January 22, 2019
Supervisor's column January 22, 2019
The weekend storm came in as promised with close to 17 inches of blowing and drifting snow and frigid temperatures. Highway crews worked around the clock keeping up with snowfall and, as expected, temps were far too low for salt to be effective. A slight warmup and some sunshine early this week will put that salt to work. Thank you to residents for observing winter parking rules (no parking on streets 2:00–7:00 AM), your cooperation made is possible for overnight crews to thoroughly plow your neighborhoods. And on behalf of all residents, I would like to thank our dispatchers and highway crews for a great job keeping more than 200 miles of town, county and state roads in Penfield safe and passable throughout the storm event.
If you park cars in your driveway overnight your doors may have frozen closed over the weekend. But you may not be the only person who was locked out of your vehicle! According to a recent weekly report from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Zone A office, more Penfield residents need to get in the habit of locking vehicles parked in driveways. There were several reported vehicle break-ins during the overnight hours of January 14/15 in various Penfield neighborhoods. In all cases, doors were left unlocked and thieves helped themselves to change, cash, and credit cards. I read in the same report that the overnight of January 8/9 the same thing happened in a Pittsford neighborhood. Suspects were apprehended and when questioned, they estimated they went through about 120 cars in that one night. Thieves move quickly and efficiently through entire neighborhoods while owners are asleep. Don’t think your street is immune to theft—all cars left in driveways are targets. Lock your doors and do not leave tempting valuables in sight.
The Penfield Symphony Orchestra will present “A Suite for the Sweet” on Monday, February 25 at 7:30 PM in the Penfield High School Auditorium. The concert will feature Bernstein’s Overture to Candide, William Grant Still’s Poem for Orchestra, Hanson’s Symphony No. 2 in D-flat major, and Grofé’s Grand Canyon Suite. Tickets can be purchased online at www.penfieldsymphony.org, by phone at 585-872-0774, at all area Wegmans, the Penfield Recreation Department, Canandaigua National Bank (Four Corners Penfield branch), and at the door on the night of the concert. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $12 for senior citizens ages 60 and over. Tickets are free for students of any age with a student ID. Free rides to the concerts are available from LIFESPAN by calling 872-0774.
How much fun can you have in Penfield for just $2.00? A lot! Leave the winter cold behind when you enjoy a Friday night open swim at the Penfield High School pool offered by Pen-Rec. Come play, swim, and exercise while enjoying this spacious pool that is set up to meet all your needs. There is a shallow end with a 4x4 tot dock for the little ones, a deep end for water walking, and two lanes dedicated to lap swimming. The fee is just $2.00 at the door, winter Fridays (1/25, 2/1, 2/8, 3/1, 3/8) from 7:30 to 9:00 PM. For more details go to www.penfieldrec.org.
If you prefer great music to a winter swim, check out Nels Carman Big Band Night featuring the Penfield Rotary Band at the Penfield Community Center the first Tuesday of every month (except July and August) from 7:30 to 9:30 PM. The next one is Tuesday, February 5. Put on your dancing shoes or tap your toes—either way you will have a fun night out for just $2.00 at the door!
The Penfield Rotary Band was formed in 1954. They offer western New York's best representation of the classical sound of late the 1930s through the 1940s Big Band era, showcasing the modern Big Band arrangers in the style of The Tonight Show band leader "Doc" Severenson. The talented 17-member band is equally adept at swing dance ballroom and stage concert outdoor venues.
Until next week, bundle up! Please check on fire hydrants in your neighborhood and keep them clear of snow for emergency responders.
Be well and be safe,
January 18, 2019
A Message from Supervisor LaFountain: Weekend storm preparation and safety
With a winter storm warning in effect that promises heavy snow and high winds into Monday, Penfield DPW has plows ready to take to their routes to clear snow and salt roadways.
Please keep the following in mind throughout the storm event:
• Please do not drive unless necessary. If you must drive, please allow for extra drive time. Clear all snow from your vehicle including headlights and tail lights.
• Give plow operators plenty of room to do their job. Never try to race a plow or make quick moves to "get away." Cars are not always visible and big trucks cannot always stop quickly to respond to sudden moves by cars.
• The effectiveness of salt will be lessened as temperatures drop due to predicted high winds
• Winter parking rule are in effect—this means no parking on roadways 2:00–7:00 AM.
• Please keep neighborhood fire hydrants clear of snow to assist emergency responders.
• Check on elderly neighbors to be sure they are safe and warm.
• Keep house furnace vents and gas meters clear of snow and ice to prevent hazardous conditions.
• Kids are home from school Monday; please be mindful of bitter temps and potential for frostbite AND do not ever allow them to play in snowbanks adjacent to roadways. Plows will be out during and after snowfall to clean up and “shelf” snowbanks.
Also, do you know you can sign up for RG&E alerts? Now is a good time to set up an account and choose which alerts you want and how you want to receive them: by text email, phone, or all three. Go to www.RGE.com and have your account number handy.
Please heed weather reports and stay warm and safe.
January 14, 2019
Supervisor's Column: January 14, 2019
I am dedicating this week’s column to the Registration of Defaulted Mortgage and Vacant Property Ordinance adopted by the town board on January 2, 2019. This new legislative tool requires lending institutions to register foreclosed properties with the town of Penfield and provide specific contact information for the management of each property. It gives our town government more influence over derelict and vacant “zombie” homes located in Penfield and owned by individuals and lenders.
This Ordinance is being amended to our Town Code as Chapter 260 and it is effective immediately. It promises to benefit every neighborhood in Penfield because it establishes a process to identify, regulate, and limit the number of zombie properties caused by defaulted mortgages and other financial circumstances.
To the frustration of many property owners and town officials, zombie houses can be found in just about any neighborhood in Penfield. As I write this column, there are 118 foreclosed properties in Penfield, and another 70 are in pre-foreclosure. As properties linger in financial uncertainty they often deteriorate, inviting crime and vandalism that result in blight and a decline in property values.
On a regular basis, residents call the town hall to complain about the impact of derelict properties in their neighborhoods. Understandably, residents want to know why zombie properties are allowed to languish with no apparent actions or consequences.
The unsatisfying answer is that historically, local governments have had little influence over the behavior of banks and lending institutions as they buy and sell mortgages at an alarming rate. While municipalities play “musical chairs” to identify responsible parties and hold them accountable for property maintenance, financial institutions are free to be vague, inconsistent, and unmotivated to maintain their assets. Such runarounds can go on for months or even years as foreclosed properties continue to decline. In fact, it takes about 1,100 days to complete the foreclosure process in New York.
In Monroe County, municipalities are left to take action and incur costs by hiring resources to perform basic maintenance like lawn mowing or window repair. Fees for that work are added directly to property tax bills. Prior to 2017, Monroe County reimbursed municipalities for those expenses. They would ultimately collect the fees from property owners with County/Town tax payments. That scenario changed in 2017 when Monroe County stopped reimbursing local governments in advance of tax collection. Now, local governments foot the bill and must wait to be reimbursed after County/Town tax bills are ultimately paid.
What’s a town like Penfield to do? This: create a legal requirement for banks to register defaulted mortgages with the town, add fees and penalties, outsource the entire process to an organization that is dedicated to holding lenders accountable for property maintenance, and generate income in the process.
As of January 2, 2019, step one in that process is in the books with the adoption of the Registration of Defaulted Mortgage and Vacant Property Ordinance. On January 10, 2019, the town took the next step by entering into an agreement with ProCHAMPS, a service provider that specializes in identifying and tracking zombie properties, contacting responsible parties, and registering them per town code. With this agreement, there is no cost to the Town of Penfield. ProCHAMPS manages the contact process, collects registration fees, and then shares revenue and property data with us.
The Registration of Defaulted Mortgage and Vacant Property Ordinance gives the Town of Penfield legislative muscle to hold deed owners and financial institutions accountable for their properties. Fees and penalties for neglect will motivate lenders to act on and remedy complaints.
By working with ProCHAMPS, the town gains a new tool to fight blight and generate revenue. A dedicated ProCHAMPS team will work on behalf of the town to identify and track responsible parties and monitor property maintenance issues. Town code officers will have easy access to a web-based management tool to register complaints and communicate with all parties and ProCHAMPS.
The Penfield community will benefit because code enforcement officers can effectively act on complaints, thereby protecting property values and minimizing the risk of vandalism and crime associated with blighted homes.
With the new Ordinance and decision to partner with ProCHAMPS, the town is positioned to gain control over a chronic problem that has been frustrating and costly for all. Once this process is in place this spring we can look forward to seeing action taken at neglected properties. We will also start to see some revenue from mandatory registration fees that we will reinvest back into local code enforcement efforts.
Penfield will be joining the towns of Greece and Gates in utilizing ProCHAMPS in Monroe County to address these derelict and vacant “zombie” homes within our community.
If you have any questions please contact our Building/Zoning/Code Enforcement Office at 340-8637. Additionally, you can go to https://prochamps.com to learn more about the company and their process.
Until next week continue to enjoy the mild weather.
January 11, 2019
Let it Snow!
Let it snow! As we begin to see the snow accumulate around Penfield the town is excited to be adding some cross country skiing opportunities to the Shadow Pines property. We have been working with the Penfield School District to provide cross country skiing trails for community use as well as for the PHS Nordic team practices. The school district will begin grooming trails as soon as the conditions warrant, and those trails will be located on the property north of Clark Road. Stay tuned for further information on this new opportunity!
January 7, 2019
Supervisor's column January 7, 2019
The Penfield Trails Committee’s next free guided is this Saturday, January 12, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Ellison Park. In January, we normally encourage you to dust off your cross country skis or snowshoes and enjoy us for a trip through this very scenic park; however, based on the weekend forecast, this will be a traditional walking hike. The route will follow the predominately flat portions of Ellison Park on the north side of Blossom Road. Meet at the north side of the parking lot off Blossom Road and look for the hike signs.
Consider picking up your trails “passport“ and take it with you on these hikes as you discover the trails of Penfield. Passports are available at the Penfield Recreation office or either Penfield Wegmans stores (Rt. 441 or Empire Blvd). A special thank you to Wegmans, our wellness partner!
By now, everyone who normally receives a tax bill should have received their 2019 County/Town Tax Bill. Each year I prepare a supervisor’s message to share information you may find helpful as you review your bill. This message is available online at www.penfield.org (go to “departments” then click on “Tax Receiver”). If you have any questions regarding your bill, please contact the Tax Receiver at 340-8626. I welcome any suggestions you may have to better or further explain the elements of your tax bill.
Are you looking for opportunities to have your children spend more time outside and away from the TV and electronic devices? Consider signing them up for Pen-Rec’s “Running Wild” after school program! This unique survival skills program by Earthworks is designed to teach ancient knowledge and understanding of the natural world combined with unique instruction on the time-honored techniques of wilderness living. Expect your child to learn about the wonders of their environment and all its natural processes through immersion in a full sensory experience with nature. Earthworks staff encourage kids to explore while working closely with peers to practice wilderness skills such as shelter building, fire making, wild crafting, identification of flora and fauna, use of plants for food and medicine, purification of water, natural navigation, responsible tool use, and more. The curriculum combines unique outdoor games with challenges that give children the confidence to discover the outdoors in a safe and meaningful way. Their goal is to activate each child’s curiosity and love for learning while fostering personal growth, social responsibility, and bonds that last a lifetime.
This six session program for ages 8 to 15 is held at Veterans Memorial Park behind the Town Hall and runs from Monday, February 11 through March 25 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM (no class February 18). The fee is $80.00 and the registration number is 118080-B. If you are interested do not delay, this program will fill up fast!
The next few van trips with Pen-Rec’s “Out to Lunch Club” promise to be fun. The January 18 trip is a visit to Label 7 and Pittsford Farm and Dairy. Lunch is on your own. Depart the Community Center at 11:30 AM and return by approximately 2:00 PM. On February 15 the club goes to the Irish Mafia Brewing Co. in Bloomfield. Again, lunch is on your own. You depart the Community Center at 11:00 AM and return approximately by 2:30 PM. The fee for each of this programs is $10.00. The registration numbers are 149450-01 and 149450-02, respectfully.
The Penfield Public Library has a great lineup of programs planned for winter break week (February 18 to 22). These programs are very popular and tend to fill up very quickly so do not delay in signing-up. Check out page 43 of the Winter/Spring 2019 Pen-Rec brochure or go to www.penfieldlibrary.org for complete details.
Important Dates and Events in History: January 8, 1815 – American forces win the Battle of New Orleans; January 12, 1945 – American forces liberate the Philippines; this year January 21 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday will be observed.
This Wednesday, January 9, is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. If you see a New York State Trooper, Monroe County Sheriff, Rochester Police Officer, or a local community Police Officer, please thank them for their service and keeping our communities safe!
Until next week,
January 2, 2019
Supervisor's column January 2, 2019
On behalf of the Town Board, I would like to wish all Penfield residents a very healthy, prosperous, and happy New Year; I look forward to serving you as Town Supervisor in 2019.
The next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Penfield (FBP) will be held on Saturday, January 19 from 8:00 to 10:00 AM at 1862 Penfield Road. FBP invites you for delicious pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausages, and more—all for just $5.00 per person. All January proceeds will go directly to help support the Shepherd Home, a hospice care facility in Penfield providing 24-hour care for the terminally ill in a residential setting. Shepherd Home offers physical, emotional, and spiritual support to those facing the prospect of death. They also provide hospitality and support to family members and friends as well as bereavement counseling and community education. For more information on the Shepherd Home go to www.shepherdhome.org. Please note that Fellowship Hall is handicap accessible and the breakfast is outstanding! For more information and details, please visit www.fbpenfield.org.
Work on the solar array located adjacent to the DPW facility on Jackson Road is progressing nicely. Most of the rack bracing that supports the 3,648 solar panels is completed and the contractor has begun installing the first few rows of panels. This task will continue over the next two to four weeks with a goal of all having all panels installed and wired by end of January if the weather cooperates. Finally, we remain optimistic that we continue to run ahead of the projected February 22 “permission to operate” from RG&E. Stay tuned for further updates on this project.
The cleanup of compromised trees and hazardous conditions continues at the former back nine of Shadow Pines. The mild stretch of winter weather has given DPW crews more opportunity to work at the site rather than responding to the usual snow and ice removal expected this time of year. Our large excavator recently experienced some mechanical problems and will be in the shop for the next several weeks, thus our cleanup efforts will be slowed a bit. Our goal continues to have the property ready for cross-country skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing once we receive significant snow. We will keep everyone updated via this column and the website once this area is officially open.
More on Shadow Pines…we have recently heard from different sources that an individual or individuals have been seen bow hunting on the former back nine—this is troubling for many reasons. First, NO hunting is permitted on any town-owned property and no hunting is permitted anywhere in this part of town. Secondly, the back nine of Shadow Pines remains closed to the public and no one should be on the site for any reason. We have informed the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation of this concern. Anyone caught hunting on this or any town-owned property will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
With the recent mild weather many residents are already thinking about getting their spring gardens organized. If you are in the garden planning mood please mark your calendar for the “Seed Swap” hosted by the Penfield Community Victory Garden on Saturday, January 26 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Penfield Community Center. Participants will share seeds, learn from some fun talks, practice making seed-starting tools, and enjoy refreshments. There will be a demonstration on making your own environmentally friendly paper pots and a couple of really neat methods for creating your own seed tapes and “square-foot” pre-seeded papers.
Christine Froehlich (www.gardeningwithwhatyouhave.com), an instructor, garden designer and author, will present a slide-talk on winter-forcing flowering branches. This program is co-sponsored by the Penfield Community Victory Garden and Flower City Garden Network. This event is free and open to the public; however, pre-registration is requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember registration for all Pen-Rec Winter/Spring programs begins January 2, so do not delay in singing up!
Until next week, be well and be safe…happy New Year!
December 26, 2018
Supervisor's column December 26, 2018
Attention Pen-Rec enthusiasts! We accidently left these amazing programs out of our Winter/Spring 2019 program brochure and we did not want you to miss them just because we messed up!
Zumba…come enjoy the workout that feels like a party and is adaptable for everyone! Zumba is a fusion of dance music/moves from around the world, combined with fitness movements. There are no right or wrong steps and no experience or dance ability is needed. Just do what feels comfortable for you and enjoy. Burn up to 900 calories in one hour with instructor, Shelley (Contento) Ball. Shelley has been teaching Zumba, dance, and fitness classes for all levels and populations, both locally and internationally for over 15 years. She is extremely passionate about her classes, her students, and her routines. Come feel the music and get hooked on the energy!
Shelly (Contento) Ball
133860-01 Mon Jan 14-Feb 18 6:00-7:00PM $36
133860-02 Mon Mar 4-Apr 8 6:00-7:00PM $36
133860-03 Mon Apr 15-May 20 6:00-7:00PM $36
Penfield Community Center
Knitting Refresher…need a little help getting that next project started or finished? Join the knitting circle lead by avid knitter Joyce Bossard. No experience is necessary; she will teach anyone looking to learn as well as encourage life-long knitters who want an idea or an excuse to knit. Joyce has hundreds of patterns to share as well as a relaxed fun-filled atmosphere to knit in. Don’t knit, but crochet? No problem, any textile hobby is welcome!
162640-A Mon Jan 28-Mar 25 1:00-3:00PM $24
(no class 2/18)
162640-B Mon Apr 1-May 20 1:00-3:00PM $24
Penfield Community Center
Register online now at www.penfieldrec.org.
Did you receive a new TV, computer, monitor, tablet, or other electronic device this holiday season? We are reminded by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) this it is illegal to dispose of old, unwanted televisions and other covered electronic equipment (CCE) in the trash. Ecopark (located at 10 Avion Drive near the airport) is a partnership between Monroe County and Waste Management; they will accept most electronic waste as well many other materials. For more information including hours of operation, items they will and will not accept for recycling, and to find alternate drop-off locations, go to www.ecoparkmcny.com.
I am reminded by the Tax Receiver that the town and county tax bills will be available on December 31. If you are traveling and need your bill to go to a winter address, please contact the Tax Office at 340-8626.
Christmas tree recycling is once again available at the DPW facility, 1607 Jackson Road. All trees will be ground up and made part of the free mulch pile at the town hall from early spring until we run out of material for the year. Thank you in advance for not sending your tree to the landfill.
Reminder…program registration for Pen-Rec’s Winter/Spring 2019 offerings begins on Wednesday January 2, 2019 so do not delay as our programs fill up quickly due to their popularity!
The January 2 town board meeting is the organizational meeting for the year. At this meeting appointments are made for boards and committees, salaries are established, various contracts are authorized, banking arrangements are confirmed, consultants are named, and many other similar administrative tasks are addressed. Please tune-in to watch town board meetings live on Penfield Government Access cable channel 1303. You can also log on at www.penfield.org for live streaming video and to view recorded videos of past meetings of interest. Please stay connected to your local government.
Important dates and events in history: December 31, 1970 : The United States begins withdrawing troops from Vietnam; December 31, 1999 – Panama gains control of the Panama Canal from the United States; January 1, 1863 – President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves.
Until next week, enjoy the short week between Christmas and New Year’s Day with family and friends!
December 20, 2018
A Message from Supervisor LaFountain: Shadow Pines Maintenance Update
As has been the plan, earlier this month DPW crews began clearing dead, diseased, and compromised trees from the perimeter and interior of roughly 113 acres south of Clark and Whalen Roads—the former “back nine” of the golf course. DPW will continue this project along with traditional seasonal work in between snow and ice events and will be on site as much as possible as weather and schedules permit.
This cleanup is similar to the work we performed on the old front nine last spring/summer and consistent with our maintenance plan to make the long-neglected golf course safe for public use. That section was open to the public September 1, and we are now fulfilling our commitment to clean up and open the old back nine.
Our goal is to open this section to the public by the end of January 2019 for passive activities like hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding. No motorized vehicles are permitted.
As I have stated before, public safety is our priority. During this cleanup period the public is not allowed on any portion of the former back nine–signs stating this have been placed on the property. We will get the word out when maintenance is complete and it is safe to enjoy this area.
I will keep everyone posted on our progress in my column and this website. In the meantime, if you give or receive cross country skis, snowshoes, or a sled as a gift this season you can try them out at any time on the land north of Clark Road. Then, if schedules go as planned, you can explore the trails, fields, and hills of the southern section later next month.
The Shadow Pines Land use Advisory Committee continues its work to recommend future uses of all the land to the Penfield Town Board.
Thank you for your patience as we perform this necessary work.
December 17, 2018
Supervisor's column December 17, 2018
Last Thursday evening Councilwoman Paula Metzler and her family sponsored a Christmas tree lighting in the Four Corners at Schaufelberger Park to honor the brave men and women serving our country who will not be home for the holidays. Paula’s own nephew is one member of the military who will be serving and away from home and missed by family this Christmas. The American Legion, Braman Post 1229, members of various veterans service agencies, Boy Scout Troop 312 of Penfield, and many others were on hand to light this tree for all to enjoy this holiday season. On behalf of our town board and all Penfield residents, we say thank you to all who are currently serving and those who have served to provide us the freedom we have in our great country.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is sharing an appeal for “Less Waste & More Cheer” during the holiday season. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, Americans will generate 25 percent more trash than any other time of the year. Reducing, reusing, recycling and properly disposing of waste will help ensure the environment is clean and safe for generations to come while protecting wildlife and ecosystems.
What can you do to give more with less?
· Avoid single-use disposables—ditch single use disposables during mealtime, snacking, and on the go. Give a gift that never stops giving by gifting a reusable water bottle or travel mug. Forgo the ribbon and wrapping and give gifts in attractive reusable bags.
· Gift experiences over objects—plan a weekend getaway to go hiking, skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing. Enjoy a cooking, art, or fitness class with a friend or family member, visit a museum, or attend a musical or theater production together. Donate to a non-profit organization in the name of a loved one.
· Instill a love of nature—purchase an Empire Pass or campground gift card to experience NYS parks and campgrounds with family and friends.
And be sure to recycle right! Do not place the following items in your recycling bin:
· Ribbons—reuse ribbons where you can or dispose of in your garbage.
· Holiday lights—replace broken or blown bulbs for continual use or check with large home improvement stores for a recycling program.
· Plastic bags—return plastic bags and other film plastics to retail stores. Find a recycling location near you.
· Batteries—different types of batteries require different handling. (Read more about recycling batteries.)
· Wrapping paper—not all wrapping paper is recyclable; for information on this topic and more information on undertaking a sustainable holiday season, visit DEC's website at https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8829.html.
RG&E would like to share these important and potentially lifesaving winter reminders:
Keep vents and meters free from snow and ice
Keep vents and gas meters clear of snow and ice to prevent hazardous conditions. Snow, ice, and other debris can block exhaust vents for furnaces, water heaters and similar appliances, causing toxic fumes and poisonous carbon monoxide to build up indoors. Furthermore, snow and ice accumulation around natural gas meters and regulators can prevent gas company personnel and first-responders from locating and accessing them during an emergency.
Note the location of outdoor vents (including sidewall vents, meters and regulators) to make sure they remain clear and accessible. After storms, gently remove snow and debris by hand or with a broom to avoid damage. Be alert to potential ice accumulation on rooftops and gutters. Falling ice and snow can damage utility meters and regulators.
Always report emergencies
Call RG&E at 1.800.743.1702 to report gas leaks, odors, or damaged gas equipment. If you suspect a leak, get up and get out, leave the area or building and call from a safe place. If there’s an immediate danger call 911.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be located on every level of your home and outside all sleeping areas. Test them monthly and replace the batteries at least twice a year.
Never use your stove or oven to stay warm. Only space heaters intended for indoor use should be operated indoors or in enclosed spaces, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If you are unable to keep your home safely and comfortably heated call 311 for resources that can help you and your family.
Any generator that plugs into a home’s wiring should be connected via a transfer switch by a licensed electrician. This ensures that when the generator is in use, house wiring is isolated from utility lines. Improper installation can damage the generator and create hazards for utility employees working on poles and even the general public. If adding a natural gas-fired generator, consult your gas company to ensure there is adequate pressure. Generators should be placed outdoors and away from doors and windows to prevent exposure to carbon monoxide.
One more plug for this very important event this Friday…the American Red Cross will be holding its annual Holiday Blood Drive on Friday, December 21 at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road from 1:00 to 6:00 PM. Blood shortages are dangerously low! 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. Thank you in advance for making a difference in the give of life!
This is the last column before Christmas; on behalf of the town board and all of the employees of the town of Penfield, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday season!
December 10, 2018
Supervisor's column December 10, 2018
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.
December 5, 2018
A Message from Supervisor LaFountain: National Day of Mourning for President George H.W. Bush
Today is a National Day of Mourning for our 41st president, George H.W. Bush. As our former president is laid to rest today, citizens throughout the United States honor his service and memory. In our town of Penfield, we also remember and honor the Bush family’s humble Penfield roots. President Bush’s third great-grandparents, Timothy and Lydia Bush, were early Penfield residents. Timothy (1766-1850) worked as a blacksmith in Penfield; he is buried in Oakwood Cemetery alongside Lydia and daughter Lovina. President Bush acknowledged his Penfield lineage in a 1988 letter to former Rep. Frank Horton: “Now I can claim Monroe County as yet another home base.” We are indeed honored to count the Bush family among Penfield’s first families. The Town of Penfield thanks President George H. W. Bush for his lifetime of service to our nation, and we offer our condolences to the entire Bush family.
December 3, 2018
Supervisor's column December 3, 2018
The Winter/Spring 2019 Pen-Rec Brochure should have hit mailboxes over the weekend or will early this week, and the online version is now available at www.penfieldrec.org. Program registration begins January 2, so don’t miss out on signing up for your favorite programs!
Wisdom at its finest hour…the new lineup of Daytime Education at Recreation (DEAR) programs presents an exciting offering of classes and lectures for lifetime learners. Engaging in intellectual, socially viable cognitive activities to helps keep minds sharp and alert while reducing the risk or delaying the onset of age-related concerns. DEAR at the Penfield Community Center has become an important staple for adults who understand the significance of this concept and would like to reshape the way they spend their leisure time while meeting new and interesting people. Come join the national movement to learn and share life experience with others, exploring the multitude of FREE programs available. PLEASE NOTE MOST CLASSES ARE FREE BUT REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED! For a complete listing of programs please review pages 36-42 in the Winter/Spring 2019 Pen-Rec brochure or go to www.penfieldrec.org and click on the PDF.
Did you know that the Penfield Public Library, located at 1985 Baird Road, is a “Safe Place” community partner? Young people seeking assistance with housing, safety, or other crisis situations will be connected at the library with outreach workers from the Center for Youth who will assess the needs of the young person in question and access necessary services.
Adults 55+…come join Pen-Rec for lunch every Tuesday at the Community Center for only $4.00—this is no ordinary lunch! Menus are carefully selected and cooked on the premises that day using the freshest ingredients. We also partner with wonderful organizations like Legacy at Willow Pond to provide lunches. Lunch tickets must be purchased 24 hours in advance as we shop the morning of the lunch. Menus for “Tuesday Lunch” are available at the community center and online at www.penfieldrec.org. Here’s are samples from the lunch menu: Grilled Chicken Provolone with pesto and sundried tomato spread topped with baby spinach, blueberry cucumber salad; individual pizzas topped with smoked mozzarella and roasted vegetables; warm pasta bruschetta salad with balsamic glaze and fresh basil; marinated pork tenderloin sandwich on French bread topped with a crunchy Asian coleslaw and mustard chive sauce. Where else can you go for an amazing $4.00 lunch?
SportsNet is a service for residents with disabilities in partnership with CP Rochester, Rochester Rehabilitation, and the Al Sigl Community of Agencies. This partnership enhances SportsNet's offerings and provides a greater selection of fitness, adaptive sports, and inclusive recreation opportunities to individuals with disabilities. For more info, call the SportsNet office at 334-6000 ext.1120.
Penfield Television has been an integral part of the Public, Education, and Government Access network for more than 33 years. It serves the Penfield Community with a broadcast signal through Spectrum Cable, channels 1301 and 1303, high definition web stream at penfieldTV.org, and through ROKU. Penfield TV broadcasts LIVE proceedings of Town, Planning, and Zoning Board of Appeals meetings, along with informational meetings and public hearings. Additionally, school district, county, state, and national programs are also submitted for broadcast. Board meetings and other local programs are made available on-demand through YouTube, Vimeo, and ROKU under channel “Penfield Television.” Please tune in to see what is going on in your community!
I was recently reminded of the upcoming annual ”Wings of Light Luminaria” and open house at the Shepherd Home, 1959 Five Mile Line Road. The Shepherd Home is a two-bedroom home that operates under the hospice philosophy, providing 24-hour care for the terminally ill in a residential setting. Please join Shepherd Home Executive Director Ashley Tack, the Board of Directors, and many of the amazing volunteers for an evening of remembrance on Monday, December 10, 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Remember your loved ones or honor other angels by ordering your luminaria online at www.shepherdhome.org. They will be lighting and displaying luminaries on the grounds of the Shepherd Home; refreshments will be served and everyone is welcome.
As we head into the first full week of December, let us not forget National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day this Friday. Each year on December 7, Pearl Harbor survivors, veterans, and visitors from all over the world come together to honor and remember the 2,403 service members and civilians who were killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Also, 1,178 people were injured in the attack that permanently sank two U.S. Navy battleships (the USS Arizona and the USS Utah) and destroyed 188 aircraft. The flag should be flown at half-mast to honor those who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Until next week…be well and be safe!
November 26, 2018
Supervisor's column November 26, 2018
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. All December proceeds will go directly to benefit the new Open Door Mission’s Women & Children’s Residential Recovery Program. This initiative will provide a supportive transitional housing program for women and children in an environment that strengthens families through education, faith, responsibility, and independence. So bring the whole family, meet up with friends, or make new ones. Also there will 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 next guided hike by the Penfield Trails Committee will be held on Saturday, December 8 from 10:00 AM to noon at the Thousand Acre Swamp. This hike will tour the paths and boardwalks of the Nature Conservancy’s Thousand Acre Swamp. A variety of habitats including woods, meadows, and a pond will be covered. The guide will emphasize winter nature lore such as identifying trees in their winter dress, looking for tracks (if there is snow) and other signs of animals. Meet at the rear of Penfield Volunteer Ambulance, 1585 Jackson Road and look for the “hike signs.”
The 2019 Town of Penfield calendar is now available. This calendar lists all of the board and committee meetings, community activities, hikes, important phone numbers, recipes, and much more. This calendar is sponsored by the Penfield Recreation Department in conjunction with Wegmans, Hong Wah restaurant, and Woody Acres Farm. Pick up your copy at the community center, town hall or one of our sponsor’s locations.
Be on the lookout for the Winter/Spring 2019 Pen-Rec Brochure that will be hitting mailboxes over the next week. The online version will be available later this week. Program registration begins January 2, so do not delay in signing up as our programs are very popular and fill up quickly!
Solar array project update…as I mentioned last week, the solar array project is back on track. Over the next few months I will provide a regular update on the progress of this project located adjacent to the DPW facility on Jackson Road. Last week, the contractor completed the installation of approximately 350 I-beams that were driven into the ground to support racking and panels. Additionally, the trenching for all wire conduits began and is scheduled to be completed over the next several weeks. The racking frames were delivered last week and installation will begin over the next week or so, and the solar panels are due to arrive in mid-December. The current schedule shows a “permission to operate” (PTO) from RG&E towards the end of February.
Town employees sponsor a food drop container for the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf (PEFS) in the rotunda of the town hall and deliver the non-perishable food goods at the end of each month. If you are in the town hall please feel free to drop off can goods and other items for PEFS—the difference your generosity can make in the lives of many Penfield families is amazing. I would like to recognize Heidi Boehl and her team in Building/Zoning/Fire Marshal for coordinating this effort.
The next Pen-Rec “out-to-lunch” is scheduled for Friday, December 14 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the newly restored Lamberton Conservatory. You will depart from and return to the Community Center. The Lamberton Conservatory was originally constructed in 1911 and named in honor of Alexander B. Lamberton who was the president of the parks board from 1902 to 1915. Come and enjoy the beautiful scenery and wonderful flora. The registration number for this program is 449450-07 and the fee is $12.00.
The Hanukkah holiday begins at sundown on Sunday December 2 and runs through Monday, December 10. In celebration of Hanukkah, the Town of Penfield’s 5th annual menorah lighting will take place Tuesday, December 4 at 5:30 PM in Schaufelberger Park in the Four Corners. For more information, please contact Amy Steklof in the Town Clerk’s office at 340-8629 or email@example.com.
Important dates and events in history: November 28, 1775 – The Continental Navy is established by the Continental Congress; December 2, 1823 – The Monroe Doctrine is affirmed by President James Monroe in an address to Congress; December 3, 1818 – Illinois is the 21st state admitted to the Union.
Until next week, please consider visiting one of our many tree farms and farm markets to pick out a tree, wreath and other local products for this holiday season. Supporting local businesses makes a difference to our community in so many ways…thank you in advance!
November 19, 2018
Supervisor's column November 19, 2018
The 2018 Penfield Recreation Master Plan Committee recently completed a Recreation Input Survey to gather feedback from residents on the town’s recreation resources and offerings. They would now like to invite Penfield residents to participate in the next step of the Master Plan Update process, which is a Public Input Forum to be held on Thursday, November 29, 7:15 to 8:30 PM at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. This is an opportunity to speak directly to staff and the committee regarding Penfield's current and future indoor and outdoor recreation opportunities and needs.
The more input received from the community, the more effective the plan will be for the next five years. If you are interested in this topic please attend and participate in person. If you have ideas to share but cannot attend there is also an opportunity to give input online at www.penfieldrec.org (click on the quick links on the right side and choose 2018 Master Plan Update). Thank you in advance for your support on this very important project!
Does your family have what it takes to be elves? Why not find out at Santa's Little Elf Training Workshop on Saturday, December 8 at Dolomite Lodge to learn the basic skills needed to be Santa's helper! Meet Santa himself and take part in his ultimate training program. Register as a family for $10.00 and choose your time: 11:00 AM (#412660-A) or 12:30 PM (#412660-B) There is limited enrollment, please register early!
Holiday gift wrapping help needed: The Monroe County Sheriff's Office needs help wrapping gifts for their 2018 toy drive on Tuesday, December 18, 8:30 to 11:30 AM. Bus transportation to the Monroe County Sheriff's headquarters downtown will be provided and will depart the Penfield Community Center at 8:30 AM. Participants should meet at the community center no later than 8:15 AM. Dozens of gifts will be waiting to be wrapped, refreshments will be provided, and there will be a tour of the facility and a meet-and-greet with some of the officers of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. If you would like to be a part of the team, please call 340-8655, option 0 to reserve a spot.
One last reminder… residents may begin reserving Penfield lodges and shelters for 2019 on Wednesday, December 5 at 10:00 AM. Lodges and shelters may be reserved online or in-person; however, we highly recommend reserving online. You will need a Penfield Recreation household account in order to reserve, so please make sure you do this BEFORE December 5 to avoid reservation delays. For more information and to obtain a household account, please log-on at www.penfieldrec.org. Our lodges are very popular and demand is high, sign-in early to get your preferred date(s) for rental.
Mark your calendars for the Penfield Symphony Orchestra concert to be held on Monday, December 3 at 7:30 PM in the Penfield High School Auditorium. This concert is entitled Favorites for the Holidays and is sponsored by Canandaigua National Bank & Trust. Music Director and Conductor Dr. David Harman has lead the PSO for nineteen years and promises another wonderful performance to help everyone get into the holiday spirit. Free rides to the concerts are available through Lifespan by calling 872-0774. Please call two weeks before the concert, rides are subject to driver availability. For more information on this concert and others during the 2018-2019 season, please go to www.penfieldsymphony.org.
After a long delay by the contractor, work has actively started back up on the town’s 1.2-plus kilowatt solar project located at the DPW facility on Jackson Road. This project we are undertaking with Tesla is now due to be completed in the first quarter of 2019. Power generated from this system will go towards off-setting the cost of electricity for our three major facilities: the town hall, community center, and DPW. To give you a sense of the electrical power projected to be generated annually from this system, it would power the equivalent of 300 homes per year for the life of the panels which is project to be 25-plus years. The installation costs and materials are being paid for by Tesla with no Penfield taxpayer funding. Tesla and the Town of Penfield will share in the profits generated from the project.
Until next week, please enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends and remember why the day was established. In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November. Sadly, what Thanksgiving has become to many is a cloud of media hype, sales pitches, marketing tactics, and blitz commercialism. Please take a moment during the day to give thanks!
November 13, 2018
Supervisor's column November 13, 2018
As we prepare for the 2018-19 snow season, the Department of Public Works and Monroe County Sheriff’s Department would like to remind homeowners that Section 1219 of the Vehicle and Traffic law and section 214 of the Highway Law of New York State specifically prohibit placing snow, ice or other substances upon the highway, including pavement, shoulders, and ditches. These restrictions include pushing snow across a highway or into a cul-de-sac.
Many neighbors complain about violations of these laws during the winter months. Failure to comply with these laws may result in response, tickets, and fines from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Please help keep our roadways safe for all residents in our community by plowing, blowing or shoveling snow only onto your own property. If you contract with a snow plowing service please share this communication and ask them to ensure you are in compliance with the law. Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.
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. Clients must be ambulatory and not on oxygen (canes and walkers are acceptable; however, this service cannot accommodate wheelchairs). This service is available to seniors who live or pay taxes within Brighton or Penfield. Rides are available from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (except holidays) weekdays for medical appointments, weekends for religious services and any day for community centers. For planning purposes, ride requests must be made one to three weeks in advance. Rides are dependent on driver availability, and the service may not be used for medical appointments that require any type of sedation.
Please note that VOLUNTEER DRIVERS AND DISPATCHERS ARE NEEDED! Volunteer drivers are screened and trained by Lifespan’s Give a Lift program and they receive supplemental insurance for their services. Dispatchers work out of their home one day a week three hours or less. If you are interested, please call 585-340-8674 to request enrollment in the program, to schedule a ride, volunteer, or make a donation.
Tonight (November 13) at 7:00 PM the Shadow Pines Land Use Advisory Committee will be holding a public information meeting to give residents an opportunity to offer up their ideas on how the property should be used in the future. If you are unable to attend this meeting, you may go online and fill out an electronic form to submit your ideas to the committee. This form will be available until December 4.
As you can imagine, there are a number of rumors and false statements on social media about what will or will not happen to the property and buildings. As I have stated before, please refer to the town’s website for the most accurate information about this project and other projects in our community. Some misinformed individuals are intentionally or unintentionally sharing inaccurate details about the Clark House, overall use of the property, and are making other generally false statements. Complete details on the current status of the property can be found by logging on to www.penfield.org, and clicking on Shadow Pines.
The holidays are fast approaching—are you looking for a unique and always appreciated gift for someone? Give your friend or loved one a gift certificate for Penfield Recreation! Certificates are available in any denomination and may be purchased at the Recreation office, 1985 Baird Road, or over the phone with a credit card at (585) 340-8655, option 0. Gift certificates are good for any of Penfield Recreation’s programs or services. Give them a gift they can use, the gift of wellness!
Important dates and events in history: November 11, 1918 – the Allied and Central Powers sign an Armistice, ending World War I, now celebrated as Veterans Day. I hope everyone took a moment to reflect on this 100 year anniversary. November 17, 1869 – the Suez Canal opens for business, in Egypt, linking the Mediterranean and Red seas; November 18, 1805 – Lewis and Clark reach the Pacific Ocean.
Until next week be well and be safe!