Story by Katie Krahulik
Village of Warwick Trustee William Lindberg shared the event schedule for the Sesquicentennial weekend to be held in August. The opening ceremony will be held on Wed., Aug. 2 at 6 p.m. at the Railroad Green. The Mayor from Warwick, England will be in the Village for the entire weekend. He and Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard will be on hand for a ribbon cutting. Refreshments will be served and then a concert by Oxford Depot will start at 7:30 p.m. followed by a dance party conducted by DJ Chris Ford.
On Thurs., Aug. 3, there will be a watermelon eating contest with prizes at Stanley-Deming Park. That event will be put on by the Knights of Columbus with trophies shaped like a watermelon. Kid’s games will be happening that night from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The Pine Bush Community Band, a 40-piece band, will perform in the new pavilion with tables and chairs set up, refreshments served and a jello mold contest that night.
“The reason for the jello mold contest: we’re sort of going back to the 1967 centennial which people fondly remember. Jello molds were kind of a 60s thing. So we thought the retro aspect of it would be fun,” said Mayor Newhard.
The celebration moves back to Railroad Green on Fri., Aug. 4 for the New York Swing Exchange concert at 7 p.m. There will be a mustache and beard contest as was held in 1967, followed by light refreshments.
The big day will be on Sat., Aug. 4. There will be a float parade at 4 p.m. with about eight floats already confirmed and there is no time limit on float entries. The Warwick Fire Department, Warwick the Ambulance corps, the Walker Valley Marching Band, a pipe and drum band, and many floats will be involved and there will be antique cars, trucks and tractors. The parade will line up on Park Ave., make its way down Oakland Ave., then on to Main St., making a right onto Forester Ave. and ending at Veterans Memorial Park.
A free barbeque will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the park which is open to the public. Six bands will perform, starting at 5 p.m. and playing right up to the fireworks, which will start at 10 p.m. The Warwick Summer Arts Festival will also have a performance.
Newhard said the weekend is about “inclusivity, history and fun!”
A Token of Thanks for the Warwick P.D.
Mayor Newhard presented the Warwick Police Department with a check on behalf of the Sesquicentennial committee to thank them for their help and cooperation with all the Sesquicentennial events throughout the year.
“You’ve been incredible, so supportive,” said Newhard.
A Discussion on Single Room Rentals
Barbara White submitted a letter to the Village Board regarding the renting of illegal apartments. Mayor Newhard explained that the intent of Barbara’s letter is to request allowing, within the Village’s zoning, the rental of single rooms. Due to some individual’s financial circumstances, White thought this could be helpful. Trustee Barry Cheney pointed out that this may require the people who rent these rooms to pay a hotel tax.
Mayor Newhard said, “I think if we could look at some other models and then see if it works for us or if it doesn’t work for us.” He said the Board will look into it.
Changes in Zoning Causes Stir Amongst Residents
A motion was passed to amend the Village Code to change the zoning designation of the property located at 41 South St. in the Village of Warwick from Limited Office Overlay to Central Business. During Privilege of the Floor, residents brought complaints regarding the zone changes within the Village.
A resident who lives on South St. said, “When I looked at the agenda for tonight, I saw that there was some action on 41 South St. At the time, I hadn’t thoroughly looked at the minutes before. I don’t think that’s the way one should become informed that something is happening. My real concern is the whole kind of method of communicating with those of us who live here.”
Mayor Newhard responded by explaining that there was a public hearing on the zoning change on South St. as a request to change a local law and that public hearing was open to the public and left open for a continual second meeting. He continued saying, “This board has made a determination to add a new local law which came after this public hearing to start a practice of informing people within 500 feet. That evolved out of this and other requests that have come before this board. So, I want to say that this is on television, it’s reported in the newspaper, there are public notices, and so there is a certain amount of word that goes out about the actions that this board takes. We try to be as careful and considerate as we possibly can.”
He added a small side note on the benefits of commercial growth within the Village. “Because we are a historic district, there are many levels of protection,” Mayor Newhard said. “We seem to attract people who want to develop businesses tastefully and carefully. If we want our community to remain vibrant and strong, then there needs to be growth.”
Resident Requests a Legal Analysis of the Zoning Code
Patrick Gallagher, another Village resident, requested that the Board include in the agenda of the next Village Board Meeting an opportunity for him to address the Village Board with a legal representative to discuss the “several critical gaps in the Village’s zoning code and review process which compromise the neighbor’s rights to protect their homes and to be heard.”
The topics of discussion will include potential setbacks/buffers to regulate commercial development in the light industrial district, creating a process to review site plan applications for conformance with the zoning code before the Planning Board commences its review, and the allowance of public comment before a determination is made in regard to SEQRA.
Gallagher wished to address the Board before the next Planning Board meeting, so the Village Board said they would request that the Planning Board push their meeting back in order to coordinate with legal council.
Trustee Cheney Announces Environmental Updates
Trustee Cheney reminded everyone that there are two bins in Memorial Park for access, one containing mulch and the other containing compost. They are refilled on a regular basis.
“Keep taking it because we’ll keep refilling them. We’ve got a good deal of material on hand,” Cheney said.
He also announced that the 2016 Annual Water Quality Report is online on the Village website. Anyone who would rather have a paper copy can contact the Village Department of Public Works office at 986-2031, ext. 110.
Ladies Night Out Scheduled for Aug. 24
Eileen Patterson encourages anyone who is interested to attend Ladies Night Out in downtown Warwick on Thurs., Aug. 24. “It’s a great night to come down!” she said.
Next Village Board Meeting
The next Village Board Meeting will be held on Mon., Aug. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in Village Hall, located at 77 Main St. in Warwick.