The Village of Warwick has had an extraordinary year. COVID-19 has become an over-arching part of our lives and for that we’ve adapted, found new resources, and reinvented how we administer and govern. Although 2021 was supposed to be the year we returned to normalcy and life as we knew it pre-pandemic, that was never fully realized, and we are still dealing with uncertainty. Our focus has been with the matters at hand, and the continuity of critical projects that are important to the strength and future of our community.
The largest and most important project has been the upgrade of our wastewater treatment plant. The Village received a $3 million grant from the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation for a $12 million project. This year we accomplished a portion of the multiyear project which included the installation of a UV disinfection system and upgrade of the Orchard Street Pump Station.
Drinking water projects included the engineering for the redevelopment of Well #3. This is an important part of the water system that has been offline due to new regulations. Other projects include the River Street Water Main Replacement and Extension, which created an essential and protective water loop in our system. This project is 90% complete. Other completed activities from 2021 include security upgrades at Village Hall, street paving projects: Robert Dr., Oakland Ct., Park Ln., Memorial Park Dr., Grand St/Vanduzer Pl., new pathways in Stanley Deming Park, including at the Roger Metzger Arboretum, and the children’s playground. ADA sidewalks were completed as part of a community development grant on High Street. The Village of Warwick Shade Tree Commission planted 40 new trees in 2021.
The Village Comprehensive Master Plan Committee spent the year doing vital community outreach and will be continuing its work into 2022. Internally, this has been a year of extensive policy development and adoption including the following: cash management policy, which is pending, Municipal Credit Card Policy, Cyber Security Guide and Policy, Memorial Policy, Pandemic Operations Plan, Procurement Policy, Facility Use and Park Rules and Regulation revision, pending.
The most ambitious and meaningful project of 2021 was the creation of the 9/11 Memorial Sculpture Garden. Designed by local sculptor Amy Lewis Sweetman and built in-house by our Department of Public Works. The project was the result of tremendous community and corporate generosity. The garden anchors the Roger Metzger Arboretum and was created in honor of those that lost their lives, commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the World Trade Center attack.
As we begin the development of a new budget for 2022-23, the year 2022 promises to be just as full. Upcoming activities include labor negotiations and the continuation of the wastewater treatment plant upgrades, Well #3, the Robert Drive Pressure Reducing Valve Replacement, Alternative Power Supply at Hilltop Pump Station, the Comprehensive Master Plan revised document and the Village LED Streetlight Replacement Program. As part of the Village’s fiscal responsibility, we continually apply for grant funding.
Recently, we were notified by the NYS DOT about repaving of NYS Rt. 94 and 17a in 2023. We’ve already begun a discussion on expanding these improvements to maximize the project and its benefits to our community.