Last week saw two swearing-in ceremonies that impact this community; the first was the 2012 organizational meeting of the Monroe County Legislature where all 29 legislators were sworn in by the County Executive including Debbie Drawe and Dan Quatro, both of whom represent Penfield. The other was the swearing in of Penfield's Town Board, Town Justice and Supervisor. Linda Kohl and Rob Quinn were sworn in to four-year terms, as was Judge John Lomenzo. I had the honor of being sworn in to a two-year term. We all look forward to serving you at the local government level throughout 2012.
Save the date...the Town's Energy & Environmental Advisory Committee will host a free "Renew Penfield Home Energy Workshop" January 17, 2012, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Town Hall, 3100 Atlantic Ave. This session will feature expert presenters from Renew Penfield; Finger Lakes Energy $mart Communities Program, an Independent Contractor to NYSERDA to perform customer outreach; PathStone, a not-for-profit community development and human service organization working with NYSERDA to promote Green Jobs - Green New York; and RG&E. Additionally, Local Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractors and providers of home improvement and renewable energy systems will be on-hand so residents can network and learn more from experts, as well as sign up for a free or reduced cost home energy assessment following the presentations. I hope to see many of you in attendance, together we can learn ways to reduce our home and business energy costs!
Reminder...the New York State School Tax Relief Program (STAR) provides homeowners with two types of partial exemptions from school property taxes. If you earn less than $500,000 and own and live in your home, you're probably eligible for the STAR exemption. Please note there are two types of STAR exemptions:
• available for owner-occupied, primary residences where the resident owners' and their spouses income is less than $500,000
• exempts the first $30,000 of the full value of a home from school taxes
• provides an increased benefit for the primary residences of senior citizens (age 65 and older) with qualifying incomes
• exempts the first $62,200 of the full value of a home from school taxes as of 2012-13 school tax bills (up from $60,100 in 2011-12)
If you have any questions regarding the STAR exemptions or any other exemptions, please contact the Assessor's Office at 340-8610 prior to March 1, 2012.
The town's Wellness Committee would like to remind residents that the theme for the first quarter of 2012 is "Nutrition and Weight Management." Topics will concentrate on portions versus servings, "choosing my plate," eating for a healthy heart, and healthy meals and snacks. February is American Heart Month...eat right and stay fit!
I recently learned that Dave Renner and Brian Delameter of our own Penfield TV received the New York State Agricultural Society, Harold L. "Cap" Crel 2011 Journalism Award for "internet media - audio/video entry for providing positive and accurate coverage of New York agriculture" for their production "Rothfuss Farm Land Improvements." Their names were submitted by Cornell Cooperative Extension. Dave and Brian were honored at a luncheon by the President of the New York State Agricultural Society...congratulations to you both! This video is available for viewing on the town website at www.penfield.org, click on departments, then on Penfield TV. At the top of the page click on YouTube and type in "Rothfuss Farm" to view.
Note: Town Offices will be closed Monday, January 16 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. All offices will re-open Tuesday at the normal times, including the mobile DMV that will operate from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Town Hall.
Until next week, be well and be safe!