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October 19, 2017
Penfield 2018 Town Budget Adopted

Penfield Town Supervisor Tony LaFountain and the Penfield Town Board adopted the Town’s Final 2018 Budget at the October 18 legislative meeting. 

The Final 2018 Budget, including special districts, is $19.1 M.  The Town Operating Budget, without special districts, is $16.2M. 

As in previous years, expenditures not under the Town of Penfield’s control continue to see double-digit increases. In 2018, this includes an estimated 10 percent increase in health insurance premiums and continued contributions to the New York State retirement system of approximately 15 to 20 percent of payroll. Though the Town was able to mitigate the cost of workers compensation by choosing a new carrier through competitive solicitation, workers compensation represents nearly six percent of payroll. 

Estimated revenues will increase due to major funding sources coming in stronger than in recent years. This is an encouraging sign of an improving economy; however, the Town continues to estimate revenue conservatively.

The 2018 town tax rate remains at $2.69 per $1,000 of assessed property value, which is the same as the 2017 rate. At this rate, a property in Penfield with a valuation of $190,000 will be $511.10 for general governmental services. Once again, the town tax levy increase is below the increase allowed by New York State.

Penfield’s property tax rate remains one of the lowest of the 19 towns in in Monroe County. The town general taxes continue to account for approximately eight percent of each tax dollar. County taxes account for 24 percent, and school taxes account for the remaining 68 percent. 

“The Town’s share is the smallest piece of the pie accounting for approximately eight percent. With that smallest portion, we provide the necessary day-to-day services of public works, recreation, and also facets of public safety upon which residents depend,” said Supervisor Tony LaFountain. “Yet, for all the Town services provided, the monthly cost per household is a fraction of what many families spend on cable and internet each month.” 

With this Final Budget, there will be no cuts to services or programs. New services and programs for youth are coming in 2018 through partnerships with Earthworks Institute and Rochester Parkour. PenRec will also become a satellite location for OSHER, a provider of senior education programs.

Penfield’s growth rate for 2018 is again among the highest in the county. The positive impact of actual new “bricks and mortar” properties has resulted in an allowable tax base growth factor increase of nearly one percent 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 continued to receive a “no designation” in New York State’s Fiscal Monitoring system. With a score of 14.2 percent, the Town of Penfield is once again well below the 44.9 percent point that the State deems the start of possible fiscal stress. Factors included in the State’s review include cash ratio, employee salaries, debt burden, and fund balance.

As of October 20, print copies of the Final 2018 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. The Final Budget is also available online at www.penfield.org  (go to ‘Quick Links,’ ‘Town Budget’). 

PENFIELD 2018 BUDGET TIMELINE

June to September 2017 - Town Supervisor, Town Comptroller and staff conduct budget work sessions; prepare 2018 Tentative Budget

September 6, 2017 - Town Supervisor, Town Comptroller present a summary of the 2018 Tentative Budget to the Town Board and community; document made public for review (during this period, Tentative Budget becomes the Preliminary Budget)

September 6-October 12, 2017 - Public comment period

October 4, 2017 - Public hearing on 2018 Preliminary Budget; public comments received

October 5-17, 2017 - Town Board reviews comments, develops a Final Budget

October 18, 2017 - Town Board legislative meeting, adoption of a Final 2018 Budget

October 20, 2017 - Town submits the Penfield Adopted 2018 Budget to County of Monroe, Adopted Budget made public


October 16, 2017
Supervisor's column October 16, 2017

As the leaves fall in the coming weeks and we continue to see high amounts of rain for the season, please keep an eye on yard inlets and roadside catch-basins to make sure they are not blocked with leaves and debris. Keeping them clear will help to minimize any flooding to you and your neighbors…thank you!

Saturday, October 21 from 8:00 to 10:00 AM is the next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser at the First Baptist Church of Penfield (FBP), 1862 Penfield Road. FBP invites you for delicious pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage and more—all for just $5.00 per person.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month which means that this month’s proceeds will help support “Willow” Domestic Violence Center; their vision is a community free from domestic violence where healthy relationships thrive. So bring the whole family, meet up with friends or make new ones. Fellowship Hall is handicapped accessible and the breakfast is outstanding! For more information and details, please visit www.fbpenfield.org

Last week Penfield Rotary and the Penfield Recreation Department held their 7th annual bike drop-off to support R Community Bikes. The group collected 115 bikes to be donated with a seven year total of 1,358 bikes from the Penfield Community. Fewer bikes going to the landfill and more bikes being provided to those less fortunate—that’s surely a win/win event!

Mark your calendars for the next Penfield Players performance entitled Red Herring, written by Michael Hollinger and directed by Donald B. Bartalo. Set in the 1950s, Red Herring spoofs the Red Scare era politics and culture sending up everything from the H-bomb to Joseph McCarthy’s daughter. Red Herring is fauxnoir gumshoe dramedy. This genre is characterized by cynicism, fatalism and moral ambiguity. Red Herring uses the standard themes of the noir detective story, hard-boiled and hard drinking detective down on his luck; sadder-but-wiser love interest, beautiful but hard-bitten; fiendish criminal; indifferent bureaucratic police force–to create something so ridiculous that audience members are compelled to giggle and snort!

Show dates are October 27, 28 and November 3, 4, 10, 11 at 8:00 PM at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. There will be a Sunday matinee on November 5 at 2:00 PM. Pre-sale tickets are $12.00 and may be purchased at the Penfield Recreation Department or by phone at 340-8655, or via the web at www.penfieldplayers.org. Remaining tickets will be sold at the door for $15.00. 

One last reminder…as the Bri-Pen Senior Rides continue to increase in volume they can use additional drivers and dispatchers. If you have some free time and would like to help out, please call 340-8674 to speak to a representative. 

Don’t forget the Family Halloween Fun event is this Friday, October 20 at the Community Center from 6:00 to 8:00 PM; it’s FREE fun for all ages. There will also be a 19th Century Séance with performances every half hour beginning at 5:00 PM. The cost of this event will be $5.00 at the door. (The Séance performances may not be appropriate for children under 10 years.) 

Important Dates and Events in History: October 15, 1991 – National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial dedicated; October 17, 1946 – Winston Churchill proclaims “an Iron Curtain” has swept across the continent (Europe) beginning the Cold War; and October 19, 1845 – U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis is founded. 

Until next week, please remember to rake off the leaves on the yard inlets and catch basins to minimize flooding…thanks again!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org   


October 10, 2017
Supervisor's column October 10, 2017

The 2017-18 season of the Penfield Symphony Orchestra, celebrating 62 years of bringing wonderful music to the Penfield and Rochester communities, begins Monday, October 23 under the leadership of Dr. David Harman Music Director. This first concert, entitled Old World – New World and sponsored by Heathwood Assisted Living, features soloist Mark Kellogg who was the principal trombone with the RPO from 1989 to 2017.

All PSO concerts are held at the Penfield High School Auditorium and begin at 7:30 PM. Free rides to the concerts are available from Lifespan by calling 872-0774; please call two weeks before concerts. For more information on this concert and the 2017-18 schedule, please log-on at www.penfieldsymphony.org.

I received the numbers from Monroe County on the Penfield-Webster Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event held on September 16. This event served 530 residents; approximately 15.6 tons of hazardous materials was collected and kept from entering our ecosystem through storm and sanitary sewers or improper disposal into area landfills. The county reports that this was a record collection for the amount of residents served and material collected.

A reminder to all residents, the 2018 budget is online for review. The town board will be collecting any and all comments until Monday, October 16. If you would like to sit down with me and/or our comptroller please contact my office at 340-8630 to arrange a time to meet. The town board plans to adopt the 2018 budget at their legislative session on Wednesday, October 18 at 7:00 PM.

Two things to remember this coming Saturday, October 14: First, the Penfield Trails Committee will be hosting a guided hike at Lucien Morin Park from 10:00 AM to noon. Meet at Empire Blvd. at the south end of Irondequoit Bay, there is a Monroe County Parks sign and driveway entrance just east of MacGregor’s Grill & Tap Room. Second, the annual Penfield recycling day will be held from 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM at the DPW facility, 1607 Jackson Road. Materials accepted for recycling are metals and appliances, brush, and clothing. There will also be a secure document destruction vehicle on site to shred confidential documents. Please note that NO ELECTRONICS will be accepted.

In speaking recently with Penfield Librarian Bernadette Brinkman, she asked me to pass along appreciation to all in the Penfield community who took part in the annual Friends of Penfield Public Library (FPPL) book sale. The sale was an unqualified success, yielding proceeds that exceeded those of last year. The FPPL are already looking forward to next year’s event. Here are some little-known facts about the book sale:

-All money raised goes to fund programming for all ages at the library and to purchase items that directly benefit library patrons, thus saving money for Penfield taxpayers.

-The library accepts donations of materials for the sale all year long, during library open hours.

-A hard-working team of volunteers works for a full year ahead of each book sale, sorting donated materials into categories to make browsing for bargains at the sale easier to find.

-This year marks the 41st anniversary of the Friends’ book sale.

-If you missed the book sale, surplus donations are available to acquire whenever the library is open.  

I would like to close with a bright spot in our community. I understand that approximately 12 Penfield girls (2nd and 4th graders) who all attend Cobbles Elementary School started a “Caring Club” with the focus of community caring. This past Saturday morning they held a bake sale. The rain did not seem to deter them, rather it made the fun more memorable. This group of young ladies raised over $400 in two hours to donate to the Hurricane Relief Fund and Golisano’ s Children’s Hospital. For all our residents who stopped by to support them…thank you! For all the young ladies involved in the “Caring Club,” congratulations to all of you for your support and compassion for those who were impacted or are ill. All of you are wise beyond your years and are a shining example of what community is all about. Great job ladies, you hit a home run!

Until next week, let’s learn from these 12 young ladies, help a senior citizen neighbor with a small project, perform a random act of kindness for someone, or take a moment to spend some time at one of our senior living facilities. You will be amazed at the impact your kindness will have on them and yourself!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org  


October 5, 2017
A message from Supervisor LaFountain regarding Shadow Pines property

October 5, 2017

Dear Moratorium Committee Members and residents of Penfield:

I would like to provide an update on the Town of Penfield’s actions to purchase the Shadow Pines golf course from Dolomite/Oldcastle as recommended by the Shadow Pines/Shadow Lake Community Moratorium Advisory Committee. 

On September 29, 2017 the Town of Penfield signed a Letter of Intent for Purchase and Sale of Real Property Shadow Pines Golf Course.

Both parties are working now to complete a Purchase Agreement. Based on the Letter of Intent, we are looking to complete the process in 30 business days or less from the date of execution, September 29, 2017.

The Town of Penfield is working to complete SEQR environmental review. We are also in discussions with bond counsel and financial advisors. 

I will provide updates on our progress as we hit key milestones.  

To learn more about The Shadows go to http://www.penfield.org/Golf_The_Shadows.php .

Sincerely,

R. Anthony LaFountain

Penfield Town Supervisor


October 3, 2017
Passport Night in Penfield Oct 17, 2017

Penfield residents in need of a new or updated passport are invited to attend “Passport Night in Penfield” on Tuesday, October 17, 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the Penfield Town Hall, 3100 Atlantic Avenue. This service comes to Penfield through the partnership of Monroe County and the Town of Penfield. Please call Town Clerk Amy Steklof at 340-8627 to sign up in advance, however registration is not required.

“I am again pleased to work with the Monroe County Clerk’s Office to help local residents conveniently apply for their passports right here in Penfield,” said Amy Steklof.  “We get a great turnout every time we host this service.” 

Residents may also apply for a Passport Card, which is limited to land and sea crossing between the US and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. Some passport renewals may be eligible to renew by mail and save the $25 processing fee. County Clerk staff will review options with applicants on an individual basis.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Town of Penfield on providing this vital service to residents," said Monroe County Clerk Adam J. Bello.  "Passport Night allows residents to have helpful one-on-one interactions with Clerk staff to ensure all of their questions are answered and their passport needs are met."

Passport applicants must provide proof of U.S. citizenship in one of three forms: a certified copy of a birth certificate with a raised seal and their parents’ names; original naturalization papers, or an old U.S. passport issued in the person’s name. Children under 16 will still need to bring their raised seal birth certificate even if they have an old passport. Proof of identity is also required in the form of a valid NYS Driver License or non-Driver ID, a valid military ID, naturalization papers issued to the applicant as an adult, or an INS Alien Registration Card. People born in Monroe County may obtain a copy of their birth certificate by contacting the Bureau of Vital Statistics. Visit the department’s website at http://www.monroecounty.gov/clerk-records.php#band for details.

The fee for a new US Passport for an applicant 16 and older is $135 ($110 plus a $25 application fee). For an applicant under 16 the fee is $105 ($80 plus a $25 application fee). Renewals by mail are $110. Passport cards - which may be used only for travel by land or sea between the US, Canada, and Mexico - are $55 ($30 plus a $25 application fee) for age 16 and older and $40 ($15 plus a $25 application fee) for applicants under 16. Passport card renewals are $30.00.  Passport photos remain at $7.00 for a set of two.

For application requirements, residents can visit the County Clerk’s website at http://www.monroecounty.gov/clerk-passports.php . Residents may download a passport application to complete in advance.  Forms are available on the US Department of State’s Travel website at http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html .

Passport processing time typically takes 4-6 weeks. Please call the Monroe County Clerk’s Office at 585-753-1600 with specific questions regarding the passport application process. 

Please Note: Applicants between the ages of 16 to 18 must appear with a parent or legal guardian. Children under 16 must appear with both parents or legal guardians or one parent or guardian may appear, if and only if, the parent or guardian that is not present completes and has notarized a DS-3053 Form, Statement of Consent: Issuance of a Passport to a Minor Under Age 16 along with a copy of their Driver License.


October 2, 2017
Fall Recycling Day for Penfield Residents Oct 14

The Town of Penfield will host a one-day recycling event for Penfield residents on Saturday, October 14, 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM at its Public Works Complex, 1607 Jackson Road. Services for the day are secure document destruction, metals and appliance recycling, brush disposal, and clothing and linens donations. There will be NO ELECTRONICS recycling at this event. 

“This is the fifth year we have hosted this fall event to help residents dispose of unwanted recyclables and reduce the amount of waste being sent to the landfills,” said Supervisor Tony LaFountain. “Throughout the year residents have many outlets to donate or recycle unwanted household items. Ecopark is an excellent county resource.” 

Recycling Day 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.

Event Resources:

To dispose of items NOT collected at this event consider:

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), cooking oil/grease, fluorescent lights, clothing, sharps and syringes, and more. Ecopark offers regular collections for NO FEE. Ecopark also offers many special collection days for household hazardous waste and pharmaceutical and medication disposal. For hours and more information go to www.monroecounty.gov/ecopark

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.

To dispose of unwanted bicycles, please bring them to the Town of Penfield and Penfield Rotary bicycle collection event for R Community Bikes on October 7, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM (one week BEFORE recycling day) at the Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. 


October 2, 2017
Supervisor's column October 2, 2017

The annual Penfield Residential Fall Recycling Day will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2017 from 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM at the DPW complex, 1607 Jackson Road. This recycling day is for Penfield residents only and proof of residency will be checked at the gate. Please direct questions to the Department of Public Works, 340-8710, Monday to Friday, 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM. This event will include Eco-Green Park certified document destruction, Alpco metals recycling, and St. Pauly Textile Shed. DPW will also accept brush (no grass) on-site. 

To dispose of items NOT collected at this event consider Monroe County’s year-round Ecopark facility 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), cooking oil/grease, fluorescent lights, clothing, sharps and syringes, and more. Ecopark offers regular collections for NO FEE. Ecopark also offers many special collection days for household hazardous waste and pharmaceutical and medication disposal. For hours and more information go to www.monroecounty.gov/ecopark. To dispose of televisions and electronics contact retailers that sell those products. New York State law prohibits trash haulers from collecting electronic waste. 

Last week I had the honor of attending the Kiwanis Club of Penfield-Perinton Installation of Officers and Community Awards Dinner. The Kiwanis Club gives back 100 percent of the funds raised each year to deserving organizations. This year the list included Challenger Miracle Field of Rochester, East Rochester Resource Center, Flower City Outreach, Golisano Children’s Hospital – Social Work Fund, JACK Foundation, Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf, Penfield Key Club, Penfield Volunteer Fire Department, Perinton Food Shelf, Villa of Hope, Village of East Rochester – Pavilion Sponsorship, The Bethany House, The Don Mack Scholarship Fund, and the Shepherd Home.

Additionally, Kiwanis presented the first annual Robert A. Calabrese Community Volunteer of the Year Award. Mr. Calabrese is a founding member of the Penfield Perinton Kiwanis Club and was recently recognized for 55 years of service. The award was presented to Jim Costello, an employee of the Town of Penfield for more than 37 years. I cannot think of a more deserving person to receive this recognition, I congratulate Kiwanis on their selection and Jim on receiving this very prestigious award and recognition. 

Kiwanis is more than service. It is a lifestyle, a source of personal experience, fellowship, and self-expression. This group of men and women have created a great impact on the life and improvement of our communities.

Mark your calendars for the annual Family Halloween Fun night on Friday, October 20 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Penfield Community Center. Families will enjoy games, trick-or-treat, hay rides, crafts, and more. This event is FREE fun for all ages! Also new this year you will be able to witness an historical staging of a 19th Century Séance. Performances will be held every half hour beginning at 5:00 PM; tickets will be $5.00 at the door. Please note this event may not be appropriate for children under 10 years old. 

The Homecoming Weekend 5K, sponsored by the non-profit Penfield Education Foundation (PEF), will be held on Sunday, October 15 starting at the Penfield High School track. PEF is newly formed and is sponsoring this 5K race/run to provide a morning of healthy exercise. A children’s race, which will not be officially timed, will follow the running of the 5K. Participants registered by October 12 will receive a long sleeve cotton tee-shirt and the first 200 registrants will also receive a Nalgene water bottle. Register at https://runsignup.com/penfieldeducationfoundation

Until next week, please remember the annual bike drop this Saturday, October 7 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Community Center. This bike donation event is sponsored by Penfield Rotary and Penfield Recreation to benefit R Community Bikes. 

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 


September 28, 2017
School Tax Full Payment DEADLINE is Monday, October 2nd.

When a due date falls on a weekend or holiday you have until the next business day as stated on the back of your bill.


September 25, 2017
Supervisor's column September 25, 2017

Interested in helping a neighbor? Drivers are needed for Bri-Pen senior rides. As the program continues to grow and some current drivers are making their annual winter trips to Florida, we are in need of additional drivers to help support this wonderful program for Brighton or Penfield seniors by driving them to medical appointments, religious services, or to the town recreation center.

Drivers are trained by Lifespan’s “Give a Lift” program and are given free supplemental car insurance. If you would like to help but do not wish to drive, you can volunteer to dispatch for the program one day a week from your home by retrieving messages and making phone calls. This takes less than two hours per week. To volunteer, simply call 340-8674—it will make a difference in many lives!

Last Thursday I had a surprise visit from members of the Atria Senior Living staff (Merica and Randy) and two of their residents (Karen and Cindy) who were celebrating World Gratitude Day. This is the second year Atria has come to the town hall to thank our staff for making a difference in Penfield. They dropped off chocolate chip cookies and #goGrateful wrist bands. Their message to us was, “The power of gratitude is in the sharing!” What a wonderful way to spend 20 minutes of our day, speaking with residents and staff of Atria Senior Living. Gratitude is meant to be expressed; so to Karen, Cindy, Merica and Randy, thank you for making our day special in so many ways.  

This weekend was one of the nicest we have seen all summer—all sunshine! That was a picture perfect scenario for the annual “Walking on Sunshine” event held Sunday by Mary Cariola in Veterans Memorial Park. This is the second year Mary Cariola has held this amazing event in Penfield and we hope to have it continue for many years to come. More than 2,000 students, residents, staff and families participated in this family friendly event that included lunch, music, team photos, a fabulous raffle and silent auction, prizes, team mascots, and much more.  

President/CEO Karen Zandi said the organization had a lofty goal of raising $175,000 and I believe they surpassed that goal. Congratulations to Mary Cariola and their entire team for a very successful event. Funding will help support the newest residential home in our great community on State Road. Construction should be completed later this year. For more information about this amazing organization please visit www.marycariola.org

The next guided hike by the Penfield Trails Committee will be held on Saturday, October 14 at Lucien Morin Park. This hike will traverse slopes and ravines, creek banks, and heavily wooded areas along Irondequoit Creek. You will see elements of the old rifle range, the location of the clubhouse, the restored gazebo, and shooting range pits. You will also see autumn colors creeping into the woods.

To attend, meet at Empire Blvd. at the south end of Irondequoit Bay. There is a Monroe County Parks sign and driveway entrance just east of MacGregor’s Grill & Tap Room; park in the graveled area. The hike runs from 10:00 AM to noon, look for the hike signs. (All hikes are free, but pre-registration is required. Call Penfield Recreation at 340-8655. Please, no pets on hikes.)

Throughout the year, many people ask where they can recycle electronics. If you have unwanted electronics mark your calendar for the next free recycling event sponsored by Senator Rich Funke on Saturday, October 7 from 9:00 AM to noon at the Medley Centre, 285 Medley Centre Parkway. Please, only four tube televisions/monitors per vehicle. For more information please visit www.funke.nysenate.gov. (Note: The Town of Penfield’s Fall Recycling Day for residents is Saturday, October 14. This event will NOT include electronics recycling. Services are secure document shredding, metals and appliance recycling, brush disposal, and clothing/linen donations. More on that in next week’s column.)

Another important event for your calendar on Saturday, October 7 is the Penfield Community Bike Drop from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. This event is sponsored by Penfield Rotary and Penfield Recreation. All bikes will be donated to R Community Bikes, Inc. for Rochester’s needy children and adults. For more information about R Community Bikes, Inc. go to www.rcommunitybikes.net. Receipts will be provided documenting all donations. This event is free and open to the public.

Until next week, enjoy the unusually warm weather as we know what lies ahead in the coming months!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 


September 18, 2017
Supervisor's Column for September 18, 2017

Supervisor’s column September 18, 2017

The weather on Saturday was picture perfect for the hundreds of attendees who enjoyed the annual Tastin’ the Blues festivities. The music by Steve Grills and the Roadmasters with Joe Beard was fabulous, as it has been for the last decade!

A special thank you to all the chili contest participants and to those who won the judges’ and people’s choice awards. This event closes out the 2017 Penfield Amphitheater & Kiwanis Stage series. I would like to recognize Steve Orsini of Penfield Recreation and all the staff who supported him in making this another wonderful season. The shell will be taken down over the next few weeks and stored for the winter, but rest assured the 2018 series is being planned and we look forward to another great season to kick-off in late May!

Last week I had the honor of attending the grand opening and ribbon cutting at the Hampton Inn on Panorama Trail South, the newest business to open in Penfield. Indus Hospitality Group and president Jett Mehta have moved their corporate offices to this location. I have heard from many residents who have had family and friends stay at this hotel. They rave about the staff, accommodations, and the location. Please join me in welcoming Indus Hospitality Group to the community of Penfield.

I want to give a shout-out to Laurie Broccolo and her team at Broccolo Tree & Lawn Care for the opening of the B-Friendly Farm at their garden center, 2755 Penfield Road. The B-Friendly Farm is an ecologically friendly agricultural educational destination. The farm supports both agricultural production and biodiversity working in harmony to improve the local community. The property features a butterfly house, laying hens, honey bees, and a wildflower field. Broccolo has included wonderful examples of sustainable landscaping using permeable pavers, walkways made of recycled tires, turf grass and gardens managed through integrated pest management practices, rain gardens, rain barrels, and a green roof. I encourage visits to their garden center, it is a great learning experience for all ages!

The 2017-18 school year is now well underway and family routines are getting back to normal, making this a good time to refocus attention on the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf (PEFS). This wonderful organization provides assistance to more than 80 families on a weekly basis and there are a number of ways you can support their efforts. Your family, neighborhood, or business could adopt a shelf. You can donate when you order from Amazon, donate empty bottles and cans, donate your garden harvest, host a food drive, donate through the United Way, or make a tax deductible monetary donation. For more information on how you can support the PEFS, go to www.penfieldecumenicalfoodshelf.org.

Mark your calendars for the annual Penfield Community Bike Drop sponsored by Penfield Rotary and the Penfield Recreation to be held on Saturday, October 7 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Penfield Community Center. Used bicycles will be collected and donated to R Community Bikes, Inc., a Rochester based organization that repairs and distributes bicycles free of charge to Rochester’s needy children and adults. This is a great way to clean out your garage for the winter and donate those bikes, tricycles, big wheels and more to a great organization and a future bike owner!

The next Nels Carman Big Band Night is Tuesday, October 5 from 7:30 to 9:30 PM at the Penfield Community Center in the gym. The fee is $1.00 at the door. The Penfield Rotary Band will play your favorite big band sounds for dancing and listening. The dates for the rest of the 2017 performances are November 7 and December 5.

Until next week, enjoy this great warm weather! Visit a park, hike a trail, or explore a playground. This is a great time of the year to be outside and enjoying our community!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org


September 11, 2017
Supervisor's Column for September 11, 2017

Today marks the sixteenth anniversary of September 11 when this country was brutally attacked and many lives were lost and families impacted. I would ask all of our residents to take a minute to reflect on this terrible event in our history and remember all of those individuals who lost their lives. We will not falter. We will not fear. We will not fail. We will not forget!  

Mark your calendars…we will be hosting the next “Passport Night in Penfield” on Tuesday, October 17, 5:30 – 7:30PM in the auditorium at the Town Hall. Passport night has been an extremely popular for individuals thinking about getting a passport or updating one that has expired. Signing up in advance is encouraged, but not required. For more details, contact the Town Clerk’s Office at 340-8629. 

Last reminder…please stop in this Saturday, September 16,  from 12 to 4PM at the Penfield Amphitheater for the fourteenth annual Tastin’ the Blues. This is a wonderful event with good music (Steve Grills and the Roadmasters), Genesee Brew House sampling, great food all day, and of course a host of many great chili recipes to try. Please stop by and try all of the award-winning chili recipes and vote for your favorite! 

The comptroller and I presented the 2018 tentative budget to the Town Board last week. This tentative budget will become the preliminary budget, and a public hearing will be held October 4 to hear any and all comments and to answer any specific questions our residents have on the proposed $19.1M budget. The 2018 tax rate remains at $2.69 per $1,000 of assessed property value, which is the same as the 2017 rate. Additionally, the proposed tax levy increase is below the increase allowed by New York State.

The budget is available on-line at www.penfield.org (go to “quick links,” and “Town Budget”). Copies are also available at the Penfield Public Library or by contacting the Office of the Comptroller at the Town Hall at 340-8621.

Since the dedication of Jack’s Place at Rothfuss Park, this playground has been the hottest spot in the county for kids to come and play. The new playground includes slides, bridges, tunnels, swings, balance beams, climbing elements, a dinosaur dig, and a little library. On behalf of the Town Board and the entire Penfield community, I would like to once again recognize the JACK Foundation and Anne & AJ Heiligman for the donation of this wonderful playground to Penfield. To support and learn more about JACK Foundation, please visit www.jack-foundation.org and follow JACK Foundation on Facebook.

Do you want a break from cooking breakfast and dinner for a weekend? Well, I have two wonderful food events coming up that will get you out of the kitchen and support two great organizations. First, Boy Scout Troop 312—celebrating their 52nd year—will be sponsoring their annual Pancake Breakfast the weekend of September 30 and October 1 at the Penfield Fire Hall in the Four Corners. Breakfast will be served from 8 to 11AM.

For dinner, the First Baptist Church of Penfield will be hosting a chicken barbeque on Saturday, September 30 from 2 to 6PM (or until sold out). Chickens will be prepared on site by Gale-Wyn Catering, dinners are $10.50 and include a half barbequed chicken, coleslaw or macaroni salad, salt potatoes, roll & butter and a dessert. Bring your family and tell your neighbors—you can eat in or take out! Thank you in advance for supporting our service and church organizations in Penfield.

September 10–16 is National Assisted Living Week. The theme this year is “Family is Forever,” which recognizes the unique bonds assisted living residents and staff members form. Assisted living is a long-term care service that fosters choice, dignity, independence, and autonomy in our elderly nationwide. I urge all citizens to visit friends and loved ones who reside at these facilities, and also to learn more about assisted living services and how they benefit our communities. 

Until next week, enjoy the start of the fall weather, and consider visiting one of our many farm markets to load up on the fall harvest and other wonderful treats they offer!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org  


September 8, 2017
Supervisor, Comptroller present 2018 Tentative Budget, Public Hearing set

Penfield Supervisor Tony LaFountain and Town Comptroller Barbara Chirdo presented the proposed 2018 Tentative Town Budget to the Penfield Town Board and community on Wednesday, September 6.

The proposed 2018 Tentative Budget, including special districts, is $19.1M. The proposed Town Operating Budget (without special districts) is $16.2M. 

As in previous years, expenditures not under the Town of Penfield’s control continue to see double-digit increases. In 2018, this includes an estimated 10 percent increase in health insurance premiums and continued contributions to the NYS retirement system of approximately 15 to 20 percent of payroll. Though the Town was able to mitigate the cost of workers compensation by choosing a new carrier through competitive solicitation, workers compensation represents nearly six percent of payroll.

Estimated revenues will increase due to major funding sources coming in stronger than in recent years. This is an encouraging sign of an improving economy; however, the Town continues to estimate revenue conservatively. 

The proposed 2018 town tax rate remains at $2.69 per $1,000 of assessed property value, which is the same as the 2017 rate. At the proposed 2018 rate, a property in Penfield with a valuation of $190,000 will be $511.10 for general governmental services. Once again, the proposed town tax levy increase is below the increase allowed by New York State. 

Penfield’s property tax rate remains one of the lowest of the 19 towns in in Monroe County. The town general taxes continue to account for approximately eight percent of each tax dollar. County taxes account for 24 percent, and school taxes account for the remaining 68 percent. 

With this Tentative Budget, there will be no cuts to services or programs. New services and programs for youth are coming in 2018 through partnerships with Earthworks Institute and Rochester Parkour. PenRec will also become a satellite location for OSHER, a provider of senior education programs. 

“This is the eighth budget I have helped prepare with our comptroller and department heads as town supervisor. I continue to be impressed with their attention to detail and creative ways to maintain services, absorb any unfunded mandates, stay under the state imposed tax cap, and still look for expanded opportunities for shared services publicly and privately,” said Supervisor Tony LaFountain. “We are able to maintain the current tax rate of 2.69 per $1,000 of assessed property value for 2018, giving our residents year-on-year stability of their town taxes without impacting any current services.” 

Penfield’s growth rate for 2018 is again among the highest in the county. The positive impact of actual new “bricks and mortar” properties has resulted in an allowable tax base growth factor increase of nearly one percent 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. 

As of September 7, print copies of the 2018 Tentative 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. The Tentative Budget is also available online at www.penfield.org  (go to ‘Quick Links,’ ‘Town Budget’). A public hearing to receive comments on the Preliminary Budget is set for October 4. The Penfield Town Board reviews comments now through October 12.


September 6, 2017
Supervisor's Column for September 6, 2017

School is beginning and fall is around the corner, which means it is time for Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser to start their 2017-18 program. The First Baptist Church of Penfield (FBP), 1862 Penfield Road, invites you the 3rd Saturday each month from now through June for delicious pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage, and more…all for just $5.00 per person.

FBP’s next event will be held on Saturday, September 16 from 8:00 to 10:00 AM and the proceeds will help support Willow Domestic Violence Center. Their vision is a community free from domestic violence where healthy relationships thrive. Bring the whole family, meet up with friends, or make new ones. FBP’s Fellowship Hall is handicapped accessible, and the breakfast is outstanding! For more information and details, please log-on at www.fbpenfield.org. 

I am reminded by AAA that about one third of current drivers do no stop for school buses when they have their red flashing lights activated—this is unacceptable!  New York State law states that when a stopped school bus flashes its red light(s), traffic approaching from either direction, even in front of the school and in school parking lots, must stop before reaching the bus. You should stop at least 20 feet (6 m) away from the bus. This law applies on all roadways in New York State. You must stop for a school bus, even if it is on the opposite side of a divided highway.

School begins this week and law enforcement is cracking down on this bad behavior. School buses are picking up or dropping off our children and grandchildren. Please save yourself the price of a ticket and points on your license, not to mention the most important factor—the safety of our children!

The 2018 tentative budget will be officially presented to the Town Board on Wednesday, September 6, and will be available on-line at penfield.org. Hard copies of the budget are also available for review at the Penfield Public Library and the Town Hall in the Comptroller’s office. The tentative budget will become the preliminary budget. There will be a public hearing on October 4 to hear any and all comments from our residents on the 2018 budget. The public comment period will run from September 6 through October 12. If you would like to discuss any aspect of the budget, please contact the Comptroller at 340-8621, or me at 340-8630.

The Friends of the Penfield Public Library 41st annual used book sale is just around the corner, running from September 12 through 16 at the Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. The sale features more than 85,000 items sorted into 50 categories in four themed rooms. Proceeds benefit the Penfield Public Library.  Book sale hours are as follows: Tuesday, September 12, 2-9PM members only ($5, join in advance or at the door); Wednesday and Thursday, September 13 and 14, 10AM-9PM; Friday, September 15, 10AM-6PM (half price day); and Saturday, September 16, 9AM-2PM ($3 bag, specials remain half-price). Shoppers should bring their own bags, no food or drink allowed, and please do not bring baby strollers or shopping carts.

The grand opening, and I mean the GRAND OPENING, of JACK’s Place dinosaur-themed playground was recently held at Rothfuss Park with more than 1,200 people on hand to help celebrate this wonderful new addition to the park. When the Rothfuss family approached the town and the Nature Conservancy in the early 2000s to discuss how this 70+ acre site could be preserved for future generations, this is exactly what Jim Rothfuss had envisioned! Rothfuss Park plays host to thousands of our youngest residents annually playing sports, riding bikes, flying kites, utilizing the walkways, and now enjoying JACK’s Place. I would like to once again recognize the Rothfuss family for their vision in making this park a destination in Penfield, and to the JACK Foundation for adding the latest gem that will be enjoyed for decades to come. 

Please note—the annual Penfield-Webster Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off will be next Saturday, September 16 from 7:45AM to 1:00PM at the Webster Highway Garage, 1005 Picture Parkway. This is an appointment service only, and you can make your appointment on-line at www.monroecounty.gov/hhw, or call Penfield DPW at 340-8710 through Friday, September 15 at 3:00PM.  

Until next week, please remember to observe stopped school buses!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org


August 28, 2017
Supervisor's column August 28, 2017

This week I am dedicating my column to important and concerning issues that are growing at an alarming rate across this country and have no place in our lives: intolerance, racism, intimidation, and hatred. Sadly, I see these behaviors each day in how individuals speak to one another. I see it in public, in business settings, and sports events. I see and hear it in the daily news. I see it within families. In my 42 years in public service, I have seen toxicity expressed between neighbors and also directed at public employees working in extreme conditions to keep residents safe and secure. And I see these behaviors becoming “normal.”

I wish I could say that I always listened to everything my parents said and asked me to do while growing up. Well, we all know “kids will be kids,” yet we hope what was instilled in us at an early age carries through our entire lives.

My parents regularly talked about and practiced respect. My sister and I were taught to treat others how we wanted to be treated, to be kind and generous, and to consider others’ feelings. We were taught that honesty is the cornerstone of all relationships—necessary to build mutual trust and respect. This lesson has served me well for more than 63 years.    

Now, as a grandfather, I anxiously watch as our two granddaughters ready for their fourth and sixth year in school. The love they have for school and their friends, and their excitement for what lies ahead of them, is refreshing to see. Their innocence is not darkened by hatred and intolerance; it is something for all of us to reflect upon and revisit.

I will share this one example. My wife recently came across this sentiment our youngest granddaughter jotted down in her notebook while coloring, “I shall not sit and watch war happen. I shall stand for peace and make the world a better place…quote by Adyson.” This is a nine-year-old going into fourth grade who has more love, acceptance, and civility than the many people connected to hate groups in our country and world! 

As a long-time Penfield resident and public servant, I know our town has a well-deserved reputation as “a great place to live and raise a family.” I am reminded why every day. For many residents it’s because of our many neighborhoods, outstanding schools, parks and trails, active sports community, vibrant performing and visual arts, active volunteers, faith community, and our connection to the greater community of Monroe County. The list can go on and on. 

Penfield is also known as a “wellness community.” The quick take on that theme is making healthy choices. However, the concept of “wellness” goes far beyond what we do to keep our bodies healthy. It means we work together to build a healthy community of tolerance and respect. 

As supervisor, I witness neighbors helping neighbors, civility, acceptance, and the unity they bring to our community. I regularly see that how we treat one another—what my parents taught me—builds positive relationships within our community and out in the world at large. 

We have come so far, yet we have so far to go. No one person or group can correct all of the current problems we face as a nation. I will say I am cautiously optimistic that there are more Adysons in the world trying to make it a better place than there are hate groups trying to tear us apart. We must extinguish the hatred. Let’s learn from history not repeat it!

Hate in all its forms, labels, and symbols is toxic—and hate is not welcome in our community. 

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” 

― Maya Angelou

Until next week, 

Tony


August 24, 2017
Penfield Library used book sale Sep 12-16

The “Friends of the Penfield Public Library” (FPPL) will host the group’s 41st Annual Used Book Sale September 12–16 at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. Proceeds benefit the Penfield Public Library. All are welcome. 

The sale features more than 85,000 items sorted into 50 categories in four themed rooms. Categories include books, audio books, videos, DVDs, CDs, vinyl records, games, puzzles, and software. Hardcover and paperback books are $1.00, mass market paperbacks and smaller are 50 cents. Many specials are individually priced. 

“Participation in the Friends’ Book Sale is a great way for the community to show support for the library,” said Bernadette Brinkman, Penfield Library Director. “Funds raised in 2016 have been used to pay for programming for all ages and to support ongoing patron services such as provision of the public photocopier, distribution of the popular monthly BookPage review magazine, and discount passes that allow Penfield residents to attend local cultural attractions like the George Eastman Museum, the Rochester Museum and Science Center, and the Memorial Art Gallery.”

Book sale hours and daily specials are as follows:

MEMBERS ONLY ($5, join in advance or at door)

Tuesday, 9/12  2:00 PM – 9:00 PM 

GENERAL PUBLIC:

Wednesday, 9/13 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Thursday, 9/14          10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Friday, 9/15         10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, half-price day

Saturday, 9/16  9:00 AM – 2:00 PM, $3 bag, specials remain half-price

Shoppers should bring their own bags. (Wegmans/Tops reusable bags are appropriate.) Food and drink are not allowed. Aisles are narrow, please do not bring baby strollers or shopping carts.  




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