Story by Katie Bisaro
The Village of Warwick Sesquicentennial festivities began as the apple dropped on Railroad Ave. at last New Year’s Eve celebration in Warwick. And so the year-long celebration will come to a close as the apple drops once more on Sun., Dec. 31 at Warwick’s second annual “Apple Eve.”
Last year’s successful event was enjoyed by a large crowd throughout the evening – Warwick’s own version of Times Square – that was a fitting kick-off to a year filled with memorable events.
Trustee Bill Lindberg gave a rundown of the planned events for this year’s New Year’s celebration at the Village of Warwick Board of Trustees meeting on Mon., Dec. 18.
‘Sesquicentennial Capsule’ to be Buried
Trustee Lindberg reported that at 8:30 p.m. a time capsule containing documents pertaining to this year’s anniversary events will be buried to be opened by the future Bicentennial committee on Jan. 1, 2067.
The documents will include posters of the various sesquicentennial events, a commemorative book, and letters from current committee members to their future counterparts.
Magic, Music & Midnight
There will be a magic show at 9 p.m. by Bill Wilcox, followed by the raising of the apple by the children at 10 p.m.
Marty KuperSmith from the 1960s group, Jay and the Americans, will also perform.
Just before midnight, the countdown will begin to “drop” the apple, ringing in 2018 and closing out a year that was spent looking back, but also looked forward.
Music will be provided throughout the evening by DJ Christopher Ford. There will be a photo booth, noisemakers, a special cake from Jean-Claude’s Bakery and a cake from ShopRite, hot chocolate, free give away prizes and more.
Mayor Thanks Warwick Police
Mayor Michael Newhard commended and thanked the Warwick Police Dept. for their efforts throughout the year during the various sesquicentennial events.
“It was a remarkable year…you [the police department] were really there for us and we appreciate it,” said Newhard, while speaking to Warwick Police Lt. John Rader.
Lt. Rader acknowledged it was a “marathon” for everyone involved. He also congratulated the Village for its efforts.
“Our hats go off to you for everything you did this year, to celebrate the anniversary and certainly to put Warwick in a bigger spotlight in a positive way, as a place to come to in the Hudson Valley,” said Lt. Rader.
Sewer Blockages Reported
Trustee Barry Cheney, along with Dept. of Public Works Supervisor Michael Moser, asks that residents help in keeping sewer lines clear. Cheney said that there was a significant build up of fats, oil and grease in certain parts of the sewer system, which can plug up the sewer lines.
He explained that individuals can help reduce this build up by not pouring grease down the drain (nor running it through the disposal) as it will first start to clog a homeowner’s pipes, then after dislodging, combine with other deposits throughout the system creating larger blockages.
Four areas in the sewer system that tend to have problems were video inspected recently. Three of the areas were fine, but a fourth along West St. had a significant grease buildup that, according to Cheney, would have probably caused a major problem within a month.
Cheney asked for the community’s help with this issue. He recommended letting the grease products sit and solidify and then wiping them out with paper toweling and disposing of it all in the garbage.
Elm St. & Eminent Domain
Patrick Gallagher once again spoke to the Village Board of Trustees on behalf of himself and several residents who oppose the proposed restaurant currently under review by the Planning Board to be located at 16 Elm St. in the Village.
Gallagher read a prepared statement petitioning the Board to “do the right thing” and begin the process of purchasing the Elm St. property by means of eminent domain before a decision is handed down by the Planning Board.
Eminent domain refers to the power of a municipality to take private property for public use following payment of “just compensation” to the owner.
Gallagher continued that the group does not believe that the Board has explored eminent domain thoroughly and they would like an answer regarding this option.
“We demand to be included in the discussion, in an open forum, not the one-way street offered in Privilege of the Floor [at Village Board meetings]…[We] formally ask you here to place us on the agenda at the next Village Board meeting to begin that public discussion,” Gallagher stated.
The Village Board had no immediate comment following Mr. Gallagher’s statement and no one else spoke on the matter. Unlike recent meetings, which have been packed, only one other resident was in attendance.
Later in the meeting, Trustee Eileen Patterson remarked that she would like to have a discussion on the eminent domain matter and give the group an answer. Mayor Newhard commented that the Board would be discussing the matter with the Village Attorney.
At the end of the meeting, during final comments from the floor, Van Buren St. resident Glen Carter, thanked the Board for its consideration throughout the year, for making themselves available when they are not “in session” and wished the Board and Village a successful 2018.
Next Village Board Meeting
The next Village Board meeting will take place on Tues., Jan. 2 at Village Hall, located at 77 Main St. in Warwick.