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September 17, 2020
Supervisor’s Update Sep 17: 2021 Tentative Budget presented

At last night’s Town Board meeting, Director of Finance Barbara Chirdo and I presented the 2021 “Tentative Budget” to the board and our residents. As you may imagine, this was a very difficult budget to put together in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected everyone since early this year along with not knowing what the long-term impact will be through 2021. 

The proposed town budget totals $20,632,799, a decrease of $38,593. The Town share of the tax levy increased $20,377 and is below the tax cap by $475,000. The tax rate for 2021 will be the same as 2020 at $2.78. Town taxes account for 8 cents of every dollar, county taxes are 24 cents and the school taxes are 68 cents. The average tax bill for Penfield governmental services in 2021 will be $569.90 per household, this represents a house valued at $205,000.

Revenue loss, especially in sales tax, has been the most difficult to predict, not only for 2020 but as we head into 2021 not knowing the further impact of COVID-19. Additionally, we have been informed that starting in the fourth quarter of this year and lasting for the next two years, the governor will be taking $50 million annually off the top of sales tax to set aside for hospital and senior living centers impacted by the pandemic. He will withhold another $200 million from New York City.

I was very supportive of the board not wanting to raise the tax rate at a time when many Penfield families are struggling with furloughs, reduced work hours to support children in school, and layoffs. This is a time for all of us, especially government, need to pull together to work through the pandemic impacts and provide a stable tax base for our residents. 

Next steps as it relates to the 2021 budget: The Tentative Budget is posted on the Town Budget webpage for review; printed copies will be available at the Penfield Library and by appointment with the Finance Office. After last night’s presentation the Tentative Budget becomes the Preliminary Budget; the board will hold a public hearing on the Preliminary Budget on October 7; any and all comments relating to the budget will be accepted through October 14; and the town board will look to adopt the budget on October 21. 

If any resident has questions or would like to discuss the budget, please call either Barbara Chirdo (340-8621) or me (340-8630).

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

Be safe and be well! 

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org  

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain


September 11, 2020
Fall resident drop-off and recycling Oct 2-3

The Town of Penfield will host a two-day combined fall drop-off and recycling event for Penfield residents on Friday, October 2 (7:30 AM to 5:00 PM) and Saturday, October 3 (7:30 AM to 3:00 PM) at its Public Works Complex, 1607 Jackson Road. 

Services for both Friday and Saturday: metals and appliance recycling, brush disposal (no leaves or grass), clothing and linens donations, and bottle and can collection.

Saturday only: secure document destruction.

There will be NO ELECTRONICS recycling at this event. 

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

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

“Spring Drop-off in May was cancelled in compliance with public health guidelines for COVID-19. We’re happy to reschedule the service this calendar year before winter—it made sense to combine Drop-off with our annual Fall Recycling Day and make it a two-day event. Many families used their time at home to clear out and clean up, so there’s a lot of demand for disposal and recycling. Those who cleaned files can come by Saturday only to safely dispose of confidential and sensitive documents,” said Supervisor Tony LaFountain. “People can also donate clothing at the St. Pauly shed and drop their returnable cans and bottles in the Scouts’ collection shed.”

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

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), TVs/electronics (fee-based), cooking oil/grease, fluorescent lights, clothing, sharps and syringes, and more. Ecopark also offers many special collection days for household hazardous waste and pharmaceutical and medication disposal. For current information on recycling opportunities, operating hours, schedules, and fee-based items go to 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.


September 11, 2020
A message from Supervisor LaFountain: September 11th Remembrance

Today marks the nineteenth anniversary of September 11th when this country was brutally attacked; many lives were lost, and many families were impacted. I would ask all of our residents to take a moment 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!  


September 8, 2020
Supervisor’s Update Sep 8: Mum fundraiser at Bauman’s to support Shepherd Home

I regularly encourage residents to support local businesses and organizations and am known to say that “strong businesses make a strong community,” for when we support our local businesses they return the favor and support organizations in our community. Mutual support within our community is a perfect example of what makes Penfield a great place to live and raise a family. 

That’s why I am happy to help spread the word that Penfield’s Shepherd Home and Bauman’s Farm Market have again partnered to offer a mum sale from September 8 through October 31 to benefit the important work of the Shepherd Home. 

Just stop in at Bauman's, pick out your favorite three-gallon mums, and when you check out tell them it's for Shepherd Home at checkout! Mums are $10.99 each, and for every mum sold 50% percent will go to the Shepherd Home to continue their beautiful mission of providing comfort and compassionate care to members of our community with a terminal illness, in a way that cherishes the dignity of each individual and meets their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Although the Shepherd Home has temporarily paused resident care due to the coronavirus pandemic, their mission continues and so must fundraising so they are prepared to resume resident care when it is safe to do so.  

Bauman’s is located in Penfield at 1340 Five Mile Line Rd. The Shepherd Home is located at 1959 Five Mile Line Road. Learn more about the Shepherd Home at https://www.shepherdhome.org/ 

Best wishes for a successful fundraiser! 

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

Be safe and be well! 

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org  

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain

 


September 8, 2020
A Message from the Tax Receiver’s Office: How to pay School Taxes

We are not accepting in person payments due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, below are other payment options:    

  • Drop the payment in the mail, check payable to Krystina H. Lizak, Tax Receiver, 3100 Atlantic Ave., Penfield, NY 14526
  • Drop the payment in our lockbox in front of our east side entrance to our building, a receipt will be mailed once your payment is processed. Please note, due to COVID, receipt mailing may be delayed at least one week. Thank you for your patience. 
  • Pay online at https://www.monroecounty.gov/, no charge will be billed to you for using this service due to COVID
  • Full tax payments with a check are also accepted at M&T in Panorama Plaza or at 441 & Route 250

Full details available at the School Tax Bill webpage: http://www.penfield.org/Tax_Bill_Schools.php

Thank you,

Krystina H. Lizak   

Receiver of Taxes

(585)340-8625


September 4, 2020
Tastin' the Blues 2020

This year's Tastin' the Blues will look a little different, but you can still enjoy live blues music and great food!

Tastin' the Blues poster


September 4, 2020
Penfield to allow residential "backyard chickens"

The Penfield Town Board adopted an amendment to Chapter 250 of the Town Code at its September 2 legislative meeting that will allow residents who live in single-family detached housing to keep a small flock of chickens for the sole purpose of egg production for personal use. A permit from Building/Zoning is required for this practice. This Ordinance, known as “Residential Chickens,” is effective immediately.

Before this change, Town Code required lot size of at least five acres to raise chickens. Under the new legislation, residents may own a designated number of chickens according to lot size: one-half acre or less may own six chickens; one-half to two acres may own 10 chickens, and two to five acres may own 15 chickens. The Ordinance establishes many rules regarding structures, maintenance, and ownership to protect public health and safety as well as the health of the animals. 

The Town received a petition in May proposing a change to Town Code to give property owners with lot sizes of less than five acres the ability to raise a small flock of well-maintained backyard chickens for egg production per personal use. Proponents cited that access to fresh eggs improves food security by providing a “source of healthy protein to many who might otherwise struggle to regularly provide this nutrition to their families.”

“The coronavirus pandemic has increased the public’s interest in personal sustainability around food sources—with particular enthusiasm for planting vegetable gardens and raising chickens for eggs to ensure access to fresh, nutritious food,” said Town Board member Bob Ockenden. “This is why I proposed a modification to the ordinance to allow ‘backyard chickens’ on fewer than five acres and in most residential zoning districts in Penfield. Giving our residents the ability to be in more control of their food sources is critical during these unusual times that appear to be extending well into our future.”  

Highlights from the Ordinance state that chickens may not be slaughtered, they may not occupy any space within 25 feet of adjacent residences or structures used by humans, coops may only be located in back yards, and roosters are not permitted on property of less than five acres.

Residents who wish to own a backyard flock must apply for a Residential Chicken permit from the Building Department and follow all criteria for enclosures and maintenance. Building Code may call for a second permit depending on the intended enclosure to house chickens. Building staff will advise on an individual basis. Public health and safety, and the well-being of chickens, is a priority.  Violations of the Ordinance may result in revocation of a permit. 


September 1, 2020
Supervisor’s Update Sep 1: Broccolo Garden Center 30th anniversary

Over the weekend I had the honor of attending the “30th on the 30th” at Broccolo Garden Center, 2755 Penfield Road. Broccolo is celebrating 30 years in business—and 10 years at their Penfield location. I have gotten to know Laurie and Albert Broccolo and their team since they became established in Penfield. I will say the following words come to my mind when I think or them and their business model: quality, innovation, integrity, and sustainability.

The celebration included guided farm and garden tours for small groups, presentations by the Finger Lakes Museum, music by solo musician Paul Strowe and the Nightfall the Trio, and tastings from Black Button and One Hope Wine. They shared the history of the 1900 dairy farm that was once on that site followed by a ribbon-cutting for the new “Barn at Broccolo Gardens,” a classic timber framed barn set among a winding picture-perfect garden pathway.

Broccolo is in the process of preparing the barn to be used as an event venue offering 2,200 square feet of warm and rustic interior space including a loft mezzanine. The exterior balcony provides a beautiful view of the lush gardens and neighboring farmlands set just below. Outside of the barn wildflower meadows and butterfly gardens provide a photo-worthy, playful, and natural setting for celebrations, workshops, meetings or retreats. When it’s ready, those looking to use this space will have the flexibility to create a truly unique and memorable experience. 

If you have never been to Broccolo Garden Center, or if you have not been there in a while, please consider a visit to see all they have to offer the Penfield Community and surrounding region. Successful businesses make for a successful community! Congratulations to Laurie and Albert on 30 years in business and thank you for being an important part of the Penfield community.

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

Be safe and be well! 

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org  

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain

 


August 31, 2020
Remote School Days Program Offering

The upcoming school year will be new and unique for all Penfield School District’s students and families. With that in mind, Penfield Recreation is looking to address the community’s needs by offering a grades K-5 student supervision program at the Penfield  Community Center, specifically for students of working families in Penfield.

  • Penfield Recreation staff will provide space and supervision for students during their remote learning schedule. No instruction/work help will be provided by Pen Rec staff. Staff will assist with logging in and navigating computer if needed.
  • Participants must provide their own laptops/electronic devices, headphones or earbuds, and lunch/snacks. 
  • Participants must have their own transportation to and from the Penfield Community Center (1985 Baird Rd) for the program each day.  
  • Participants will have opportunities to take part in indoor games, sports/activities, arts/crafts, and quiet time throughout the supervised day

Interested in registering for the program or have questions? Please contact Recreation Supervisor Sabrina Renner at (585) 340-8651 or srenner@penfield.org.

Core Program 8:30AM - 5:30PM

2 days/week: Mon & Tue OR Thu & Fri                    Monthly Fee: $ 480

3 days/week: Mon, Tue, Wed OR Wed, Thu, Fri     Monthly Fee: $ 720

Early Drop-Off 7:00AM - 8:30AM

2 days/week: Mon & Tue OR Thu & Fri                     Monthly Fee: $ 96

3 days/week: Mon, Tue, Wed OR Wed, Thu, Fri      Monthly Fee: $ 144


This program will be held at Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Rd., Penfield.


August 27, 2020
Supervisor’s Update Aug 27: PFD to seal coat public parking area off Five Mile Line Rd.

Attention Penfield residents: The Penfield Fire District has just notified the Town it will be seal coating its parking lots at all three stations beginning the evening of Friday, August 28 through Monday, August 31, weather permitting. Rain may shift work schedules. Sealing will be performed in two stages. Half the lots will be sealed Saturday, and the remainder will be sealed on Sunday. 

Please note this project will include the public parking area off Five Mile Line Road. Please make other parking arrangements during these times.

Be safe and be well! 

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain


August 25, 2020
Supervisor’s Update Aug 25: Shadow Pines Conceptual Master Plan accepted

I’d like to share a milestone in the evolution of the town’s Shadow Pines properties. Last week, the Town Board accepted the Conceptual Master Plan for the Shadow Pines property at its August 19 meeting. 

A year ago, the Town Board called for the development of a Conceptual Master Plan to address the recommendations of the Shadow Pines Advisory Committee (2016) and the Shadow Pines Land Use Advisory Committee (2019). Following a request for proposals, BME Associates was selected to prepare the Plan. 

BME worked with the committees’ reports and Town staff to prepare the draft. It was then presented to the community at a public information meeting in March 2020 for review and comments. After reviewing feedback, the Town Board asked BME Associates to adjust the draft to address public input. Overall themes from community input call for passive recreational uses, preserving natural landscapes, increasing points of access, providing pedestrian and bike trails, and adding rustic structures. 

The Plan’s conclusion states: The redevelopment of the former Shadow Pines Golf Course provides an unprecedented opportunity for the Town of Penfield to promote and provide the many desired activities requested by residents of the community. The different uses and user groups anticipated to utilize the site can be accommodated while also providing much needed biodiversity for the many birds, mammals, and insects that make the site their home.

Going forward, the accepted Conceptual Master Plan will be used as a planning tool and a guide for reference and consideration for making specific future land use decisions affecting the Town’s Shadow Pines properties. In the coming years, the current and future Town Boards will work with boards, committees, local and national clubs and organizations, and residents to facilitate the development of the site as presented within Plan. 

As for the remainder of 2020, you will not see any dramatic changes at the property. Plans require funding, and budgets are severely limited due to revenue losses related to the coronavirus pandemic. We will go into fall and winter with continued passive recreational use of the north and south portions of Shadow Pines.

The 2021 budget will include some funding to add the access points identified for pedestrian connectivity and proposed parking areas. DPW will also perform internal removal of dead trees as needed for safety. Finally, we will work with different groups and organizations to start working on plans for the bike area, pickle ball, and more.

To learn more, go to  'plans and studies' at www.penfield.org to view both Shadow Pines Master Conceptual Plan documents:  Shadow Pines Concept Plan Map and Shadow Pines Conceptual Plan Final Report

Many thanks to all who followed this process, attended the public information meeting, and offered up thoughts and ideas on how to best use the Shadow Pines property for the broadest group of residents and visitors to Penfield.

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

Be safe and be well! 

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org  

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain


August 21, 2020
Supervisor’s Update Aug 21: School Tax payment news

On behalf of Penfield Tax Receiver Krystina Lizak, I would like to share important information regarding the upcoming collection of 2020/2021 School Taxes.

The Penfield Tax Office is the billing and collection agency for School Taxes within the Town of Penfield’s jurisdiction. School Tax bills are always mailed at the end of August and arrive in mailboxes the first week of September. 

This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Penfield Town offices are not fully open to the public. Therefore, 2020/2021 School Tax payments may NOT be made in person at the town hall. 

If you are accustomed to paying your taxes in person, this year you will need to switch to one of the following options: 

1. Mail your payment, payable to Krystina H. Lizak, Receiver of Taxes, to Tax Office, 3100 Atlantic Ave., Penfield, NY 14526

2. Drop your payment in the secure Town lockbox located outside the East entrance of the Town Hall building – a receipt will be mailed

3. Pay online with a credit card at www.monroecounty.gov (Monroe County is temporarily waiving the 3% service charge due to COVID-19)

4. Pay in full by check at Penfield M&T branches - 625 Panorama Trail or 2201 Penfield Rd.

All payment and due date instructions are printed on the reverse side of the tax bill.  

Monroe County residents, your credit card payments will go directly through Monroe County. Please note Monroe County has passed legislation to temporarily waive the 3% service charge.

Wayne County residents, your credit card payments will go through the Penfield Tax Office and a service fee will apply. A link will be available at www.penfield.org . (New York State law mandates that the Town receives no portion of the fee and that the fee is retained by the payment processing vendors enabling the transaction.)

If you do not receive your School Tax bill, contact the Tax Office directly so your bill can be re-sent. If you do not receive your bill for any reason (change of address, mortgage satisfied, postal issue) you are still responsible for a timely tax payment. As of September 1, School Tax bills are always available at www.monroecounty.gov, choose the view/pay tax tab.

If you cannot pay your School Taxes using any of the above options, please contact Krystina Lizak, Receiver of Taxes, at receivertaxes@penfield.org  or 585-340-8625 for assistance. 

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

Be safe and be well! 

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain


August 18, 2020
Supervisor’s Update: NYSDOT to begin Atlantic Ave paving project on Aug 19

Attention Penfield residents: I was just notified that the NYS Department of Transportation will begin a paving project in both directions of Atlantic Avenue from NYS Route 250 to Millford Crossing. The project will begin tomorrow, August 19, and continue for approximately two weeks. Please plan accordingly and expect delays.

Be safe and be well! 

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org  

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain


August 17, 2020
Supervisor’s Update: 100th anniversary of Nineteenth Amendment giving women the right to vote

This update is dedicated to all women across our community, our county, and our nation. 

You may have thought that women always had the right to vote, but this is far from the truth. Up until the 1900s, most democracies throughout history only allowed men to vote. This includes the democracies of Ancient Greece, the Roman Republic, and early democracies in Britain and the United States. Gaining equal rights for women, including the right to vote in the United States, was a long and slow process. 

The first women's rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. Around 300 people attended the meeting which was led by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The main outcome of the meeting was the "Declaration of Sentiments," a document similar to the Declaration of Independence. It stated that women should have equal rights to men—including the right to vote.

In 1869, women leaders Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton formed the National Women's Suffrage Association. The main goal of this group was to get an amendment passed that would allow women to vote. They wanted the Fifteenth Amendment to include the right for women to vote as well as people of any race. However, the Fifteenth Amendment passed in 1870 allowing all men regardless of race to vote, but not women. In the United States women were not allowed to vote until the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920.

The Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. Initially introduced to Congress in 1878, several attempts to pass a women's suffrage amendment failed until passing the House of Representatives on May 21, 1919, followed by the Senate on June 4, 1919. It was then submitted to the states for ratification. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee was the last of the necessary 36 ratifying states to secure adoption. The Nineteenth Amendment's adoption was certified on August 26, 1920: the culmination of a decades-long movement for women's suffrage at both state and national levels.

Finally and rightfully, the Nineteenth Amendment guaranteed women the right to vote throughout the United States. It was first introduced to Congress in 1878, but unfortunately it was not ratified until over 41 years later on August 18, 1920.

As we look to recognize 100 years of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, let us all reflect the monumental efforts by so many strong women, like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, for their efforts to ensure all women had a voice and were able to vote. 

As a son, husband, father of two daughters, and grandfather of two granddaughters, I am saddened that it took as long as it did to ratify this right! 

Today, the right to vote and participating in elections is one of the key freedoms of American life. Many people in countries around the world still do not have the same freedom, nor did many Americans in centuries past. No matter what you believe or whom you support, it is important to exercise your rights in every election.

If you’d like to see a local take on this topic, Town Historian Kathy Kanauer is putting together a “Herstory” display in the Local History Room. The floor display will show a timeline of US history and laws that affected women, and display cases will feature Penfield women of note from Mary Penfield forward. You can visit the Local History Room (located in the back of the Penfield Library in the Penfield Community Center) on Mondays, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Masks are required to enter the building. (Contact at historian@penfield.org or 340-8740.) 

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

Be safe and be well! 

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org  

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain


August 11, 2020
Supervisor’s Update: Moody’s Annual Issuer Comment Report Affirms Penfield’s Strong Financial Position

I am pleased to share that Moody’s recent Issuer Comment Report that provides updated credit information on the outstanding debt issuances of municipalities nationwide has reaffirmed Penfield’s strong financial health with an Aa1 rating. This is always welcome news, and it is especially meaningful as we manage the Town’s finances during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Penfield’s Aa1 rating—just one step from Moody’s highest possible Aaa rating—is notably one of the highest of all recent Moody’s ratings of municipalities in Monroe County and the state of New York. Further, the Aa1 rating exceeds the US cities median of Aa3. The key credit factors include a robust financial position, a light debt burden, and a moderate pension liability. It also reflects a strong wealth and income profile and a solid tax base.

The debt burden of the Town is low and is aligned with the Aa1 rating. Penfield's net direct debt to full value (0.4%) is lower than the US median, and has remained stable from 2015 to 2019. The Town’s cash balance as a percent of operating revenues is far superior to other Moody's-rated cities nationwide.

Moody’s report stated: “We regard the coronavirus outbreak as a social risk under our environmental, social and governance framework, given the substantial implications for public health and safety and the economy. We do not see any material immediate credit risks for Penfield.”

This is particularly welcome news at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has created serious financial strain on many municipalities, especially those that rely on tourism and entertainment for much of their revenue. While Penfield is indeed experiencing revenue loss from recreation programs, sales tax, and mortgage taxes, our tradition of strong financial discipline has eased some of the pain. We are reducing planned spending for the remainder of 2020. The 2021 budget process is underway and proceeding conservatively. 

Moody’s Corporation is among the world's most respected, widely utilized sources for credit ratings, research, and risk analysis. Moody’s publishes market-leading credit opinions, research, and commentary that reach institutions and users around the globe. The Town of Penfield has held Moody’s positive Aa1 rating since 2016. This report reinforces the town’s reputation for fiscal leadership and strong management practices. 

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

Be well! 

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org

Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain




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