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Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Keith Suhr as Town Historian for the Town of Greece. Mr. Suhr received his Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the College at Brockport, and his Master’s Degree in Library and Informational Studies from the University at Buffalo.

“There is no one more talented and justified to be appointed as Town Historian than Keith. His experience in historical research and informational studies makes him a great person for this position. I am looking forward to the many great things Keith has planned for our residents.” said Supervisor Reilich.

For the past year the Greece Public Library has served as Town Historian. Mr. Suhr has taking an active role in reorganizing and appropriately cataloging all historical documents, and artifacts presently owned by the Town. With his appointment to this position, Mr. Suhr plans to continue his work in obtaining historical documents that have importance to the Town of Greece and adding them into the Town’s collection. Additionally, he has plans in setting up regular office hours for the general public to have access to the collection.

 "I am both humbled and honored by this appointment and look forward to a long history of providing this valuable service to the residents of Greece." said Mr. Suhr.

 If you would like to set up an appointment for research opportunities please contact Mr. Suhr directly at 723-2480. Regular Hours for the public will be set in the coming months.

 
Winter has arrived and spring will be here before you know it! In preparation, the Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District has released their Conservation Tree and Shrub species list for the spring of 2017.

This year, property owners will have the opportunity to pre-order more than 42 different species of bare-root conifers, hardwood trees, shrubs, wildflowers and groundcovers, as well as seed mixes and other products used for conservation projects. Packages range in unit size and price, from a bundle of 10 plants for as low as $11, to bundles of 100 plants for as low as $70.  The district will be offering the following new species this year:  Arrowwood, Silverberry, Wild Plum, Bearberry, and Purple Coneflower. An editable fruit multi-packs and a new wildlife food plot seed mix will also be offered this year. The new edible fruit pack will provide an opportunity for you to grow and harvest your own fresh fruit including: cold tolerant strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and two varieties of blueberry plants. These fruits are also great for attracting wildlife!
 

“Planting trees and shrubs is perhaps the most effective way for individuals to help keep our environment clean and green,” said District Executive Director Kelly Emerick. “In addition to providing shade, privacy, wildlife habitat, borders, windbreaks and snow fences, trees provide many environmental benefits not visible to the eye.”  She explained, “They work as filters to help protect drinking water, clean the air of pollutants, stabilize soil to prevent erosion, and reduce noise by acting as sound barriers. Trees can help cool your home in the summer, and break cold winds in the winter, helping to reduce energy use. They can even add value to your property.”

The Conservation Tree and Shrub Program is a pre-order program with a deadline for ordering on March 3, 2017. We have a limited availability for plant stock so to ensure we can meet your needs, order early! The distribution of the plan material will occur at the Monroe County Ecopark on April 20-21, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Those interested in this program can find the order form and our full color catalog on the District’s website: www.monroecountyswcd.org or you can pick up an order form at your local Town/Village Clerk Department.  Check it out!! If you have any questions or you’d like the form sent to you, contact the Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District at (585) 753-7380, Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Yesterday, Supervisor Reilich was pleased to host a good old fashioned lighting of the Town’s holiday tree.  This annual event was even bigger and better for the 2016 holiday season. A packed house was treated to performances by the Greece Concert Band and the Arcadia Middle School Choir in the Atrium of Town Hall.

Residents joined together with their neighbors to sing songs and revel in holiday cheer. A special visit by Santa was complimented by popcorn and hot cocoa for all in attendance. On hand to assist Supervisor Reilich with the ceremony were Greece Town Board Members Andrew Conlon, Mike Barry, and Brett Granville, as well as several other elected officials. Following the tree lighting ceremony, residents had an opportunity to join our friends at the Community and Senior center for their annual Family Christmas Party. The festivities included arts and crafts, music, and a visit by Santa Claus himself.

Due to inclement weather, all athletic fields within our parks system will be closed today, October 21st and Tomorrow Saturday October 22nd.

Due to inclement weather, the following fields will be closed for this afternoon. Badgerow Park South, Barnard Park, & Basil Marella Park.

Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich announces that the Town of Greece applied for and has been awarded a $175,000 grant to combat and maintain zombie properties within the town. The Grant provided by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a not for profit, is one of the largest organizations across the county supporting projects to revitalize communities. The grant will provide necessary funding to continue on the Town’s already aggressive approach when dealing with vacant and abandoned properties.

On April 18, 2016, Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich and the Greece Town Board adopted the toughest ordinance in the area to deal with the issue of vacant and abandoned properties, commonly referred to as Zombie properties.  That ordinance established a registry whereby the Town receives notice of vacant properties and useful contact and property maintenance information that has served as a valuable tool to our code enforcement team.  The ordinance further requires banks or lenders who commence a foreclosure proceeding in the Town to give prompt notice and provide a cash bond or letter of credit in the amount of $10,000 to secure the continued maintenance and safety of the property.  To date, the Town has received nearly $2,000,000 in cash bonds and letters of credit, which has served as incentive for lenders to bring quick resolution to any property maintenance issues.  Lastly, the ordinance created increased penalties for owners of vacant and abandoned structures that are repeatedly noncompliant with the existing property maintenance code.

Following adoption of this ordinance the Town of Greece contracted with Community Champions, a third party company that creates and maintains this vacant property registry at no cost to the Town or its taxpayers.  The revenue collected by this company is simply a percentage of the administrative registration fee charged to banks and lenders upon registration.

Since this vacant property ordinance was adopted, communities from across the area and throughout New York State began reaching out to the Town of Greece expressing interest and seeking information.  In response, Supervisor Bill Reilich hosted a Zombie Property Forum on June 1, 2016 with 40 local community leaders from nearly all of Monroe County’s towns, villages and the city of Rochester, as well as local code enforcement personnel from the Town of Cheektowaga and Erie County.  At the meeting, the Town of Greece shared the details of the recently adopted local law and highlighted the necessary tools needed for municipal code enforcement departments to address and enforce existing property maintenance codes.    

“Since passing our own aggressive Zombie Property law earlier this year, the Town has seen early successes with the proper maintenance and care of abandoned homes within our town. While our effort is strong, we continue to find new sources of funding that support our effort to combat zombie properties. The 175k grant from Local Initiatives Support Corporation is a great addition to our already strong zombie property initiative and will aid in the continued efforts to properly maintain these neglected structures and turn them over to potential buyers in the future.” said Supervisor Reilich.   

In addition to strict code enforcement on properties throughout the town; Supervisor Reilich instituted dedicated court time to deal with property maintenance issues.  Greece Administrative Judge David Michael Barry oversees this court which typically deals with over 100 cases each month.  This is another method the town has put in place to insure that properties that fail to meet our code standards are dealt with in a timely manner.

The grant received from LISC will go towards necessary funding within the towns already stalwart Zombie Property initiative. The overall grant will go towards the hiring of additional code enforcement officer, a foreclosure prevention service that helps at risk residents who are facing foreclosure of their home to help find ways to keep them in their homes, as well as outreach initiatives to help educate Greece residents on what to do to report a problem with a Zombie property and directing any at-risk residents to work with the foreclosure prevention services. Supervisor Reilich believes that this three pronged approach of increased compliance, counseling and education will have a significant and lasting impact on the problem of Zombie homes in our town.

Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich announces early successes in the recently passed Zombie Property Legislation that was adopted by the Greece Town Board on April 18th of this year. Since its adoption and implementation, the Town of Greece has received over two million dollars in both bonds and letters of credit towards the continued maintenance and care of these vacant and abandoned homes.

“On April 18th of the year, the Town of Greece took the necessary steps in passing one of the most aggressive pieces of legislation throughout the state on the topic of zombie properties. Since then, I am pleased to announce that the Town has received two million dollars in both bonds and letters of credit on these vacant structures towards the continued maintenance and care of these deteriorating homes.” said Supervisor Reilich. “A bulldozer should be the last resort when dealing with these structures. In order to create vibrant neighborhoods we must maintain and in turn make these homes into livable spaces for potential families.  In light of the recent success of this legislation, the Town is in the process of installing new roofs on three vacant structure and we are prepared for additional improvements as they come in.”

The recently adopted Vacant and Defaulted Mortgage Property Registry provision takes the issue of dealing with vacant and abandoned properties one step further. The new ordinance requires banks or lenders who commence a foreclosure proceeding in the Town to give prompt notice and provide a cash bond or letter of credit in the amount of $10,000, to secure the continued maintenance and safety of the property. Additionally, this ordinance creates increased penalties for owners of vacant and abandoned structures that are repeatedly noncompliant with the existing Property Maintenance Code and would require owners to provide notice of such vacancy and up-to-date contact information.

Today Supervisor Reilich was joined by Greece Town Board Members Michael Barry Jr., Brett Granville, and Andrew Conlon in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly constructed lodge at Braddock Bay Park.

Located at the heart of Braddock Bay Park, the new lodge comes complete with a full chef’s kitchen including sink, range, microwave and refrigerator, tables and chairs that can seat up to 99 guests, as well as a covered and open porch. Lodge 1 is conveniently situated among plenty of open space which includes a playground, walking trails, hawk watch and stunning views of Braddock Bay.

“Here in the Town of Greece we take great pride in our parks and the many great amenities they provide for our residents. While running for office I made a pledge to our residents that we would take a good town and make it great. Today’s ribbon cutting ceremony of the newly constructed Braddock Bay Lodge 1 is a culmination of planning for the future and providing new facilities for families, businesses, and residents to utilize. With over 30 confirmed rentals, Braddock Bay Lodge 1 is on the path to becoming one of the most successful lodges in our parks system. I encourage everyone stop by Braddock Bay Park and take a look at this great addition. ” said Supervisor Reilich.  

Reservations for the new lodge, in addition to current town lodges, can be completed online or in person at the Greece Community Center.  Please call 723-2425 or visit www.greeceny.gov for details and reservations.

**Town of Greece Field Closure Notice** Soccer Fields at Basil Marella Park will be closed today, September 29th, due to inclement weather.