More and more people are using town's waterfront park

| 15 Feb 2012 | 08:36

    Use up 25 percent at as more residents vacation close to home Warwick - While dozens of residents came to Warwick Town Hall July 21 to speak out about the closing of the Mid-Orange Correctional Facility, a number also came to complain about the number of people being turned away from Thomas P. Morahan Waterfront Park on Greenwood Lake. Although residents with beach grievances acknowledged their complaints as trivial in comparison to those who might have to leave town or lose their job when the prison closes, some used the opportunity to stand solidly with their neighbors, many of whom are correctional officers. Residents on staycation Some residents, including Greenwood Lake mayor Barbara Moore, asked the board to increase non-resident pricing. The board kept the park’s fees the same as last year, a decision that appears to already have made this the most successful beach season ever. One resident season pass holder complained that her family was turned away three weekends in a row. The number of season passes at Thomas P. Morahan Waterfront Park is already 25 percent higher than last year’s total. Residents also complained about insufficient parking at the park, causing beachgoers to park along the road and on private property. In 2010, the Town of Warwick sold 130 season passes, totaling $7,465. So far in 2011, the revenue generated by season passes already is $9,310 or about 25 percent more than last year. “So far the park closed by noon four times,” said Town of Warwick supervisor Michael Sweeton, who said he does not believe that demand by non-residents is causing the beach to reach capacity early in the day and on weekends. “The problem is popularity and decent pricing,” Sweeton added, noting that the destination has become increasingly popular with families wanting stay at home vacations. The waterfront park is open to all Orange County residents, and has lower pricing for Warwick residents. The commercial season pass for motels, hotels and B&Bs is $60. For residents, the family season pass costs $100 ($225 non-resident), the 55+ senior pass and child pass cost $25 ($50 non-resident), the adult pass costs $40 ($80 non-resident), and all children under 5 are free. Daily passes cost residents $3 and non-residents $7. In June, the board declared July “visit a town park” month, which appears to have been taken to heart. On July 2, the town hired two additional lifeguards. Although the park has two beaches, only one beach is open this year. Each beach costs the town $25,000 to run and has a capacity currently of 250. In other news: The board passed a resolution that all elected officials and appointed employees in non-union town positions contribute 10 percent towards the cost of their health insurance premiums. Elected officials will begin making the contribution on January 1, 2012. The board passed a resolution declaring Mid-Orange Correctional Facility vital for Warwick in a number of ways, including both making “outstanding contributions that improved our town” and being a major user of the town’s sewer, paying half of the fees and without which residents will see rates double. The board approved a request by the Warwick Ice Hockey Club to hold a classic car show in the Price Chopper parking lot on Sept. 24 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Town Hall is the place to be Aug. 11. The board set a public hearing to consider both the purchase of development rights of the Warwick Valley Stables and Equestrian Center and the 2010 MS4 annual report for Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. at Warwick Town Hall, 132 Kings Highway, with another public hearing for 7:15 p.m. to consider rezoning the Mid-Orange Correctional Facility property into non-residential should the need arise, all followed by the next regular meeting of the board at 7:30. Waterfront parks fees collected in June Daily resident: $1,797 Daily non-resident: $651 Season adult resident: $600 Season child resident: $475 Season family resident: $4,500 Season senior resident: $350 Commercial: $120 In 2010, the Town of Warwick sold 130 season passes, totaling $7,465. So far in 2011, the revenue generated by season passes already is $9,310 or about 25 percent more than last year. Police calls during June Warwick Police responded to 2,119 calls during June, according to the department’s monthly report. Here’s a breakdown by area: Village of Greenwood Lake: 258 Village of Warwick: 704 Pine Island area: 284 Rest of the town: 873 (Village of Florida has its own department.)