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State of the Village Address

January 24, 2017

Below is the article from the Warwick Valley Dispatch with coverage from our most recent Village Board meeting where I outlined the State of the Village.

 

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Sitting (L-R): Trustee Tom Howley, Mayor Jesse Dwyer, Village Clerk Patricia Olsen. Standing (L-R): Village Attorney John Buckheit, Trustee Chad Sellier, Deputy Mayor Kelli Kelm, Trustee Katheleen Holder

Photo credit: Lourice Angie

Story written by: Lourice Angie

 

At the first Village of Greenwood Lake Board of Trustee meeting for the new year on Tues., Jan. 17, the Board handled old business and discussed resolutions that are anticipated to bring about positive changes in the Village throughout the year. Mayor Jesse Dwyer also gave his “State of the Village” address recapping the year of 2016:

“The year began with a $75,000 grant from the Senate for the Waterstone Rd. Sidewalk project. The Village also streamlined payment methods for water customers by accepting credit card payment for water bills. We retained a professional and fully volunteer environment scientist to study the lake and surrounding ecosystem. The Village acquired nearly one full acre of property for $1 from Orange County which will serve as a public park and passive boat launch. We then received a grant over $50,000 to construct that park.

      The Village has worked closely with our Community Coalition to fight drug abuse in the community, mostly within our youth population. This year we put on a ‘Stairway to Heroin’ presentation, which was extremely successful and attended by many from within the community. We expanded the hours and activities at the Teen Center and included an art program. Next year, we will have a Teen Center run garden at the Elks Lodge. We put together the first ever Youth League Sports program for the kids in which they interacted with me and members of law enforcement while playing sports.

      We’ve seen some great new businesses open around the lake such as: an art studio, Mexican restaurant, Country Grocery’s re-opening, a vape shop, florist, technology company, and of course, the Cove Castle. In addition, we have seen some great investments by existing local businesses to expand their operations, improve their storefronts and grow their businesses. We began sponsoring yoga and zumba at the beach to help our residents get healthy. We brought back ‘Theatre on the Lake’ with a Broadway show at our beach this past summer. This year, we’ll be having a week-long theatre production.

      Continuing on the arts and tourism, we found the Hoboken International Film Festival a new home, right here in Greenwood Lake. This past year we played an instrumental role in breaking ground for the Wah Tah Wa Park Natural Gas project – supplying reliable and affordable natural gas to the residents of the park. Toward the end of the year, we received news of another capital project grant – $50,000 to construct a handicap accessible trail system connecting our parklands.

It’s been a very busy and productive year for Greenwood Lake. We, as a Board and administration, have been able to accomplish all this while maintaining a very tight budget. One which we, year after year, can come in at under budget. Just last year, for example, we added over $100,000 to our fund balance by coming in under budget. We continue to find cost saving measures wherever and whenever possible. But never at the expense of the services that our residents have come to rely on. We have found ways to secure grant funding for necessary projects and ensure that our savings will provide the necessary funding for capital projects where there is no grant funding.

This coming year, the Village will be using grant funds to construct new sidewalks on Waterstone Rd. and repair the sidewalks on Windermere Ave. But we will be using the newly established water fund balance to build a new well. Our conscientious management of taxpayer dollars has enabled us to perform this vital capital project without taking on debt and without increasing user fees for our water customers. But let’s be honest, 2016 was by no means a completely smooth ride.

      We dealt with a crisis that is being seen all around the nation – lead and copper issues. But, dealing with this issue in a very thorough and steadfast manner, I am proud to announce that the approach we took resulted in reducing lead levels to a point where we are no longer exceeding any health department standards. We continue to deal with copper issues, but lead was really the main concern as that posed a health risk to our residents.

      I am very proud of the work we, as a Board and administration have done. The hard work and ideas of many have created a Village that we can all be proud of. There is, however, much work needed to be done and I look forward to doing it as your Mayor.”

Water System

During the meeting the Mayor announced that the Board was in the process of putting together the preliminary bid applications and required technical specifications for the major capital project and anticipates having the formal bids to review by the next Board meeting in Feb. Dwyer assures everything is in the works and humorously said, “The new well is moving along well.”

Lead & Copper

Mayor Dwyer was very pleased to report that he received the results for the lead levels in the water. The outcome revealed that the current lead levels were under the Department of Health minimum and considered resolved. Dwyer said that the treatments used proved to be more effective and expeditious than expected.  The copper results still show to be above the minimum standards. The Board is working closely with the Department of Health to determine if using soda ash; the chemical also known as sodium carbonate will be an acceptable and effective form of treatment.

Wah Ta Wa Park Natural Gas

Residents in the Wah Ta Wa Park community showed a greater interest in switching to natural gas after witnessing the work that commenced a few months ago within their area. Fortunately for those residents, the Board was able to work out another deal with them very quickly which provided these residents with the option to switch to the more affordable natural gas without incurring any penalties or fees. Approximately 15 additional homes in Wah Ta Wa Park decided to make the switch to natural gas. O&R utilities will continue excavating and paving work throughout the remainder of the month.

Waterstone Rd. Sidewalk Project

Mayor Dwyer said that the Waterstone Rd. Sidewalk project is still on track. However, there’s still no guarantee that the project will commence this year without the proper funding. He is working diligently, along with the help of Attorney John Buckheit and Fusco Engineering, to ensure that State Senator John Bonacic grants them the funds needed in order to proceed with the highly anticipated project.

Windermere Ave. Sidewalks

Now that the Board has a better understanding of what the costs and specifics will be, the project for sidewalks on Windermere Ave. will go out to rebid. Dwyer says the project is on track and anticipates that the work will commence in the Spring of 2017. The entire project will only take about a week to complete.

Retro Basin Replacement

In order to replace or fix any existing issues with the retro basins, first the exact amount of damage or repair needs to be determined. There also needs to be funding.  The filters alone cost $8,000, not including the costs of inserts.

As of now Mayor Dwyer acknowledges that something needs to be done about the problem. He is awaiting a final report from the Department of Public Works in order to determine exactly how many need to be replaced. Dwyer says he would like to see the money that was owed and paid back to the Village by the Greenwood Lake Bi-state Commission from the Morahan Grant used to replace the retrofitted catch basin filters.

Should the costs exceed a total of $50,000, there is also the possibility of seeking help for funding from State Senator John Bonacic. Dwyer is continuing to look into the issue and would like the basins to be routinely maintained.

Coalition Teen Center

The Coalition Teen Center has expanded their hours and activities. They offer art from 4 to 6 p.m. for children under 18. The regular Teen Center hours are 6 to 8 p.m. Dwyer announced that with permission from members of the Elks Lodge, the Teen Center will build and care for a small vegetable garden at the lodge.

Parking Fine Schedule

It was recommended by Greenwood Lake Police Chief John Hansen that all parking fines be reviewed and updated. It has been decades since they were last revised. Trustee Thomas Howley met with the Chief to review the proposed fees. The changes are not major, but changes were definitely made says Dwyer.  In order for the fees to be enforced and processed in court, first they need to be adopted by a resolution.

The Board has moved forward accordingly with the following changes to the parking violations:

Fire Zone, $100; park left side of street,   $40; park 10-feet from corner, $25; park less than 15’ from fire hydrant, $50; park in bus stop zone, $50; all night parking, $50; parking during snow removal, $75; parking in a no parking zone, $50; parked on pavement, $75; parking without permit, $50; parking in handicapped spot first offense, $75; and parking in handicapped spot second offense, $150.

Next Board Meeting Set for Feb. 21

The next Board meeting will take place on Tues., Feb. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the Courthouse, located at 47 Waterstone Rd. in Greenwood Lake.

Cold Weather Setting In

December 15, 2016

The Village’s water department is urging residents to take necessary measures to avoid frozen water pipes as the cold weather sets in. Over the next couple days, we are expecting weather well below freezing. During this time, please consider keeping cabinets open to expose water pipes that are susceptible to freezing. If these cabinets contain cleaning products and you have small children, consider removing the cleaning products and storing elsewhere during this time. You might also want to consider leaving all internal home faucets on a very slow, but steady, trickle of running water.

I would also like to ask residents and readers to consider checking on loved ones and elderly neighbors during this time to make sure their heat is working properly. Please also inspect the use of space-heaters in the home of the elderly to ensure they do not pose a fire risk. Checking that space-heaters are not near cluttered items in the home and that the sockets they are plugged into are sufficient to power such an appliance.

On other news, the Lake Commission has announced that they will be closing the dam of Greenwood Lake on January 1, 2017. Therefore, the lake will begin refilling as precipitation comes in. If you have not done your lakefront maintenance, you should consider getting to work asap.

From the Mayor’s Office

December 12, 2016

Handicap, Environmental Walkway Grant

I am proud to announce that the Village of Greenwood Lake has been awarded a grant from HUD for $50,000 to install a raised walkway throughout our wetlands behind CVS. The raised, handicap accessible walkway will traverse the sensitive wetlands area, ensuring foot travel is not disturbing the nearby ecosystem and will connect the town park to the dog park and recreational park of Helen Kelly Field. The raised plank walkway will provide all residents, especially those who may be handicapped, the amazing opportunity to travel from park to park through our wetlands area which is comprised of a diverse network of wildlife.

Village Dates

  • GWL Coalition Teen Center open every Wednesday from 6-8pm at the GWL Elks Lodge. Volunteers Needed.
  • GWL Lake Commission meeting , Dec. 14th at 7pm at the GWL Senior Center
  • GWL Garden Center Presents Caroling Around the Campfire, Dec 17th from 5pm – 8pm at the GWL Garden Center
  • Greenwood Lake Menorah Lighting , Dec. 24th at the Ambulance Corp building at dusk.
  • Open Gym Basketball for grades 7-12 at the Middle School Gym every Monday from 8pm – 10pm starting October 17th.
  • GWL Village Board Workshop, Jan. 17th at 6:30 p.m. in the courthouse
  • GWL Village Board Meeting , Jan. 17th at 7:30 p.m. in the courthouse

Village Holiday Events Schedule

December 2, 2016

 

TONIGHT!! 5th Annual GWL Gives Back – Food Pantry Fundraiser Fri., Dec. 2nd from 6pm – 10pm at the GWL Elks Lodge. Food, live music and cash bar. Cost of admission is either a bag of food / toiletries or monetary donation to the food pantry. All proceeds go directly to support the food pantry.

 Breakfast with Santa at Elks Sat., Dec. 3rd from 8am – 10am.

 3rd Annual Holiday Vendor Fair Sun., Dec. 4th on Waterstone Road from 2pm – 5:30pm. Gifts, specialty foods, beer / wine / ciders sold on site, music and a lot of fun. You can also have your picture taken with Santa at the Church of the Good Shepherd on Waterstone Road from 2pm – 5pm (photos sponsored by Chamber of Commerce).

 Village Christmas Tree Lighting Sun., Dec. 4th at sundown (approx. 5:30).

Holiday & Gift Fair at Grace Lutheran Sat., Dec. 10th from 10am – 4pm.

 Menorah Lighting Dec. 24th at 6pm at the GWL Ambulance Corp Building.

Additional Village Dates

  • GWL Coalition Teen Center open every Wednesday from 6-8pm at the GWL Elks Lodge. Volunteers Needed.
  • Open Gym Basketball for grades 7-12 at the Middle School Gym every Monday from 8pm – 10pm starting October 17th.
  • GWL Village Board Workshop, January 17th at 6:30 p.m. in the courthouse
  • GWL Village Board Meeting , January 17th at 7:30 p.m. in the courthouse

ELECTION DAY: Tuesday, Nov. 8th

November 7, 2016

Please be advised that Election Day for ALL registered voters, regardless of political party, will be Tuesday, November 8th from 6:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. If you live in the Greenwood Lake School District, your polling place is the American Legion Post on Lakes Road.

Please be sure to GET OUT AND VOTE!!!

From the Mayor’s Office

October 24, 2016

Reviving Artistic Character of GWL

Few may be aware, but GWL is steeped in rich art and cultural history. Incidentally, I learned of this fact while taking an New York City history course while attending college in Manhattan. As part of the course requirement, I was to go to a museum of my choice and perform a bit of research on certain items from within the museum. To my luck, I decided to go the New York Historical Society Museum on Museum Row. In this museum I stumbled upon a room containing art from the Hudson River School. While glancing around the room, my eyes became fixated on a painting that closely resembled Greenwood Lake. Taking a closer look, I realized the painting was in fact that of Greenwood Lake and it was painted by a very famous painter, Jasper Francis Cropsey in the mid-19th century. Since then, Greenwood Lake has been home to and inspiring very talented artists for years. We are currently seeing a project undertaken by a local artist, Chris Vanvooren and commissioned by a local business-owner, Jamie Hannouche of Cuts & Styles by Salon Marwan. This project, a mural painted on the side of a local hair salon next to the Senior Center, has been sponsored by several great businesses as well. True Value Hardware was able to secure all of the paint from Benjamin Moore for FREE. The following businesses supported the project through sponsorships: Kwik Mart, Streamline Auto, The Helm, Temple Fitness, Anton’s on the Lake, Casper Enterprise, Ophelia’s Floral Design, Jersey Paddle Boards, IK Auto Sales, Village Vape Shop and the Irish Whisper. Great work by all – we’re all very excited to see the final result!

 

 

 

 

Village Dates

  • GWL Coalition Teen Center open every Wednesday from 6-8pm at the GWL Elks Lodge. Volunteers Needed.
  • Open Gym Basketball for grades 7-12 at the Middle School Gym every Monday from 8pm – 10pm starting October 17th.
  • Halloween Activities on October 29th:
    • Chamber’s Trick or Treating down Windermere: 2pm – 4pm
    • Fire Dept. Halloween Parade 4pm down Windermere
    • Coalition’s Terror on the Trail 7pm – 10pm CVS Field
  • Holy Rosary Church celebrates All Saints Day Sunday, Oct. 30th 10am mass
  • GWL Village Board Workshop, Nov. 28th at 6:30 p.m. in the courthouse
  • GWL Village Board Meeting , Nov. 28th at 7:30 p.m. in the courthouse

From the Mayor’s Office

September 19, 2016

Gateway Park and Passive Boat Launch

After seeing some buzz on Facebook about the beginning stages of the Village’s gateway park, I realized not everyone attends Village Board meetings, listens to GWL radio, reads my blog or sees every press release on Facebook. So rather than allowing people to believe Facebook is the most reliable source of information on community affairs, I’d like to remind residents of the details of the passive boat launch and park. First, the Town of Warwick and Village both applied for a grant from the Orange County IDA for $52,000. We were awarded the grant for this project. The project will be a public park at the gateway to our Village right across from the American Legion. The park will also serve as a rooftop / passive boat launch where people may launch kayaks, canoes and other non-motorized personal watercrafts. The park will have on site parking, benches, picnic tables, decorative lighting and will provide the quintessential image of Greenwood Lake as you pull into “town”. I understand many people are concerned that the lake does not look that great in this area but let me first remind you – your definition of great may be different than that of an artist, photographer or someone studying / enjoying nature. Although I will say that work needs to be done in the north arm to protect the several homeowners in that area and also the new asset we will have, we must recognize that a part of that area is state protected wetland and serves as a vital breeding ground for many local species of wildlife. As part of the grant, we will be clearing out a channel in the area and doing some needed sediment removal to accommodate the launch and provide fishing opportunities. This area has been approved by the DEC and we both have taken into consideration the ecosystem within which we will be working. We will do our best to keep a balance of preserving sensitive areas while protecting assets such as area homeowner’s rights and the parkland which we are creating.

 

Village Dates

  • GWL Coalition Teen Center, Sept. 14th. Teen Center open every Wednesday from 6-8pm at the GWL Elks Lodge. Volunteers Needed.
  • Grace Lutheran Church Best Wings at the Lake Saturday, Sept. 24th from 1pm – 3pm.
  • GWL Village Board Workshop, Oct. 17th at 6:30 p.m. in the courthouse
  • GWL Village Board Meeting , Oct. 17th at 7:30 p.m. in the courthouse
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