One of the biggest transformations in town government over the past several years has been the transformation of our Bureau of Recreation, particularly in the number of programs we offer to residents. The number certainly tells a promising story, as we continue to see increased participation across the board.
The Town Board made note of this when crafting our 2019 budget, as we allocated additional funding to allow us to continue to expand our portfolio of programs that help strengthen our quality of life in Irondequoit. In that same light, the Town Board provided funding for an additional location for our popular free summer playground program, which will allow more of our youth to participate.
As our Bureau of Recreation continues to grow and expand the programs and services it offers to Irondequoit residents young and old, I am proud that this year’s Winterfest celebration will be our largest yet. Now in its fifth year, Winterfest has become a cherished Irondequoit tradition, as thousands flock to Town Hall to help beat the winter blues.
This year, Winterfest will take place on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Town Hall campus. It will feature additional craft vendors in our big tent, horse-drawn wagon rides and marshmallow roasting. New this year: Kids, or adults, can take a ride on a mechanical reindeer or pose for a picture in the life-sized snow globe.
Admission to Winterfest is free, as are many of the attractions, though various food and craft vendors do offer products for sale. For more information, please visit rondequoit.org.
Shifting gears, while the middle of January is probably the last time of year where we would normally be talking about sunlight, I am happy to say that the newly installed solar panels atop our public safety building are now operational and generating electricity for the facility.
The town of Irondequoit has long maintained a commitment to clean and renewable energy, and over these past few years, has established itself as a true leader in lowering our carbon footprint. We were one of the first towns in New York to be certified as a Clean Energy Community by the state of New York, which allowed us to receive a $250,000 state grant.
Those state dollars will also be used to install solar panels atop our new Department of Public Works facility. This is good news for our environment and for Town taxpayers, as we will save tens of thousands of dollars annually in energy costs. I would like to thank NYSERDA, the Governor’s Office, as well as our contractor GreenSpark Solar for helping see this exciting project come to fruition.