Story by Katie Bisaro
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic health situation continues, more programs and events are being postponed or cancelled altogether.
The Village of Warwick Board of Trustees announced on Mon., May 18, that the Summer Recreation Program for 2020 has been cancelled. This is in line with the other Villages in the Town of Warwick, Florida and Greenwood Lake, as well as the Hamlet of Pine Island who have all cancelled their summer programs as well. The Warwick Fire Department has cancelled its annual Carnival and fireworks, which was slated to take place at the end of June, according to Trustee Bill Lindberg.
“The firemen that I’ve talked to can’t remember the last time we didn’t have a carnival in the Village of Warwick; it’s been a great tradition, but we just couldn’t take the chance,” Lindberg stated.
Virtual Memorial Day Parade
Trustee Eileen Patterson has teamed up with Village Justice Jeanine Wadeson and Kristina Hoti to create a “virtual” Memorial Day Parade. The trio reached out to the various organizations that traditionally take part in the parade to provide short videos that will be compiled as a virtual Memorial Day Parade. For example, Fr. Jack Arlotta of St. Stephen’s Church recorded the blessing he would have given at St. Stephen’s Cemetery, traditionally the second stop for the parade. The video will be posted on the Village and Town Facebook pages for all to watch.
“It’s another example of this amazing community that we live in…We are respecting tradition and hopefully satisfying everyone’s desire to take a moment to honor Memorial Day in the Village of Warwick,” Patterson said.
Although the annual Memorial Day Parade hosted by American Legion Post #214 had to be cancelled this year due to the coronavirus health situation, a private ceremony will take place honoring those service men and women who lost their lives this past year. Mayor Michael Newhard asked the public to respect the privacy of the event.
“I urge the public to respect their privacy and allow them to do the ceremony, which is a beautiful funeral ceremony to honor the dead, but to let them do that within their ranks. I would appreciate that so that it does not cause any stress for them,” Newhard stated.
Sewer Options for Village View
The Board of Trustees discussed options for sewer service for the Village View subdivision project off Woodside Dr. and Locust Dr. in the Village of Warwick. Four options were presented to the Board by the project engineer, Kirk Rother, the developer’s attorney, Jay Myrow, and Village Engineer David Getz of Lehman & Getz Engineering.
Two options were discussed in further detail: a gravity connection system leading to Colonial Ave., or the replacement of the Robin Brae pump station off Maple Ave.
The gravity system, in order to tie into the existing system at Colonial Ave., would have to cross private property as well as streams and wetlands. A new pump station near the existing Robin Brae facility (which would ultimately be taken off-line) will not only accommodate the new development but will be an improvement for existing users with increased capacity.
Myrow will work will his client, the developer, on a proposal for a new pump station at the Robin Brae location.
Electric Vehicle Charging Station
Trustee Barry Cheney presented specifics to the Board on the electric vehicle charging station project in the South St. parking lot.
According to New York State, there are 92 electric vehicles registered in the 10990 ZIP code. From March 2019 to March 2020, the current charging station recorded 1,882 hours of charging time, at no cost to the user. At this time the Village is proposing that a fee be charged to offset the costs of operating and maintaining the charging station, at an annual cost to the Village of nearly $2,700.
The Board discussed a fee structure on a per hour basis that, based on the number of hours used in the last year, would either offset part of the cost or cover it entirely. The Board debated between charging $1.25 per hour, which would net around $2,100 for the Village to offset the cost or $1.75 per hour which would cover the cost, as it would net almost $3,000.
Cheney is in favor of starting at $1.25/hour as an incentive to continue using the charging stations, saying that the fee could be raised in the future. Trustee George McManus felt strongly that the Village should not be subsidizing the electricity for electric vehicle owners. Trustee Eileen Patterson agreed that the Village should cover its costs for providing the service.
The matter will be discussed again at the June meeting. Village Attorney Stephen Gaba will look into the necessary steps for establishing the fee structure and whether a public hearing on the matter should be scheduled.
The next meeting of the Village Board of Trustees will take place on Mon., June 2, at 7:30 p.m. via the Zoom online meeting platform. Information on connecting to the meeting is available on the Village website at www.villageofwarwick.org.