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Virtual costume contest winners announced

3 Nov

Congratulations to the winners of the first ever (and hopefully only) Village of Webster Virtual Costume Contest!

The village normally holds its costume contest at the beginning of the Trick or Treat in the Village event. Of course that didn’t happen this year, so instead, families were encouraged to get all dressed up and email photos to the judges at Village Hall.

Fifteen families accepted the challenge. The winners were:

  • 1st Place: Mint Chip Ice Cream
  • 2nd Place: Baby Horse Jockey
  • 3rd Place: Headless Horseman
  • 4th Place: Shark Family

Here’s a slideshow of all the other costumes as well:

The contest was sponsored by Monroe County Legislator Matthew Terp, who is providing gift cards to not just the four top winners, but to family that participated.

Hopefully next year, Trick-or-Treating in the Village will be back, along with the costume contest. But in the meantime, thank you to everyone who helped pull this together and who joined the fun.

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An update on Edna Struck Memorial Park

23 Oct

Just a week ago I posted a blog about Edna Struck Memorial Park, the grassy median where Lapham Park makes a slight jog at the corner of Elm St. It’s named in honor of Mrs. Struck, who made it her passion to tend the plants on the island for years.

In February of 2019, someone was driving down Lapham Park much too fast and — instead of navigating the jog in the road — decided to drive right through the park, pretty much destroying it.

Today I can offer a bit more detail about what the newly refurbished park will look like.

As illustrated in the sketch, which I received from the village’s Historical Preservation Commission, the redesign will include a nice mix of colorful annuals and perennials, and some whispy ornamental grasses, anchored at each end by Japanese lilac trees.

The boulder which holds the actual memorial plaque to Edna Struck will be replaced as well, pretty much where it was before.

Welch’s Greenhouse, on Rt. 250 south of town, will be providing the trees, grass and flowers, and will do all the planting.

Plans have been in the works for more than a year to fix and redesign the park, so it’s great to see that work has finally begun. Everything should be completed this coming spring.

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Edna Struck Memorial Park is getting fixed

16 Oct

You may think you have no idea what the Edna Struck Memorial Park is, or where it’s located. But if you live in the village, chances are very good you’ve passed by it many a time, especially if you live on the east side.

Edna Struck Memorial Park is the grassy median where Lapham Park makes a slight jog at the corner of Elm St. It’s named in honor of Mrs. Struck, who made it her passion to tend the plants on the island for years.

In February of last year, someone was driving down Lapham Park much too fast and — instead of navigating the jog in the road — decided to drive right through the park, mowing down the trees and plants, and inflicting significant other damage.

Since that unfortunate incident, the village has been tossing around ideas about how to refurbish the median, including reinstalling the two memorial plaques honoring Edna Struck.

On my walk yesterday afternoon, I saw that work had begun. A handful of village employees were busy putting down and smoothing out some new topsoil. Jake Swingly, the village’s Superintendent of Public Works, told me the next step will be to plant some trees, then finish up the rest of the gardens next spring (as seen in the project proposal below).

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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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Webster mailbag and BIKE RACK NEWS!

18 Sep

Bike rack 2

Three Barry’s Runners — Mike Bodine, Don White and Jim Mossey — with the new bike rack, installed this week on West Main. 

The Village of Webster is finally getting its bike racks!

They’ve been more than a year in coming. It was last June that I approached the Village Board with a proposal to install some bike racks to make our village more cyclist-friendly. The idea came out of a discussion I was having with a running buddy at our weekly Barry’s Runners group. Many of the group members bring their bikes to the run and they usually end up crowded along the Barry’s Pub fence.

Not any more. Just this week, our village Public Works Department installed the first new bike rack on the sidewalk in front of Barry’s Pub/The Garage Sale Store on West Main. It’s the first of what will eventually be four racks. The other three will be placed at Veterans’ Park, Village Hall, and somewhere down in the Village Bakery parking lot (where exactly is yet to be determined).

Thank you to our Superintendent of Public Works Jake Swingly and his staff for getting this done. I truly believe that the new bike racks will make our already friendly and welcoming village even more so.

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Now on to a few mailbag notices:

The Webster Public Library will host a blood drive on Thursday, Sept. 19 from 1 to 6 p.m. in the library’s community room.

Walk-ins are welcome, but you can also make an appointment by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. The Red Cross is still trying to make up for summer shortages, so please consider taking an hour out of your day and help save some lives.

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motorThe Webster Museum and Historical Society invites the community to an open house on Saturday Sept. 21 from 2 to 4 p.m.

If you have never visited our village museum before, this will be a great opportunity to check out all of the permanent and rotating exhibits.

The focus this weekend will me “motoring,” with exhibits inside and outside. There will be vintage cars and an antique tractor, and the big-wheeled penny farthing bicycle.  Ed Harding will show some of the Native American artifacts he’s found in his yard, you can learn about fossils, play some colonial games, make some butter and more.

Refreshments will be served.

It’s going to be great fun for the whole family, and (don’t tell the kids) educational, to boot. Plus it’s all free.

For more information visit the museum website or on Facebook.

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St. Rita School will be hosting a Sticky Lips fundraiser on Saturday Sept. 28 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the school, 1008 Maple Rd. in Webster.

On the menu that night will be BBQ chicken (leg and thigh), pulled pork, fresh cornbread, two homemade sides as well as a coupon for a free appetizer card when you visit the restaurant.

Tickets can be bought ahead of time through the school’s website (click on the online giving tab where you can place your order) or you can purchase tickets directly at the school. See that attached flyer for more details.

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An invitation for park lovers

30 Aug

I’d like to extend an invitation today to anyone who loves — and appreciates — our Village of Webster parks.

tree marker

Expanding the village’s tree marker program is one goal of the Village Board’s Parks and Recreation Committee. 

First, a little background. Only a month or so after I became a new village resident, I was approached and asked if I would like to join the Village of Webster Parks and Recreation Committee. Apparently, the new village bike racks which I’ve been pushing for also fall under the purview of the Parks and Rec Committee. Since I seemed so invested in that issue, joining the committee itself seemed a natural next step.

I figured I should try to get more involved in my new hometown, so I accepted the appointment. Now I’d like to invite others to join the committee as well.

Many village residents are surprised to learn that our little village actually has FIVE different parks within its boundaries:

  • Harmony Park on Phillips Rd., which features the Village Band bandshell
  • Veterans Memorial Park on North Ave. with the gazebo
  • Wilmorite Park on Iroquois St., with a playground, picnic table and basketball court
  • Schantz Park on State Rd., with tennis courts, a rock wall and playground
  • Milton Case Park, behind Spry Middle School, with 14 acres of woods and several trails.

One of the primary goals of our committee is to bring more awareness to these natural resources. We’ll also work to see that they are maintained and — hopefully — improved, and encourage development of new parks. To that end, at our most recent meeting, we discussed tentative plans for

  • a “discover your parks” scavenger hunt
  • creating a survey about park usage
  • distributing an informational brochure describing the parks
  • updating and expanding the tree marker program
  • visiting each park to inventory their condition, and more.

Thing is, counting me, there are only two people on the committee right now. We could use two or three more to help us implement all of our great ideas, and come up with new ones.

We meet once a month, on the fourth Thursday at 7 p.m. in the community meeting room at Village Hall. Our last two meetings have lasted less than 45 minutes, so it’s not a huge time commitment.

If you’re interested at all, or would like to find out more information, please email me at missyblog@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

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One more chance to vote on the bike racks

10 Jun

A few weeks ago I posted a blog about how the Village of Webster will be installing four new bike racks this summer. Village Board members will have the final decision on where they’ll be placed, but have invited input from the community to help them guide their decision.

I created a survey suggesting nine different locations throughout the village. Thank you to everyone who has taken a minute to fill it out (and it really only takes a minute). To date I’ve received 44 responses, but would love to get some more.

Here’s an update on what people have been telling me so far:

bike rack 1

The top two most popular locations so far for the bike racks with the Town of Webster logo are 1) in front of Barry’s Old School Irish/The Garage Sale Store and 2) in Veterans Park. Running a close third is a spot in front of Village Hall.

bike rack 2

The top two most popular locations for the racks with the bike insignia are 1) in the parking lot somewhere near Village Bakery and 2) in front of Barry’s/The Garage Sale Store. Those two spots are tied for first, and there’s not a close third.

I will be presenting my findings at the Village Board meeting later this week, so now’s the time to weigh in with your opinion if you’d like to. To read more about how the bike racks came to be, click here to go to my original blog. Or click here to go directly to the survey. It really only takes a minute.

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Village schedules 9/11 ceremony

6 Sep

img_6114

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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Village gets charged up

29 Aug

charge 1

The Village of Webster has just taken a very big eco-friendly step.

Just this week, the village installed a new EV charging station for electric cars, located in the village parking lot behind Village Hall and the fire station. It will fully charge a car in about six hours (faster than home charging) and it has two ports, so that two cars can use it at the same time. It works with an app called EVConnect, which drivers download on their phones.

Village Mayor Darrell Byerts said that installation of the charging station is part of a charge 2broader plan to make the village a “greener” community, and perhaps nab a New York State grant.

“This brings the Village a step closer to being a Clean Energy Community and eligible for a $5000 grant,” Byerts wrote in an email.

“I have been in favor and an advocate of a charging station in the Village since seeing one at the Port of Rochester and a public parking lot in Venice, Florida,” Byerts added. “We join a growing number of local communities that are providing service for the new electric vehicles.  In fact, we are investigating and considering the future purchase of electric vehicles for Village use.”

“It is exciting to be able to now service vehicles in the heart of the downtown business area.”

Final details are still being worked out, including hours of operation, how long cars can stay connected, and whether there’s a charge to use it (no pun intended). These details will be discussed at the upcoming Village Board workshop on Tuesday Sept. 4 and regular Village Board meeting on Thursday Sept. 13. So if you’d like to weigh in on any of those topics, you should try to attend one of those meetings.

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Construction and deconstruction in the village

23 Jul

gateway

WHAT is going on at the intersection of North Ave. and 104?

If you’ve driven by the intersection of North Ave. and Rt. 104 lately, perhaps when you came into town Saturday for the Jazz Fest, you noticed there’s quite a bit of construction going on along North Ave., especially at the intersection with 104.

It’s all part of the North Ave. revitalization project, which will mean a little bit of a mess for a while, but in the end will make our village’s primary access point much more attractive.

A big part of that project is the gazebo and sign-like thing going up at the bottom of the 104 east exit ramp. That’s all part of what the village is calling the North Ave. Gateway Project. Photos of what the finished project will look like are posted below.

 

According to Village Mayor Darrell Byerts, “The land was given to the village by the state and will be a park and rest stop along the bike trail.”

Specifically, it appears from the drawings that drivers and pedestrians who approach Webster will encounter a handsome gazebo, water fountain, and a sign welcoming them to the village. The electronic billboard that was down there at the intersection for a while announcing upcoming events will be replaced by something less tacky, but equally informational.

While I was at Village Hall taking photos of these drawings, I popped into the office of Superintendent of Public Works Jake Swingly and asked him if there’s been any movement in plans to purchase and install bike racks in the village. (Click here to read more on that issue.)

He was able to tell me that they’ve come up with a tentative design (which he wasn’t able to share with me yet), and it sounded like the village is considering purchasing four custom-designed racks.

Mayor Byerts added in another email that “Some ideas regarding the bike racks have been put forward. How to pay, since they were not in the budget for this year, is the question.”

Hopefully the village will discover that they’re not too pricey. As long as we’re spiffing up the village and trying to make it pedestrian and bike-friendly, they would be a natural addition and well worth the cost.

water tower

The deconstruction to which I referred in the headline is the dismantling of one of the two water towers just south of the village on South Ave.

Mayor Byerts told me in an email that,

The little tower, “Top Hat,” is not needed by the MCWA. When we removed the cell antennas, they were ready to take it down. The remaining large tower is all they need as a reserve. MCWA will be scraping and painting the outside with a MCWA and Village of Webster logo as well as relining the inside of the tank. This would have been a huge expense for the village a few years ago.

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