or Penfield. Training and insurance coverage are provided. If you are interested in learning more about this program and how to get involved, please call 340-8674.
The American Red Cross will be holding a Holiday Blood Drive on Friday, December 21 at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road from 1:00 to 6:00 PM. Each presenting donor will receive a FREE long-sleeve Red Cross T-shirt while supplies last. To schedule a donation appointment to help save a life during the holiday season, please call 1-800-Red Cross or go to www.redcrossblood.org. Walk-ins are also welcome.
Important dates and events in history: December 11, 1941 – Germany and Italy declare war on the United States; December 12, 1800 – Washington, D.C. becomes the official capital of the United States; and December 15, 1791 – The First Ten Amendments to the Constitution known as the “Bill of Rights” are ratified.
Until next week, enjoy the stretch of mild in the coming days.