Story by Lourice Angie
The Warwick Town Board held their annual reorganization meeting on Wed., Jan. 2. Town of Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton opened the meeting with his State of the Town Address.
Sweeton reported that 2018 was a busy year in Warwick Town government. Winter, as always, presents challenges for the largest Town in Orange County, with over 220 miles of roads. During the recent snowstorm, the Department of Public works responded as usual, keeping the roads clear so that residents could get to work and have ready access to emergency services if needed.
Once the weather broke skilled workers renovated the bathhouse at the Town beach and built, with monetary contributions from the Greenwood Lake Lions, a new bathroom facility in Winstanley Park. Road resurfacing also took place but was hampered by unprecedented, but now common heavy rains. Infrastructure projects included the repairs of the Jayne St. bridge, thanks to a grant from Senator John Bonacic.
The Transportation Department settled into a new building and continued to offer services, for a fee, to neighboring municipalities now dispatching the Town of Wallkill system as well as providing management for Monroe and Wallkill. Both shared services provide income for Warwick which offsets costs to taxpayers.
The Warwick Police Department (WPD) continues to keep residents safe, maintain its community policing policies and increase the level of training as well as professionalism of its officers. With the terrible incident in Parkland, FL, the WPD worked closely with Warwick, Florida and Greenwood Lake School Districts to immediately provide officers at all schools in the Town and signed agreements to provide this security for the foreseeable future. Keeping children safe is a major priority for the Town.
The Farmland Preservation Program continues its success with over 4,000 acres protected. Those acres are all still productive and are all still paying taxes. Local farmers continue to innovate and bring great value to the local economy. The Town continues to receive 50 to 75 percent of acquisition funds through Federal and State grants.
The community2gether visioning process launched several follow-up efforts that were identified: the clearing of the Wawayanda Creek and the planning for a 2019 “Three Lake Festival,” celebrating the Town’s three Villages. The group also launched a coordinated calendar app called Burbio.com which allows residents to follow government, school, and civic organization events.
Fiscal restraint is a top priority of this Board and new efforts to generate revenue were also completed this year. Two new cell carriers signed on to the Rte. 94 cell tower and the Town agreed to locate a new tower on town land at the former Mid-Orange Correctional facility. All will provide steady income.
The Town also signed an agreement to purchase the streetlights, convert them to energy efficient LED’s and save thousands in electricity costs in the years ahead. Joining with Orange County, the Town of Warwick submitted a shared services plan to the State that will also provide savings for the Town.
The Warwick Technology Park had a burst of success in 2018 when Citiva Medical purchased land and began construction of a 60,000 square foot facility to produce medical cannabis. Kraftify, a successful craft brewer, also began renovation on a building to bring their production facility to the site. The “Yard” was purchased by world renowned soccer star Christian Fuchs with plans to reopen this January. Work has begun with the OC IDA to create a business accelerator in a public-private partnership to launch new businesses into the corporate park. These exciting developments will be a game changer in 2019.
“I want to thank our Town employees for their hard work and dedication, our residents for their shared vision of what Warwick is all about, and this Town Board for their diligence in the job they do for this great Town. We look forward to much progress and improvements for our town in 2019,” said Supervisor Sweeton.
Supervisor Appointments For 2019
Supervisor Sweeton appointed Councilman James Gerstner as Deputy Supervisor at a salary of $6,000 during the 2019 year, bestowing him with all powers of the Supervisor.
Other appointments included:
- Planning and Zoning: Michael Sweeton
- Animal Control: Floyd DeAngelo
- Water and Sewer: Mickey Shuback
- Police: Floyd DeAngelo
- Technology Coordinator: James Gerstner
- Recycling: Mickey Shuback
- Public Works: Mickey Shuback
- Parks: Russell Kowal
- Recreation: James Gerstner
- Cable Television Regulation: James Gerstner
- Labor Management: Russell Kowal
- Claims Coordinator: Town Clerk Eileen Astorino
- Airport: Floyd DeAngelo
- Town Board Liaison to the Village Clerk: James Gerstner
- Town Board Liaison to the Village of Greenwood Lake: Floyd DeAngelo
- Town Board Liaison to the Village of Florida: Mickey Shuback
Elected Officials Salaries
A resolution was made by the Town Board to adopt the following elected official’s salaries:
- Supervisor $63,000
- Town Clerk $59,747
- Councilman $11,750/each
- Justices (2) $27,000/each
- Receiver of Taxes $41,243
The Board name the Warwick Valley Dispatch as the official newspaper for the Town of Warwick: Editor, Jennifer O’Connor, P.O. Box 594, 2 Oakland Ave., Warwick, NY 10990.
Animal Control Officers
Suzyn Barron, Kathleen Mosca, Cheryl Esposito, Amber Crandall, Nicole Moellman, and Joan Schmick were named animal control officers for 2019.
Stephen M. Brown, CPA Westgate Office Park, 1 Hatfield Ln., P.O. Box 606 Goshen, NY 10924 was named auditor for the Town of Warwick.
Roger MC Kelvey, MC Kelvey Computer Consulting, 48 Werner Ave., Florida, NY 10921 was name computer specialist for the Town of Warwick.
Planning Board Attorney/Deputy Town Attorney
John D. Bollenbach, Attorney at Law, 757 Seward Hwy., Florida, NY 10921 was named Planning Board Attorney and Deputy Town Attorney.
Planning Board Chairman
Benjamin Astorino, 23 Main St., Warwick, NY 10990 was named Planning Board chairman.
- Theodore Fink, AICP was named Planning Consultant.
Jacobowitz and Gubits LLP; Bluestein, Shapiro, Rich & Barone LLP; and Jaspan/Schlesinger LLP were named Special Counsel for the Town of Warwick.
Zoning Board of Appeals Attorney
Robert W. Fink was name as Zoning Board of Appeals attorney.
Zoning Board of Appeals Recording Secretary
Mary Hebel was named Recording Secretary for the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Town Hall Cleaner
Shirley Moellman, Turning Cleaning Service was named Town Hall cleaner.
The following were named Marriage Officers:
- John Johansen, 279 Rte. 17A, Warwick, NY 10990
- Michael J. Newhard, Mayor of the Village of Warwick, 77 Main St., Warwick, NY 10990
- Jesse Dwyer, Mayor of the Village of Greenwood Lake, Church St., P.O. Box 7, Greenwood Lake, NY 10925
Planning Board Engineer
HDR Engineering P.C. was named Planning Board Engineer.
Labor Counsel for the Town of Warwick
Donoghue, Thomas, Auslander & Drohan, LLP were named Labor Counsel for the Town of Warwick.
O&R Working in the Community
Supervisor Sweeton announced that O&R Utilities would be working in our community in the upcoming weeks. Residents can expect to see contractors of the Nelson Tree Service in the area helping to further improve the reliability of electric services by completing preventative maintenance to vegetation in proximity to the overhead electrical conductors. Tree interference is a leading cause of outages within our area. O&R representatives have assured the Town that experienced tree pruning contractors will trim and redirect tree growth away from power lines, and will use proper pruning techniques by following the utmost care to minimize stress to the trees. All trees requiring pruning will be maintained during this project. For more information about the work being done in the area, call O&R Utilities at (877) 434-4100, Mon. to Fri. from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Next Town Meeting
The next Warwick Town Board Meeting will be held on Thurs., Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Warwick Town Hall, located at 132 Kings Hwy. in Warwick.