Story by Lourice Angie
The Warwick Town Board met on Thurs., Mar. 22 and held a public hearing prior to the meeting to solicit comments and suggestions regarding potential projects to be funded through the Orange County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Grant applications are accepted for such projects as capital improvements, affordable housing development and public services.
Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton explained that as a part of the O.C Consortium, the group that administers HUD funding from the Federal Government, in turn utilizes Federal, State, and local funds to carry out physical improvements for small businesses, public facilities, and rehabilitates existing housing throughout Orange County.
Every year the Town Board solicits projects, but generally the Town of Warwick does not qualify for a project because of higher income levels. There have been instances where exceptions have been made, including funding for the Warwick Senior Center.
This year, the Board received one submission letter on behalf of the Executive Director of the Winslow Therapeutic Center, Sue Ferro. The letter requested $50,000 to help fund repairs and maintain the 17-year-old facility which has experienced years of wear and tear along with safety issues of snow falling from the roof, which creates a hazard to riders, staff and volunteers.
Winslow’s goal is to install pad style snow guards that would maximize snow retention on the roof. In addition to facility maintenance, Winslow indicated that the outdoor plumbing for the horses is also in need of repair. Photos of the facility hazards were included with the submission.
The Board reviewed and discussed the request and all voted in favor of applying for block grant funds for the project. Supervisor Sweeton said that the proposed project sounded worthwhile and then a motion was made to close the public hearing.
Warwick Friendly Visitor Program
The Warwick Friendly Visitor Program, designed to help seniors remain in their homes by matching them with a community volunteer who can assist them, has gotten off to a terrific start. The service is free to recipients and all volunteers are vetted and insured. Chairman of the program, Vince Copello, reported that for the month of February, the number of current neighbors was 78, up by three. The current number of volunteers is 48, an increase of two. The number of services by volunteers is 169 and voluntary hours provided totaled 99. The year to date totals for volunteer services is 360 and total hours provided is 225. For more information about the program, either as a client or a volunteer call 986-1124, ext. 400 or visit www.townorwarwick.org.
Full Time Police Officer Appointed
The Town of Warwick Board appointed new full time Police Officer Katarzyna Hulak, starting at a trainee step rate of $27.78 per hour, effective Mon., Apr. 9. Warwick Police Chief Thomas McGovern reported that Officer Hulak is a resident of Greenwood Lake, is fluent in English and Polish, and that she did very well in college. In addition, Hulak is also a fitness instructor. Supervisor Sweeton and the Town Board wish her the best of luck.
Purchase of Interceptor AWD Utility Vehicles
The Board adopted a made a motion made by Councilman Floyd DeAngelo authorizing the purchase of two 2018 Ford Police interceptor AWD utility vehicles from Beyer Ford under the NYS bid. The amount is not to exceed $62,507.28.
Warwick Town Clerk Eileen Astorino reported that the Town of Warwick is seeking proposals from Arborist Consultants to perform a comprehensive tree inventory, including tree location, species, size, condition, and maintenance requirements and the preparation of a management plan for the Town community forest.
The first proposal was from The F.A. Bartlett Tree Expert Company in the amount if $28,000. The second bid was from Arbor Pro Inc. in the amount of $16,475. The third was from Davey Resource Group, Inc. in the amount of $19,975. Supervisor Sweeton announced that the project would be funded through a grant from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (D.E.C.) that had been sought by the Tree Commission.
The Community Preservation Fund (CPF) receipts for the month of February were $84,261.50. Supervisor Sweeton announced that an additional farm had been closed earlier that day. The State covered 75% of the costs and the Open Space Institute (OSI) covered 15% of the costs, bringing the Towns total cost for the acquisition of the farm development to slightly over $11,000.
Streetlight Purchase from O&R
Supervisor Sweeton reported that the Town has been working with the three Villages and with Orange and Rockland on converting to LED streetlights. The conversion will help provide potential savings and help conserve electric energy over a four to five year period of time. The Board is currently seeking vendors to provide proposals for the conversion.
Clean Energy Communities
Clean Energy Communities, a program offered through NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research & Development), allows communities to access grant funds to restore renewable energy. The program believes that building a more sustainable New York starts with building more sustainable communities. Local governments affect energy choices in their communities, from government operations to homes, businesses and community institutions.
Local governments in NY can use the Clean Energy Communities program to implement clean energy actions, save energy costs, create jobs, and improve the environment. In addition to providing tools, resources and technical assistance, the program recognizes and rewards leadership for the completion of clean energy projects. Communities that complete four out of 10 high impact actions and meet all other eligibility requirements are designated by the NY as a “Clean Energy Community” and are then eligible to apply for grants to fund additional clean energy projects.
Clean Energy Communities coordinators are available to help local leaders to develop clean energy goals and to access guidance resources such as templates for legislation, procurement, and contracts. In addition, communities can take advantage of available funding and technical assistance opportunities.
Supervisor Sweeton believes that the Town of Warwick has all of the necessary pieces to qualify for the grant and anticipates having additional information available by the next Board meeting.
Next Town Board Meeting
The next Board meeting will be held on Thurs., Apr. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Warwick Town Hall, located at 132 Kings Hwy. in Warwick NY. The meeting will be preceded by a public hearing at 7 p.m. on Local Law No. 3 of 2018 entitled “Amending the code of the Town of Warwick Chapter 164, Zoning” to make minor revisions to Chapter 164 of the Town code.