Supervisor Michael P. Sweeton delivered his annual State of the Town Message on Jan. 1, 2021, at the Warwick Town Board’s reorganization meeting.
2020 started with such promise but with the arrival of COVID-19 the year quickly resulted in shut downs, job furloughs, economic destruction and loss of life to many of our most vulnerable.
Quickly, however, our community mobilized to show support for those on the front lines like our healthcare workers, grocery workers, delivery people and first responders.
Why Warwick is a special place
More than 200 Warwick residents were organized by three veterans of the HV Honor flight to provide services for our senior population.
Residents supported our local restaurants and shops in creative ways to help them through these bleak times.
Together, we showed why our town is a very special place.
Despite these challenges 2020 did see positive achievements by your town government.
Renovations began on the original Wisner Farm house at the former Mid Orange Correctional facility that has turned it into a job creating, state-of-the-art accelerator, administered by the Orange County IDA, that will be the home to as many as eight start up companies in the near future.
The town also concluded the acquisition of the 85-acre former KUTZ Camp for the future recreational enjoyment of our residents. This site with a lake, cabins, pools, theater space and hiking trails will be a tremendous asset for generations to come.
The town also completed its acquisition of our municipal streetlights from Orange & Rockland Utilities and converted them to energy-saving LED’s equipped with remote control sensors for more efficient servicing. This project will pay dividends to town taxpayers for years to come and will continue our leadership in promoting renewable energy.
Review of police policies
Sparked by the horrendous murder of George Floyd in Minnesota, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, by executive order 203, required all municipalities to review its police policies and submit a plan to ensure these policies treat everyone in our community with dignity, justice and fairness in the course of the department’s duties. The town convened a panel of citizens from a cross section of our town and had a frank discussion of the issues. As per the governor’s order, a plan based on those discussions will be prepared and presented to the public at a public hearing early in 2021. That plan will then be submitted to the state as required.
The Town Board approved the 2021 town budget in November and once again we remained under the NYS 2 percent tax cap. This was done with the cooperation of town employees, the hard work of your town board and our continued efforts to provide essential services in the most cost-effective manner possible.
‘Hope, optimism and the can-do spirit’
We look to 2021 with hope, optimism and the can-do spirit that has always been a hallmark of Warwick residents. Together we will put the dark days of 2020 behind us and continue to make this town the best in New York State.