Update...budget 2011! This is my last column before I release the 2011 Tentative Budget to the Town Board and all our residents. I have been overwhelmed by the number of residents that stop to see me at the Town Hall or speak with me at different functions around town regarding the taxes they pay. The message is consistent and direct...no more taxes and no more tax increases; we just cannot afford any more! I have worked very hard with the support of our Comptroller and all department heads to identify ways to cut spending and absorb the many increases that we face from the State, health care premiums, and more. I believe this will be a budget that will allow us to provide most of the same services our residents have come to enjoy, while continuing to reshape your local government to be as lean and cost effective as possible.
"Making Sense of Leaf Management"...with the budget due out on the 15th, I will make this new lead-in a weekly topic for the next month or so to continue to help identify alternatives for this annual fall project that do not result in increased taxes to residents. I plan to discuss towns that pick up leaves and those that do not, the cost for government to be involved versus utilizing private businesses, mulching/compositing, and more. The Energy & Environmental Advisory Committee will be an active participant in these discussions as well.
The public hearing for the Comp Plan and Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) was held August 30. Thirteen members of the community addressed the Town Board with specific concerns and suggested modifications to the plan. The comment period for receiving input continues through September 17 at 5:00 PM. I would strongly encourage everyone to take a minute to go on-line at www.penfield.org to review the plan or stop by the Library or Town Hall to view the hard copy document.
As I have mentioned in the past, this is the Town's roadmap for the next 10+ years. The plan is to provide an overall framework for future public and private investment in our community. It will also serve as the foundation upon which future planning and policy decisions are to be based. A special thank you to everyone who has provided input on the plan to date; on behalf of the Town Board and Town Planning staff...thank you!
FYI...starting around the middle of September you will see some drilling equipment in the Four Corners area at Schaufelberger Park. The purpose of this work is to perform some soil testing, checking for petroleum contamination as a result of former operations at that site. As a past petroleum product provider to the Schaufelberger business, Exxon-Mobil is taking a proactive review of this site to ensure there is no existing soil contamination. If any contamination is identified, they will properly remediate it consistent with the Department of Environmental Conservation requirements. This work will be performed at no expense to the Town, and if there is any clean up required, those costs will be covered by Exxon-Mobil as well.
The new Recreation Brochure hit your mail boxes this past week; please take a moment to view all the program offerings for this fall and early winter. This is another great publication full of interesting things to do for all ages. Consider taking advantage of the on-line registration from the comfort of your home and ease of signing up. If for some reason you did not receive the brochure, please contact the Recreation Department at 340-8655 or go online to view the brochure at www.penfield.org.
I hope to see you at Tastin' the Blues on Saturday, September 18 at the amphitheater for a sample of my homemade chili "The Supervisor's Famous Recipe."
I would like to close on a somber note. We are observing the ninth anniversary of September 11, a day when this country was brutally attacked and many lives were lost and families impacted. I would ask all of our residents to take a minute to reflect on this terrible event in our history and remember all of those individuals who lost their lives. We will not falter. We will not fear. We will not fail. We will not forget!