Story by Jennifer O’Connor
Residents from Greenwood Lake asked questions and expressed concerns to the Warwick Town Board on Thurs., Apr. 27 during a public hearing about the possibility of the Town acquiring property next to the Town Beach at the Thomas P. Morahan Waterfront Park in Greenwood Lake.
While standing on the beach and looking a the lake, the house that was owned by Marcellus Brown is located to the right of the beach on Lakewood Rd. Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton said when Mr. Brown passed away last year his son, Roger, contacted the Town to inform them that he is going to sell the property and asked if the Town was interested in purchasing the property, otherwise he would list it on the market.
“We reached a tentative agreement with Mr. Brown to acquire the property using funds from the Community Preservation Fund. It is a permitted use of those funds especially in the Greenwood Lake area where there are no farms to use the funds for,” said Supervisor Sweeton. “The intention is to extend the beach area of the lake a little bit.”
After Sweeton addressed those in attendance, the floor was open to the public for comments. Ken Lyding, who resides on Lakewood Rd., said “My concern is that the property is currently on a nice quiet cul-de-sac block that I live on. I am concerned about the integrity of it remaining that way and if a secondary access will be created for this beach on my block.”
Sweeton responded that if the Town does decide to acquire the property it will be a long term investment and that conceptually the Town Bd. discussed that they would not create a parking lot on the property and there is no intent to have access onto Lakewood Rd. The house would get removed and where the house once stood there would be grass. The beach would extend down to allow more room on the beach.
Lyding also said that when the beach is full, people park their vehicles on Lakewood Rd. making it difficult at times to travel on a two-way road where only one car can get through. Sweeton responded that he would talk to the Village of Greenwood Lake about this and inquire if there could potentially be no parking on one side of Lakewood Rd.
“We would work closely with the Village as we did in the development of the original beach. This is a partnership with the Village. We feel the beach is just as much an asset to the Village as it is to the Town,” said Sweeton.
Michele Shenker who resides next to Mr. Brown’s house presented the Board with photographs of her property showing that her house would be closer to the beach if it’s extended. At the Town Board meeting on Thurs., Apr. 13, Shenker said to the Board that when Marcellus Brown lived in his house he had multiple issues with the beach ranging from trespassing to vandalism to noise. She is concerned that she will have the same issues.
Shenker made several suggestions such as a jetty or barrier which would help to prevent people swimming close to her house. She also suggested that at night when the beach is potentially closed that an area of Mr. Brown’s property be roped off to keep people away from Lakewood Rd.
“As the person right next door to the beach I am the most affected. I hope it doesn’t get bought, but if it does, I hope, really hope, you address some of these issues,” said Shenker
Sweeton responded, “It’s going to be bought by somebody. The issue becomes what’s in the best interest of everyone. I think we demonstrated that we are fairly good stewards of the property that exists there today. And I would expect that we would be good stewards in the future. We may or may not go forward with it. I don’t know that yet, but somebody will buy it and maybe they will be good neighbors and maybe they won’t. We are willing to work with the neighbors and will involve the neighbors in the process.”
Sweeton said a decision will be made at the next Town Board meeting and welcomed the residents to contact him at Town Hall if they have more questions. After the public hearing was closed, the Board held their regular meeting and then Council members gave reports.
DPW Making Road Repairs
Councilman Mickey Shuback reported that the Town Department of Public Works (DPW) has been making road repairs, fixing road signs, cleaning ditches, filling pot holes, hauling material, replacing water valves in the Village of Greenwood Lake, and other work.
Registration for Pine Island Rec.
Councilman Jim Gerstner reported that registration for the Pine Island Summer Recreation Program will be held on Mon., Jun. 19 for residents of the P.I. Fire District from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and on Tues., Jun. 20 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for all other Town residents. The registration will be held at the Pine Island Park located off of Kay Rd. It is important to note that residents need to obtain a reservation number before attending the registration. For more information send an email to email@example.com.
Broken Slide in P.I. Park
Councilman Russell Kowal gave a report on the Town Parks. He said that the DPW will attempt to repair the broken plastic slide at the Pine Island Park. If it cannot be repaired then they will consider replacing the slide.
Humane Society Update
Councilman Floyd DeAngelo reported that Missy Runyan, a NYS Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator from the Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center, visited the Warwick Valley Humane Society. Runyan gave a safety lecture on how to handle injures for birds of prey and other wild animals. The Humane Society asks that residents call the Shelter before attempting to help an injured or sick wild animal.
A golf outing fundraiser will also be held for the Shelter by the Warwick Foot and Tea Spa called, “Fore the Animals.” The fundraiser will be held on Mon., May 8 from 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon at the Mansion Ridge Golf Club, located at 1292 Orange Tpke. in Monroe. The cost is $130 and includes 18 holes, cart rental, continental breakfast, lunch, raffle and tricky tray. For more information call the Humane Society at 986-2473.
The Shelter is in need of rabbit pellets, canned ground cat food, medical supplies, bleach, paper towels and paper plates. Monetary donations are greatly appreciated. Donations may be dropped off to the shelter, which is located at 48 Public Works Dr. in Warwick.
Volunteers Needed for Friendly Visitor Program
In Supervisor Sweeton’s report, he reminded residents that the Friendly Visitor Program is still seeking volunteers. The program will be officially launched at the Town Board meeting on Thurs., May 11. The free town-wide program is designed to support older adults and those who have disabilities who live alone. More volunteers are needed and all volunteers will need training. Some of the tasks include providing transportation, help with grocery shopping, home visits, or clerical assistance. For more information call 986-1124, press option 1, and then option 2 and leave a name and phone number in order to be contacted.
Town Beach Fees
The beach fees for the 2017 season at the Thomas P. Morahan Waterfront Park were set as follows: Family Pass (limited to six passes per family), $120 for residents and $225 for non-residents – each additional pass is $10; Senior Pass (55 and over), $25 for residents and $60 for non-residents; Adult Season Pass, $50 for residents and $100 for non-residents; Child Season Pass for ages five to 18, $25 for residents and $60 for non-residents; Commercial Season Pass for motels, hotels & B&Bs, $60; Daily Pass, $5 for residents and $10 for non-residents; Town Resident Guess Pass, $5; Not-for-Profit Pass, $2; and Replacement Badge Cost, $5 each.
Town Hires Employees at Waterfront Park
The Board appointed the following employees at the Waterfront Park for the 2017 season: Carol Bennett as the Beach Manager for $14.80 per hr.; Joseph Astorino and Brendan Bauer as laborers for $9.70 per hr.; Luke Keller, Sarah Quade and Henry Keller as lifeguards for $10.25 per hr.; and Colleen O’Brien and Shannon Curtin as lifeguards for $10.50 per hr.
Board Appoints Part-Time Dispatcher & Seasonal DPW Laborer
Charlie Hoffman was appointed as a part-time seasonal DPW laborer for $11.55 per hr., and Steven T. Frischknecht was appointed as a part-time Dispatcher for $15.25 per hr.
Kayak Launch Platform
The Town Bd. accepted the bid from EZ Dock Mid-Atlantic for a kayak launch platform at the Wickham Woodland Park in the amount not to exceed $1,799.
Replacement of Cooling & Supplemental Heat
The Board adopted a resolution to accept a bid in the amount of $57,600 from Armistead Mechanical, Inc. Services to replace three carrier models that provide cooling and supplemental heat to offices in the Warwick Town Hall and to the Police Dept. Complex.
Speed Reduction Requested
The Board adopted a resolution to file the necessary TE9 forms with Orange County to request the NYS Dept. of Transportation to lower the speed limited to 45 mph from 50 mph on Rte. 94 from the New Jersey border to the Village of Warwick line.
“We had requested this once before and the State of New York which determines speed limits in the Town had rejected that reduction. We had several requests from residents in the area due the increase in traffic and they asked that we resubmit the request,” said Sweeton.
Public Hearing Scheduled to Amend Parks Code
The Board scheduled a public hearing to amend the Town’s parks code so that alcohol will not be permitted in the parks except for the rental facility of Wickham Woodland Manor through a permit. The hearing will be held on Thurs., May 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Warwick Town Hall.
Next Board Meeting
The next Board meeting will be held on Thurs., May 11 at 1 p.m. in the Warwick Town Hall, located at 132 Kings Hwy. in Warwick.