Story by Lourice Angie
In what is a normal occurrence now in the world of social distancing, the Village of Greenwood Lake held its first informative public tele-town hall conference. On Wed., Apr. 15, Village Mayor Jesse Dwyer was joined by Village Attorney John Buckheit and Trustee Thomas Howley, who, following social distancing guidelines, stood about eight feet apart from each other throughout the call. More than 300 people joined the public conference call that provided an opportunity to ask questions.
Support Local Business Owners
The Greenwood Lake Village Board has made it a priority to keep all residents informed and engaged throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Dwyer, as a local business owner, reported that he understands the challenges many small businesses are experiencing including closures, a decline in services and revenue, as well as many residents being laid off, furloughed, or having their salaries cut.
“Businesses that remain open have had to be innovative and creative and we need to continue supporting them as safely as we can,” said Mayor Dwyer.
Local businesses may apply for the Payroll Protection Program. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), this is a “loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.” Business owners should visit www.sba.gov for additional information.
Within the community, there are healthcare workers, first responders, truck drivers, grocery store employees and other essential workers who continue working.
“We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude,” said Dwyer.
According to Mayor Dwyer, several families within the community have been directly affected by the virus. As of Mon., Apr. 20, there have been just over 6,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Orange County and 211 deaths. Of those cases, 402 have been reported in the Town of Warwick (which includes the Village of Greenwood Lake).
Current Regulations & Use of Masks
An Executive Order was issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo that states anyone who ventures outside in public in New York will be required to wear a mask or face covering of some kind. Cuomo said the order applies in situations where social distancing is difficult or not possible. Local governments will enforce the order but will not be issuing fines as yet.
Cuomo’s order comes nearly two weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that everyone wear face coverings in public. Other states and cities have been enacting similar orders for the public when going to the grocery store and into other essential businesses.
Mayor Dwyer clarified that N-95 or surgical masks should not be worn. Instead residents are urged to wear a homemade mask or a bandana to help ensure that N-95 masks are reserved for healthcare workers and first responders.
“If you’re going to Cumberland Farms or the Post Office where social distancing is difficult, you should wear a mask. If you are going for a walk around your neighborhood, although you are encouraged to wear a mask, you are certainly not required by the Governor’s new executive order,” Dwyer stated.
Dwyer further explained that employers of essential workers that require interaction with the public are obligated to provide employees with masks. Non-essential construction has been halted. Landscaping work for the purpose of pest control is permitted, but no new plantings.
Parks and playgrounds are mostly closed throughout the Village of Greenwood Lake. The kayak launch is open, and other boating is allowed, but Dwyer encourages caution out on the water. The walking path around Winstanley park is open, but the field is closed. Additionally, all marinas and golf courses are closed in compliance with the Governor’s orders.
Village Hall Open, Water Bill Deadline Extended
Village Hall remains open for business; however, it is closed to the public. There is a drop box located at the Greenwood Lake Police Department Dispatchers Office. All forms, bills and applications and payments can be secured there.
The Village Board has extended the water bill deadline to Fri., May 15. Residents will not incur a penalty charge if paid before the new extended date. One month is as far as the Village can legally extend the due date.
Building permits are still necessary in order to comply with and commence any work or construction. Contact the Building Department at 477-9217.
Garbage, recycling and leaf pickup will continue as usual. The DPW is still working, but with reduced services. If anyone would like to report a pothole that needs to be filled, contact the Village Hall at 477-9215.
The Village is continuing the much-needed well project to fix lingering water issues and ensure that they can meet the summer water demand. This project is expected to be completed by May 1.
Important Phone Numbers for Residents
The Village of Greenwood Lake provided several phone numbers for residents who may need services: Senior citizen food concerns, 615-3700; business concerns, 360-0231; employment concerns, 615-3629; Covid-19 Hotline 291-2330; and Childcare Council, 294-4012.
Emergency Alert System
The Village of Greenwood Lake has an emergency alert system that will call or text all registered residents/users in case of an emergency. To register to receive emergency alerts, visit the village website at www.villageofgreenwoodlake.org.
G.L. Food Pantry
The Greenwood Lake food pantry is still open and actively procuring food from the food banks. They are in desperate need of donations. For information on the food pantry hours of operation or to make a donation, email Mayor Dwyer at email@example.com.
Contact the Mayor
To contact Mayor Jesse Dwyer, call 283-7993 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.