Story by Katie Krahulik
Village of Mayor Michael Newhard presented two proclamations to the Village of Warwick at the Board meeting held on Mon., Aug. 7. He read each of them, one from the Town Mayor and Chief Burgesses of Warwick, U.K. and the other from the Mayor of the city of Warwick, RI.
The first proclamation, written by the Chief Bailiff of Warwick, U.K., Tony Hemming, proclaimed, “We are very proud of our history and as can be seen from your website, it is obvious that you are as passionate about yours. It really does take a village.”
In the other proclamation, the Mayor of Warwick, RI, Scott Avedisian, proclaimed, “Aug. 2 through Aug. 5, 2017, as the Village of Warwick’s Sesquicentennial days in the City of Warwick,” continued, “[I] ask our citizens to join with me to offer our sincere congratulations on this special observance.” Mayor Newhard plans to hang the proclamations up in Village Hall.
Warwick Playground Dreams Works Toward an ADA Accessible Playground
Representatives from the Warwick Playground Dreams Committee came before the Board with a revised schematic design for a handicap-accessible playground to be built in Stanley-Deming Park.
“As you might recall from our May 22 work session, on our special needs committee there’s a physical therapist and also input from other occupational therapists who work with children throughout the Town of Warwick, so we wanted to make sure that we were really identifying what those needs were and what kind of equipment could meet some of those needs to create a place where children of all abilities can come and play together and through that have a greater understanding of each other and of themselves,” a representative said.
The group walked the Board through the design from Play By Design in hopes of getting Board approval. Before the committee signs a contract with Play By Design to move forward with the construction drawing phase, they were looking to have a licensing and development agreement put in place between the Village and Warwick Playground Dreams, as they will be reaching out to other organizations in the Town and to large donors.
The playground is designed for children ages two to five and is projected to include a bathroom, a splash pad, a fence for safety from the creek, spinning cups called “dizzy daisies,” a small barn complete with a children’s obstacle course, small “mushroom hops,” a bouncy bridge, three slides, a wheelchair accessible tractor, and ADA accessible swings. There will also be a playground structure designed to look like a castle with access ramps that are wheelchair accessible.
In addition, the team designed an apple tree house to reflect Warwick agriculture in the park as well as a musical instrument section and a game table. In all, the playground will have 23 accessible features for kids with disabilities.
The Board scheduled a work session to be held on Mon., Aug. 28 to discuss the design after reviewing the draft copy.
Announcer’s Booth in Memorial Park
Brian Perez, President of Warwick Youth Football and Cheer, approached the Board to follow up about an announcer’s booth in Memorial Park. Perez explained that they have been fundraising for this amenity and that they can order the structure pre-built from Foote’s Company in Goshen, NY. Perez suggested using a portable structure with a mechanical lift. The lift can be pushed up during game days and then it comes right back down for storage. He explained that he was worried about how the aesthetics of a permanent raised structure might impact the beauty of the park, but Trustee Eileen Patterson expressed concern with a mechanical lift, suggesting the permanent structure for safety reasons.
Perez will return to the Board with more details and information after speaking with the Village Engineer, insurer, the local VFW, and the Building Inspector to be sure that the structure doesn’t violate any zoning codes. The Board requested that Perez return with a cohesive list of similar type structures in surrounding towns.
A Gift from the Historical Society
Mayor Newhard presented a wooden crest, sculpted and created by John Johansen, who is on the Historical Society Board. It is a gift given to the Board from the Historical Society to replicate a similar crest from the 1967 Centennial celebration. This year’s piece was mounted on the truck that had the new and old time capsules during the parade.
“We’re very proud of it, and we’re going to find a place for it within the building,” the Mayor said.
A Survived Tree From 9/11 Memorialized
A motion was passed which would grant permission to the Warwick Fire Department to hold the annual 9/11 Memorial Service on Mon., Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. In addition, the Board passed a motion to place an identification stone at the entrance of Veterans Memorial Park by the 9/11 Memorial Tree to explain its significance and origin. Mayor Newhard explained that the tree is a sibling of a pear tree that survived the 9/11 attack in 2001.
Lions Club Gives Back
Trustee George McManus inquired about a swing that he told Village Public Works Supervisor Michael Moser to order.
Mr. Moser said, “We have purchased the swing. It is a handicap accessible swing, designed for a wheelchair child, but it is not designed for the wheelchair to be involved.” He explained that he has almost all the pieces but it’s going to take another piece that will need to be ordered before it can go up.
Trustee McManus said, “That all being said, the Warwick Lions Club would like to pay for it,” handing Mr. Moser a check on behalf of the Warwick Lions Club.
A Thanks to Village Board Members
Before Mayor Newhard closed the meeting, Trustee Eileen Patterson commended Mayor Newhard and Trustee Bill Lindberg for their hard work in organizing, preparing and facilitating the Sesquicentennial weekend celebration.
“There are two gentlemen on this Board, Michael and Bill, who have dedicated in the last year probably more hours than anyone can count leading a team of people who did everything,” Trustee Patterson said. “You two put so much effort into it and you did an amazing job, a monumental job.”