Story by Lourice Angie
At the Village of Greenwood Lake Board meeting on Mon., Jan. 22, Mayor Jesse Dwyer delivered his State of the Village, recapping the accomplishments of 2017. The Board also discussed the short term rental Airbnb law draft proposal.
Over the last few months, the Board has listened to and welcomed the suggestions of the public regarding Airbnb short term rentals in the Village. Mayor Dwyer and G.L. Attorney John Buckheit have worked diligently to create a draft that they feel is legitimate. Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton agreed with the proposed draft law and complimented the work of Dwyer and Buckheit.
“I think, we as a Village, should be proud of this law because it accomplished the goal we wanted, which was to strike the right balance. We are on track to have mirror language with the Town of Warwick, which we all feel is very important to have. We’re very proud of the law that we’ve presented here today and we believe that this law will be a motto for other municipalities across the State. I would like to thank John, the public and the Board for all of their input and contributions. It made putting the law together much easier,” said Mayor Dwyer.
The Board has determined that short term residential rental activities constitute a business. The use of single and multi-family dwelling units for vacation rental or lodging purposes provides visitors with an alternative to standard lodging. However, such uses in residential neighborhoods may have negative effects on the character and stability of such neighborhoods.
This law is enacted pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law 10. The purpose is to establish regulations for the use of short term rentals in order to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare of the people of the Village and to further achieve the following beneficial purposes: protection of the character and stability of residential areas and the correction and prevention of housing conditions that adversely affect or are likely to adversely affect the life, safety, general welfare and health, including the physical, mental and social well being of persons occupying dwellings, and the preservation of the value of land and buildings throughout the Village.
The draft will be reviewed by the Board and by Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton at a public hearing to be held on Tues., Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. Mayor Dwyer proposes that the Board will make initial fees both fair and reasonable but penalties will be higher. To view the entire draft visit www.villageofgreenwoolake.org.
DMV Returns to Goshen
Village of Warwick Trustee and O.C. Legislator Barry Cheney announced at the meeting that the Orange County Government Center is open for business. The center is not fully occupied as of yet, but the general services, County Legislature, County Executive, and District Attorney offices will be open within the next two weeks.
The County Clerk’s office will open in late February or early March. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office in Goshen will be open at that time as well.
Cheney said that the County has been working on the nomination of a new Parks Commissioner, James Brooks. Brooks is currently a Deputy for the Department of Public Works and has a strong construction background.
In addition, the County has opened a congregate dining site on Wednesdays for seniors at the G.L. Senior Center, located at 132 Windermere Ave. Anyone interested in reserving a dinner can call Donna Garley at 477-8482.
Trustee Katheleen Holder reported that the G.L. Public Library is offering tax aid with trained volunteers who will be in house to guide patrons with filing their taxes online. Appointments, on Mondays throughout February, can be made by calling 211 or (800) 899-1479.
G.L. Little League Baseball Registration
Trustee Holder reported that registration for 2018 baseball is now open. To register, visit www.glwlittleleague.com.
The G.L. Gaelic Cultural Society will host a St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance on Sat., Mar. 3 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the G.L. American Legion. Tickets are $40 per person. Jessica and John Riedmueller have been named as this years Celts of the Year.
The G.L. Little League will host a spaghetti dinner on Fri., Apr. 7 at the American Legion, and the Friends of Boy Scout Troop 121 will host a dinner on Sat., Apr. 21 at the G.L. Elks Lodge.
Deputy Mayor Kelli Kelm reported that on Sat., Feb. 3 the First Annual G.L. Winter Classic will be held at the Thomas P. Morahan Waterfront Park at 7:30 a.m. There will be numerous hockey teams participating in the tournament. Food and drinks will be available at 10 a.m. There will be music, a bonfire, and fun for the entire family. This is a weather and ice safety permitting event. The Village will determine by Thurs., Feb. 1 if the ice is safe to hold the event.
A “Friend in Need” fundraiser will be held on Sun., Feb. 11 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the G.L. American Legion. For more information or to make a donation call Mary at 784-6632.
The annual bowling fundraiser at Pin Street Bowling Alley in Warwick will be held on Sun., Feb. 25. Registration will open at 11 a.m. The fundraiser will benefit the food pantry and the HV Honor Flight. Participants can sign up at the Irish Whisper, Murphy’s, Emerald Point, and the American Legion. The cost is $25 per person. To make a donation to the raffle, call Maureen Anthony at (646) 345-2345.
Lead & Copper
Phil Landru reported that following the broken water main that occurred a few months ago, the Water Department has been very busy juggling water main breaks, frozen and busted meters, service lines out in the system, Ivef pump issues, frozen chemical feed issues at the plant, and another full round of lead and copper sampling. Chemical issues at the plant have since been resolved.
The Village passed the second consecutive round of lead and copper sampling without a single exceedance of lead. The copper issue has been brought down significantly and is expected to be resolved. Mayor Dwyer said that he was pleased with the results and is proud of all the lead and copper achievements in 2017. “We were the first to eradicate the lead problem and solve it conclusively,” said Dwyer. “Copper is still a small issue. We’ve brought it down significantly but it’s a slower process than with the lead. According to the Department of Health, this is not a health issue, but a quality of life issue.”
The Mayor anticipates that by the next round of testing all copper should have been eliminated. The Mayor commended the work of Phil Landru and thanked the Town of Warwick Department of Public Works for their assistance with a frigidly cold water main break on Mountain View and Lakelands.
Part Time Police Contract
Mayor Dwyer announced that the part time police contract for the Village expires this year. A request was sent out to review the contract and reach a negotiation. The Board went into executive session to discuss ideas for the contract. Mayor Dwyer and Trustee Thomas Howley anticipate meeting with the part time police union to see what is expected and desired before the contract agreement.
2018 Lake Management
One of the first assurances that Mayor Dwyer and the Board made when herbicide was introduced to the lake was that they would provide benchmark data to analyze the quality, health and success of the herbicide. The Board anticipates having a presentation by the herbicide company at their February or March meeting. The presentation will highlight the quality of the lake through statistical analysis of the treatment usage from the start to present day. The health of the lake has improved on many levels, including the life quality of fish, fishing and oxygen levels.
In addition, weed growth in the lake has substantially diminished by a quantifiable amount. Mayor Dwyer said that this year the Village doesn’t anticipate using a full treatment of herbicide and is looking to spend those funds on lake management efforts such as hydro raking. The Board has authorized Dwyer to put out a bid for a hydro raking project in the north west arm of the lake. Dwyer anticipates having that job completed by the spring or summer.
G.L. Village Clerk Patricia Olsen announced that the Board has received the budget requests and expectations of their department heads and the Village will meet with each for further discussion. Budget meetings will begin in March and the budget will be adopted in April.
Lake Commission User Fee
Mayor Dwyer informed the Board that the G.L. Commission is currently pursuing an effort to charge a user fee to any boat entering Greenwood Lake. The Mayor says this is something that was attempted a few years back but was not very successful and that in order to proceed, they would need the reauthorization of both State Legislatures.
“The process is beginning again, I don’t know how far they are getting for now. They asked for my support, and at this time I cannot give it. I have many unanswered questions, so we look to see if they will provide those answers to the Board and to the public,” said Dwyer.
Next Board Meeting
The G.L. Board will hold a workshop on Tues., Feb. 20 at 7 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 8 p.m. at the Village Courthouse, located at 47 Waterstone Rd. in Greenwood Lake.