By Katie Bisaro
In accordance with an executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the period for paying property taxes without penalty or interest has been extended 21 days to Wed., July 22.
In a statement read at the Village of Warwick Board meeting held via Zoom and Facebook Live on Mon., June 1, Village Clerk Raina Abramson outlined the tax payment schedule with updated deadlines and penalties attached to late payments. Abramson noted that the tax bills were printed prior to the executive order and do not reflect the new due dates. Village staff did, however, affix a sticker with the new information onto the tax bill before they were mailed.
According to the new schedule, there is no penalty on tax payments received by July 22. After that date there are incremental increases in the penalties due for late payments. From July 23 until August 1 there will be a five percent penalty on tax payments. Each month thereafter through Sun., Nov. 1, the penalty will go up another percent, up to eight percent.
From Nov. 2 until Nov. 15, tax bills will be payable to the Orange County Commissioner of Finance in Goshen, NY. After Nov. 15, any unpaid taxes will be re-levied onto the Town/County tax bill in January 2021.
Village taxes may be mailed to Village Hall, 77 Main St., Warwick, NY 10990 or dropped in the via secure night drop in the front of the building. Tax payments can also be made in person, however, due to COVID-19 restrictions, residents are advised to call ahead at 986-2031 to see if Village Hall is open to the public.
Payments may also be paid online at www.villageofwarwick.org. There is an additional transaction fee for that service. All information on the tax due dates and methods of payment can be found on the village website.
Meaningful Virtual Memorial Day Parade
Mayor Michael Newhard commended Trustee Eileen Patterson, Village Justice Jeanine Wadeson and resident Kristina Hoti for their efforts in creating a virtual Memorial Day Parade video in the absence of the actual parade that was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic health situation.
The video included an online version of the National Anthem sung by the Warwick Valley H.S. Meistersingers under the direction of Noreen Hanson; a reading of the Gettysburg Address by WVHS Senior Class President Vidar Hageman; and, a reading of the history of Taps presented by Senior Girl Scout Elizabeth Verboys. “Flanders Field,” a poem by John McCrae, was read by John S. Burke student Shea Patterson and blessings were given by Fr. Jack Arlotta, pastor of St. Stephen the First Martyr Catholic Church and Barry O’Neill, Chaplain of the Raymond Hose Fire Company
Jerry Schacher, Commander of American Legion Post #214 in Warwick, read the names of the 30-plus local veterans who have passed away since last Memorial Day, each name punctuated by the tolling of a bell. This was followed by the traditional playing of Taps by WVHS Band Director Chris Persad with a video backdrop showing volunteers placing flags on veterans’ graves.
Patterson thanked her collaborators and all the participants and commented that it was “no surprise” that the project would come together as quickly as it did in a village such as Warwick. She said all they had to do was ask and everyone was on board for their part.
“My hat’s off to the three of you…you did an extraordinary job,” Newhard stated.
Wickham Works Public Art Display
Melissa Shaw-Smith and Aliza Schiff, both representing Wickham Works, presented an arts project to take place this summer, likely in August. The project will be the culmination of several “virtual workshops” to be conducted with children and adults and will result in both private and public art displays throughout the Town. A map will then be available for the public to use to pass by each display.
The idea is to “connect with the community” in a visual way, as a “participatory public art exhibition designed to help [the] community to connect and express itself during this time of disruption,” according to the organizers.
In addition to the private pieces created by community members to be displayed at the library, community center or on their own property, Wickham Works will be commissioning six local artists to make large scale art pieces to be displayed in public areas such as Lewis Park, Stanley-Deming Park and the Railroad Green.
The theme for this project is “Words from Warwick” and art pieces will include a meaningful word or phrase with “uplifting messages of hope, resiliency, and community.” The “LOVE” sculpture by Robert Indiana is an example of one of the most famous “word art” pieces.
The Trustees asked several questions about vetting the projects, particularly those to be displayed on private property that would also have to abide with zoning regulations. Those pieces displayed on public property would have to be approved prior to installation.
Trustee George McManus commented that he was “more comfortable” with displays in public spaces than private; he is concerned that views and opinions expressed by the private community art displays might not be appropriate. Shaw-Smith indicated that a registration, preview and approval process could be put into place along with a clause regarding “appropriateness” of a planned piece.
At this time, Wickham Works must apply for the proper permits and approvals to move forward.
Summer Concert Series
The fate of the Village Summer Concert Series is still unclear as complying with crowd limits and social distancing remain a concern in light of the current pandemic situation. Mayor Newhard reported that the concerts will not be taking place at the Railroad Green as in years past, a new location has not been determined. Trustee George McManus questioned having the concerts at all in light of having cancelled the summer recreation programs out of similar concern for community safety.
The next meeting of the Village Board of Trustees will take place on Mon., June 15, at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom online meeting platform. The public is invited to watch the meeting live on the Village’s Facebook page. A work session will precede the regular meeting at 7 p.m. Information on connecting to the meeting is available on the Village website at www.villageofwarwick.org.
The Warwick Valley H.S. Meistersingers provided a remote rendition of the National Anthem to kick off the 2020 virtual Memorial Day Parade created by Village of Warwick Trustee Eileen Patterson, Village Justice Jeanine Wadeson & resident Kristina Hoti. The original parade was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic health situation.