Goodwill at the parking meter will still be on display this holiday season

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:09

    Warwick — Five residents, including business owners, came to Warwick Village Hall for the regular meeting of the board on Nov. 7 where once again discussion was had about Santa Claus visiting the Railroad Green and whether or not he would have to drop a quarter in the parking meter for his sleigh. Merchants with storefronts in the downtown shopping district were divided about whether allowing free parking at meters for the holiday season is a good idea. “Twenty-five cents is not a substantial inducement to draw shoppers during difficult economic times,” said Betsy Mitchell, owner of Track 7 Postal Center, who is willing to validate parking for her customers. Mitchell, who opened her business five years ago, complained about the abusers of free parking and said her business needs parking to be fluid. Mayor Michael Newhard, who agreed that some people do indeed abuse the free parking, allowed Mitchell to make her remarks after privilege of the floor and during motions. Two others said their customers appreciate the gesture. Although the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce requested that all village parking meters be free starting on Sunday, Nov. 20, the board decided to exclude First Street and the parking lot on First Street from the expression of goodwill. Trustee Bill Iurato will investigate the configuration of the loading zone on First Street given Mitchell’s complaint. Although Trustee George McManus voted nay to allowing retail in the village park, horse and buggy rides, hot chocolate, warm cider, and orders for poinsettias will be available starting Nov. 20 as part of Warwick’s Home for the Holiday campaign. Santa visits the Railroad Green on Dec. 17 from noon until 3 p.m. with a rain date of Dec. 18. He also recommended that discussions about free parking take place earlier next year. In other news: The board set a public hearing for Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Village Hall to amend Local Law Chapter 49 to allow for eligibility of individual residents for FEMA funding for cumulative substantial damage due to repetitive loss. The board authorized payment of bills totaling $260,088.22. The next regular meeting of the board is Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Warwick Village Hall, 77 Main St. DPW supervisor Bill Schmick told the press prior to the start of the meeting that he is retiring in January. - Birgit Bogler