The gravity of what is occurring due to the pandemic health crisis is becoming a stark reality. There will be a time when we will look at this current challenge with a sense of community history, as the time we all had to stop our lives and be isolated from friends and neighbors. We are all doing what is necessary to stop the spread of the virus and to keep our families healthy and safe.
The Village has shuttered itself; all signs of everyday vibrancy and human interaction has stopped. Daily business – the lifeblood of our local economy, has shut down. Stores and offices have closed except for essentials services. It is a moment we will someday share with the next generation. It is a story like no other.
I am heartened and moved by the show of responsibility and care throughout our community from our front-line teams to our dedicated citizens. At a time of challenge, we want to embrace each other, in this situation, we must show that embrace from afar, through positive acts and words. There is a clear understanding we are in this and will get through this together – that is our strength.
As difficult as it is to be isolated, we are fortunate to have the ability to connect through the internet. We can FaceTime, Zoom, twitter, Facebook, email, and even make an old-fashioned phone call! Technology gives us the ability to share photos, videos, important and not so important moments in our lives. We are also fortunate to have local newspapers and a radio station.
The Village and Town’s websites, villageofwarwick.org; townofwarwick.org as well as Facebook pages have current information, updates, and Executive Orders all easily accessible. For more regional information or health info. related to COVID-19 go to https://www.orangecountygov.com/; https://www.orangecountygov.com/149/Health and the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/
Using Zoom videoconference technology, the Village Board was able to have a special meeting on Thurs., Mar. 26. The goal of the meeting was to temporarily suspend penalties and shut-offs on any late water and sewer bills beginning Apr. 1.
April’s Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and Architectural and Historic District Review Board have all been postponed. The Village Board meetings on Mon., Apr. 6 and Mon., Apr. 20 will be held through Zoom videoconference and may be viewed by the public on the Village’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/VillageofWarwick.
The above column, written by Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard, will be published in the Apr. 1 issue of the Warwick Valley Dispatch.