Story by Katie Bisaro
In recent years, the trees along Main St. in the Village of Warwick have been adorned with knitted “tree socks,” or had inspirational messages hung from their branches.
This year, artist Patricia Foxx and landscape architect Edith Katz hope to “bring awareness around the role that trees can play in mitigating climate change” by removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air.
Their proposal, presented to the Village of Warwick Board of Trustees at their last meeting on Mon., Aug. 5, is to place models of CO2 molecules in four trees on Main St. and one in Stanley Deming Park. In addition to the CO2 model, there will be an accompanying sign in each tree, 8 x 15 inches in size, with a message about the role trees play in this process.
Examples of the messages on the signs include: “This tree removes about 30 lbs. of CO2 from the air each year;” “This tree is beautiful and captures CO2 from the air”; or, “This tree saves our planet. It stores CO2.”
Information from Foxx indicated that the signs would be securely hung from trees, along with a model of the CO2 molecule, without puncturing the bark. They hope to have these in place by the second week in August.
Later in the meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the placement of the models and signs in four trees on Main St. and one tree in Stanley-Deming Park. A fifth tree will be selected at the Albert Wisner Public Library; Foxx and Katz will seek permission from the library for that part of the project.
Proposal Regarding Old Feed
& Grain Building & Adjoining Property
Local architect, Joseph Irace, addressed the Board of Trustees with a presentation regarding a possible building project at the old Feed & Grain building on Elm St. in the Village of Warwick as well as the adjoining property along the railroad tracks.
Irace is interested in the property to renovate the historic Feed & Grain building as office space on the lower floor with an apartment above for himself as owner-occupant. His plan for the contiguous property includes 12 one-bedroom, townhouse-style walk-up apartments (i.e., no interior corridors, each unit individually accessed from the outside) with adequate parking and green space.
Zone Change Necessary
In order to pursue this project further, a change in the current zoning from Light Industrial to Central Business would be necessary. Irace sees “a lot of potential with the Feed & Grain building” and wants to get an idea from the Board as to whether this would even be considered before proceeding.
Only three Board members were present at the meeting: Dep. Mayor Barry Cheney, who was presiding in Mayor Michael Newhard’s absence, Trustees George McManus and Bill Lindberg. They declined to offer an opinion regarding the proposal and zoning change citing the need to look into the matter more fully with the entire board.
Chase Parking Lot Discussion
The Board held a discussion regarding the possibility of creating more public parking at the Chase Bank parking lot on South St. Trustee Bill Lindberg reported there are 80 spots in the lot, 32 of which are currently “permitted” spots for merchants or residents who pay to reserve them for their exclusive use.
Lindberg would like to propose three- or four-hour parking in the middle section of the lot for public use. There are approximately 33 spots in that section, which would still leave other additional parking spots for potential permits in the future, if necessary.
The trustees noted that new signage would be needed to clarify which spots are public as well as the addition of handicap spaces (which are determined as a percentage of the total available spots).
Public Hearing Scheduled
Trustee McManus commented that a more in-depth discussion, with the entire Board, was needed to review the specifics of a change in the parking lot prior to a public hearing on the matter. A public hearing will be held on Mon., Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m. to consider the parking issue in the Chase Parking on South St.
Board of Trustee Motions
The Board of Trustees granted permission to Mayor Michael Newhard, Village Clerk Raina Abramson and Village Treasurer Cathy Richards to attend the New York Council of Mayors (NYCOM) Fall Training School in Saratoga, NY in September. The Village will cover the cost of the conference, lodging and meals for all three participants.
Blarney Station to Expand on to Railroad Ave. for
Annual Girls Night Out
Blarney Station, located at 10 Railroad Ave. in the Village of Warwick, will expand their outside space 16 feet out from curb during Girls Night Out on Thurs., Aug. 22. The area will be roped off and no alcohol will be served unless food is ordered through the restaurant’s wait service. According to the approved motion, “security will be provided to ensure no alcohol leaves the designated area.”
The next meeting of the Village Board of Trustees will take place on Mon., Aug. 19 at Village Hall, 77 Main St., Warwick. The Work Session will begin at 7 p.m. followed by the regular Board meeting at 7:30 p.m.