Supervisor Bill Reilich has announced an important development in his ongoing effort to reduce energy consumption and save money for Town of Greece taxpayers. Namely, the Town is making significant progress on its multi-phase program of converting town-owned street lighting assets to light emitting diode (LED) technology. The Town previously purchased the street lighting infrastructure from Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E), which created the opportunity to initiate the LED conversion process.
“Our decision to previously purchase the street lighting infrastructure is what is making new lighting upgrades possible,” Supervisor Reilich said. “Not only are we saving money on maintenance costs, but now we will begin converting the lights to a new technology that is not only cheaper to run but also provides better light quality for our community”.
Phase 1 of the street lighting upgrade project is currently underway. This phase entails converting 1,272 street lights to LED technology along all or part of several major arterial roadways in the Town of Greece: Ridge Road, Latta Road, Long Pond Road, Fetzner Road, Dewey Avenue, Stone Road, Mount Read Boulevard, and Ling Road. In these areas, traditional high intensity discharge (HID) fixtures will be replaced with Philips brand LED luminaires and CIMCON asset management nodes. Wendel Energy Services has been retained to lead the turnkey, Design-Build project that will provide guaranteed savings to the Town. Power & Construction Group, Inc. will be installing the new fixtures later this summer, the vast majority of which are “cobrahead” style fixtures.
The project has been facilitated in part by the Town of Greece’s successful efforts to obtain “Clean Energy Community” designation in October 2018 from the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA). Through the Clean Energy Communities program, the Town of Greece completed four of 10 high impact action items to demonstrate its commitment to energy conservation and sustainability, including adopting the Unified Solar Permit, obtaining Energy Code Enforcement Training, benchmarking energy use of Town buildings, and achieving clean energy upgrades to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The CEC designation garnered the Town a grant of $150,000 to be used towards the LED street lighting project. Rebates from RG&E valued at $63,692 will further reduce total project implementation costs.
LED street lighting luminaires consume less electricity and last four times longer than traditional HID fixtures, thus saving the Town money on operational costs and results in a project that will have a payback of about 5 years. The financial savings from Phase 1 of the LED street lighting upgrade will total more than $2.5 million over the next 25 years.
Additional phases of Greece’s comprehensive lighting upgrade project will convert several thousand more Town-owned street lights to LED, primary in residential areas. This work is anticipated to start in 2021.
“August 10th marked the start of the Hunting License Season. As we have done at Greece Town Hall since the start of the COVID-19 shut down period, we have monitored crowds, access to services, etc. I am proud that here in Greece we opened up our doors safely and without incident on May 18th. Many towns are still not open to the public for services or have been offering limited services by appointment only. We have tried to remain flexible and watchful and have empowered our department heads to keep us informed as public interaction reaches numbers that will make social distancing difficult. We have also tried to balance the public’s desire to get back to a bit of “business as usual” said Supervisor Reilich.
Our Town Clerk, after evaluating opening day for hunting licenses, shared her concerns regarding:
1 – The number of people that were at the service counter area
2 – That the New York State DEC this season is only allowing one computer and one printer for processing the licenses at our facility.
The computer issue was troubling before we even witnessed the number of people waiting to get their licenses and the backup it is causing is most concerning. A few weeks ago we reached out to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and expressed our concerns about only having one processing computer this year (in the past we had a second machine), but they do not appear to be moving toward allowing an additional computer. This is, as you can imagine, very disappointing as we strive to maintain social distancing while serving our residents. The fact that only one clerk can process licenses caused a backup and the result was having too many people in the area waiting.
To lessen the number of individuals in our Service Mall and to provide more timely processing, starting August 12th (today), we will begin working on an “appointment only” basis for the issuance of hunting licenses. Residents that are interesting in obtaining their license can call our Town Clerk’s office at 723-2341. We also have two additional numbers for Town Clerk Staff: 723-2364 and 723-2389. Residents that would like to make their hunting license appoint are free to call anytime between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. We are looking forward to providing a more personalized service approach that not only meets the needs of convenience but continues to prioritize safety.
Supervisor Bill Reilich is pleased to announce that Town-Sponsored DMV-Approved Defensive Driving Courses have been scheduled for the months of September, October, November, and December. Each course will be held in two separate session (6:00pm – 9:00pm) on weeknights. You must attend both sessions in order to complete the course.
Greece Residents who are interested in attending Defensive Driving Courses may sign up via the Town of Greece website. Visit the Town of Greece website at www.greeceny.gov, click the “Residents” tab on the upper right hand corner of the home page, select “Defensive Driving Course”, and follow the link to submit the online registration form. You may also access the registration link directly by clicking here: https://greeceparksandrec.greeceny.gov/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/splash.html. Please note that the online registration form is submitted through the Town of Greece Community Center. This means that a few of the registration questions may be irrelevant, but are nonetheless mandatory that you answer in order to complete the online registration process. There will be a section on the registration webpage to input your credit card information. Accepted credit cards are Visa/Mastercard/Discover. If you have any pre-registration questions, please call 723-2425.
*Please note that new online registrants to the Town of Greece Community Center must complete all required sections. Any optional questions may be left blank if the registrant so chooses.
Defensive Driving Courses are currently being offered to Greece residents only at a rate of $17/student. Class sizes are limited to the first 20 students who register, which means that registration will be on a first come, first serve basis. Please note that there are no refunds for these courses.
Defensive Driving Courses will be held at the Town of Greece Police Headquarters at 6 Vince Tofany Boulevard, Greece, NY 14612. Please see below for the schedule of upcoming classes:
Tuesday, September 15th, from 6:00pm – 9:00pm (first session)
Thursday, September 17th, from 6:00pm – 9:00pm (second session)
Tuesday, October 20th, from 6:00pm – 9:00pm (first session)
Thursday, October 22nd, from 6:00pm – 9:00pm (second session)
Tuesday, November 17th, from 6:00pm – 9:00pm (first session)
Thursday, November 19th, from 6:00pm – 9:00pm (second session)
Tuesday, December 15th, from 6:00pm – 9:00pm (first session)
Thursday, December 17th, from 6:00pm – 9:00pm (second session)
All course material questions will be covered during the extensive class sessions. Additional information regarding the course and point and insurance reduction can be found on the DMV website at https://dmv.ny.gov/brochure/point-insurance-reduction-program.
What is defensive driving? The DMV defines defensive driving as a safe driving technique that all drivers should use, which includes:
- Looking ahead and expecting the unexpected.
- Controlling your speed.
- Maintaining a safe following distance.
- Preparedness for the reactions of other drivers.
- Driving safely for weather and/or road conditions.
- Being alert and distraction-free.
- Watching and respecting other drivers.
Benefits associated with completing the Defensive Driving Course according to the National Safety Council and the Department of Motor Vehicle:
- Reduction in fines associated with a traffic ticket.
- Offsetting ticket points on your driving record.
- Up to a 4-point reduction with NYS DMV.
- An insurance rate reduction.
- Mandatory insurance premium reduction of up to 10% for 3 years.
- Prevention or reinstatement of a suspended driver’s license.
- The opportunity to be part of a program that sets the standard for accident prevention and vehicle safety in New York State.
Benefits associated with completing the Defensive Driving Course in the Town of Greece Police Headquarters classroom setting:
- You will have direct access to an instructor for questions and thorough explanations.
- You will have multiple visual aids in differing formats.
- You will be sharing the room with other drivers you may learn and receive support from.
- You will have a structured learning environment.
“I am pleased to announce that registration is now open for September, October, November, and December Defensive Driving Courses” said Supervisor Reilich. “Bringing cost-efficient services to Greece Town residents has always been one of my top priorities, and I am pleased to offer these courses at the very reasonable rate of $17/student, which covers the cost of the materials provided. I hope you will take advantage of this great service the Town of Greece offers!”
Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich is pleased to announce Round 2 of funding for the GROW Greece COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Grant. The program opened on June 2nd of this year with $100,000 in funding available to help small retail and service businesses reopen in the wake of economic losses associated with the COVID-19 health crisis. Supervisor Reilich and the Greece Town Board have allocated an additional $100,000 to fund a second round.
“Round 1 of the program was a huge success!” said Supervisor Reilich. We were able to use these federal funds to help many of our local businesses move forward with reopening in the wake of mandatory shutdowns. The program opened on June 2nd to a huge response from local business owners, and we knew right away we needed to take action and fund a second round. The GROW Greece program is just getting started and these grants are only the first phase in a developing long-term strategy to sustain and continue to “GROW” our strong local economy”.
Round 2 of the program makes funding available to more businesses and participation will be even easier than before. Grants will cover two months’ worth of certain operating expenses needed to restart your business, up to $5,000 for businesses with 5 to 50 employees, or $2,000 for businesses with 3-5 employees. Eligible expenses include insurance, utilities, and inventory costs based on figures reported in your most recently filed federal tax return. The town will begin accepting applications on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, and awards will be granted on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted.
Program materials are available on the town’s website at https://greeceny.gov/economic-development.
Round 2 grant funds have been allocated by the Town Board from a supplement to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020.
This week, Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich unveiled the new Electric Car Charging Stations on the Greece Town Hall Campus. When you visit Greece Town Hall, you will see four new charging stations in the parking lot just outside the Meeting Rooms area prominently in the center of the Town Hall Campus Parking Lot located at 1 Vince Tofany Boulevard. These charging stations are open to the public for their use.
Signs have officially been installed, units are activated, and striping and road restoration has been completed for the charging station area. We are thankful to have obtained a grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Charge Ready New York Program in the amount of $16,000 to help finance the cost of these stations.
To charge your electric vehicle, simply follow the instructions listed on the charging port. The steps are as follows (as listed on chargepoint.com):
- Tap your ChargePoint card on your phone (you must be signed in to the mobile app) on the CargePoint station to start a charge. This will unlock the charging connector so you can remove it from the charging station. You can also tap the orange “Start Charge” button in the station details page in the mobile app.
- Push the button on the connector to lift it out of the holster on the station.
- Plug the connector into your EV to start charging. Check your EV’s indicator to make sure you are charging (often there are lights on the dashboard to show this).
- Relax and go about your day. You can track your charging in the app if you want. You will receive a notification when your car is done charging (if you’ve enabled notifications).
- When you return to your car, tap your card or phone and return the connector to the station. After your charging session is finished, you will receive an email with more information about the charging session.
- Please note: you will continue being charged starting ½ hour after the charging has been completed. A message will be sent to prevent people from leaving the vehicle parked too long.
“The use of electric vehicles is growing and I am very happy to be able to offer this amenity to our residents and guests who have any business at our Town Hall Campus” said Supervisor Reilich. “I would like to thank our Grant Researcher, DPW Crew, and Maintenance Team for their efforts in obtaining and installing the electric car charging stations on the Greece Town Hall Campus”.
Attention Greece Residents:
Several days ago we were contacted by an individual that informed us they were organizing a peaceful protest.
The First Amendment provides the right of the people to peaceably assemble in order to exercise their freedom of speech. ALL levels of government have a responsibility and duty to protect our constitutional rights.
Protecting the rights of the people, however, also means that government must appropriately respond to any illegal conduct that infringes on the rights of others.
Again, we have been told it will be a peaceful event but I have called in State Police to assist GPD to ensure everyone is safe. That is always the priority. The Chief has been working with the organizer and has also been working with me and several others at Town Hall to ensure the event remains both peaceful and safe.
As of late yesterday GPD had completed their individual visits to businesses along the route they will be traveling. We wanted to be certain accurate information was conveyed and we are now at the point we can provide more details to all of our residents
GPD has advised that we close Long Pond Road from Town Hall to English Road this Saturday from approximately 3:00 pm through approximately 6:00 pm. I know this will put a strain on all of our local residents but we ask for your patience as this allows us to ensure everyone’s safety as well as to focus on the needs at hand.
In the event of an emergency for residents that live along Long Pond Road during this time, please call 911. We have ambulances and fire trucks that will be on scene and available for any emergencies. By staging them in the area you will have immediate response times. Again, all of this has been pulled together prior to making our announcement regarding Saturday’s protest event.
For those who are questioning allowing this, as stated above, we have no choice. And it really can’t compare to our 4th of July celebration being cancelled. We have tried to push the envelope like we did with opening protocols for outdoor dining and Greece businesses were threatened with having their state licenses pulled. I would not want to put in jeopardy any of the vendors that participate each and every year at our July 4th celebration. And since we would likely be the only location with fireworks, it would be impossible to control the number of people from outside our town that may want to head here and even more impossible to limit it.
We’ve had suggestions of allowing some cars in, again we have nearly 100,000 residents and probably logistically could only fit 200 cars so again a handful of happy residents and many more wishing they could participate
What we can guarantee is we will be back next year bigger and better than ever as we celebrate our great country.
As a precaution, we are closing the spray park at noon on Saturday, though I wish we didn’t have to I am deferring to the Chief and our department as they are preparing for their work at the protest. Starting next week, however, I am happy to report we will be lifting many of the restrictions regarding timeframes and number of residents at the spray park. Stay tuned for more info. We have seen mild numbers and considerate crowds who have all been keeping proper social distancing while enjoying the WOW zone with their families. Thank you to all of you.
So my suggestion, if you can avoid Long Pond road from Town Hall (just North of Latta Road) through English Road you will be spared heavy traffic and the need to re-route your travel.
We commit again to putting the safety of our residents as our number one priority.
I’ll do my best at responding but please realize we are devoting a great deal of time to our preparations to ensure you and your families are safe.
The Town of Greece is disappointed to have to cancel the Town of Greece Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration for 2020. The Town of Greece has been waiting for guidance from the State of New York to advise what the crowd-size limitations will be for July 4th. We still do not have the guidance on crowd size and given logistics and planning we cannot continue to wait and must unfortunately cancel this family event.
“The decision to cancel the Town of Greece Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration was not made lightly. We really wanted to have the 4th of July celebration for our community, which has already been through so much throughout COVID-19. In fact, we held off as long as possible in cancelling the celebration, hoping that the State would provide more clear guidance on what will be allowable. We are disappointed by the lack of clarity and direction from the Governor with regards to lifting the limitation on the number of people who may gather for 4th of July events. Thank you all for your understanding of this difficult decision we were forced to make. We will certainly plan to make next year’s Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration even bigger and better in 2021” said Supervisor Reilich.
Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich is pleased to announce new eligibility standards for the 2019-2020 Greece Residential Improvement Program (GRIP) year. Starting immediately, the maximum grant award will be increased from $4,800 to $6,000, and the maximum assessed value for eligible homes will be raised from $119,000 to $130,000. Household income standards have also been elevated in accordance with new federal data. What this means is that more of Greece’s homes and residents will be eligible to participate in the GRIP program than ever before.
GRIP grants are for rehabilitation projects in single-family, owner-occupied homes in the Town of Greece. The program is funded through the town’s Community Development Block Grant, so projects must be essential rehabilitation projects including health and safety repairs, accessibility improvements, structural and major system repairs, and energy conservation upgrades. These include structural, weather-related, or safety issues that could create dangerous living conditions.
Town of Greece staff and certified inspectors will work with homeowners to identify and address priority home repairs and rehabilitation activities with the goal of achieving safe and decent housing for town residents and protecting the town’s quality housing stock. Maintaining the town’s housing stock and quality neighborhoods are primary goals of the Town’s 2020 Comprehensive Plan.
Now in its 47th year, the GRIP program has assisted more than 2,200 income-qualified homeowners with more than $6 million in needed repairs and upgrades. The Town of Greece welcomes Greece homeowner’s participation in this program. For additional information or questions about eligibility, please contact the Town of Greece GRIP office at (585) 723-2384.
Supervisor Bill Reilich, along with Town of Greece Receiver of Taxes Andrew Conlon and Greece Town Board members Mike Barry, Bill Murphy, Josh Jensen, and Diana Christodaro, are pleased to announce the date for the annual Fall Shredding Event for Greece residents.
This free Shredding Event will be held Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm at the Greece Town Hall Campus. Services will be provided by Shred-Text. For more information about the company, please call 247-5250 or visit their website at www.shredtext.com.
Unfortunately we had to cancel our scheduled Spring Shredding Event because of the pandemic” said Supervisor Reilich. We anticipate that we will have a great deal of participation for our Fall event this year. I, our Greece Council Members, and our Receiver of Taxes will all be on hand to assist residents with unloading their vehicles throughout the duration of the event. We are excited to yet again offer this free service to Greece residents for the third consecutive year”.