February 21, 2017
Supervisor’s column February 21, 2017
In a recent Democrat & Chronicle article on local government transparency the Town of Penfield was recognized for doing a very good job of providing government information on its website (www.penfield.org) for residents and others interested in all aspects of our local town government.
The quote reads:
"The Town of Penfield does a fairly exemplary job of putting up information for residents so they don’t need to file FOIL as frequently. There’s a side rail with links to video of town board meetings, a calendar that clearly lays out which boards are meeting when, and a link to “Online documents” that includes bid documents, draft ordinances and plans, meeting minutes and agendas – for all town boards, not just the big ones. Penfield’s website has a wealth of information available, budgets, annual financial reports, Moody’s bond rating info…Way to go, Penfield!”
This article shared information on a USA Today Network project for Sunshine Week 2017 and invited citizens to take an online survey to assess the current health of e-democracy by measuring local town or municipal websites against a checklist of features that characterizes best practice. If you would like to participate, here is a link to the survey.
I am delighted with the efforts of all our department heads and their respective teams for continually looking for ways to update and add information to make Penfield government as accessible to our residents as possible. Additionally, our website team, lead by David Renner, is responsible for keeping the site running behind the scenes to ensure content is in keeping with our high standards and that all related links are functioning properly.
Our commitment to you is to continuously look for ways to enhance your online experience at www.penfield.org. If you have any thoughts or suggestions regarding content or improvements for the website, please send an email with your ideas to email@example.com
For more than a dozen years I have been honored to sit on the board of directors of Crime Stoppers. I joined this wonderful organization when I was at Kodak as the Fire/Security Director and continued on after I retired. This group is made up of past and current members of law enforcement, attorneys, bankers, and business people from many local companies.
Our chairman of the board, Paul Hawkins, shared 2016 data with the board at our last meeting. Crime Stoppers received a total of 886 tips (615 tips by phone and 271 online soft tips) resulting in rewards for the following outcomes/arrests:
- 42 felony arrests
- 6 murders and 2 pending
- 16 violation parole/probation
- 8 felony assault
- 5 bank robber with 5 pending
- 6 burglary
- 1 handgun arrest
- 2 arsons
Additionally, in 2016, the “fugitive flyer” that appears in the Democrat & Chronicle showcased 89 fugitives in six flyers—68 of those individuals were arrested.
For more information on Crime Stoppers please go to www.roccrimestoppers.com. To report information on a crime, please contact the confidential hotline at (585) 423-9300. The information you provide could make a difference in solving a crime. Thank you in advance of your support to Crime Stoppers.
Upcoming topics for my weekly column include an update on the start of our next Comprehensive Plan (this plan is updated approximately every ten years, it is a 12–18 month process); an overview of businesses in Penfield and our low vacancy rate; an overview and update of recreational and open space across the town; highlights from our solar PV project that will finally begin after delays from local utility companies; the new “Zombie Property Law” passed by the NYS Legislature; an update from our annual meeting with the NYS Department of Transportation; and much more.
If you have any items of interest that you would like me to comment on in this column please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will follow up in future columns. Thank you in advance for your interest in your local government.
Until next week, enjoy the warm break in the weather and take an opportunity to visit one of our many parks and trails in Penfield. While spring is still a good month or more away, we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and the days are brighter each day!
February 14, 2017
Supervisor’s column February 14, 2017
At this time of the year when many residents come to the town hall to pay their town/county taxes in person, I get a number of questions about taxes in general, the budget process, the importance of a good credit rating, the New York State Comptroller’s report on stressed towns, and much more! Because many Penfield residents pay taxes through an escrow account as part of their mortgage, many may not be fully aware of the budget and tax process. With that in mind, I am dedicating this week’s column to the topic of fiscal responsibility the town board and I undertake on behalf of Penfield residents as we prepare and manage the town’s budget.
The annual budget process begins in early June when I call for all our department heads to prepare their draft budget for the upcoming fiscal year, January 1 to December 31. From June to September I meet with the town comptroller and every department head to review all aspects of their draft budget submissions including general operations, headcount, capital, and anticipated revenues.
Following many rounds of department head meetings, the comptroller and I prepare and present the “tentative budget” to the town board and residents. Upon presentation, the tentative budget becomes known as the “preliminary budget” and it is open for public review and comments. (In 2010, we began publishing all budget documents on our website so that residents can review the proposed budget from the comfort of their homes instead of coming to the town hall or library to review printed documents.) In early October, the town board holds a public hearing to formally receive public comments.
On the third Wednesday of October, after reviewing public comments and making any adjustments, the town board adopts the town’s “final budget” and files it with Monroe County and New York State prior to the general election. Penfield has been following this process for more than 35 years.
The town’s 2017 town tax rate is $2.69 per $1,000 of assessed property value, the same as it was in 2016. As an example, a home property in Penfield with a valuation of $180,000 will pay $ 484.20 for general governmental services (180 X 2.69 = 484.20). This same home will pay $1,510.58 for Monroe County taxes. Those in the Penfield School District pay $4,586.55 in school taxes, Webster School District taxes are $3,855.32 in this scenario. With this year’s budget, as in the past, Penfield has stayed below the state required tax cap.
Penfield’s property tax remains one of the lowest of the 19 towns in Monroe County. I have provided the 2017 tax rates of all towns for your review and information. You will see the only towns with lower tax rates than Penfield have landfills or significant commercial development.
View town tax rates as a PDF here
How is our credit rating? In April of 2016, Moody’s Investors Services upgraded Penfield’s credit rating to an Aa1, 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 general cash flow throughout the year. The Moody’s rating also reflects Penfield’s history of stable financial operations and strong management practices. Moody’s had recently reaffirmed the Aa1 credit rating in December of 2016 as part of the Parkview-White Village sanitary sewer project.
A further measure of fiscal health is a Fiscal Stress Monitoring System implemented in 2013 by the Office of the New York State Comptroller to identify local governments experiencing fiscal stress. This system provides an objective picture of the fiscal challenges facing local governments. Essentially, it is an assessment of a government entity’s ability to meet expenditures with revenues. Nine financial indicators are measured within five categories: Year-End Fund Balance, Operating Deficits, Cash Position, Use of Short Term Debt and Fixed Costs. The categories are given different weights to reflect the relative importance in measuring financial stress.
In the latest fiscal stress review of the Town of Penfield we received a score of 14.2%. This may seem counter-intuitive, but this low number is a positive “no designation” rating as shown in this table:
Percentage of Total Points Classification of Fiscal Stress
0–44.9% no designation
45–54.9% susceptible to fiscal stress
55–64.9% moderate fiscal stress
65–100% significant fiscal stress
I am proud to say that since this system began, the Town of Penfield has consistently received the highest possible rating from the Office of the New York State Comptroller.
I apologize in advance for the longer than normal weekly column; however, I thought it important to help residents appreciate some of the unique hurdles we face in developing our annual budget based on the many mandated requirements placed on us by our wonderful state government! Please continue to use our website at www.penfield.org to review all details of the budget and many other aspects of your local government.
February 10, 2017
Memorial Day Essay Contest Open for Entries!
|The Town of Penfield will sponsor the annual Memorial Day Essay Contest, sponsored by a generous donation from VFW Post 820, and supported by American Legion Braman Post 1229 and Penfield Rotary. The contest is open to all students in grades 6-8 who attend a Penfield school, or are Penfield residents. New prize amounts this year include: $175 for 1st place, $125 for 2nd place, and $100 for 3rd place. Complete information and entry form is available here.
February 6, 2017
Supervisor’s column February 6, 2017
One last reminder for a new series of programs presented in a partnership of Penfield Recreation's DEAR program, the Penfield Public Library, and the Local History Room. Together, they are planning events throughout 2017 to recognize and celebrate the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote in New York. Programs begin with a series entitled SuffraTeas. The first tea will be held on Wednesday, February 15 (Susan B. Anthony's birthday) at 2:00 PM in the Senior Lounge at Penfield Community Center. Pam Mount and Kathy Kanauer will discuss women getting the vote and the importance of this right. Registration is not required. More information on future events will be available when the schedule is firmed up. Please watch this column for more details or log on to www.penfieldrec.org.
The next Penfield Symphony Orchestra concert “Operatic Gems” is scheduled for Monday, February 13 at 7:30 PM in the Penfield High School auditorium. Free rides to the concert are available from Lifespan by calling 872-0774. For more information about this concert or the PSO, please go to www.penfieldsymphony.org.
February is national heart month. Last Friday our Employee Wellness Team helped kick off this year’s program. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, with one in four deaths caused by heart disease every year. Heart disease can often be prevented when we all make healthy choices and manage our health conditions. We can use this month to raise awareness about heart disease and prevention. Encourage your family to make small changes, like using spices to season food instead of salt. Make physical activity a part of your everyday routine. Watch your weight, quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke, control your cholesterol and blood pressure, and if you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. Spread the word about strategies for preventing heart disease and encourage others to live heart healthy lives.
This Friday, February 10, is the last day to pay your Town/County taxes in full without interest. The tax receiver’s office will be open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM to accept payments. If those hours are not convenient you can use a payment drop box located on the east side of the town hall. The drop box is checked several times a day. The tax office will mail a receipt once your payment is processed. If you have any questions about your bill please call the tax receiver’s office at 340-8625.
Winter break week, February 20–24, is fast approaching. Penfield Recreation has put together programs including family open swim, springboard diving, a lifeguarding course with a waterfront module, gymnastics camp, and much more. Additionally, the Penfield Library is offering several programs including outrageous origami, a stuffed animal pet show, family game day, drumming with Topher Holt, and Lego lab. For more information on these programs and many more, please log on to www.penfieldrec.org and www.penfieldlibrary.org.
As the days get longer and signs of spring are in the air, many area farms start to gather sap for making syrup. This reminds me of PenRec’s “lunch plus” at the Maple Tree Inn. Come enjoy the wonders of spring and maple syrup as our vans travel to Cartwright’s Maple Tree Inn on Wednesday, March 8. The good folks at the Maple Tree Inn will be serving up their buckwheat pancakes topped with fresh, pure maple syrup—and then there are those famous maple sundaes! The van departs the Penfield Community Center at 9:30 AM and returns at approximately 2:30 PM. The fee is $25.00 and includes the pancakes.
The Penfield Players’ 2017 spring melodrama, Red Velvet Cake War, will open on Friday, April 28. A family reunion in Sweetgum, Texas goes horribly awry and hilarity ensues! Things spin hilariously out of control when a neighbor’s pet devours everything edible, a one-eyed suitor shows up to declare his love, and a jaw-dropping high-stakes wager is made on who bakes the best red velvet cake. As this fast-paced romp barrels toward its uproarious climax you’ll wish your own family reunions were this much fun! Look for more information at www.penfieldplayers.org.
Until next week, enjoy the “above normal temperatures” part of this week. I hope to see you out in the community!
January 30, 2017
Supervisor’s column January 30, 2017
The next hike sponsored by the Penfield Trails Committee is the ever-popular February “Indoor Hike” on Saturday, February 11 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM in the Penfield Town Hall Auditorium. This year’s featured speaker is Chris Costello, a professional land surveyor who will share information and photos in his presentation, Letchworth’s Portage Viaduct – New and Old. Lace up your boots and join our trails committee to learn the history and the future of Letchworth rails and trails, a topic that will draw both railroad and hiking enthusiasts! This is a FREE event and open to everyone, refreshments will be served. For more information on this hike and all others planned during 2017, please go to www.penfieldrec.org. I hope to see you at the Indoor Hike!
Is the up and down of the weather driving you crazy? Are you not a winter sports enthusiast? If so, consider joining Penfield Recreation most every Friday night through March at the Penfield High School pool! Come play, swim, and exercise while enjoying this spacious pool. The shallow end features a 4x4 tot dock for the little ones and the deep end is set up for water walking and lap swimming. Also, swimmers who pass the deep end test can also enjoy the one-meter boards in the diving well. The fee is $2.00 at the door. Go to www.penfieldrec.org for more information about this aquatic wellness program and other wellness activities.
Winter break is scheduled for the week of February 20–24. Penfield Recreation and the Penfield Library are hosting a number of activities and programs to occupy our younger residents. Please check out all of the offerings at www.penfieldrec.org and www.penfieldlibrary.org.
Fortunately, we rarely have to cancel programs due to weather. However, there are times when Mother Nature makes it necessary to do so. When that happens we post cancellation notices online at www.penfieldrec.org and on our program information phone line at 340-8655, option 2.
Please note: Penfield-Webster and Monroe County normally host a hazardous waste collection in late April to give residents an opportunity to dispose of old paints, cleaning supplies, fertilizers and more. Monroe County has notified us that this year’s collection is scheduled in the fall on Saturday, September 16 in Webster. The county would like to remind everyone that the ecopark facility, located at 10 Avion Drive near the airport, is available year-round during the week and most Saturdays for household hazardous waste appointments and recycling. Go to www.monroecounty.gov/ecopark to learn more. As we get closer to the September 16 collection I will make sure to cover it in this column. We will also post details on the town website including the number to call for appointments.
It is not too late to sign up as a driver for the volunteer senior transportation program to be known as Bri-Pen rides. Drivers, dispatchers, and transportation coordinators are needed for our pilot program. Drivers will be thoroughly trained through Lifespan’s “Give a Lift” program and will receive supplemental insurance. For more information about volunteering, please call Pam at 340-8664.
Temperatures are dropping and the snow is still blowing but don’t give up hope, spring is just around the corner. To help you take your mind off the winter weather, consider renting a garden plot to join a vibrant community of organic gardeners at the Penfield Community Victory Garden. Now is a good time to start planning for the upcoming growing season. If you would like more information about the garden, who is involved, and all the great things the group has done to date, please go to www.penfieldvictorygarden.org or call Penfield Recreation at 340-8651.
Until next week, be well and be safe!
January 24, 2017
Penfield's Annual 'Indoor Hike' Scheduled for February 11
The Penfield Trails Committee will host its annual ‘Indoor Hike’ on Saturday, February 11, 10:00 am at Penfield Town Hall Auditorium, 3100 Atlantic Avenue. There will be a presentation entitled “Letchworth’s Portage Viaduct – New and Old”, information on trails groups from around the Rochester area, and light refreshments will be served. This event is free.
Chris Costello, professional land surveyor, will speak about the 1875 Portage high bridge / railroad viaduct high above the Genesee River in Letchworth State Park. Costello will give an inside look at the construction of the new bridge in progress. Learn the history and the future of Letchworth rails and trails. Hikers, history buffs, and rail fans – lace up your boots and join us!
“This year’s speaker will give participants a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of the much anticipated construction of the new railroad bridge,” says Nels Carman, Penfield Trails Committee chair. “This iconic structure has an interesting past and a promising future.”
While the “hike” is free, participants are asked to pre-register by calling Penfield Recreation at 340-8655, option 0.
Penfield Trails Committee is always seeking volunteers to serve on its planning committee, as well as to do manual labor for trails maintenance. For more information, please call Penfield Recreation at (585) 340-8655.
January 23, 2017
Supervisor’s column January 23, 2017
This past weekend I had the honor and privilege of attending the Penfield Fire Company’s Annual Banquet honoring the retirements of Chief Michael DeBree and President John Papponetti. These two gentleman served in their respective positions in 2016, the 175th anniversary of this wonderful volunteer organization that supports the Penfield Community.
Both Mike and John have made a strong commitment to public safety while balancing successful business careers and families. Their involvement in our community is a shining example of why Penfield is such a great place to live, work, and raise a family. On behalf of the Penfield Town Board and town residents I want to recognize and thank Mike and John for their service.
The Penfield Fire Company also recognized the following service award recipients: James Trau and Ronald Welkley for 50 years; Ed Sexton, Jr. 45 years; David Sweet 40 years; Charles DeBree 35 years; Robert Ockenden 30 years; Jeffrey Ebmeyer, James Herko, Jr., and Joseph Palma for 25 years. We are indeed fortunate for the commitment of the men and women of the Penfield Fire Company who are out fighting fires, addressing HAZMAT incidents, providing support to motor vehicle accidents and medical problems, and handling technical rescue situations. Penfield is grateful for your protection and support each and every day, thank you!
Since June, Pam Gerace Mount from Penfield Recreation has been working diligently with Lifespan and a committee made up of residents from Penfield and Brighton to establish a volunteer transportation program for seniors for our towns. Penfield and Brighton are the last two communities in Monroe County that do not have such a service in place. The good news is the group has adopted a mission statement, policy, procedures, and completed a survey assessing the overall need in our area. The group is now in the process of recruiting volunteers to fill out a Lifespan application, receive driver training, and ultimately become a part of the driving team.
Yesterday, the group hosted an open house in Penfield at which thirteen people expressed an interest in driving. This is a great start; however, we need many more to make this program a success.
Bri-Pen will be a volunteer transportation service to provide rides to medical appointments and religious services. If you would like to volunteer as a good neighbor and friend to this transportation program please contact Pam at 585-340-8664. Thank you in advance for supporting this very much needed service for seniors in our community.
The Energy & Environmental Advisory Committee (EEAC) reminds us to clean out medicine cabinets and dispose of old prescriptions and other products at least once a year. Do not flush medicines down the drain or toilet and do not place them in the curbside blue box. Instead, you may take them to ecopark recycling center sponsored by the County of Monroe and Waste Management. Please visit www.monroecounty.gov/ecopark for details on hours of operation and what is accepted for recycling.
Important Dates and Events in History:
- January 23, 1933 – The 20th Amendment is added to the Constitution. The 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution moved the beginning and ending of the terms of the president and vice president from March 4 to January 20, and of members of Congress from March 4 to January 3. It also has provisions that determine what is to be done when there is no president-elect.
- January 27, 1973 – The United States and Vietnam sign a peace treaty, ending the Vietnam War.
- January 29, 1919 – The 18th Amendment is added to the Constitution. The 18th Amendment is the only Amendment to ever have been repealed from the United States Constitution–via the inclusion of the 21st Amendment. The 18th Amendment called for the banning of the manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcoholic beverages. Known as national Prohibition, the 18th banned “intoxicating liquors” with the exception of those used for religious rites.
Until next week get ready for more of the snow and cold, we have a lot more winter weather to get through until spring is upon us!
January 18, 2017
Supervisor’s column January 18, 2017
This year marks the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in New York State in 1917, three years ahead of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920. To recognize and celebrate this milestone, Pam Mount from Penfield Recreation, Peggy O’Neil from the Penfield Library, and Kathy Kanauer, our Town Historian & Local History Room Coordinator, will co-sponsor programs throughout 2017. First up is a series entitled “SuffraTeas” that kicks off on Susan B. Anthony’s birthday, Wednesday, February 15 at 2:00 PM in the Senior Lounge at the Community Center. Pam and Kathy will discuss women getting the right to vote and the importance of this right. Please note that registration is not required for this event. As the rest of the schedule is firmed up details will be shared by Penfield Recreation, the Penfield Public Library, and also online at www.penfieldrec.org.
I received the following information from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC): Oak wilt, a deadly fungal disease affecting oak trees, was discovered in six new locations in New York last year. This disease can be spread by beetles that are attracted to freshly cut or injured trees. Protect your oak trees from deadly infection by pruning in winter instead of during the growing season. The oak wilt fungus clogs the trees’ transport vessels, cutting off water and food from leaves and the rest of the tree. Oak wilt spreads when fungal spores hitch rides on insects. Sap beetles, one of the main culprits, are extremely attracted to fresh tree wounds. Therefore, pruning oaks during the growing season greatly increases the chances of insects infecting them with oak wilt.
Here is a summary of how you can protect your oak trees:
- Prune oaks between October and February, NOT during the growing season.
- Follow existing regulations and quarantines meant to protect trees and forests.
- Don’t move firewood. Firewood can transport oak wilt and other deadly pests and diseases to new areas.
Learn to identify the symptoms of oak wilt which include discoloration around the entire leaf edge and sudden loss of a substantial portion of leaves during the summer. Direct your questions to the DEC Forest Health office at 1-866-640-0652 or email photos of tree symptoms to email@example.com. Visit the DEC website for more information on oak wilt.
Waste Management of New York is reminding residents to recycle cardboard, especially after the holidays. Cardboard used for shipping has become one of the most disposed of household materials with the increasing popularity of online shopping. It is important to remember to recycle materials properly, as Waste Management continues to see cardboard in our landfills, which could instead be recycled into new products. Almost 20 percent of annual retail purchases are made during the holiday season, resulting in a spike in recyclable materials. Cardboard can be recycled through curbside recycling pickup or at the Monroe County Ecopark, 10 Avion Drive. To recycle curbside, cardboard must be flattened down or cut into small pieces and placed in or under the recycling container. Greeting cards, gift boxes, wrapping paper and wrapping paper tubes can all be placed in recycling bins as well. Please note that the Monroe County Ecopark is open Wednesdays from 1:00 to 6:30 PM and Saturdays from 7:30 AM to 1:00 PM. For information on recycling visit www.monroecounty.gov/ecopark.
The AARP Foundation Tax Aide Program will once again be offering free income tax preparation on Wednesday and Friday mornings at the Penfield Community Center by appointment only, beginning February 1, 2017. The AARP Foundation Tax Aide Program was designed to provide free income tax preparation services for low to moderate income households. While the program is available to anyone, its intent is to help those with limited resources who cannot afford to have their returns prepared by a private person or company.
This year AARP is migrating to a new software program which means that your return may take a little longer to prepare. Please keep this in mind when booking your appointment. One important thing to note is that preparers will NOT have access to any prior year carryover information. It is important that you bring last year’s tax return and supporting documents with you to your appointment—even if prepared by the AARP Tax Aide program.
Other information that MUST be brought to your appointment:
- Photo ID
- Social Security cards for yourself and dependents
- Checkbook or a voided check if you want to direct deposit any refund. AARP cannot take routing numbers or account numbers verbally or from any other documents.
- Proof of health care coverage
To help you book your tax appointment, please review the following list of mailing deadlines for tax information you will need to bring with you to file your taxes. (Keep in mind that it will take several days before you actually receive documents from providers.)
- W-2, 1099INT, 1099DIV, 1099R forms must be mailed by February 1
- 1099B and consolidate brokerage investment accounts have a mailing deadline of February 15, but many companies are granted an extension to March 15
- K-1s have a mailing deadline of April 15
To make an appointment contact Penfield Recreation beginning January 17 at 340-8655, ext. 0. Appointments are available February 1 through April 12.
Until next week, enjoy the mild weather. Because of recent rain and snow melt, please take a moment to clean the road drain in front of your home of leaves and other debris to ensure proper drainage.
January 9, 2017
Supervisor’s column January 9, 2017
Over the weekend I had the honor of attending an Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Konrad Osterwinter of Troop 31 to present a certificate of recognition on behalf of the Penfield community. For his Eagle project, Konrad built four bookcase storage units for classrooms at his elementary school, Seton Catholic School. Troop 31 has a long history of preparing scouts for their Eagle; since 1928, a remarkable 171 scouts from this troop achieved this rank. On behalf of the entire town I would like to recognize and thank Konrad for his accomplishment, he and his family should be very proud…congratulations!
Throughout the year I am asked about various properties and developments in Penfield. Here is an update on properties that have received the most recent inquiries:
- The service station at the corner of Route 250/Atlantic Ave. has finally been demolished!
- Popeye’s will remain Popeye’s and re-open over the next month or two.
- The Clean-Town property opposite Panorama Plaza near the ESL ATM will be before the Planning Board on January 12 for a proposed office building.
- A number of businesses have been looking at the old Panorama Theater site (Dollar Store/Panera). Planet Fitness is very interested in the site.
- In addition to the U of R Urgent Care on Penfield Road, the EyeSite offices next to Summit should be completed soon (they are moving from the plaza behind their new building).
- The church across the street from Mark’s Pizzeria was purchased and renovated for Aspenleiter Sewing & Vacuum, a Penfield resident moving his business from Monroe Ave. to Penfield.
- The Hampton Inn on Panorama Trail is slated to open in March.
If you have questions about a particular property, please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop me to ask if you see me out and about in our great community.
Please mark your calendars for the next Penfield Symphony Orchestra (PSO) concert “Operatic Gems” on Monday, February 13 at the Penfield High School Auditorium at 7:30 PM. Free rides to all concerts are available from Lifespan by calling 872-0774. For more information about this concert and the PSO, please go to www.penfieldsymphony.org.
The Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind all residents with fireplaces and wood stoves of the following safety practices:
- Have a professional chimney sweep inspect chimneys annually for cracks, blockages, and leaks and have them cleaned and repaired as needed
- Burn seasoned hardwood only—no trash, cardboard, Christmas trees, or other materials
- Use a sturdy screen or doors to keep embers inside the fireplace
- Ensure all of your smoke alarms are functioning properly
We do not want to see any of our residents injured or displaced from their homes because of a chimney fire from a fireplace or woodstove this winter season.
One last reminder as we wind down the holiday season…Christmas tree recycling will continue at the DPW facility, 1607 Jackson Road, through the end of the month. All trees will be ground up and become part of the free mulch pile available at the town hall.
Note: Town offices will be closed on Monday, January 16 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. All offices will re-open Tuesday at normal times, including the mobile DMV that will operate from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM in town hall auditorium.
Until next week enjoy the longer days and milder weather!
January 4, 2017
Supervisor’s column January 4, 2017
Happy New Year!
This week’s town board meeting is the organizational meeting for the year. At this meeting all the appointments are made for boards and committees, salaries are established, various contracts are authorized, banking arrangements are confirmed, consultants are named, and other annual actions are taken.
As a reminder, you can watch town board meetings live on PCTV channel 12. You can also log on at www.penfield.org for live streaming video or to view recorded video of past meetings of interest. Please tune in and be part of your local government.
Christmas tree recycling is underway at the DPW facility, 1607 Jackson Road. All trees will be ground up and made part of the free mulch pile available at the town hall complex from early spring until we run out of material for the year. Thank you in advance for choosing to recycle your tree and keep it out of the landfill.
My next comments are fall and winter reminders. First, with the mild winter and recent rains, I have cleaned off a number of road catch basins in my neighborhood to minimize flooding. If you have a drainage basin in front of your home that is covered with leaves and debris, please clear the grate to ensure proper water flow. Secondly, we know the next round of snow is just around the corner! Please remember that snow plow rules are in effect through April 1. This means no parking is allowed on Penfield roads and highways between 2:00 and 7:00 AM so our DPW crews can safely and effectively maintain the roadways. Thank you for assisting our crews in making the roads safer for everyone traveling to work, school, and other activities. And please don’t forget about neighborhood fire hydrants – keep them clear of snow to save valuable time for emergency responders in the event of a fire. It’s the small things at times that make the most difference for the safety of others.
During the course of any given week I receive calls and emails from residents regarding unsafe conditions on our roadways, vehicle speed, traffic flow, and parking. Penfield has an excellent working relationship with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, and I meet monthly with Zone A Commander Captain Ott to address these and another police matters that impact the town and Penfield residents. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sheriff O’Flynn and his entire staff at Zone A for their support of this great community and for the work they do to help keep Penfield safe.
One last reminder, registration began Tuesday, January 3 for most Penfield Recreation programs. Many of these programs fill up quickly due to their popularity. If you have not yet registered for a program you are interested in you may want to do so quickly!
In the New Year, the town’s Employee Wellness Team encourages us all to “know our numbers” for blood pressure, fasting blood sugar, cholesterol, and BMI (body mass index). Knowing your numbers is a key first step to improving your overall health and wellness.
By now you should have received your 2017 combined Town and County Tax bill that was mailed December 31. If you have not yet received your bill, please contact the tax office at 340-8626 for a duplicate copy. My annual letter explaining items on the tax bill can be found online at www.penfield.org in the tax receiver section. Hard copies are available at the tax office.
Until next week, be well and be safe!
December 28, 2016
Supervisor’s column December 28, 2016
At the town board’s last legislative session of 2016 we recognized sisters Madeline “Mary” and Elizabeth “Liza” Cotter with Certificates of Recognition in appreciation of their outstanding volunteerism in the Penfield community and beyond. These two young ladies have supported their community through programs like Life Conquerors…Beat the Odds “Re-Run” Shoe Drive for third world needy and U.S.A. homeless -- many hundreds of pounds of footwear has been shipped to recipients this year. The Cotter sisters have placed donation boxes at the Penfield Town Hall (3100 Atlantic Avenue) and Penfield Community Center (1985 Baird Road), so please consider cleaning out your closets and donating new or lightly worn shoes of all types and sizes.
Additionally, Liza has spent time in Nicaragua helping to build schools and homes. She told me, “…the work is hard but very rewarding.” Nicaragua, Central America's largest country, is known as "the land of lakes and volcanoes" with a diverse climate that includes hurricanes. While the majority of Nicaraguans remain below the poverty line, the country boasts a very low crime rate. Mary will be making a trip to Nicaragua in 2017.
On behalf of the town board and the entire community of Penfield, I would like to recognize and thank both Mary and Liza for their energy and commitment to helping people near and far. Their efforts are a shining example to all and we are proud to count them among Penfield’s finest citizens.
Last week I shared with you the story of Marisa Zwick, the sixth grader who has been cleaning up litter in Penfield. A neighbor, Roger McKeon, has been following Marisa’s story and asked to meet with her so he could thank her for her efforts and to share an award he received in 1985 from the Monroe County Conservation Council for “sportsman conservationist of the year” for doing similar work of cleaning streams and waterways. Mr. McKeon also wanted to make a donation to Marisa’s efforts to help purchase supplies like bags and gloves to encourage her with the ongoing project of cleaning up Penfield. This is another wonderful example of how different generations continue to give back to our community for the good of future generations.
The Penfield Recreation 2017 winter/spring brochure has been delivered to homes and is also available online. Please check out all the programs to help start your new year on a healthy note! Registration will begin January 3 for most programs. Sign up early! Many popular programs fill up quickly. For more information and details, go to www.penfieldrec.org.
The next guided hike sponsored by the Penfield Trails Committee will be held January 9 from 10:00 AM to noon at Ellison Park. Meet at the Blossom Road entrance and look for the HIKE signs. While all hikes are free, we ask that you please register by contacting the Penfield Recreation Department at 340-8655. If there is snow please bring cross country skis or snowshoes. Please, no pets on the hikes!
As we prepare for the start a new year, please connect with the Town of Penfield to stay informed. Be sure to follow community news at www.penfield.org for this column, live streaming and recorded video of town meetings, event calendars, links to social media (Facebook and Twitter), and much more.
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 the slaves.
As 2016 comes to a close, I wish to thank all of the residents of the town for allowing me to serve you as your Town Supervisor. It is an honor and responsibility I never take for granted. From my family to yours, I wish everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. I look forward to seeing you around the town in 2017.
December 27, 2016
County Sheriff's Office seeking info regarding December 16 crash
|A message from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office: Looking for any information regarding a crash that occurred on Route 441 (Penfield), near Gloria Drive, on Thursday, December 16 sometime after 4 PM. A female pedestrian was seriously injured when she was struck by an unknown vehicle while crossing Route 441. She was walking in a southerly direction. Weather conditions had heavy snow fall at the time of the crash. If anyone has any information, please call 911, refer to CR 16-220999. You can remain anonymous. Thank you!
Video of the incident
December 20, 2016
Supervisor’s column December 20, 2016
Earlier this year the town’s Energy & Environmental Advisory Committee (EEAC) met a Penfield sixth grader by the name of Marisa Zwick who has a tremendous amount of passion for cleaning up her community. She was saddened to see the amount of litter impacting ponds, public spaces, and the environment.
This started Marisa thinking about what she and her friends might be able to do to address the problem of litter, and so began her journey to clean up Penfield. With the help of her parents, friends, and a supportive teacher, Marisa began her mission to inform residents of the issues related to litter and challenge us all to be more responsible for our actions.
That brings us to this fall, when the EEAC toured the High Acres Landfill. We invited Marisa and her father to join us so she could “follow the flow” first-hand to see what happens to garbage from the point of curbside pick up to the landfilling process and then beyond to the production of electricity generated from methane gas produced by the landfill. It was an impressive tour for our entire group. Members of the Waste Management leadership team met Marisa that day and learned of her mission to eradicate litter—they were impressed with this young lady! I learned that last week a representative from Waste Management personally delivered an “environmental care package” of gloves, hats, garbage bags, and more for Marisa and her friends to use as they venture out to clean up Penfield.
I would like to recognize and thank Marisa for all she has done to keep Penfield looking great by picking up litter and debris around town. I also want to acknowledge Nicole Fornof, Waste Management Public Affairs and Jeff Richardson, Waste Management District Manager, for supporting Marisa’s efforts. Thank you Marisa for leading by example, and a special thank you to Waste Management for your commitment to our community!
Members of Boy Scout Troop 312 attended the December 7 town board meeting and presented the town with two beautiful wreaths to decorate the doors of the town hall. On behalf of the town board and all visitors to the town hall, thank you Troop 312 for your generous donation and contribution to the holiday spirit at 3100 Atlantic Ave.
Blood donors are needed to meet the needs of hospital patients locally and across the country. Holiday shortages could leave patients without potentially lifesaving support. This includes children fighting cancer, older adults battling chronic illnesses, and trauma victims struggling to survive. The next opportunity to give blood in Penfield is Wednesday, December 21 from 2:00 to 7:00 PM at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. For other donation center locations, please go to redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
The third annual outdoor Menorah lighting will take place Tuesday, December 27 at 5:30 PM in the Four Corners at Schaufelberger Park. This event is open to the entire community; donuts and potato pancakes (latkes) will be served to all who attend.
Please note, town offices will be closed Friday, December 23; Monday, December 26; and Monday January 2.
On behalf of the Penfield Town Board and all town staff, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
December 12, 2016
Supervisor’s column December 12, 2016
I am regularly asked about the availability of electronics recycling—specifically FREE events to dispose of old and unused electronics. I just learned of one such free event being sponsored by Senator Joe Robach in conjunction with Time Warner Cable, Sunnking Electronics, Monroe County, and Waste Management on Sunday, February 28 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Monroe County Ecopark facility located at 10 Avion Drive near the airport. For a complete list of accepted and unaccepted items, please go to www.robach.nysenate.gov or www.sunnking.com.
Once again, I have been reminded by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, Zone A, to ask you “watch out” for those who want to do their holiday shopping at your expense. Vehicle break-ins are at their highest level this time of the year. Make sure your vehicle is always locked, and do not leave gifts or valuables in your car overnight. If you are out shopping consider locking gifts in the trunk and out of sight or cover them up to disguise. Also, vehicle break-ins at gyms and other sports facilities are higher this season. Be aware of your surroundings, park in a lit area, have your cell phone in hand, and stash your purse, wallet, or valuables in your trunk before you arrive at your destination—you never know who is watching!
I would like to recognize and thank Dave Woodward and his family, owners and operators of Woody Acres Farm located at 1530 Harris Road, for donating the annual Christmas tree for the Penfield Town Hall. The statuesque tree is on display in the rotunda and will be enjoyed by many residents throughout the holiday season. This donation is another example of the generous and caring residents and business owners we have in this great community. Dave, may you and your entire family enjoy a very healthy and happy holiday season.
Members of the Creative Gardeners of the Penfield Garden Club have a tradition of decorating the town hall rotunda with beautiful greens and wreaths for the holidays. We are grateful that they have visited us once again to spread their holiday cheer in welcome to all town hall visitors.
Lastly, I want to thank Town Clerk Amy Steklof for preparing the annual Menorah table. On behalf of all our employees and residents, a special thank you goes out to Woody Acres, the Creative Gardeners, and Amy Steklof for your efforts in making this a special holiday season for Penfield residents!
The Shepherd Home presents its annual “Wings of Light Luminaria” event on Monday, December 12 from 5:00 to 7:30 PM. The luminaries are small bags containing sand and a lighted candle; each bearing the name of a loved one being remembered. All the luminaries will be lit at once to create a glowing nighttime holiday display on the grounds of the Shepherd Home at 1959 Five Mile Line Road. Come join in for an evening of light, laughter, and love. To learn more, please visit their website at www.shepherdhome.org.
Are the holidays coming too quickly? Are you feeling the pressure that you have not even started your Christmas shopping? We may be able to help you! Gift certificates from Penfield Recreation are available in any denomination and can be used for anything we sell including classes, wellness merchandise, performances, lodge rentals, and much more. To purchase with your credit card call the office at 340-8655 (option 0) or stop by the office, our staff would love to see you!
Penfield Recreation has put together another great lineup of activities during school break weeks in December, February, and April. The Winter/Spring 2017 PenRec brochure will hit your mailboxes this week, so be sure to check out the upcoming offerings for school breaks and the coming months. You may also log on now to browse the entire brochure at www.penfieldrec.org.
The Recreation Department asked me to remind everyone that although winter has just begun, it is not too early to sign up for summer camp. If you register online you will receive a 10 percent discount. Due to the popularity of our camp programs they tend to fill up fast, so don’t delay!
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.
-December 15, 1791 – The first Ten Amendments to the Constitution known as the “Bill of Rights” are ratified.
Until next week, plan accordingly for the winter mix we will be seeing across the area. Allow for extra time to get to work and appointments; watch for icy spots under the snow that will cause slipping hazards; if the snow accumulates please clear your cars before driving to avoid not seeing another vehicle or pedestrian, and don’t forget to keep that neighborhood fire hydrant clear!
December 8, 2016
2017 Town of Penfield Calendars
|The Town of Penfield has published a 2017 calendar with all the important dates and information you need to know! Pick one up at Penfield Town Hall, Penfield Community Center, or at one of our generous sponsors' locations: Hong Wah Chinese Restaurant (1802 Penfield Road), Master Kim's Taekwondo Institute (1601 Penfield Road/Panorama Plaza), or Woody Acres (1530 Harris Road).