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January 12, 2021
A message from DPW Director Eric Tait: Managing snow and ice on Penfield roadways

To date, the 2020/21 winter season has been pretty mild. In a typical season our region sees an average snowfall of 99.5 inches. As of January 7, we’ve had just 12.6 inches of snow compared to last year at this time when we stood at 44 inches. While this lack of snow has given the Department of Public Works time to work on many winter projects, we all know the snow and ice will come—and when it does, we are ready to shift to plowing mode and focus on clearing roadways throughout the town.

Every winter when the snow starts to fall our phone starts ringing with calls from residents who want to know when and where we will plow and salt. We are asked: Where are the plows? When will you plow my street? How do you decide when to send out the plows?

Here’s an overview: The DPW performs snow and ice control operations on roughly 290 lane miles of town roads plus another 200 lane miles of state and county roads for which the Town is reimbursed annually. Together, these hundreds of lane miles are grouped into 18 town-wide plow routes. Routes are prioritized to provide the greatest to benefit to travelers and emergency services. Highest priority roads are main thoroughfares like Routes 441, 250, Browncroft Blvd./Atlantic Ave., Empire Blvd., then secondary roads like Five Mile Line Road, Panorama Trail, Creek Street, and Plank Road, followed by subdivisions. Each route takes approximately four hours to complete. That’s why when we experience an extremely high snowfall rate it can be hours before the plows come around for another pass.

A number of factors—including current conditions, snow fall rate, weather forecast, ambient temperature, ground temperature, time of day or night, and day of the week—play a role in our decision making process for managing snow and ice on roadways and sidewalks.

The DPW is in winter mode from November through April each year. Winter parking rules are in effect, snow fences are up, the salt barn is stocked, trucks are outfitted for snow and ice, and plow routes are established. Dispatchers work 24/7 monitoring phone reports, local and national weather forecasts, and road conditions. They share reports with Highway Department foremen who use that information, along with all weather and road condition data, to make decisions on deploying plows.

DPW foremen determine when to initiate plow runs, how many trucks to send out, where to send them, whether we need to plow and/or salt, and the rate at which salt should be spread on roads.

While no two weather events are ever the same, our foremen use the following general guidelines to determine when and how to deploy plows:

  • Typically, if it snows overnight, we call in 18 plow truck operators between 2:30 and 3:00 am in an effort to have the roads plowed and safe for morning traffic. Foremen are also keeping an eye on the roads throughout weekdays in case crews need to be pulled from job sites to switch over to plowing roads.
  • In the evening and on weekends, depending on the time and road conditions, foremen make a judgment call whether to send out plows on an 18-truck run or a 9-truck run. An 18-truck run includes plowing all town, county, and state roads whereas a 9-truck run would only include plowing the main town roads (no subdivisions), county, and state roads.

Any time Town trucks have their plows down and are scraping snow and ice from main roads, they are also salting. Within subdivisions, plow operators typically salt hills, curves, and intersections, or what we call “HCI.”

The standard application rate of salt is 250 lbs. per lane mile, roughly equivalent to five 5-gallon buckets. This rate is subject to change based on the patrolling foreman’s observations and weather conditions. On a majority of the roads east of NYS Rte. 250, sand is often mixed with the salt to help provide traction because there is less traffic to help work the salt into the ice to assist in the melting process. All Town trucks use modern GPS speedometer-regulated salter control technology to ensure material is being applied evenly on road surfaces.

While a specific accumulation or depth of snow is not the sole determining factor as to when plow trucks are deployed, snow depth does determine if and when sidewalk tractors should clear sidewalks along main roads. When about two or more inches of snow covers sidewalks, four tractors with V-plows are sent out to clear individual routes for pedestrians. No salt is applied on sidewalks.

Please help to ensure everyone stays safe by driving appropriately for conditions; clear all snow and ice off of your vehicle to maintain visibility, be patient, and give plow trucks plenty of room to clear the roads. Trucks may need to stop and backup and drivers can’t always see everything behind them. Never try to pass a plow truck as it is both dangerous and illegal. Also, snow plow rules are in effect in the Town of Penfield from November 15 through April 1. This means no parking is allowed on all roads and highways between 2:00 AM and 7:00 AM to allow highway crews to safely and effectively maintain roads.

Town plow operators will do their best to make sure the roads are as safe as possible but need assistance and cooperation from everyone else on the road.

January 11, 2021
2021 AARP Tax-Aide Canceled in Penfield

Due to the pandemic, per AARP guidelines, the Tax Aide program is not allowed to operate, according to Penfield's AARP representative.

It is recommended that persons in need of tax assistance consult a paid service, or ask a friend or family member for assistance. There is also free tax software as described on

What Is IRS Free File?

The IRS Free File Program is a public-private partnership between the IRS and many tax preparation and filing software industry leaders who provide their brand-name products for free. It provides two ways for taxpayers to prepare and file their federal income tax online for free:

  • Traditional IRS Free File provides free online tax preparation and filing options on IRS partner sites. Our partners are online tax preparation companies that develop and deliver this service at no cost to qualifying taxpayers. Please note, only taxpayers whose adjusted gross income (or AGI) is $72,000 or less qualify for any IRS Free File partner offers.
  • Free File Fillable Forms are electronic federal tax forms you can fill out and file online for free. If you choose this option, you should know how to prepare your own tax return. Please note, it is the only IRS Free File option available for taxpayers whose income (AGI) is greater than $72,000.

December 23, 2020
Supervisor’s Update Dec 23: Sensible and Safe Season’s Greetings

Here we are, the week of Christmas 2020. This is not my usual season's greeting column with best wishes for abundant family time and holiday traditions. We remain in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic, and community spread continues to rise with the post-Thanksgiving surge pushing right into our final weeks of December. We face predictions for yet another surge if we do not “stay small and safe” in the coming days. The good news is vaccines are arriving in all areas of the country including Monroe County. Vaccinations are underway and we are beginning to feel some optimism for getting out of this pandemic.

County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza reminds us that although it feels like we are in the home stretch, we are in the very early days of vaccinations and cannot let up on safe practices now. He has also stressed that being vaccinated does not give license to going without a mask—the vaccine helps protect a person from becoming ill if exposed, it does not prevent transmission. Getting to the point of community protection is a long way off and we all need to continue to wear masks, practice hygiene, and resist the desire to gather and celebrate.

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine go to

So although our holiday season may feel less than traditional, we can make it feel more generous by making choices to protect others, especially front line medical workers who are left dealing with the consequences of COVID-19. We’ve all seen exhausted doctors, nurses, and other caregivers in the news imploring the public to take this pandemic seriously. They share heartbreaking stories of helping patients and families say goodbye over video and remind us that any one of us could become one of their patients. As we await mass vaccine distribution, they simply ask us to make a respectful commitment to mask wearing, hand washing, and keeping our distance from others. Health officials have repeatedly told us the majority of spread happens right in people’s homes.

Although this continues to be an unwelcome message to many who “just want the holidays to be normal,” flexibility and respect for others this holiday season is an investment in seeing loved ones at next year’s celebrations. 

If you want to be tested, Monroe County is providing free, rapid COVID-19 tests during the month of December for residents who are asymptomatic. Residents experiencing symptoms should contact their healthcare provider or call the Monroe County COVID Hotline at 753-5555. Follow this link to find a location and register .

Find all Monroe County COVID-19 news and resources at

On behalf of Town employees and the Town Board, I wish you a safe, small, and sensible holiday season. Hopefully this will be the last major holiday season to get through under the pandemic. Let’s all do our part to keep our community and healthcare workers and their families safe: wear a mask, practice physical distancing, help stop the spread to save lives.

Be safe and be well!


Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain

December 15, 2020
A Message from the Town Clerk’s Office: New E-ZPass On-the-Go retail location

The Penfield Town Clerk’s Office is now an authorized NYS Thruway E-ZPass On-the-Go retail location as a convenience and cost savings for area residents and travelers. Drivers can purchase a pre-paid E-ZPass for $25.00 from the Town Clerk’s Office, then register their tag with E-ZPass before using it.

 E-ZPass provides a savings of 5% on all thruway tolls and is accepted in 15 states: Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and West Virginia.

 How E-ZPass Works
Tags may be purchased for 2-axle cars, trucks and vans for private use only and not for business or commercial use. The tags have a $25 value and the pre-packaged tags must be registered either online or by calling (800) 697-1554. You will be notified exactly when your tag will be activated.

 How to purchase
The Town Hall is currently operating by appointment only due to COVID-19 protocols. If you want to purchase an E-ZPass from the Town Clerk please call 340-8629 during business hours to make an appointment. When you come to your appointment, enter through the east door where a security guard will announce your arrival and administer health screening protocol. (The Town Hall is located at 3100 Atlantic Ave, Penfield, NY 14526.)

 Learn more
For more information about E-ZPass and the On-the-Go Program, visit

December 7, 2020
Jeff Crane Preservation Award given to Joyce and Ron Baroody

The Penfield Historic Preservation Board awarded the 2020 Jeffrey S. Crane Preservation Award to Joyce and Ron Baroody, owners of the Mann-Owen House located at 2129 Five Mile Line Road, at the December 3rd meeting of the Historic Preservation Board. The Baroodys are credited with preserving Penfield’s past in ways that will sustain their property at 2129 Five Mile Road well into the future.

Joyce and Ron were nominated for this recognition by the Town’s Historic Preservation Board for their rehabilitation of the Mann-Owen House, constructed in 1828 as the residence of early settler (1815) Calvin Owen. The Baroodys have restored and updated the building’s interior and have refurbished portions of the exterior.

“By preserving historic structures, we are able to share the very spaces and environments in which the generations before us lived, worked, or worshiped. Once a piece of history is destroyed, it is lost forever,” said Supervisor Tony LaFountain. “With the assistance of the Historic Preservation Board, Penfield continues to emphasize the importance of preserving buildings of historic significance. Joyce and Ron Baroody embody the purpose of the Jeff Crane Award, which is to honor those who preserve historic structures for generations to come.”

The Historic Preservation Board established the award in 2007 in honor of Jeffrey Crane (1961-2006) to recognize individuals who have cared for Penfield’s past through the preservation of a structure of historic significance. Jeff Crane was the owner of Mark’s Pizzeria in Penfield and champion of preserving the historic character of the Four Corners district.

Jeff and his brother Mark were responsible for significant restoration of Penfield’s original Methodist church at 2106 Five Mile Line Road. Together, the Crane brothers restored the bell tower, renovated the building's interior and exterior, installed parking, landscaped the grounds and worked with secured easements from several property owners along Five Mile Line Road to provide for on-street parking on both sides of the road. The Cranes were also involved in several other restoration projects in the Four Corners before Jeff’s death in 2006. Mark and Jeff Crane were recognized as the first recipients of this award in 2007.

December 7, 2020
Supervisor's Update Dec 4: Coronavirus surge and testing

As we have all seen in the news, the community spread of coronavirus is on the rise. Authorities at every level of government warned of this post-Thanksgiving surge and we now are being urged to increase our commitment to safety practices as we head into a holiday season that promises to be less than traditional.

We must follow ALL community health guidelines, especially not gathering in groups outside our immediate households. Although this is an unwelcome message to many who “just want the holidays to be normal,” flexibility and respect for others this holiday season is an investment in seeing loved ones at next year’s celebrations.

The choices we make now and in the coming weeks will determine the impact on our healthcare system and medical workers. We need to dig in and make a serious commitment to masking, physical distancing, proper hand hygiene and sanitizing to reduce community spread and show respect for our medical community.

Town facilities continue to be accessible by appointment, and all Town departments are serving the public by phone and online when possible. Town meetings continue to be available by video. Outdoor facilities remain open to the public and we ask you to mask up and stay at least six feet apart from others not in your immediate household. Please follow for the Town of Penfield’s latest COVID-19 protocols.

Monroe County is providing free, rapid COVID-19 tests during the month of December for residents who are asymptomatic. Residents experiencing symptoms should contact their healthcare provider or call the Monroe County COVID Hotline at 753-5555. Follow this link to find a location and register

Find all Monroe County COVID-19 news and resources at

Please do your part: wear a mask, practice physical distancing, help stop the spread to save lives.

Be safe and be well!


Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain



November 12, 2020
Supervisor’s Update Nov 12: Clark House and Shadow Pines Update

I’d like to share a general update on the status of the Clark House and Shadow Pines. In recent weeks, many of you will have noticed Town crews removing unhealthy and damaged trees and bushes, regular mowing around the grounds, and general site cleanup.

Just before COVID-19 hit, our Development Services Director began working with a party interested in opening a restaurant in the Clark House. Although the pandemic has slowed the process, they have remained very interested in helping to bring this local designated historic site back to a functioning facility for all to enjoy.

To that end, Plan Studio, an architectural firm specializing in historic buildings, is preparing a complete report of the condition of the Clark House with short- and long-term recommendations of what actions need to be taken to make the building useable.

The Town Board accepted the Conceptual Master Plan for the Shadow Pines property at its August 19 meeting and several different groups have been interested in discussing plans for disc golf, pickle ball and bike trails. I am sure there will be much continued discussion over the winter months.

(To learn more, go to ‘plans and studies’ at to view both Shadow Pines Master Conceptual Plan documents:  Shadow Pines Concept Plan Map and Shadow Pines Conceptual Plan Final Report.) 

Overall, the Shadow Pines property continues to be very active with hikers, birders, and cross-country races. The weather has been wonderful for all ages to enjoy more than 200 acres of meadows, trees and trails. In the coming weeks and throughout the winter our DPW staff will be removing a number of dead trees to ensure the safety of all those using the property.

Speaking of winter, if there is good snowfall and COVID-19 is not putting a damper on activities, we hope to work again with the school district to groom cross-country trails for school and town use. 

In the meantime, enjoy the property year-round, it is a wonderful community asset! With the increase in COVID-19 spread and the onset of cold weather, it’s important than ever that we all get outdoors—don’t let the cold stop you from enjoying the trails at Shadow Pines. As the saying goes, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” Bundle up and get outside.

As a reminder, Shadow Pines is available for passive recreation uses only, all dogs must be on leashes, and no motorized vehicles are permitted.

Our region is seeing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. Please do your part: wear a mask, practice physical distancing, help stop the spread to save lives.

Be safe and be well! 


Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain

November 6, 2020
Arts & Craft Fair Canceled

The Penfield Recreation DEAR fundraiser Arts and Crafts Fair scheduled for Saturday, November 7 has been cancelled for the health and safety of vendors, shoppers, and staff. 

A virtual home shopping Arts and Craft Fair is being planned in its place for Thanksgiving weekend, and a few times in December. Please watch for dates and times on Penfield Recreation's Facebook page and on our websites - and

November 6, 2020
A Message from the Office of Animal Control and the Town Clerk: Dog Census Underway in Penfield

The Town of Penfield is now conducting a Dog Census to ensure all dogs older than four (4) months are properly licensed in accordance with New York State Agriculture and Market Law Article 7. The Dog Census keeps town records up to date and in compliance with New York State Law. A mailer regarding this process has been sent to all Penfield households.

Any dog living with you for more than 30 days must be licensed. Licensing ensures all dogs have been properly vaccinated against rabies for the protection of dog owners and the community. If your dog is lost, licensing increases the chances that your dog will be returned to you.  

Please follow the instructions on the mailer and return the form by mail or use the drop-off box at the east entrance of the Penfield Town Hall NO LATER THAN NOVEMBER 30, 2020. If you own a dog that needs to be licensed, or if you have information that needs to be updated (spay/neuter), please do so now. Even if you do not own a dog, please indicate that on the form and return it to the Town Clerk. 

Direct questions regarding the Dog Census to the Town Clerk’s Office at (585) 340-8629.

Learn more about dog license requirements at

October 22, 2020
Supervisor’s Update Oct 22: Fire safety messages from the Fire Marshal

October is Fire Safety Month. The Fire Marshal’s office will be sharing safety reminders throughout the month to increase public awareness and save lives. 

Have a plan and practice it!

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. 
  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms. Different types of smoke alarms, ionization and photoelectric, detect fire in different ways. Experts recommend having both types in your home.
  • Change smoke alarm batteries every year unless it has a long-life battery. 
  • Replace smoke alarms every ten years.

Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year. Make sure everyone can escape in two minutes or less. Practice makes perfect! After each fire drill, mark down your escape time.

If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

Close the Door!

Fire is spreading faster and hotter due to the use of more synthetic materials in furniture and construction. A closed door can slow the spread of fire, reduce toxic smoke levels, improve oxygen levels and decrease temperatures dramatically.

  • A closed door can mean reducing 1,000 degrees down to 100 degrees during a fire.
  • A closed door can keep carbon monoxide levels at 1,000 PPM (parts per million) instead of possibly 10,000 PPM if the door was left open during a fire.
  • A closed door keeps more oxygen in the room and away from the fire. Oxygen feeds a fire, a closed door will limit the growth of a fire to the room behind the closed door.
  • A large percentage of fires occur between 11 PM and 7 AM. A closed door when you go to sleep may help save your life during a fire. 

Please review this information with your family and neighbors, you may save a life. Direct questions or concerns to the Office of the Fire Marshal at (585) 340-8643 or 

October 22, 2020
2021 Town Budget Adopted

Penfield Town Supervisor Tony LaFountain and the Penfield Town Board adopted the 2021 Final Budget at the October 21 legislative meeting. The Final Budget, including special districts, totals $20,632,799, a decrease of $38,593. The Town Operating Budget without special districts is $17,768,407. The Town share of the tax levy increased $20,377, and is below the tax cap by $475,000.

The tax rate for 2021 will be the same as 2020 at $2.78 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Penfield’s property tax rate remains one of the lowest of the 19 towns in in Monroe County. Town taxes account for approximately 8 cents of every dollar, county taxes are 24 cents and the school taxes are 68 cents. The average tax bill for Penfield governmental services in 2021 will be $569.90 per household; this represents a house valued at $205,000.

As in previous years, expenditures not under the Town of Penfield’s control continued to increase including health insurance premiums and continued contributions to the New York State retirement system of approximately 11 to 22 percent of payroll. The cost of workers compensation will remain flat at nearly six percent of payroll. 

”The budget for 2021 has presented several challenges for every community as we work through the effects of the pandemic and the financial impacts it has presented in 2020 that will continue well into 2021,” said Supervisor Tony LaFountain. “With the loss in revenue from sales tax, recreation programs and county projects, the Town Board wanted to make sure we were not overburdening our residents who were also impacted by COVID-19; therefore, the 2021 budget has no tax increase. The efforts of our staff and board to tighten the belt on spending will continue our long history of very sound spending, even in difficult times.”  

Penfield’s growth rate was just over one percent in 2020, resulting in a positive impact of actual new “bricks and mortar” properties and therefore more contributors to the tax levy. 

With its history of fiscal discipline, the financial world consistently recognizes Penfield as one of the most financially responsible towns in New York State. Moody’s Investors Service continues its Aa1 credit rating of Penfield—one of the highest in the county and state. This rating allows Penfield to secure low-interest financing for capital projects (sewers, roadways, bridges), and assists with cash flow throughout the year. The Moody’s rating also reflects Penfield’s history of stable financial operations and strong management practices.

Further, the Town of Penfield continues to receive a respected “no designation” in New York State’s Fiscal Monitoring system. With a low score of just 1.7 again in 2019 the Town of Penfield is once again well below the 44.9 percent tolerance point that New York State deems to be an indicator of possible fiscal stress. Factors included in the NYS’s review include cash ratio, employee salaries, debt burden, and fund balance.

“We have another fiscally sound budget adopted by the Town Board for 2021,” stated Town Comptroller Barbara Chirdo. “The Town’s levy increase for 2021 is again below the levy cap established by the State Comptroller. And, with ‘no designation’ in regard to susceptibility to financial stress, I am proud to say the Town’s financial health is well below any level of risk as determined by the Office of the State Comptroller.”

As of October 22, the 2021 Adopted Budget is available online at (go to ‘Quick Links,’ ‘Town Budget’). After October 23, print copies of the Final 2021 Budget are available at the Penfield Public Library, 1985 Baird Road or by contacting the Office of the Comptroller in the Penfield Town Hall, 3100 Atlantic Avenue, in Penfield. 

October 21, 2020
Supervisor’s Update Oct 21: Good Neighbor Day Fall Edition

The Town of Penfield is hosting the fifth annual Terry Rothfuss Memorial Good Neighbor Day on Saturday, October 24 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. This annual event is usually held in the spring, but this year it was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. We are pleased we could reschedule it before winter.

Good Neighbor Day was designed to help seniors, veterans, or those who are disabled to do light yard work and (this year) fall cleanup. We need volunteers of all ages to help gather debris, rake out flower beds, and other fall chores to help Penfield neighbors prepare for the coming winter months. Projects are all outdoors where volunteers can maintain physical distance and wear masks as appropriate.

Terry Rothfuss was a farmer in East Penfield who was a friend to all. He was always ready and willing to help anyone at any time. When he passed away in 2014, a huge hole was left in our community. Terry’s friends and family want to carry on his legacy of friendship by continuing to help the community and inspire others to do the same.

If you are in need of help with fall yardwork, OR would like to volunteer to help with fall yard work, please contact Sabrina at (585) 340-8651, or, she will fill you in on the details.

Please do your part: wear a mask, practice physical distancing, help stop the spread to save lives.

Be safe and be well! 


Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain

October 9, 2020
Supervisor’s Update Oct 9: Recreational fire safety message from Fire Marshal

October is Fire Safety Month. The Fire Marshal’s office will be sharing safety reminders throughout the month to increase public awareness and cooperation. Recreational outdoor fires are increasingly popular so we will begin with guidelines for conducting outdoor fires that are safe and do not create a neighborhood nuisance.

What is considered a recreation fire?

A recreational fire is an outdoor fire not contained in an enclosed structure. A backyard fire pit is the most common example of a recreational fire. Recreational fires are a privilege and are allowed at the discretion of the Fire Marshal provided the following guidelines are met. An inspection by the Fire Marshal is recommended before burning for the first time. Contact the Office of the Fire Marshal with questions at 340-8643.

How to safely conduct an outdoor recreational fire:

FIRE SAFETY must be followed at all times.

Clearance: Fires must be located at least 25 feet from structures and/or combustible materials, including but not limited to fences, decks, sheds, garages, brush, overhanging trees. Any conditions that would promote fire spread to within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material must be removed prior to ignition of fire.

Portable Outdoor Fireplaces made of metal, clay, ceramic and other like materials must follow all above guidelines except they are allowed to be placed at least 15 feet (rather than 25 feet) from structures and/or combustible materials. They must also be completely extinguished prior to abandoning.

Surface: Fires must be conducted on non-combustible surfaces.

Size: maximum diameter of three (3) feet, maximum flame height of two (2) feet

Materials: ONLY clean seasoned firewood may be burned. Wet wood, fresh cut wood, treated wood, painted or stained wood, leaves, brush (small branches with leaves or needles still attached), lawn clippings, paper, rubbish, garbage and/or any other material that produces excessive smoke and/or noxious fumes ARE NOT ALLOWED to be burned.

Extinguishment: Fire extinguishing equipment such as garden hose (attached to water supply and turned on), buckets of water and/or a minimum 4A rated portable fire extinguisher must be readily available at all times while fire is burning. Equipment must be located in close proximity to the fire and garden hoses must be able to reach fire while still connected to a water supply. FIRE MUST BE COMPLETELY EXTINGUISHED PRIOR TO ABANDONING. NEVER LEAVE A FIRE UNATTENDED!

Attendance: A responsible adult must be present at all times a fire is burning. The responsible adult must not be impaired by drugs, alcohol and/or a medical or mental condition that would interfere with their ability to take proper actions, if required. The responsible adult must also be knowledgeable in the operation of fire extinguishing equipment.

Nuisance fires and etiquette

Outdoor fires that create smoke and/or odors are considered a nuisance. Nuisance fires MUST be extinguished immediately.

A recreational fire that creates property damage, personal injury, and/or is deemed a nuisance, must be extinguished immediately and may be cause for legal actions by the Fire Marshal or the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Any fire causing the fire department or Monroe County Sheriff’s Office to be called may be considered by the responding official to be a nuisance fire. Nuisance fires must be extinguished.

Etiquette: No new materials may be added to fire after 10:00 PM.

Please direct questions or concerns to the Office of the Fire Marshal at (585) 340-8643 or 

October 2, 2020
Supervisor’s Update Oct 2: Fall Leaf Management—Environmentally-Friendly, Cost Effective & Convenient Options

Fall has arrived and now it’s time for us to plan for sustainable leaf management and successful drainage practices in our yards and neighborhoods. Penfield is unique in that there are neighborhoods with large mature trees (my neighborhood) and other areas of town (north and east Penfield) that don’t have a lot of mature tree foliage. All areas present opportunities for us as residents to help do our part to promote the environment, reduce the burden of filling landfills with leaves, and not raise taxes.

As many of you know, the Town is not in the leaf pick-up business. Many other towns also don't provide this function. The reasons for not doing this are consistent: increased tax burden to residents, a host of anticipated customer service issues, opportunities for residents to embrace more environmentally sustainable practices, and to support local Penfield businesses that provide leaf pick-up service.

If the Town started leaf pickup it would immediately become a divisive program, meaning there are some residents who want it and many who don’t. The fact remains there are significant costs associated with committing to this effort. New Town spending would need to be made for outfitting trucks, additional employees, and landfill tipping fees. There would also be no ability for municipal sharing as towns that have leaf pick-up are all using their equipment at the same time of year. Additionally, town crews would be taken off other infrastructure projects throughout the town in order to collect leaves.

Taxpayer Cost: The Town would need to invest many hundreds of thousands of dollars outfitting trucks for the service, added labor, and landfill tipping fees. When this was last studied in 2005, the financials didn’t make sense and they certainly would make even less sense in today’s dollars. Further, the burden of leaf removal would be shared by every taxpayer, including those who are opposed to funding a leaf service. By comparison today, residents who want leaf removal services can hire a Penfield-based private contractor or group together with neighbors for a cheaper price and convenience of picking the day for leaf removal. This would be less than it would cost every taxpayer if the Town provided the service.

Customer Service: Given the logistics of town-wide collection for more than 14,000 properties, crews could make only one pass through town within a finite and unpredictable number of days between last leaves falling, residents’ ability to rake, and first snowfall when trucks must be ready for plowing, not leaf removal. With these constraints, it’s not likely that crews would make it to each house exactly when each homeowner is prepared with leaves raked and ready at the curb. Those who miss their leaf pick-up day could even end up hiring a leaf service and paying twice—once in their tax bill and again when they pay their landscaper! As we know, all leaves don't fall at the same time.

For Town leaf collection to be successful, nature would have to give us an ideal number of days between last leaves and first snowfall, and every residence would need to be “raked and ready” the exact day crews made their pass through town—an unlikely alignment of weather and time.  

Unpredictable rain, wind and snow is a recipe for frustrated residents, wet piles of leaves killing grass, blocked storm drains, leaves blowing back onto your yard or neighbor's yard with high winds, and the potential for neighborhood flooding. The possibility of snow covered leaves creeping onto sidewalks or roadways creates both a maintenance and safety hazard. We have all seen this driving through neighboring towns.  

In contrast, a local private landscape service will collect leaves curbside—when scheduled—for a cost well below what the Town would need to charge every taxpayer. Many landscapers who live and do business in Penfield would welcome your patronage, and you would be supporting a local business during these difficult times. 

Environmentally-Friendly/Sustainability: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recommends residents mulch and compost their leaves. Last fall, the DEC’s Solid Waste and Recycling newsletter published “Leaf Me Alone: Why You Should Keep Your Leaves in Your Yard.” The article points out that “many of us will use our time or money to rid our lawns of leaves. Keeping our leaves nearby is a simpler, more environmentally-friendly solution, as leaves contain nutrients that are good for the soil.”  (Please see resources below to learn more). In contrast, if the Town collected leaves they likely would end up in a landfill, which undermines sustainable practices. 

Considering all these factors, getting into the leaf collection business doesn’t make sense for the Town of Penfield and its taxpayers. Such a service would bring added costs to each and every taxpayer. This year especially, given the loss of revenue and unpredictable lasting financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the timing is wrong to consider increasing Town spending.  

When it comes to managing leaves, personal choice does make the best sense. We can all decide for ourselves if we will choose to go the sustainable route and mulch or compost our leaves at no expense or if we prefer to hire a local landscape service with a pick-up date of our choosing for a fee we are willing to pay.   

Tips for Environmentally-Friendly Leaf Management: 

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Tips:

Cornell Cooperative Extension Tips:

USDA Tips:

Please do your part: wear a mask, practice physical distancing, help stop the spread to save lives.

Be safe and be well! 


Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain

September 30, 2020
Supervisor’s Update Sep 29: Fall drop-off and recycling for Penfield residents October 2-3

As a reminder, Fall Drop-off and Recycling for Penfield residents is coming up this Friday, October 2 (7:30 AM to 5:00 PM) and Saturday, October 3 (7:30 AM to 3:00 PM) at the Public Works Complex, 1607 Jackson Road. Please note this is NOT an electronics recycling event. 

On both Friday and Saturday you can drop off metals and appliances, yard brush (no leaves or grass), clothing and linens at the St. Pauly shed, and donate returnable bottles and cans at the scout collection shed. 

On Saturday only, Eco-Green Park certified document destruction ( will be on site to safely dispose of confidential papers.  

MATERIALS THAT WILL BE ACCEPTED: Household items - furniture, appliances (including refrigerators, dehumidifiers, air conditioners), lawn mowers (fluids drained), car tires (limit four), vehicle batteries, broken concrete, brush.

MATERIALS THAT WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED: Household electronics (including TVs, computers, monitors, copiers), propane tanks, grass clippings, leaves, chemical drums, hazardous materials, gasoline, motor oil, paint, and driveway sealer. For items of this nature and more, see Monroe County Ecopark “locator” at

If you have materials to dispose of that can’t be accepted at Fall Drop-off, check out Monroe County’s year-round Ecopark facility is located at 10 Avion Drive near the airport. Ecopark is a joint effort between Monroe County and Waste Management that provides county residents with a “one-stop drop-off” to dispose of or recycle many items including hard Styrofoam packing material (not foam trays used for meat or produce), TVs/electronics (fee-based), cooking oil/grease, fluorescent lights, clothing, sharps and syringes, and more. Ecopark also offers many special collection days for household hazardous waste and pharmaceutical and medication disposal. For current information on recycling opportunities, operating hours, schedules, and fee-based items go to

To dispose of televisions and electronics contact retailers that sell those products. Do not leave on curb, New York State law prohibits trash haulers from collecting electronic waste.

This event is for Penfield residents only. Proof of residency will be checked at the gate. Please direct questions to the Department Public Works, 340-8710, Monday–Friday 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM.

Please do your part: wear a mask, practice physical distancing, help stop the spread to save lives.

Be safe and be well! 


Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain


Town of Penfield
3100 Atlantic Ave, Penfield, New York, 14526 - (585) 340-8600
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