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Newsy tidbits from the town

12 Jul

Today’s kind of a mini-mailbag, highlighting some news I’ve gathered from various Town of Webster sources, including the weekly digital newsletter and the July edition of the hard-copy Webster Today.

Joshua Ramph (courtesy Town of Webster newsletter)

There’s a story in the digital newsletter, for example, about a recent Eagle Scout project which improved Miracle Field of Greater Rochester. Joshua Ramph from Troop 108 — assisted by several businesses, friends and Scouts — replaced the chain link fence there with a handsome split-rail fence.

You can read a little bit about the project in the newsletter, but I’m also trying to track Joshua down for more details, so look for a blog about this soon.

There’s also a notice on the website about how the Town is honoring veterans every week through September, and they’d like community members to submit names of past and present service members.

They explain,

In the absence of our usual summer parades and ceremonies, we will be recognizing our military with a virtual celebration each week, along with special recognition at Town Board meetings.

Here is where we need your help! Do you have a family member or friend who is a veteran or currently serving in our military that you would like to see honored by the Town?

We invite you to complete our online nomination form to submit their name, from now until September

To submit a name, click here and fill out this form. If you have any questions, email Communications@ci.webster.ny.us. This interesting note from the recent Webster Today: the Town is looking into the possibility of building a dog park. They’re in the very early planning stages, and are looking for community input.

So if you really like the idea of a dog park, click here and fill out the survey. It’s only an eight-question survey, so it shouldn’t take much time at all. And while you’re there, you can also fill out one of the other surveys you’ll find. There’s a Webster Parks and Recreation survey, one about the police department, and another about community sewers.

Finally, this actually came across my Twitter feed and Facebook page:

I have to believe that some of these “rumors” are tongue-in-cheek, or perhaps fueled without support by certain Facebook pages. If you need to get the straight story about these issues or any other Town news, I suggest you follow the Town Facebook page, Twitter feed, or just contact Town officials.

And definitely make sure to read the monthly Webster Today cover to cover.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Webster community mailbag

31 May

When it comes to blog ideas, I’ve found it’s either feast or famine. As it turns out today, it’s definitely a feast. I’ve got so many things to tell you about I need to throw them all into one big mailbag so they don’t get too stale.

So here we go….

Image courtesy Town of Webster website

The Town of Webster is hosting a series of open houses for anyone interested in finding out more about plans for redeveloping Sandbar Park and upcoming REDI projects (Resiliency & Economic Development Initiative) which will include, among other projects, raising a portion of Lake Rd.

There’s going to be a lot of information presented at these meetings, so if you’d like to read up on all the projects in advance, click here for a good overview of what will be happening and why.

The open houses will be held:

  • Wednesday June 2, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive
  • Tuesday June 8, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Rec Center
  • Thursday June 10, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Rec Center
  • Saturday June 12 at the Joe Obbie’s Farmer’s Market, in the Kohl’s Plaza

The Webster Museum needs your help

Webster Museum volunteers have scoured available online resources for information about Asa Bass and his family. Museum staff members think this family may have been the first black residents of what is now Webster.

Asa (1792-1872) was born in Vermont, was a pioneer who came here in 1812 and bought at different times three different properties between the northern sections of what are now Phillips Road and Route 250.  Among his neighbors were the Foster and Wright families.

Asa and his wife Matilda Fuller Bass (1790-1866) had at least two children, Jane Bass Gould (1820-1891) and Chester Bass (1724-1873). Jane married Charles Gould and they had three children:  Anna, Nelson and Elijah. Chester married Sarah Gracen and they had at least one child, Francis Bass Vond. One of Asia’s nephews, Asa Boyd, lived with the family for many years.

The museum has many facts, but few stories about Asa and his farm and family lives. They’re hoping to hear from relatives of people who may have been friends or neighbors as well as descendants of this family.

Any information, even the smallest clue, would be greatly appreciated. Please send to Kathy at ktaddeo5@icloud.com

Yee haw! Challenge your kids at this rodeo!

The Monroe County Office of Traffic Safety will host a Bicycle Skills Rodeo on Saturday June 5 at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Dr.

Children will learn, practice and demonstrate their bicycle handling skills. Make sure to bring your bicycle and helmet to participate in this family-friendly event for kids age 4-14. (There will be a few helmets available if you need one.)

The event is free, but registration is required. Visit the Webster Parks and Recreation website and look for program #201000. Four half-hour time slots are available beginning at 10 a.m.

Bri-Pen Senior Rides hosts Open House via Zoom

This note from some of our neighbors to the south.

Bri-Pen Senior Rides is hosting an open house via Zoom for those who might like more information about driving for the service.

Bri-Pen Senior Rides is a volunteer-based service that provides rides to adults 65+ in the Penfield and Brighton areas who do not have transportation to medical or other essential appointments. They are urgently seeking volunteers to drive or offer their assistance in dispatching rides to clients.    

The group will hold an Open House via Zoom on Thursday, June 10 at 4 p.m. to answer questions about how to get involved, as well as to share the history of the program.

Drivers are trained by Lifespan, and qualified drivers are offered additional umbrella insurance to drive for the service.

A link to the Zoom meeting can be found on the Penfield Recreation website calendar, or call 340-8655 for details. 

Help sustain our Webster forests

The Friends of Webster Trails is looking for a few good volunteers to help with a pressing problem.

Our treed and open space areas in Webster offer peaceful places to enjoy and explore, places that Friends of Webster Trails helps preserve for future generations. The future of our trees is threatened, however. Emerald Ash Borer. Wooly Adelgid. Oak Wilt. Beech Tree Canker. Those are just some of the challenges our green infrastructure faces.

Friends of Webster Trails is in the early stages of identifying how to address the problem, and they’re putting together a committee to work on it over the next several months.The goal is to enter 2022 with concrete plans to put into action. 

If you’re interested in joining their efforts, contact Norma Platt at normap1@rochester.rr.com.

Would you like to make some beautiful music?

The Webster-based Rochester Rhapsody chorus, an organization of female a cappella singers specializing in the barbershop harmony style, is excited to report they’ll be returning to live rehearsals, which were on hold for a long time thanks to COVID.

To kick off the summer, they’ll be spreading their love for music with a grand reopening for women of all ages.

Female guests can attend Rochester Rhapsody chorus’ “A Cappella Lives!” open rehearsal on June 14 from 7 to 8:15 p.m. at Temple Beth El, 139 S. Winton Road, Rochester.

Women of all ages can enjoy an evening of music in a relaxed environment and participate in a cappella 4-part harmony, vocal skill building, singing a variety of music, and meeting with other women singers. Information about the chorus’ audition process will also be provided.

This is a great opportunity for women who love to sing but have never tried a cappella.

Registration is requested. To do so, and find out more details, visit the group’s Facebook page, email info@rochesterrhapsody.com or call 585-721-8369.

What’s a mailbag without news from the library?

There’s SO MUCH COOL STUFF happening at the Webster Publc Library. Here are just a few snippets just for your kids:

  • This year’s Summer Reading Kickoff takes place at the North Ponds Park pavilion on Thursday June 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

There will be games and crafts, raffle baskets and book drawings, a scavenger hunt, and Star Wars costume characters! No registration is required. The event will include a 20-minute storytime with Jason at 6:15, so bring your blankets!

  • Your kids’ next craft challenge: create an animal habitat!

For the Animal Habitat Challenge, kids will use supplies provided, and/or anything else you have at home. The library will provide the animal, some fun crafting supplies and a box for your diorama.

Pick up your kits from the library between June 7 and 11 and submit a photo of the completed habitat by June 18. Voting will take place on Facebook from June 21 to 27. Click here to register.

  • Step into the magical world of Candy Land! Between June 14 and June 30, families and small groups will be able to register for time slots to make their way through a live-action version of this popular family game. Venture through the enchanted storytime room full of gumdrops, candy canes, lollipops, and so much more. Do you have what it takes to make it to King Candy’s castle first? Click here to register.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back of the plaza. Make sure to check out their website for all of the great youth and adult programs they’ve put together. I’ve just scratched the surface.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Happy Bella’s Day!

21 May
Supervisor Tom Flaherty reads the proclamation as Marty Psrzynski and Rebecca Orr watch — and Bella poses.

You have seen me sing the praises of Bella’s Bumbas for several years now.

This amazing grass-roots organization was begun in March 2017 by Webster residents Rebecca Orr and Marty Parzynski. Its simple purpose: to build miniature wheelchairs for children with a wide variety of mobility issues. To date they’ve shipped almost 2000 chairs to children in at least 45 countries, charging the families only for shipping.

Last night, Bella’s Bumbas got some well-deserved recognition, when Marty and Rebecca were presented with a proclamation by the Webster Town Board recognizing their selflessness and the service they provide for children everywhere.

The Proclamation for Outstanding Community Service (which is pictured below) briefly describes (in proclamation-speak) the history of Bella’s Bumbas beginning with the first chair Marty built in 2017 for his niece Bella. You can read the whole story in this week’s Webster Town Newsletter.

But you may notice that the proclamation ends on a very high note, declaring today — Friday May 21 — “Bella’s Day” in the Town of Webster. I suggest everyone try to celebrate the day and honor this great organzation by taking a moment to read more about them, and perhaps then dropping some cash in their GoFundMe account.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Webster community mailbag

1 Apr

I’m going to lead today’s mailbag with a few items from the Webster Public Library. They’ve always got a lot of really neat stuff going on.

For starters, when I stopped in the other day I saw that the Friends of the Library are selling some rockin’ t-shirts as a fundraiser. For $15 you can be as cool as these library staff members/models:

Coming up on April 11, the library will be celebrating National Barbersop Quartet Day by hosting an online concert featuring three local barbershop quartets. Webster is lucky to be home to an outstanding barbershop society, the Chorus of the Genesee, so you know they’re going to be a part of this. Two of the performances you’ll see that day were filmed at the Chorus’ home base, the Harmony House.

The concert will be streamed live at 3 p.m., Sunday April 11. It will also be available any time after that time to watch, but it’ll be neat to watch it live, so mark your calendar.

Here’s a brief round-up of this month’s adult prgrams at the library:

  • Favorite Cruises & Ports of Call Travelogue, Tuesday, April 6, 3 p.m.
    Webster resident John Bustard will be the guide in a visit to the British Isles, Italy, Greece, the Panama Canal, Alaska and the Caribbean.
  • Interested in Serving as a Library Trustee? Wednesday, April 7, 7 p.m.
    Learn about the basic functions and responsibilities of a trustee, and listen and ask questions of our current Board members.
  • Herb Gardening: An Online Program, Tuesday, April 13, 7 p.m.
    Participants will learn the benefits of herb growing from their beauty and use in cooking, to their medicinal uses and healing properties.
  • Debt: An Online Presentation (Part 1 of the Financial Series), Wednesday, April 14, 7 p.m.
    Learn simple strategies for living debt free and making smart decisions.
  • Home Ownership: Choosing to Buy Versus Rent (Part 2 of the Financial Series), Wednesday, April 21, 7 p.m. Discusses the pros and cons of owning your home ownership vs. renting.
  • Planning for Retirement: An Online Presentation (Part 3 of the Financial Series) Thursday, April 29, 7 p.m.
    Covers the basics of retirement including financial concerns, phases of saving, financial lessons and more.

These programs are all free and open to the public but registration is required. Visit the Webster Public Library website for more information and registration. A Zoom invitation will be sent (via email) the day before the program to everyone who has registered.

I have Webster Online to thank for these next few news items. If you haven’t checked out this new(ish) news website yet, click here to take a look Or you can always find a link over there on the right side of the blog. There’s a lot of great information there (and a weekly link to my blog).

Knights of Columbus moves out of Barrett Drive

After 40 years in their same location on Barrett Drive across from the post office, the Webster Knights of Columbus Center is moving.

As with many changes taking place in the last year, Covid-19 is the culprit. Thanks to the pandemic, the Knights lost a lot of revenue from community events they would normally host. The financial hit was just too much to manage, resulting in the difficult decision to move.

Fortunately, the Knights will not be moving far. Their new home will be in the old Holy Trinity School annex on Ridge Rd. just east of the village. They hope to open the new location sometime this summer and continue the great work they do for our community.

Town Board in-person meetings return

Beginning April 1 all Town Board meetings will reopen to the public — with restrictions, of course.

To participate in person, visitors must wear a mask and maintain social distance at all times. Seating will be limited inside the board room and visitors will be rotated in as necessary, based on cppacity.

Meetings will still be available for viewing live on Spectrum Channel 1303 or on the Town’s website. There continue to be opportunities for public comment during the meetings by calling 585-872-7011. Or, residents can submit comments and questions using the online Board Meeting Comment Form.

Village of Webster Board meetings are still being held via Zoom. For more information and links, visit the Village of Webster website.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

What can be done with that ugly West Webster corner?

20 Jan

Every once in a while I remember to log onto the Town of Webster website and check in with Supervisor Flaherty’s weekly column. Usually I find something interesting and perhaps even learn something I didn’t know.

When I was doing that recently, I came across a column he wrote back in September which addressed a thorny issue I’ve thought about often: cleaning up the corner of Ridge Rd. and Gravel Rd. in West Webster.

You know the place: the Jade Palace Restaurant sits on the northeast corner and the old Webster Furniture Strippers on the northwest corner. The restaurant itself is pretty unslightly and overgrown, but the former Furniture Strippers shop is even worse. It’s downright decrepit, an embarrassment to the hamlet.

I had heard for years that the reason the Furniture Strippers shop has not yet been razed was due to environmental concerns regarding the chemicals they used, which seeped into the ground. Basically, the property is a toxic waste site, and no one wants to take responsibility for it.

Supervisor Flaherty goes into a lot of political background in his column about how the owners have defaulted on their taxes, meaning the county can take possession of the property. But because of the environmental issues, the county wants nothing to do with it. You can read all of that background here if you’d like. But I was interested in the bottom line: when will someone bulldoze that building?

Here’s what he had to say about that:

The first part of the plan is to get the DEC reports on the building in the last 30 years and if they show that the environmental issues at the site are “minimal or non-existent,” the County may take title to the property and market it for sale. At that point, a developer most likely would want to buy it if they saw the cost to take down the building was NOT going to have hundreds of thousands of dollars of environmental remediation. If the DEC reports are not definitive enough to have Monroe County take title, we will move on to plan B which most likely entails a phase 1 or 2 environmental study of the property to determine the true environmental risk and what needs remediation.

All of which means this issue is STILL not going away anytime soon. But Supervisor Flaherty does assure us that he’s still working on it, writing,

I am not comfortable just throwing my hands up and saying “oh well… nothing we can do. It’s Monroe County’s decision.” Fact is, the property is IN Webster. It is an eyesore at best, and a safety risk at worst. It also is impeding the development of that corner and all neighborhoods that spawn off of it.

Let’s hope his commitment stays strong. West Webster deserves better.

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You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Where has Missy been?

7 Jan

This blog thing can be a capricious beast. Some weeks I have so many blog ideas that I have to make a list lest I forget something. Other times — like these last few weeks — those ideas have been few and far between. Now that the holidays have passed, there seems to be little going on, at least that I’ve been told about.

Finally, though, something came across my dining room table/office desk that sparked my interest: the latest edition of the Webster Today.

You may know this publication as the former Town Times, what it was called during Supervisor Nesbitt’s tenure. This is the second edition of this new and improved quarterly newsletter. The first was published in October and I was immediately impressed by its glossy, full-color layout and the clean and organized way it presented information.

This latest edition continues to impress. Some of my favorite features, again, include

  • a table of contents right on the front cover
  • a complete town government directory on the inside cover, perfect for tearing off and putting on the fridge
  • photos of the town board members
  • LOTS of information about the Rec Center
  • handsome photo illustrations and colorful charts

There’s also a nice visual spotlighting several of the positive things that happened in 2020, including opening of the outdoor ice rink at the Rec Center, the re-imagined Summer Celebration and the Parade of Lights. There’s even a fascinating 2-page feature compiled by the Webster Museum highlighting almost two dozen Webster residents who fought in the Civil War and are buried in town cemeteries.

Every home and business in the town received a copy of Webster Today this week, so if you haven’t gotten yours yet, keep an eye out for it. And if you tossed it in the recycle bin without even looking at it, I recommend you rescue it and take a closer look. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

And by the way, if you know of anything going on in town you would like me to blog about, please email me!!!

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Webster Police Chief Joe Rieger announces his retirement

11 Dec

After more than 30 years in the Webster Police Department, Police Chief Joe Rieger will retire in mid-January.

Rieger has led the department since 2015, when he replaced retiring police chief Gerald Pickering.

In a letter he wrote to the community, Rieger said,

It has been a great honor and privilege to serve as your Chief of Police for nearly 6 years. However, the time has come for me to retire from the Webster Police Department and pass the leadership torch to someone else.

The decision to retire has been bittersweet for me. I am looking forward to retirement, but I will miss serving the public in this role and the camaraderie that exists amongst police officers.

Throughout my time as your Police Chief, I have been blessed with overwhelming community support. I sincerely appreciate that support and I hope your support for the Webster Police Department will continue into the future. Thank you for everything you have done through the years to help the Webste Police Department serve this great community. I will miss you all.

In my “job” as Webster blogger, I’ve had occasion to cross paths with Chief Rieger many times, most recently at the Village of Webster Holiday Parade of Lights. He was always very friendly, helpful and professional, and I wish him the best of luck in whatever he chooses to do in his retirement.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Welcome Chris Bilow to Webster Parks and Recreation

30 May

chris bilowA hearty — albeit delayed — welcome to Chris Bilow, Webster’s new Commissioner of Parks and Recreation.

Bilow has replaced Mark Yaeger, who recently retired after 19 years with the department.

Bilow comes to Webster after working for almost 18 years at the Penfield Recreation Center, most recently as Recreation Director. He said that “it was the only I job I had any interest in leaving Penfield for,” mostly because it meant coming back to work in his hometown Webster, where’s he’s lived for more than 30 years.

During his 19 years with the department, Bilow’s predecessor, Mark Yaeger, oversaw  the creation of the new Parks and Recreation building on Chiyoda Drive, the First Responders Playground and water spray park, and helped spearhead the installation of Challenger Miracle Field.

“He did an awesome job setting the stage,” Bilow said. “His leadership really set this department up for the future with programs and space and meeting the needs of this community.” Now he’s looking forward to continuing that legacy.

“As a resident (of Webster) for 32 years, I’m obviously familiar with what’s gone in, and I see so much more that we have the ability to expand on.”

“I think we need to build on the relationship between this department and the community, become a greater presence.” To that end, Bilow hopes to improve the department’s communications efforts, doing things like posting weekly updates, and taking better advantage of social media.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Welcome, Supervisor Flaherty

3 Jan

IMG_2580

Tom Flaherty, center, takes his seat as the Webster’s new town supervisor. 

I stopped by the Webster Town Board meeting last night for their organizational meeting, at which a handful of new (and returning) Board members were sworn in. They included our brand new Town Supervisor, Tom Flaherty.

In last November’s election, Flaherty unseated seven-term supervisor Ron Nesbitt, with 54% of the vote.

The crowd at the meeting was standing-room only, packed with family members and well-wishers who were there to watch the swearing-in ceremonies. Flaherty’s contingent was perhaps one of the largest; his wife and seven children were there, and his mother held the Bible during the swearing-in.

I hope to sit down with Flaherty sometime soon (perhaps grab a pint at Barry’s, good Irish lad that he is), after which I can give you some more insight into who Tom Flaherty is and what e might mean for our town. In the meantime, here’s a little background I pulled from a story posted by WHEC Channel 10:

Flaherty is a graduate of St. Bonaventure with a degree in finance and has lived in Webster since 1997.

He says he plan to run for office, but he saw a chance to serve his town and felt “the time was right.” He believes he was able to defeat Nesbitt because “the makeup of the town has changed, so it’s time for the town’s representation to reflect that change.”

One of his goals (which was one of the planks on his platform) is to extend the supervisor’s term to four years, and create a two-term limit.

You can see Channel 10’s full interview here.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Ah, the joys of raking…

5 Nov

Pile of autumn maple colored leaves isolated on white background.

As many of you know, I’m a fairly new resident of the Village of Webster. My husband and I moved here from our North Penfield home in April, and I totally love it.

I love being only a short walk from the center of the village, and all the pubs and restaurants there. I love being able to stroll to village events without having to worry about traffic and parking. I love being so much closer to great Christmas shopping, and only eight minutes from my job at Schlegel Rd. Elementary.

But you know what I love BEST about living in the Village of Webster?

I DON’T HAVE TO BAG ANY LEAVES!!!!!!!

I’ve been tapping out this blog for more than 10 years now, and pretty much every single year I whined about how the Town of Penfield still requires its residents to bag their leaves every fall and leave them for their refuse collector. I envied my Webster neighbors over the back fence who simply pushed theirs to the curb while I raked and swept and piled and stuffed and tied bags for hours every weekend.

We had several large trees in our yard, which meant that we would typically collect more than 100 bags of leaves every fall. And since our refuse collector only allowed us to put out eight of them every week, we would be placing them at the curb well into January.

In contrast, last weekend, it took Jack and me only about 90 minutes with our rake, tarp and leaf sweeper to clear our yard and dump all the leaves at the curb for pick-up. We estimated we’ll have to do it one more time in a week or two. But then…we’ll be done.

So thank you, Village of Webster, for providing this service. My tax dollars are well worth it.

Here’s a run-down of the village and town leaf collection information, from their websites:

Webster Village

This service begins when the autumn leaves begin to accumulate on the ground and will be on a daily basis until the beginning of December, or until the first heavy snowfall, whichever comes first. The Public Works Department will traverse each Village street once a week to remove leaves from the curb. To help make leaf pickup easier for yourself and our DPW staff, we request you follow some simple guidelines:

-Do not place brush, rocks, pumpkins, wood, plastic, or other foreign material with your leaves
-Do not bag your leaves for Village curbside pickup
-Do not place leaves in roadway, or on top of drainage structures, concrete, in gutters, or drainage ditches

The village also provides brush removal one day every month. For more details about that, visit the Village of Webster website.

Town of Webster

We start on the west side of town heading east and will make as many passes through town as possible during the leaf pick-up operation, weather permitting. There is no set schedule for particular streets throughout the town. Leaf season typically runs six weeks and start and finish dates vary based on actual leaf drop.

Please be patient with us during this process, as leaves do not all fall at once, and we never know what to expect for our weather conditions.
– Make sure leaves are on the edge of the road and not in the road or gutter
– Rake only leaves (and not twigs or branches) to the road’s edge
– Placing leaves in the road or gutter significantly slows down the entire operation. It is against the law to place leaves or any debris in the road.

For more information, visit the Town of Webster website.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.