Down the road

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:49

    A neighborhood, the mayor and the supervisor balk at county plans to abandon the bridge that leads to Jones Chemical, By Birgit Bogler Warwick — A handful of residents came to Village Hall on Oct. 17 for the regular meeting of the Warwick Village Board to complain about chronic flooding in their Orchard Street neighborhood and to inquire about rumors of a new road in that neighborhood. Mayor Michael Newhard confirmed that the village and town are in negotiations with the Orange County Department of Public Works for a road that would bypass a faltering county bridge and connect the JCI Jones Chemicals sales office on River Street with County Route 1. However, the county wants to build a road to connect to Orchard Street that would bring truck traffic through the village, something the mayor rejected outright. He also objected to the notion that the county’s DPW serve as lead agency for the purposes of a state environmental quality review. “Maintenance has been spotty at best,” said Newhard about the county’s maintenance of the bridge on Howe Street. The county does not want to rebuild the bridge, which will be flagged within a year and given a weight limit that would preclude Jones Chemical trucks from crossing it, the mayor added. Meanwhile, Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton said in an interview that if the county closes the bridge without providing another avenue for Jones Chemicals trucks to get out, the company “effectively will be out of business.” In addition to the loss of jobs, the town would lose the estimated $40,000 in taxes paid by the company each year. According to both Newhard and Sweeton, the company is willing to defray hard costs for the village and town for a new road that connects to County Route 1. That road would also open additional land for office and/or industrial development, Sweeton said. In response to an Orchard Street resident who asked to help, the mayor said: “Write a petition that says we will not accept heavy trucks and traffic going through our neighborhood. “Jones Chemicals is a good neighbor and very responsible,” Newhard added about the company that has kept jobs in the area, upgraded its facility and had no major incidents, a sentiment echoed by the supervisor. Headquartered in Sarasota Florida, JCI Jones Chemicals is the largest repackager of chlorine in the United States. In other news: The board authorized payment of bills totaling $231,603.44 The village DPW will pick up leaves from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 and only accepts leaves in brown biodegradable bags at curbside. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #4662 will hold Veterans Day services at the entrance to Memorial Park on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. Forester Avenue will close from 10:30 until 11:30 a.m. for the services. Home for the Holidays is Nov. 20 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Look for details about the annual local shopping event next month. FEMA has fast tracked repairs to the dam and upper reservoir damaged during hurricane Irene and tropical storm Lee. Look for work to begin within two weeks and be completed by end of November. The next regular meeting of the board will be held on Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in Warwick Village Hall, 77 Main St.