Story by Katie Bisaro
Over the years, the Village of Warwick has completed a variety of projects from grant monies received through the Orange Urban County Consortium Community Development Program, including several sidewalk rehabilitation projects throughout the Village.
Two Proposals, One Possible Grant
At their regular meeting on Mon., Apr. 1, the Village of Warwick Board of Trustees passed two resolutions regarding applications for two different projects for Fiscal Year 2020.
Only one application can be filed, but as the requirements for awarding grant money for projects become more stringent, the Village Trustees wanted to have two proposals prepared for submission. They will seek advice regarding which project will be more likely to be successful and then file only one of the applications.
One project under consideration is for handicap accessible walkways in Stanley-Deming Park. The second consideration is for a sidewalk rehabilitation project for the west side of South St., between Second and Third Streets.
Since both projects need resolutions in order for the application process to go forward, the Trustees wanted to have those pieces in place in order to move forward once a decision is made as to which grant application will be filed.
WVCC Youth Program Thanks Village for Continued Support
Several members of the Warwick Valley Community Center youth programs attended the Board meeting to express their gratitude to the Village for its continued support of the community center as well to let the board know how the programs have impacted their lives.
Members of the youth programs start with the Summer Youth Leadership Academy and then move to the Youth Advisory Board. Most spoke about the self-confidence they had gained through the programs, their opportunities to learn about the community and acquiring valuable leadership and life skills. Others also spoke about the friends they had made through the program.
Mayor Michael Newhard thanked the students for speaking to the Board about the success of the youth programs.
“It’s been amazing to watch them [the youth programs] grow and become something better every year…it gives me great hope for the future of our community and also of our country,” Newhard stated.
HeatSmart Warwick Campaign Underway
A program is underway encouraging Warwick residents to seek alternative heating and cooling options that, in addition to wind and solar options, include geothermal alternatives for energy efficiency.
Carolyn Cassata, of Energize NY, spoke to the Mayor and the Board about the HeatSmart Warwick program, which is funded through the Clean Heating and Cooling Campaigns, the first of its heating and cooling efficiency campaigns in Orange County.
HeatSmart Warwick has also partnered with Sustainable Warwick, a community advocacy organization whose mission is to “increase public understanding of sustainability by providing information and encouraging individuals, community organizations, businesses, schools, and government to cooperate in protecting environmental quality and reducing carbon emissions.”
Program Promotes New, Efficient Heat Pump Technology
Heat pumps are not a common heating and cooling option in this area, they are typically associated with warmer climes.
Cassata explained that there are different types of heat pumps including air source heat pumps which are three to four times more efficient than traditional Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. Geothermal heat pumps are reportedly five times as efficient as traditional HVAC.
As these technologies become more efficient and affordable, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is promoting these campaigns statewide to build awareness.
According the Cassata, in New York, studies show that HVAC systems are responsible for 37% of total energy consumption and 32% of greenhouse gas emissions. This translates to nearly $2,500 annually in energy bills for the average homeowner, with almost 75% of that going to heating and cooling.
Heat pumps are now more efficient and affordable for homeowners and could be considered when replacing existing HVAC systems. “Cold climate” air source heat pumps can work down to 10 to 15 degrees below zero and are more efficient and comfortable.
Discounts & Rebates Available
At the first HeatSmart Warwick event held in late March, there were around 40 attendees with 25 or so signing up for more information. Special discounts will be available through contractors that have partnered with HeatSmart Warwick as well as assistance in procuring available rebates. So far, rebates are available from Orange & Rockland Utilities as well as NYSERDA.
Cassata commended Sustainable Warwick member, Michael Helme, as an ambassador for the campaign. Helme has added an air source heat pump system to his own home, in addition to solar panels and other energy efficiency upgrades.
One Homeowner’s Experience
Helme spoke about his experience with upgrading his home that was built in 1953; he has lived there for six years. After an energy audit and some simple, cost-effective changes (insulation and sealing), Helme’s energy costs went down approximately 20%.
With the installation of heat pumps and more solar panels, Helme’s home is now nearly net-zero for energy use. Previously, Helme had used propane systems.
“I want to thank him [Helme] for being our lead volunteer with Sustainable Warwick, he is one of several that practice what they preach,” said Cassata.
OCNY Pride Parade Set for Jun. 9
On Sun., Jun. 9, the Warwick Valley Community Center will hold the 7th annual Warwick OCNY Pride Parade at 1:30 p.m.
The parade route will begin at the Community Center and proceed from Hamilton Ave. to Orchard St., down to Oakland Ave. and then Railroad Ave. The parade will then proceed back to Hamilton Ave. and the Community Center on a reverse route.
Applefest Scheduled for Sun., Oct. 6
The 31st annual Warwick Applefest will take place on Sun., Oct. 6, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Village. The event will be held between Lewis Park and Stanley-Deming Park, including South St. and its parking lots, High St., Railroad Ave. and the Railroad Green.
Village Safety Reminders
Trustee Bill Lindberg took time at the end of the meeting to remind residents about Village speed limits. The speed limit in the Village is 25 mph unless otherwise noted. Furthermore, in Veterans Memorial Park (where the Little League fields are located), the speed limit is 15 mph.
Lindberg also reminded residents that motorists should come to a complete stop at stop signs and that there is no left turn from Wheeler Ave. onto Main St. Trustee George McManus appealed to all motorists to remember to stop for school buses with flashing red lights.
Next Meeting, Mon., Apr. 29
The next Board meeting will be held on Mon., Apr. 29 at the Village Hall, located at 77 Main St. in Warwick. There will be a work session beginning at 7 p.m. followed by the regular Board meeting at 7:30 p.m. Note that this is a change, for this month, from the third Monday to the fifth Monday for purposes of presenting the Village Budget.