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From the Supervisor: Perinton remains resilient in tough times

Ciaran Hanna

Greetings! Wishing everyone a safe and healthy winter and holiday season! It has been a year like no other and for the past nine months, our world and local community have been fundamentally altered by COVID-19. While the pandemic has certainly presented new challenges, we are resilient and I am confident that brighter days are ahead.

Recently, the Perinton Town Board approved the proposed 2021 town budget. The adopted budget provides a stable property tax rate at $2.27 — the third-lowest town tax rate in Monroe County. What does that mean for the average Perinton taxpayer? It means $7 of every $100 on your tax bill goes to the town. Where does that money go? It goes into our parks and trails, senior and youth programming, Community/Aquatic Center, road and drainage improvements, weekly yard debris pick up, and so much more. I am proud of the work our town has done to guarantee quality services while delivering a stable tax rate.

I am pleased that our 2021 budget upholds the quality of life that Perinton residents know and expect. Despite COVID-19 revenue shortfalls, we are still responsibly funding essential residential services and recreation programming in the coming year. We were also able to keep Town Hall open and operational throughout the pandemic. When other municipalities closed, we remained available to residents. Closing down was not an option; we wanted to remain here for you, especially during the most difficult times.

I thank our finance director, Brian Dick, and all of our department heads for their effort and strict examination of the budget as we look ahead to 2021. With their expertise and dedication, I am confident that we will continue to provide top-notch services and programs while protecting the taxpayer's bottom line. Thanks to the collective efforts of all departments, we are delivering a 2021 budget that lives within its means and delivers a high quality of life for Perinton residents.

As we celebrate the holidays this year, a lot will be different. These days often include gathering extended family and friends together, sitting around a table and sharing a meal. Sadly, we will not be able to do many of these things this year because of the high risk of spreading COVID-19. Our homes may feel emptier with fewer guests and many may experience this year as the first without parties and events. But just because the holidays will be different does not mean they can’t be joyful and meaningful in a different way.

With all of these changes and adaptations, there will still be those things we can be grateful for — especially the safety and health of our families. By scaling back the holidays, wearing masks, social distancing and abiding by public health guidelines, we can help ensure the blessing of health and well-being for all families.

COVID-19 has presented unprecedented challenges; however, the town of Perinton and our community is rising to meet them. We saw hundreds come out for our food drives and mask distributions, and here at Town Hall we’ve amassed record donations for the Perinton Food Shelf, collected Coats for Kids and Toys for Tots. Our community comes together when it matters most and that is something we can all be proud of. Recently, we hosted a mask distribution in partnership with the village of Fairport, Fairport Central School District and Monroe County. During this event, we also collected nonperishable food items for the Blessed Sacrament Church Supper Program. This followed a distribution we did earlier in the year where we distributed more than 150,000 masks to the community and collected record donations for the Perinton Food Shelf. It is clear, if there is a need in our community, we will band together to meet it.

The ongoing pandemic has also caused the town to realign resources and assess our safety needs. Our laser focus on safety will continue to be a priority in the future and we have taken action to establish a position in the town — director of safety and security — that reflects this dedication to our residents and employees. The Town Board unanimously approved the appointment of John Overacker to the position. An 11-year town employee, John has been key to keeping town employees and residents safe throughout his career. He has served as our zoning officer and assistant fire marshal, and in May, we appointed him as pandemic safety director. As director of safety and security, John is working to develop, implement and manage programs and policies designed to promote the safety, security and welfare of both employees and residents visiting town-owned facilities.

COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of our community. One of the hardest hit has been our small businesses. We recently celebrated Small Business Saturday, a significant day in any year, but this year, it was a vital shopping day for many local business owners. 2020 has been a challenge for small businesses, and now more than ever, it is essential to support them. With the holiday shopping season in full swing, it is more important than ever to keep our local small businesses top of mind. Everyone benefits when you shop small — it helps grow our economy, boosts job growth and connects you with your community. So many of our local small businesses set Perinton and Fairport apart from other communities. By shopping your hometown, you can help the hard-working small business owners in our town not just survive but thrive. By doing this, you are directly contributing to a neighbor’s livelihood and investing back into the businesses that help make up the fabric of our wonderful community.

We are also in the season of snow and winter weather. As we see more snow accumulation on the roads, know that our Department of Public Works highway crews are out early salting and plowing local roadways. In fact, Perinton crews maintain 22 plow routes covering nearly 460 lane miles of town, county and state roads. Our crews are well-prepared for the winter season, transforming equipment used to haul asphalt in the summer and collect leaves in the fall into a fleet of winter-ready plow and salt vehicles.

While the people of our region are as winter-ready as they come, please remember to take extra precautions while driving in poor weather conditions and always give plows plenty of space on the roads. Our plows are working to keep the roads safe for you, so please, make it safe for them and remember — never pass a plow.

I hope everyone has a wonderful winter and finds joy in the holiday season. The town of Perinton is here for you and prepared to weather any storm ahead. As we continue to live through this era of unprecedented upheaval, we must remain hopeful that better times are coming and thankful for the blessings we can continue to count on.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to stop by, call or email me any time. My number is 585-223-0770 and my email address is channa@perinton.org. I look forward to hearing from you.

Ciaran Hanna serves as supervisor for the town of Perinton.

Ciaran Hanna.