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Changes are coming to Sandbar Park

17 Jan

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You may have heard that the Town of Webster is engaged in a long-term project to upgrade the facilities at Sandbar Park, located on Lake Road. The park has long been known as the best place in Webster to watch a summer sunset, but the little strip of land has a lot more potential than that.

Right now, the park features access to both Irondequoit Bay and Lake Ontario, has some wetlands and a wooded area. It was originally purchased in 2003, and as the Town has paid off the bond, nothing much has been done with it aside from adding a parking lot and a few picnic tables. But as the project has moved forward, residents are already proposing some new ideas.

In a story posted to the WHEC Channel 10 website last summer, Supervisor Nesbitt mentioned some of those suggestions.

One of the things people have brought to us is they would like to have a handicap pier so people can go out there to fish in the bay. A shorter pier,’ he said, adding ‘we would also like a destination for paddle boards and kayaks, so people can bring those in and launch them from that area into the bay. We would like to work with the restaurant in some way in how to incorporate that into the scheme.

(You can see the whole story here.) 

In 2015, the Town received $118,000 in state funding to create a committee and start formulating some design ideas for improvements to Sandbar Park. On Wednesday January 23, the committee will present their ideas at a public information meeting.

Members of the project committee will be there along with representatives of Bayer Landscape Architecture, who’s working with the Town on the project. Webster residents are encouraged to find out more about what they’re thinking, and ask questions.

The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Town Board Meeting Room, in the Justice Court Building, 1002 Ridge Road.

If you’d like to stay informed of everything that’s happening as the progress progresses, visit this website to sign up for project notifications, and click here for the project’s Facebook page.

Here’s another upcoming meeting you might want to know about:

The Town of Webster and Rochester Transit Authority have scheduled a public information meeting on Monday Feb. 4 to discuss bus serice to and from Webster.

The meeting with the Transit Authority will give Webster residents, business owners, and others an opportunity to ask questions on how employees and others might find transportation from other areas in to Webster for employment and shopping opportunities.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Town Board Meeting Room, Justice Court Building.

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Please mark your calendars for this important meeting with the Rochester Transit Authority.

Those $%#*@!& leaves!

2 Jan

Pile of autumn maple colored leaves isolated on white background.

If you’re a homeowner like I am, chances are very good that sometime in the last month you had a conversation with someone about leaves.

This was an awful fall for leaves. It was so rainy and snowy that it was almost impossible to get all the leaves raked up and pushed to the curb in time for the town trucks to pick them up. So if they’re still hanging out in piles at your curb, it’s easy to be angry at the town. But, as Supervisor Nesbitt reminded us in his most recent column, the town workers did the best they could, given the circumstances.

He wrote,

This year has been the worse year for leaf pick-up in my 24 years as being a Town Board member. I cannot remember a year where the Highway Department put out leaf equipment and they switched to snow plow equipment and vice versa as many times as this year.

The town tried very hard through social media to keep Webster residents informed about our pick-up schedule and when the Highway would get to various streets. With the 36 miles of town roads it was not always an exact date, but we tried our best.

I have received some phone calls that leaves are still out to the curb and residents would like them picked up. Most of these leaves were put out by contractors, who were also behind on their routes, after the town crews had winterized the vacuum equipment and put it away for the year. We will not be picking these leaves up.

Bottom line, if you still have leaves, you’re going to need to bag them. Your trash hauler is required to take the bags, although they may limit the number of bags each week, so check with them. (For example, our trash hauler, Suburban, will only accept eight every week, which means that we’re still putting some at the curb every Tuesday night.)

Sandbar Park update

The supervisor had another bit of interesting news in his column.

On Wednesday January 23, a committee working on improvements to Sandbar Park will hold a public information meeting in the Town Board Meeting Room.

The Project Committee and representatives of Bayer Landscape Architecture will be on hand to present the designs they’ve come up with so far and to answer questions. The meeting time has not yet been announced; watch the Webster Herald or Town Board website for more details.

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Town info at your fingertips

20 Sep

IMG_20180917_184850397 (1)Last week, if you’re a Webster resident (or at least live within the 14580 zip code like me), you received the Town Times in the mail. I hope you didn’t just chuck it into the recycling bin, because there’s all sorts of interesting and useful information in there.

The newsletter, which is published three times a year, has regular columns from Supervisor Nesbitt, the police department, the highway department and the like. I kind of skim those. But several of the articles this time around made me pause and think, “Hmmm, I wonder if people know that.”

Here are a few of them:

  •  The Kent Park playground had a new safety surface installed this year. It’s comprised of three cushy layers so kids will fairly bounce off it if they fall. It’s also rated for walkers and wheelchairs. Didn’t know that Kent Park has a playground? This is a good reason to check it out, ’cause it’s a beauty.
  • Some of the older spray animals at the Ridgecrest Spray Park were removed earlier this year and replaced with ground-level water spray features. This great little park is on Ebner Drive, very near the village.
  • Construction of Miracle Field and its amenities is humming along. So far $2.1 million has been raised for the project, and the restroom and  concession pavilion is almost complete. If you haven’t seen this gorgeous accessible playing field yet, stop by; it’s right behind Town Hall in Ridge Park.
  • Did you know that you can receive regular emailed notifications and/or text alerts from the Town about important news items? To sign up, visit the Town of Webster website to register your email and/or phone. You can even choose which departments you’d like to get notifications from.
  • If you don’t like standing in line to pay your taxes, you should check out the new safe drop box located in the front vestibule of Town Hall. You can drop off your form and payment (checks only) in the box, and if it’s received before 4:30 p.m. it will be marked received on that day.
  • Finally — and this is cool — you can borrow an Empire Pass, and several museum passes, from the library! Basically, you check them out just like books, and you can use them at museums and parks for special admission prices.

Make sure to take a closer look at your Town Times for more details about all of these, and more information about a lot of town happenings.

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Village schedules 9/11 ceremony

6 Sep

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One of the most solemn anniversaries in our nation’s history comes around again next week. The two simple words by which we all know it belie the horror of the day: 9/11.

The Village of Webster always does a very nice job commemorating the occasion, with a ceremony held at the gazebo at Veterans Memorial Park, on North Ave.

Scheduled for next Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., the event usually lasts around 45 or 50 minutes, and includes first responders, and local and regional political representatives who offer some comments. Last year the Chorus of the Genesee also participated, performing some patriotic tunes.

Members of the Webster Fire Department are planning to congregate at the station on South Ave. at around 6:15 and march as a group to the ceremony. You won’t want to miss that.

Click here to see the blog I wrote about last year’s 9/11 ceremony.

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Hazardous waste collection scheduled

22 Aug

Here’s a quick note from the Town of Webster, just in time for that end-of-summer garage clean-out project:

The 2018 Household Hazardous Waste Collection has been scheduled for Saturday September 15. This event is held in partnership with the Penfield Department of Public Works and will be held at their facility, 1607 Jackson Road.

Most household hazardous wastes like paint, flammables and other chemicals, are safe when used and stored properly, but should also be disposed of properly when they’re no longer needed.

The collection will take place from 7:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. To make sure no one has to wait in line too long, appointments are required for this event, and will be accepted through September 14. Webster residents should call 585-872-1443 (Monday through Thursday 7 am. to 3 p.m.) and Penfield residents call 585-340-8710. You can also go online here to schedule your appointment.

Waste collection is open to all Monroe County residents, but waste from businesses will not be accepted.

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Make a rain barrel — be an H20 hero

5 Jul

shipbuilders creek

Early last week I attended a Town of Webster meet-and-greet at the public library, where I met Sydney VanWinkle, who was representing an environmental organization called H20Hero.org. They’re working hard to protect our local water supplies, a precious natural resource.

One of their primary focuses right now is an area called Shipbuilders Creek Watershed, which encompasses (very roughly) the area from Bay Rd. east to Five Mile Line Rd., and Plank Rd. north to the lake. (See the map for specifics.)

When she found out that I live in the watershed, Sydney’s eyes got really big. It’s homeowners like me, who live in the watershed, that she’s particularly interested in reaching, because if we each do a little bit, together we can help their cause immensely.

Here’s a little background information from the brochure I picked up:

Shipbuilders Creek is an eight square mile watershed…discharging into Lake Ontario.

Over the years, the original land use of the watershed has gone from primarily agricultural to a mix of residential and commercial use, including relatively heavy commercialized areas along Empire Boulevard and Ridge Road.

Unfortunately, as the community developed, the value of the Creek as a resource was not always recognized, Sections have been piped, and water quality declined because of pollution from storm runoff.

And this is what we can do:

You can help restore Shipbuilders Creek by making your home part of the solution to storm water pollution. Storm water runoff from roofs and driveways transports pollutants including fertilizers, herbicides, grass clippings, sediment, automotive fluids and bacteria to the Creek.

Downspout connections, rain barrels, rain gardens and streamside plantings are easy ways you can capture and reuse rainwater, or soak it into the grounds, so that it does not become storm water runoff.

rain barrellThere’s a really good opportunity for you to find out more about all of this, and make a rain barrel for your own home, coming up at the Webster Public Library.

On Tuesday July 17, the library will host a Rain Barrels and Rain Gardens Workshop beginning at 6 p.m. Any and all town residents — especially those who live in the Shipbuilders Creek watershed — are encouraged to attend.

In addition to learning about rain barrels and rain gardens, participants will build their own rain barrel which they can then take home with them and start putting to good use.

All tools and materials will be supplied at the workshop. Workshop fee is $40/rain barrel. Pre-registration is required. To do so, click here.  Residents from the watershed area will also receive a $30 gift card for plantings.

If you can’t wait until then to find out more, Sydney will be at the Joe Obbie Farmer’s Market this Saturday July 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Webster Towne Center (Kohl’s/ Target Plaza) on Holt Road.

In the meantime, you can read more about the project by clicking here, or email Sydney directly at srv7357@rit.edu.

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Community meetings scheduled this week

24 Jun

 

welcome to webster

So I came across some information mostly by chance about a few community meetings coming up that I think everyone should know about.

The first is the Town of Webster Community Meet & Greet, Monday June 25 from 7 to 8 p.m. in the community room at the Webster Public Library.

Participants will get a chance to meet their state, county and town elected officials, along with first responders and leaders of several community organizations, including the Webster Special Police, who will be recruiting new officers during the event.  It’s a good chance to learn about upcoming projects and ask questions. Bring the kids, too, because there’s going to be some crafts set up for them.

Then on Tuesday June 26, the Village of Webster will host an Open House Meeting at the Community Meeting Room, 28 W. Main Street, to discuss updates to some of the local parks, and other plans for the village.

The meeting is scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

I’m planning to be at both meetings, so I hope to see you there!

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Will Ridge Road get a Country Max?

20 Jun

Representatives from Country Max, a Rochester-based garden supply and pet supply store, were on hand at the Webster Planning Board meeting Tuesday night to present their plans to build a store on the southwest corner of Ridge and Hatch roads.

The proposal includes constructing a 26,000-foot building with outdoor nursery, bag yard and parking lot on a 6.72-acre parcel (which is actually comprised of two lots, at 1165 Hatch and 711 Ridge). Two entrances will be included, one off of Ridge and the other off of Hatch.

The plan is already getting a lot of attention. About a dozen town residents attended the meeting to hear the proposal. Several of them were residents of the cul-de-sac on Bishops Lane; the large store will be built pretty much in their back yards.

After an engineer representing Country Max presented the plans, many of those in attendance approached the podium to ask questions and express their concerns. Among them were:

  • noise levels from equipment and trucks
  • buffer space between the houses and the store
  • increase in traffic on Ridge and Hatch roads
  • intrusive lighting
  • maintenance of the buffer zone (which will include a mowed area and retention ponds)
  • possible unsightliness from discarded pallets and heavy equipment behind the store

There was a lot of discussion especially about the amount of buffer space between the Bishops Lane homes and the store, and what Country Max was planning to do to maintain some of the wild area in the buffer zone and conceal the back of the store from the nearby homes.

One woman simply asked “Why?” Why does Country Max need to build a brand new store in Webster less than a mile from Thomas Landscaping, less than three miles from Lowe’s, and when there are already Country Max stores in Fairport and Ontario.

“What’s wrong with some green grass on Ridge Road instead of just commercial here and commercial there?” she asked. “The Town of Webster is becoming the Mall of Webster.”

Another resident added to that thought by wondering why they were constructing a new building rather than moving into the empty Kmart or Grossman’s.

The Country Max representatives did their best to answer the residents’ concerns.

In addition to a 50-foot town-owned strip of green space on the north side of the cul-de-sac, the store will have a 100-foot buffer, they said. The store is only open during the daytime hours (no later than 8 p.m.) and there won’t be any after-hours loading. Lighting will not be intrusive, they assured the residents; even the after-hour security lighting will be pointing down, and the parking lot lighting will be pointing mostly to the north.

As for concealing the store from the residents’ back yards, Country Max is already planning a stand of evergreens along some of the back lot line. Several people asked that those trees be extended along the entire lot line, a proposal which the Planning Board members seemed to think was reasonable.

With regards to traffic, Country Max will be working with both the State of New York (which is responsible for Ridge Road) and the Town of Webster (responsible for Hatch Road). They don’t expect the increase in traffic to be significant enough to warrant a traffic study.

Planning Board Chairman Anthony Casciani even said that during busy hours, the existing traffic light at Hatch Road, and the ability to exit onto Hatch Road would both help.

The representatives also address the “Why?” question.

“We’re actually returning to Webster,” he said.  “We’re happy to be back, part of the Webster community. We’ll try to be as likable as we can, promise not to close other businesses down, (to be a) friendly competitor. It’s a great community to be involved in.”

The planning board meeting marks just the beginning of what will probably be a pretty long process. According to the engineer, if and when Country Max receives approval, construction won’t begin until at least the fall.

The discussion will continue at another public hearing scheduled for Tuesday night Aug. 7, at 7 p.m. at the Town Board Room in the VanIngen Court Building, 1002 Ridge Road (that’s the one in back that used to be the library).

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Town of Webster opens its doors next weekend

6 May

Capture

Ever wonder what it looks like inside the police department? Have you ever wanted to check out the sewer treatment plant? And have you been at the Webster Library since they renovated it?

You can check out all these places and more when the Town of Webster hosts its annual open house on Saturday May 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The fun starts at Webster Town Hall, 1000 Ridge Road, where you can tour the newly remodeled Town Hall and police department, then head over to the court room and town board room in the Van Ingen Building. Buses will depart every 15 minutes to take people to the recreation center, sewer treatment plant, the library and the highway department.

Basically it’s one-stop shopping for anyone who has any questions about our town’s facilities and employees.

There’ll also be lots of other stuff going on at Town Hall for both kids and adults,  including picture IDs, emergency vehicles, community informational displays, refreshments and more.

There’s no charge for anything, so make sure to stop by for this informational, family-friendly event, Saturday May 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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The mulch is back!

14 Apr

It’s one of the surest signs of spring — the huge mulch pile which consumes a chunk of the parking lot behind Town Hall on Ridge Road every April.

Well, it’s back, courtesy the Town of Webster Highway Department, despite the fact that yard work weather still hasn’t really settled in for good.

The 100% leaf mulch is created from composted leaves picked up during autumn. Town of Webster residents are welcome to back up their car or pick up to the pile and load in as much as you can take. (No contractors or landscapers please.)

There’s no charge but remember that you can only use good ol’ elbow grease to load it up; no machinery or equipment is allowed.

The Highway Department will continue to replenish the pile until the tons of mulch are depleted in the upcoming weeks. The mulch will be restocked as needed and only available while supplies last.

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