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September 17, 2018
Supervisor's column September 17, 2018

The 15th annual Tastin’ the Blues saw more than 500 people in attendance on what was one of the hottest days for this event since it was started by now retired Assistant Recreation Director Steve Orsini in 2003. Eight chili contestants came ready to claim a prize for the judges and people’s choice awards; congratulations to all of the winners! A special shout-out to Genesee Beer House and North American Breweries who supplied all of the beer for sampling. And let’s not forget the music…Steve Grills and the Roadmasters with special guest Joe Beard rocked the amphitheater and Kiwanis Stage with some of the best blues music in Monroe County!

I would like to recognize this year’s amphitheater sponsors: Penfield-Perinton Kiwanis, Synergy IT Solutions, Tutor Doctor, and Farmers Insurance. Without their support we would not be able to provide all the wonderful music events and programs. I also want to thank the entire Penfield Recreation Team, lead by Director Chris Bilow, for their efforts and commitment to making the 2018 season one of the best to date. Great job all, I am looking forward to the 2019 season already!

I had the honor and pleasure of kicking off the first meeting of the 2020 Comprehensive Plan Update Committee last week. This group of fourteen residents came together excited to work on this important plan that will help guide the town’s next decade of growth. This update is due to be completed late next year will become the road map for future development, capital improvements, and new or updated policies, zoning, and strategies until the next update in 2030. The committee will solicit and consider resident ideas and will hold at least one public information meeting to allow residents an opportunity to provide input. The committee will also encourage residents to submit written feedback throughout the process.

We intended to have the brush pile at Shadow Pines ground up last week; however, due to mechanical breakdowns and the need for parts from the manufacturer, the tub-grinder that we borrow from Monroe County is out of service for a few weeks. They promise that once it is repaired it will be delivered to the site and within a few days the pile will be processed.

Please note that due to the Yom Kippur holiday there will not be a town board legislative meeting this Wednesday, September 19. The next legislative meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 3 and will include the public hearing on the 2019 Preliminary Budget. The complete budget summary and details can be found by logging on at www.penfield.org and clicking on quick links in the left hand column. Copies are also available for review at the Penfield Public Library, the town clerk’s office, or by contacting the Town Comptroller at 340-8621.

Consider signing up for the “City of Light” day tour of Buffalo on Friday, September 28. Experience Buffalo through the eyes of author Lauren Belfar’s novel, “The City of Light,” set in Buffalo at the dawn of the twentieth century. The trip includes round trip transportation from the Penfield Community Center, a personal guided tour of historic sites described in the book, admissions, lunch at one of Buffalo’s historic restaurants, and refreshments. The cost is $90.00. Vans leave at 8:30 AM and return at approximately 6:30 PM. For more information, please go to www.penfieldrec.org or contact the Recreation Department at 340-8655.

The next guided hike by the Penfield Trails Committee will be held on Saturday, October 13 from 10:00 AM to noon at Lucien Morin Park. Mark your calendars, more details will come in the next few weeks.

The Daytime Education at Recreation (DEAR) programs continue to be very popular and the program offerings grow each quarter. Most classes are free and do not require Penfield residency to attend. Please check out the complete list of programs at www.penfieldrec.org. I guarantee there will be something of interest for everyone!

Important dates and events in history: September 17, 1787 – The Constitution of the United States is adopted and signed in Philadelphia; September 17, 1796 – George Washington gives his farewell address to the nation; September 17, 1862 – Union forces win the Battle of Antietam; and on September 20, 1814 – the “Star-Spangled Banner” becomes the official National Anthem.

Until next week, enjoy the continued stretch of mild weather. Be well and be safe!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org


September 13, 2018
A message from Supervisor LaFountain: 2019 Preliminary Budget

The 2019 Preliminary Town Budget is now available for review at this link (or www.penfield.org, see Quick Links).

The proposed budget, including special districts, is $20,259,606, an increase of $1,120,212 from 2018. The Town Operating Budget, without special districts, is $17,300,547.

With this budget, the 2019 town tax rate is $2.78 per $1,000 of assessed property value, an increase of approximately 9 cents from 2018. (At this tax rate, a property in Penfield with a valuation of $190,000 will pay $528.20 for general governmental services, which is an increase of $17.10 over last year.)

The planning process for the 2019 budget is unique because of the purchase of Shadow Pines Golf Course that was approved by 80 percent of voters in a February 2018 special election. We came into this budget cycle anticipating a tax increase of 10 to 12 cents to cover the Shadow Pines debt and estimated ownership and maintenance costs.

I’m please to share that through the efforts of town staff and the town board, the 9 cent tax increase covers the Shadow Pines debt—along with financing for the purchase of capital equipment for DPW—and is actually lower than was estimated at the time of the public referendum to purchase Shadow Pines.

How did we do that? To begin, after the referendum, the town board chose to purchase the Clark House portion of the Shadow Pines with cash on hand, reducing the bond debt and related interest by $260,000. Next, sales tax revenue came in higher than expected, and DPW generated income from special projects for the Penfield Central School District and Monroe County. Further, we will use reserve funding that grew significantly in 2018 (rather than borrowing) to finance capital equipment for DPW including a sweeper, 6-wheeler, 10-wheeler, and other vehicle replacements. This budget also includes a new playground at Harris Whalen Park to be financed through a dedicated recreation trust. 

As in previous years, the annual challenge of expenditures that are not under the Town of Penfield’s control continue to see increases. In 2019, we budgeted an 8.5 percent increase in health insurance premiums and continued contributions to the New York State retirement system of approximately 15 to 20 percent of payroll. The cost of workers compensation will remain flat at nearly six percent of payroll. 

With this proposed budget, we continue our long-standing financial discipline of a forecasting a five-year outlook as we mange debt, expenses, revenue, and special districts.

In summary, we lowered our expected debt exposure, took in more revenue than projected, and used reserve funds to develop the 2019 budget with a 9 cent rate increase versus the anticipated 10 to 12 cent increase. This Preliminary Budget delivers the same level of services, finances the Shadow Pines purchase and maintenance, updates DPW equipment, and adds a new playground at Harris Whalen Park. Once again, the town tax levy increase is below the increase allowed by the New York State tax cap.

I thank Town Comptroller Barbara Chirdo, town staff, and the town board for their commitment and professionalism preparing the 2019 Preliminary Town Budget.

The public comment period for the 2019 Budget runs September 12 through October 11. A public hearing to receive comments on the Preliminary Budget will be held at the October 3 Penfield Town Board meeting at 7:00 PM in the town hall auditorium. 

The 2019 Preliminary Town Budget is available for review on the town website, the town clerk’s office, and the Penfield Public Library. Additionally, if you would like to speak with the Town Comptroller regarding the 2019 budget, please call 340-8621 or call my office at 340-8630.


September 10, 2018
Supervisor's column September 10, 2018

Tomorrow marks the 17th anniversary of the attacks of September 11th, a day that will have a lasting impact on our great country. Nearly 3,000 people died when hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. It was the deadliest terror attack on American soil. We will not falter…we will not fear…we will not fail…we will not forget!

Mark your calendars for the 42nd annual Penfield Used Book Sale this week at the Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. The sale features more than 85,000 used books, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, and videos at bargain prices. All items are sorted into categories that include local history, numerous specials, records, games, puzzles, computer software, and more. This sale is presented by the Friends of the Penfield Public Library and proceeds will benefit the Penfield Public Library. Payment may be made with cash, check or credit card. Due to narrow aisles, no strollers are permitted; and no food or beverages will be allowed on the sales floor. Please bring your own bags. 

Used book sale schedule: Pre-sale for Friends of Penfield Public Library is Tuesday, September 11, 2:00 to 9:00 PM (memberships are $5.00 per family; renew early or sign up at the door). Open to all Wednesday, September 12 and Thursday, September 13, 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM; Friday, September 14, 10:00 AM to 6:00 pm (half-price day); and Saturday, September 15, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM ($3.00 bag sale, Wegmans/Tops reusable bags are acceptable; specials remain half-price).

Insider information…according to Gary Richardson, this year’s book sale co-chair, there will be an unusually high number of local history titles and some very desirable DVD sets of television shows—so get there early so as not to miss out!

September 9 to 15 is National Assisted Living Week with the theme of “Capture the Moment.” This year’s theme hopes to inspire residents to realize their dreams and seize the day. Simultaneously, the theme also supports reflection, as residents may look back on pivotal moments of their lives. With the theme’s word play referencing photography, residents may refer to pictures or videos from their past. 

This evening I will have the honor and pleasure of joining Senator Rich Funke at Heathwood Penfield Community to present a proclamation recognizing the importance of this week and to proclaim September 9 to 15 as National Assisted Living Week in the Town of Penfield.

Please join me in recognizing Heathwood Penfield community staff, caregivers, residents, and families for all they do throughout the year. Penfield is proud to be a wellness community with a tradition of honoring its residents and recognizing them for their contributions to our town, county and country.

My office has received many resident calls asking if the Town will be hosting a fall drop-off event like we do in the spring. The answer is “no” to a general drop off event. We will, however, be holding our sixth annual “Fall Recycling Day” on Saturday, October 13 from 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM at the DPW complex, 1607 Jackson Road. Residents may bring the following materials to this event: brush/branches (not leaves); metals and appliances; papers for secure document destruction, and clothing/linens for the St. Pauly textile shed. There will be NO ELECTRONICS recycling due to the complexity and costs of the ever-changing electronics market. Monroe County’s “ecopark” will accept electronics for a fee, please visit www.monroecounty.gov/ecopark for more details.

The Penfield Symphony Orchestra’s 2018-2019 schedule is hot off the press! Their first concert is Monday, October 22 with “Wonderful Williams” sponsored by Heathwood Assisted Living. The PSO has provided excellence in classical music for more than 60 years and this year marks Dr. David Harman’s 19th year as Music Director and Conductor. All concerts begin at 7:30 PM at the Penfield High School auditorium with convenient parking. Free rides to concerts are available from Lifespan by calling 872-0774. Please call two weeks before the concerts to schedule a ride. For more information on this concert and others please go to www.penfieldsymphony.org

Pen-Rec’s next out-to-lunch event is Friday, October 12 with a visit to Wagner Vineyards Estate Winery. This winery is one of the oldest and most recognized wineries in the Finger Lakes Region and upstate New York. Wagner Vineyards has 30 award winning wines ranging from bone dry to dessert wine sweet. Whether your palate prefers red wine, white wine, light and sweet wines made from grapes native to the Finger Lakes region, or dry European or vinifera style wines, you will be sure to find a wine to enjoy! Depart the Penfield Community Center at 11:00 AM and return at 4:00 PM. For more information or to reserve your seat, please go to www.penfieldrec.org or call the Recreation Department at 340-8655.

I hope to see you at Tastin’ the Blues this coming Saturday, September 15 from noon to 4:00 PM where you can enjoy good food, a variety of beer samples, and great music…it will be fun for the entire family!

Until next week, enjoy the start of our fall weather and please support our local farm markets this season. Also, remember to watch out for stopped school buses with their flashing lights picking up or dropping off our youngest residents!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 


September 4, 2018
Supervisor's column September 4, 2018

Budget 2019: The Town Comptroller and I will be presenting the 2019 Tentative Budget to the public on Wednesday, September 12 at 7:00 PM at the Penfield Town Board meeting. With revenues (such as sales tax distribution) coming in strong to help offset increases in items like health care, we are proposing an anticipated increase in taxes that will essentially cover the cost of the purchase of the former Shadow Pines Golf Course property that was approved by 80% of voters in a February 2018 special election. As we continue our five-year budget outlook, we are also proposing an investment in capital equipment to maintain town services in the coming years. I’m please to share that the proposed tax increase to cover new debt, capital equipment, and operations is less than what was anticipated at the time of the public referendum to purchase Shadow Pines. 

The town board will hold a formal public hearing on the budget at its October 3 legislative meeting to hear all interested parties. All budget documents will be available for review on the town website, the town clerk’s office, and at the Penfield Public Library. Additionally, if you would like to speak with the Town Comptroller regarding the 2019 budget, please call 340-8621 or my office at 340-8630.

Dust off your favorite chili recipe and enter it in the chili judging contest at the annual “Tastin the Blues” to be held on Saturday, September 15 from noon to 4:00 PM at the Penfield Amphitheater and Kiwanis Stage in Veterans’ Memorial Park. There will be two separate categories for judging, the “People’s Choice” and “Judged.” Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in both categories. A $100 cash prize will go to 1st place in the “judged” category. Get your entry form on page 7 of the fall Pen-Rec brochure, online at www.penfieldrec.org, or stop in at the Penfield Recreation Department at 1985 Baird Road. Steve Grills and the Roadmasters with special guest Joe Beard Blues will provide music for the afternoon. Along with chili sampling there will be a food concession stand and Genesee Brew House beer samples. I hope to see you there! 

There’s more! “Dogs’ Day Out” is a new addition to Tastin’ the Blues, so bring the whole family to this event, including the dog! Starting at noon, come join in on a free dog handling demo for kids, presentation on scent work for dogs, games for dogs and their humans, DIY healthy dog treats, and more. Dogs must be vaccinated, friendly, and on-leash for this event. Owners are required to pick up after their dogs.

Register now for the 2nd annual Penfield Education Foundation 5K to be held on Sunday, October 14 at 9:00 AM at the Penfield High school track. This community 5K race/run is intended to provide a morning of healthy exercise while supporting the Penfield Education Foundation. A children’s “fun run” (that will not be officially timed) will follow the running of the 5K. Register at: https://runsignup.com/race/ny/penfield/penfieldeducationfoundation5k

As we prepare for the winter months many of us clean our garages so we can park cars inside and out of the winter weather. Doing so, we may find an old bike or trike in a corner collecting dust and taking up valuable space. Here’s a solution that serves! Donate used bicycles to Penfield Rotary’s collection for R Community Bikes, Inc. on Saturday, October 6 at the Community Center, 1985 Baird Road from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. This Rochester-based organization repairs and distributes bicycles free of charge to Rochester’s needy children and adults. Receipts will be provided documenting all donations. The Penfield Community “bike drop” is free and open to the public.

Program registration for Pen-Rec programs begins on Wednesday, September 5. Popular programs fill up quickly so do not delay!

Dates to remember: Saturday, September 8 is the next free guided hike sponsored by the Trails Committee from 9:00 to 11:00 AM at Philbrick Park. This will be a history hike. Saturday September 15 is the annual Penfield/Webster Household Hazardous Waste event at the Penfield DPW, 1607 Jackson Road from 7:45 AM to 1:00PM. Appointments are required, schedule online at www.monroecounty.gov/ecopark or call DPW offices at 340-8710.  And here’s one more plug for Tastin’ the Blues on Saturday, September 15 from noon to 4:00 PM at the amphitheater behind the town hall with music, chili and beer samples, food concession, dog demonstrations, and more!

Until next week, I hope the first week back to school goes smoothly for all. I remind all drivers to watch out for our youngest residents catching the bus; please be patient and do not pass buses with their flashing red lights…our children’s safety is our number one priority!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org

 


August 28, 2018
Penfield Library used book sale Sep 11-15

The “Friends of the Penfield Public Library” (FPPL) will host the group’s 42nd Annual Used Book Sale September 11–15 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 2017 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. We have also been able to purchase a state-of-the-art text magnifier to assist those of our patrons with visual challenges to access a wider variety of the print materials we offer.”

Book sale hours and daily specials are as follows:

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

Tuesday, 9/11   2:00 PM – 9:00 PM 

GENERAL PUBLIC:

Wednesday, 9/12 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Thursday, 9/13 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Friday, 9/14 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, half-price day

Saturday, 9/15   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.


August 27, 2018
Supervisor's column August 27, 2018

I had the honor of joining Master Kim and his staff at Master Kim’s Taekwondo Institute this weekend to observe 80 of our youngest residents, ages four to 12, as they participated in a “Stranger Danger” safety tips program. Master Kim invited me to speak to the children at the end of the program and—I must say—the work the students did preparing their posters and presenting what they learned was impressive. 

Master Kim conducts several special programs throughout the year that focus on the safety of our children. Stranger Awareness helps teach them about being safe, alert, and smart in all situations. For more safety tips and information, please log on to www.thesafeside.com

Master Kim’s Taekwondo Institute is a benchmark in our community, working with our young residents to keep them safe by practicing their five tenets of courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit. Their program is designed to build character in the students and to train them to become confident and strong leaders.

This coming Saturday, September 1, our residents and visitors to Penfield will be given access to a portion of Shadow Pines north of Clark Road, known as the front nine of the former golf course. Access to the land is for passive recreation only; this includes hiking along a meandering trail from the first tee to the ninth green, birding, and ultimately cross-country skiing. Dogs on leashes are allowed and owners are expected to clean up pet waste. No bikes or motorized vehicles are permitted on any portion of the 212-acre property. The former back nine south of Clark Road remains off limits to the public. The town will begin cleanup of this area in the fall with a goal of granting access to that land later in the year.

The Bri-Pen senior rides program continues to be a wonderful service to transport individuals to medical appointments, religious services, and to the town recreation centers. Drivers are trained by Lifespan’s Give a Lift program and are given free supplemental car insurance. If you need a ride or would like to volunteer, please call 340-8674. 

Time is getting short to make an appointment for the annual household hazardous waste drop-off service scheduled for Saturday, September 15 at the Penfield DPW, 1607 Jackson Road from 7:45 AM to 1:00 PM. Appointments are required and you can easily schedule online at www.monroecounty.gov/ecopark or contact the Penfield DPW office at 340-8710. Everything collected is properly recycled or disposed of and no harmful materials are sent to the landfill. 

The Shepherd Home provides compassionate care to members of our community with terminal illness in a way that cherishes the dignity of each individual, while meeting their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. They provide support to families and friends and foster community acceptance that dying is an integral part of living. If you have time and were thinking about volunteering, consider calling the Shepherd Home at 381-0890 or better yet, drop in; their team would love to meet you!

The next free scenic trek sponsored by the Penfield Trails Committee will be held Saturday, September 8 from 9:00 to 11:00 AM at Philbrick Park. Hike through this park on Irondequoit Creek and learn some history of the pioneer magnate of Penfield. Meet at the pavilion and look for the hike signs. All events are held rain or shine. For more information and to pre-register, contact the Recreation Department at 340-8655, option 0.

This coming weekend we observe Labor Day. Many individuals and families plan social activities and cookouts, as this holiday is typically considered the last week of summer as vacations end and school begins. It is important that we not forget what Labor Day stands for. The original holiday was meant to address a problem of long working hours and no time off. Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day honors the American labor movement and the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of our country.

Therefore, if you “seem to be working all the time” and never really take a vacation, start a new ritual that honors the original spirit of Labor Day. Give yourself the day off. Don’t go in to work. Shut off your phone, computer, and other electronic devices connecting you to your daily grind. Then, go to a barbecue like the original participants did over a century ago, and celebrate having at least one day off from work during the year!

Until next week…be well and be safe!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org  


August 24, 2018
Public to be given access to portion of Shadow Pines on Sep 1

The Town of Penfield has completed its assessment, cleanup and preparation of land that was previously the front nine of the Shadow Pines Golf Course. As of Saturday, September 1 the public may access the town-owned property north of Clark Road from dawn to dusk. 

Visitors are granted access to the land for passive recreation only; this includes hiking along a meandering trail from the first tee to the ninth green, birding, and cross-country skiing. Dogs on leashes are allowed and owners are expected to clean up pet waste. No bikes or motorized vehicles are permitted on any portion of the 212-acre property. 

Since acquiring the property in April, the Town of Penfield has evaluated the land, trees, plantings, and site structures. Crews have removed many tons of dead, damaged, and dying trees north of Clark Road to make the property safe. 

The Clark House and its grounds have also been cleaned up and made safe; however, the building and grounds remain closed. The town board is reviewing options for use of that site.

The former back nine south of Clark Road remains off limits to the public. The town will begin cleanup of this area in the fall with a goal of granting access to that land later in the year.

“The next milestone in the Shadow Pines and Clark House property evolution comes September 1st as we open the former front nine for residents to enjoy hiking, birding, and explore plant and animal life,” said Supervisor Tony LaFountain. “I would like to recognize our hard-working DPW employees who have rallied to make the property safe and accessible by removing dead, dying, and diseased trees along Whalen and Clark Roads. Their efforts have minimized the hazard of trees falling on roadways, wires, and buildings. We have also addressed a myriad of other unsafe conditions from the first tee the ninth green.”

Following a positive public referendum in February 2018, the Town of Penfield acquired the former Shadow Pines property in April for “general municipal” use, which allows the greatest flexibility for overall community and public uses.

On July 18, the town board established the Shadow Pines Land Use Advisory Committee to study future land use options and make recommendations for best municipal uses. The committee will commence its work at a kick-off meeting on September 18 with a goal of submitting recommendations for uses of the 212 acres to the town board by early 2019.

Potential future land uses may include a combination of open space, passive and active recreation, and general municipal functions such as a community center, library, lodge, or other public facilities. Ultimately, the town board will establish a master plan for the property. Until a final plan is approved, passive recreation will be permitted as designated by the town board.

For more details and background information please go to the project page at http://www.penfield.org/SPCHP.php.


August 20, 2018
Supervisor's column August 20, 2018

The U.S. Census Bureau is hiring field representatives in this area and have asked that we help them by sharing the following information with Penfield residents:

The Census Bureau conducts more than 130 surveys every year. Their ability to conduct continuous surveys—other than the once-a-decade population count—depends on survey takers in the field and the ability of regional offices to hire survey workers. Even though the Census Bureau is gearing up to hire workers for the 2020 Census, they still need field representatives for other ongoing surveys. This is where you can help!

Field representatives perform a variety of vital functions, such as updating address lists and maps; conducting interviews with residents in assigned areas; explaining the purpose of the census interview; and answering residents’ questions. Hours of work for field positions will vary, some require employees to work during the day to see addresses on buildings, while others require interviewing the public usually in the evening and on weekends. Benefits include flexible hours, meeting people, and working outside of an office environment. For more information please visit www.census.gov/fieldjobs

Budget 2019: The town comptroller and I continue to tighten up all appropriation and revenue lines based on the best information we have received to date. Not only do we work with our various departments, we gather information from the county, state, and insurance and medical providers. With the overall economy growing, we see growth of sales tax revenue that is favorable to the bottom line. The town board’s goal is to present a budget that maintains services and is sensitive to the impact on Penfield residents. The town comptroller and I will be presenting the 2019 Tentative Budget to the public at the town board meeting on Wednesday, September 12 at 7:00 PM. There will be a formal hearing on the budget at the October 3 town board meeting. All budget documents will be available for review at www.penfield.org, in the town clerk’s office, and at the Penfield Public Library.

This week, DPW will be making a last major cleanup effort on north portion (former front nine) of Shadow Pines as we prepare to open the area for residents to enjoy in the next several weeks; a formal announcement will be made as we get closer to that date. You will see the stumps along Whalen and Clark Roads removed, pathways mowed for a second and third time, and one last pass through the property to ensure no major hazards exist. We are working with Monroe County to get the tub grinder in to grind the large pile of trees, stumps and limbs into mulch.

The American Red Cross is in emergency need of blood! All of us can help by donating blood, it is an easy way to be a hero. No one wants to imagine it, but at any time it could be you or a loved one in need of lifesaving blood. The next donation opportunity in Penfield is Wednesday, August 29 at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. Schedule an appointment by calling 1-800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767); walk-ins are also welcome. Thank you in advance for making a difference in someone’s life!

Many of your youngest residents are about to head to school for the first time and more seasoned students are preparing for the next level of middle school, senior high, and college. On behalf of the town board and Penfield community, I would like to extend best wishes to all students for the upcoming school year. We are indeed fortunate to have access to quality education in our community. Good luck to all and have a wonderful and safe school year!

Until next week, enjoy the rest of your summer and take some time to visit one of our many farm markets in Penfield to enjoy locally grown products, they are bursting at the seam with an excellent selection of high quality fresh fruits and vegetables at great prices…healthy businesses make for a healthy community!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org


August 14, 2018
A message from Supervisor LaFountain: Swastika vandalism in Harris Whalen Park

This past Friday/Saturday an individual(s) spray painted swastikas on 17 trees along a trail in Harris Whalen Park. This hateful and very juvenile act has no place in our community, our county, or our country. The Penfield Town Board and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office take these types of acts very seriously and have opened an active investigation. We continue to be troubled by the pain that these type of hate acts cause our residents and those visiting our park system. 

The MCSO and our Town Parks Security have increased patrols in and around the area. The Penfield Town Board is interested in identifying and arresting the individuals, and prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law.

If you saw anything unusual Friday or Saturday at or around Harris Whalen Park to please call 911 and share that information. Any piece of information, regardless of how minor it may seem, may be of assistance in this investigation. Thank you in advance for helping us keep Penfield a community that does not—and will not—tolerate these types of actions by a few seriously misguided individuals.


August 14, 2018
Supervisor's column August 14, 2018

Late last week, or early this past weekend, individual(s) spray painted swastikas on 17 trees along a trail in Harris Whalen Park. This hateful and very juvenile act has no place in our community, our county, or our country. I continue to be troubled by the pain that these type of hate acts cause most people. The few ignorant individuals that feel a need to commit these types of acts are cowards of the lowest level. 

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office takes these types of acts very seriously and they have opened an active investigation. They have increased patrols in and around the area, spoken with residents, and gathered evidence. The Penfield Town Board is interested in identifying and arresting the individuals, and prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law.

The MCSO asks that if you saw anything unusual Friday or Saturday at or around Harris Whalen Park to please call 911 and share that information. Any piece of information, regardless of how minor it may seem, may be of assistance to their investigation. Thank you in advance for helping us keep Penfield a community that does not—and will not—tolerate these types of actions by a few seriously misguided individuals.

Budget 2019: The first roll-out to the town board last week showed a nine cent increase per thousand dollars, which is the amount of the bond for the purchase of the Shadow Pines property. Additionally, the board is reviewing other costs for equipment replacement, maintenance and repairs, and updating of systems. We will be presenting the 2019 Tentative Budget to the public on Wednesday, September 12 at 7:00 PM at the town board meeting. After the meeting it will be placed on the website, in the Town Clerk’s office, and at the Penfield Public Library for review.

I have shared this information in a previous column; however, I continue to receive calls and emails asking if and when the annual Penfield/Webster Household Hazardous Waste event will be held. If you are interested in this service, please mark your calendars for Saturday, September 15 at the Penfield DPW, 1607 Jackson Road from 7:45 AM to 1:00 PM. This is a great opportunity to clean out garages and basements of old paints/stains, thinners/solvents, pesticides, pool/photo chemicals, automotive fluids, driveway sealers, and other household chemical waste. Appointments are required. You may go online at www.monroecounty.gov/ecopark to schedule or contact the DPW offices at 340-8710. Everything collected at this event is properly recycled or disposed of and no harmful materials are sent to the landfill. 

This past weekend, Councilwoman Linda Kohl presented a certificate of recognition to Ed Barton, a resident of Legacy Willow Pond who was celebrating his 102nd birthday and was enjoying a luncheon with his family and his friends at Legacy. Ed, on behalf of the town board and the entire community of Penfield, happy birthday! We hope you enjoyed your day.

Since the large trees in front of the Clark House were recently taken down I have received many calls and emails asking why those old beautiful trees had to be removed. As hard of a decision as that was, it needed to happen! The trees were so severely diseased they were hollow on the inside and cabled together to keep them from splitting apart. We will be posting pictures on our website under the ‘Shadow Pines and Clark House’ project page for everyone to see. Tree experts from both Birchcrest and Terry Tree who removed these trees were surprised they had not fallen down in one of our many windstorms. If those trees had fallen on nearby power lines the surrounding electrical grid may have been out for a few days to a week or more, depending on the number of poles that would have snapped off in a domino effect. 

As we continue to clean up the site around the Clark House and look to have it leased, we will be adding appropriate sized landscaping back to the site.

Until next week, enjoy the remaining portion of your summer as it seems to be going very quickly and another school year is just around the corner!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 


August 6, 2018
Supervisor's column August 6, 2018

At the town hall, we regularly hear from residents and others how they value the wonderful “quality of life” in Penfield. On that note, the Penfield Public Library has a plan to help you sample some of the “Best of Penfield” at their 5th annual open house on Sunday, August 12 from 1:30 to 4:30 PM. Librarian Bernadette Brinkman and her team have assembled more than 20 organizations to share information on the topics of wellness, public safety, faith, education, and much more. Visitors of all ages will enjoy demonstrations, performances, activities, and exhibits. Come join in on the fun! Refreshments will be available and the admission is FREE. Please note that the library will be open for its regular business transactions during this event.

One last reminder…Senator Rich Funke will be hosting his 4th annual electronics recycling event on Saturday, August 11 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Bishop Kearney High School, 125 Kings Highway. Go to www.sunnking.com/acceptable-materials for a list of materials that will be accepted for recycling, and please note that there will be a limit of two CRT (tube) monitors or televisions per vehicle. Electronics recycling events are always popular and collection trucks fill quickly. Recyclers must stop collecting when they reach maximum capacity for the day, so plan on getting there early. This “rain or shine” collection is sponsored by Senator Funke, Spectrum, and Sunnking Recycling.

Keep an eye out for the “Fall 2018” Pen-Rec program brochure that is due to hit mailboxes later this week. This 50-page publication has a wonderful lineup of programs for residents of all ages. Registration begins on September 4. Due to the popularity of our programs, sessions fill up quickly so don’t delay registering for your favorite class, scenic trek, or program!

Budget 2019: This week marks the initial “roll-up” the town comptroller and I will have with the town board to review all department budget requests for 2019. I continue to be impressed with our department heads as they sort out “needs” versus “wants” as we continue to manage your tax dollars in the best interest of all residents. Areas that have seen the largest increase in proposed spending include the cost of the bond for the purchase of Shadow Pines, replacement costs of equipment within DPW, and medical expenses. We will be presenting the Tentative Budget to the public at the Wednesday, September 12 Town Board meeting at 7:00 PM. The Tentative Budget will be available for review on the website, in the town clerk’s office, and the Penfield Public Library following the presentation.

If you have driven by our DPW facilities on Jackson Road over the last week you will see the new pole barn taking shape. The contractor has informed us that they will have it completed by the week of August 13 or before. Financing of this cold storage facility comes from a grant we received from Senator Rich Funke to replace an early 1900s barn that had reached its useful life.

The next FREE guided hike of the Penfield Trails Committee will be held at Ellison Park this Saturday, August 11, from 9:00 to 11:00 AM. Discover the off-beat pathways that reveal the natural vistas carved by 10,000 years of Irondequoit Creek flow. Meet at the south entrance (1008 Penfield Road) and look for hike signs. For more information and to pre-register for this free hike, call 340-8655, option 0. Please wear appropriate footwear (hiking boots/shoes) and PLEASE, NO PETS! 

The Penfield Trails Committee is always seeking volunteers to serve on its planning committee and to help with manual labor for maintenance of trails. For more information, please call Penfield Recreation at 340-8655.

How do they do that? Penfield is home to many distinctive businesses and industries that generate curiosity. Now you can get a close-up look at what they do and how they do it! Take a tour of facilities, learn about business operations, and discover what goes on do day-to-day in our town. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn more about Penfield and the businesses that thrive here! Tour Dolomite Quarry on Tuesday, August 14 at 3:00 PM or 6:00 PM and Schutt’s Apple Mill & Country Store on Friday, August 24 at 10:00 AM. While the programs are FREE, please register each family member that will be attending by calling 340-8655. Specific instructions on meeting location and more will be sent to those who register.

Until next week, enjoy all that is going on in Penfield!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org


July 30, 2018
Supervisor's column July 30, 2018

Many of you may have heard from news sources that the American Red Cross is in emergency need of blood. While the need is constant, right now they are desperately low on blood supply, and all of us can help! Donating blood is an easy way to be a hero. No one wants to imagine it, but at any time it could be you or a loved one that needs lifesaving blood.

There are two donation opportunities in Penfield in the coming weeks: Tuesday, August 7 at Harris Whalen Lodge and Wednesday, August 29 at Penfield Community Center. Schedule an appointment by calling 1-800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Walk-ins are also welcome! Each presenting donor will receive a $5 Amazon gift card.

Look for ways to make supporting the Red Cross fun…challenge your friends and family, create a blood donor club, chronicle your donation on your favorite social media, or make blood donation an employee service project!

This is the last week of the summer concert series at the Penfield Amphitheater and Kiwanis Stage. Bring the whole family to enjoy the lineup: Matt Chase & Thunder Canyon are featured on Upstage Tuesday, July 31 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM; Thursday Kids Fest will feature the Dady Brothers on August 2 from 7:00 to 8:00 PM; and this week’s Saturdays on Stage presents “Mr. Mustard” on August 4, 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, snacks, and a cooler. Food will also be available from the PenRec food cart.

The final event of the amphitheater season is the annual “Tastin’ the Blues” on Saturday, September 15 from 12:00 to 4:00 PM. Steve Grills and the Roadmasters with Joe Beard will perform, and the ever-popular chili judging and beer sampling will be in full swing. I hope to see you there!

Congratulations to the Shepherd Home and Executive Director Ashley Tack on a very successful 8th annual Golf Tournament. The event raised very important funding for this community jewel that has provided compassionate end of life care to more than 175 residents since their doors opened in 2005. To learn more about this wonderful facility and how to further support their mission, please visit www.shepherdhome.org.

Budget 2019 update: This week will be a deeper review of equipment needs and replacements for 2019. DPW equipment tends to be the most visible with large trucks that are used for plowing and salting in the winter and hauling dirt, stone, and other debris the rest of the year. These trucks are each a $250,000 investment and we tend to run them for 15 to 17 years. There is always a balance as to when to purchase a new vehicle versus repair to ensure we are not over-investing in repairs. I would like to recognize our mechanics team that performs some creative work to get the most out of our fleet while ensuring we are managing costs and keeping the equipment safe.

As I mentioned last week, the month of August is a time to tighten all of the expense and revenue lines as we prepare for presentation to the public. I indicated last week that we would be presenting to the public on Wednesday, September 19. I apologize for the error, but due to the Yom Kippur holiday, we will be presenting the Tentative Budget to the public the week before, on Wednesday, September 12 at 7:00 PM at the town board meeting.

As we prepare for another upcoming school year, it is important to remind Penfield residents that the Penfield Public Library is a “Safe Place” community partner. Young people seeking assistance with housing, safety, or other crisis situations can come to the library to be connected with outreach workers from the Center for Youth who will assess the needs of the young person in question and access necessary services. 

Important dates and events in history: August 1, 1870 – Colorado is the 38th state admitted to the Union; August 2, 1964 – US Destroyer Maddox is attacked in international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin, beginning America’s major involvement in the Vietnam War; August 3, 1492 – Christopher Columbus sets sail to find a westward route to the east; August 4, 1790 – US Coast Guard is established.

Until next week be well and be safe!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 


July 23, 2018
Supervisor's column July 23, 2018

I would like to share news that Senator Rich Funke will be hosting his 4th annual electronics recycling event on Saturday, August 11 from 9:00 AM to noon at Bishop Kearney High School, 125 Kings Highway. To learn what materials are being accepted for recycling, please go to www.sunnking.com/acceptable-materials. Please note that there will be a limit of two CRT (tube) monitors or televisions per vehicle. The event will take place as scheduled or until they reach capacity of 10 to 20 trailers, whichever comes first. Collection must stop once trailers reach maximum capacity, so plan on getting there early because these events are quite popular. This event is scheduled rain or shine, simply drive through and your electronics will be unloaded! This event is sponsored by Senator Funke, Spectrum, and Sunnking Recycling.

Because of the unusual heat and humidity this summer, the Town’s Employees Wellness Team has asked me to pass along some thoughts on the importance of staying hydrated. Did you know that physicians and dieticians suggest that the average adult drink at least 64 ounces of water each day? Our bodies are made up of more than 60 percent water. This means that each time you lose fluids, through sweating for example, you need to fully replenish that water. When water is not replaced quickly and fully, dehydration may set in. Losing as little as two percent of your body’s water content can lead to fatigue and extreme body temperature swings in the form of fever or chills. It is important to hydrate before, during, and after exercise to avoid energy loss, cramps, and unnecessary muscle soreness.

Also, working in hot and humid environments for extended periods can contribute to heat cramps, exhaustion, stress, and the most serious and possibly even deadly heat-related condition, heat stroke. It is important that you recognize the signs and symptoms of these conditions. When working outdoors: drink water regularly; wear light, loose-fitting, breathable clothing; take frequent short breaks in cool shade; eat smaller meals before work activity; and avoid caffeine, alcohol, and large amounts of sugar. Check with your health care provider about the risks associated with all medications taken; and watch out for the following signs and symptoms of heat exposure: confusion, dark-colored urine, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, headache, muscle or abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

This week at the amphitheater: “Teagan and the Tweeds” on Upstage Tuesday, July 24 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM and Thursday Kids Fest, July 26 from 7:00 to 8:00 PM featuring Mike Kornrich. We could be dodging a few rain drops this week, but we will be optimistic the shows will go on so bring a lawn chair or blanket, snacks, and a cooler. Food will also be available from the PenRec food cart. The summer concert series is fun for the entire family!

Budget 2019 update: This week, town comptroller Barbara Chirdo and I will complete the last of our department head reviews of initial budget submissions for consideration by the town board. We also continue to gather information on retirement costs from New York State, health care costs for 2019, workers compensation insurance premiums, costs/fees from other levels of government, and much more. The month of August is a time to tighten all of the expense and revenue lines as we prepare for presentation to the public at the town board meeting on Wednesday, September 19 at 7:00 PM.

Last week, I participated as one of six celebrity judges for the Atria Senior Living “Chef Showdown 2018.” Chef Paul Molisani of Atria took on Chef John Strakal of the Market at I-Square. Their secret ingredient…tomatoes!  Both chefs prepared wonderful dishes for this Iron Chef Competition that were judged for taste, plating, and originality. At the end, Chef Paul came out on top with his creation of a green fried tomato with a whipped guacamole/cream topping and sundried tomato reduction sauce to top it all off…it was a tomato-tastic time!

Until next week, continue to enjoy your summer, stay hydrated, and come join in on one of the summer concert series at the amphitheater! Also, if you see Mrs. LaFountain out and about in the community, please wish her a very happy birthday (Wednesday, July 25th), I know she would appreciate that!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org


July 19, 2018
A Message from Supervisor LaFountain: 2020 Comprehensive Plan Update and Shadow Pines Future Land Use committees established

At last night’s town board meeting, the board approved the 2020 Comprehensive Plan Update Committee and Shadow Pines Land Use Advisory Committee. Next, initial meetings for each committee will be planned in the coming weeks to share introductory information, establish goals, and set project calendars.

I encourage all residents to follow each project online (2020 Comprehensive Plan Update and Shadow Pines Future Land Use ) and attend future public meetings. I will also provide frequent updates in my weekly online column at www.penfield.org.

On behalf of the town board, thank you to all residents who expressed an interest in serving on these committees.


July 16, 2018
Supervisor's column July 16, 2018

Over the weekend, I had the honor of joining Margaret Gleasman, her family, and the residents of Legacy Willow Pond to celebrate her 102nd birthday. Margaret was born in Boonville, NY. She is an amazing lady who has seen a lot of change in the world. Margaret told me that at a recent doctor’s visit, her physician told her she is so healthy she will live another 10 years; now there are some great genes! Margaret, on behalf of the Town Board and the entire community of Penfield, happy birthday and many more!

Enjoy this week’s music at the Penfield Amphitheater and Kiwanis Stage: Upstage Tuesday features “Jumbo Shrimp” on July 17 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM, and Thursday Kids Fest will feature “Paulsen and Baker” on July 19 from 7:00 to 8:00 PM. Hopefully the nice stretch of weather will continue, so bring a lawn chair or blanket, snacks, and a cooler. Food will also be available from the PenRec food cart. The summer concert series is fun for the entire family!

The 2019 budget cycle is well underway; all department heads have provided their first submissions for review by the Finance Director and myself before we roll up to the town board starting in August. Consistent with what I have done in the past, I will report on the progress of the budget development each week until the Tentative Budget is released on September 19 at the board meeting and on the town website.

Progress continues at Shadow Pines with the removal of dead and near-falling trees on the front nine (property north of Clark Road). The first mowing of a meandering trail connecting the first hole tee box through to the ninth green was started last week. DPW crews continue to clean up around the Clark House and parking lot. The trees cut down along Whalen Road will be moved to an area north of the parking lot for grinding by the county’s tub-grinder in early August. Several trees on Clark Road that are cabled together will also be removed over the next week or two. Our goal is to open the front nine for walking and hiking in early August, I will keep everyone posted via this column and on the website.

After that, we will begin cleaning up the back nine (the property south of Clark Road) beginning in August and working through September, with a goal of opening that area late September or early October. Until the various sections of the property are officially opened, please stay off the property for your safety and that of your family, thank you!

Trying to beat the heat? Don’t have a pool? Come splash into family open swim and lap swim at the Penfield High School pool now through August 2. Come by 1:00 to 3:30 PM and join in on the fun for just $2.00 per person, payable at the pool. 

Splash Bash 2018, hosted by Sea Dragons Swim Club, is scheduled for Wednesday, August 15 from 6:30 to 8:00 PM at the Penfield High School pool. Children ages 6 to 19 are welcome (you must be able to swim a full lap of the pool). Come enjoy pool games, prizes, food, and the chance to dive into the world of competitive swimming. Club coaches and current members will be available to answer any questions you might have. For more information, please go to www.seadragons.org

Daytime Education at Recreation (DEAR) is wisdom at its finest hour! DEAR continues to grow and expand for lifetime learners who wish to engage in intellectual, socially viable cognitive activities to help keep their minds sharp and alert while reducing the risk—or delaying the onset—of age-related concerns. Come join the national movement to learn and share life experiences with others by exploring a multitude of free programs! For more information, please look at the PenRec Summer 2018 brochure or visit www.penfieldrec.org to view all the program offerings. 

Important dates and events in history: July 18, 1914 – the United States Army Air Corps is established; July 20, 1969 – American astronaut Neil Armstrong is the first human to walk on the moon; July 21, 1861 – Confederate forces win the first Battle of Bull Run; and on July 23, 1868 – the 14th Amendment is added to the Constitution, defining national citizenship and forbidding the states to restrict the basic rights of citizens or other persons. 

Until next week, enjoy the ongoing warm weather, drink plenty of water, and don’t forget about our pets who may mind the weather more than we do!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org 




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