State of the Town of Warwick

| 15 Feb 2012 | 11:10

Editor’s note: Here is the test of Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton’s State of the Town remarks: 2011 was without question a difficult year. Heavy and frequent snow plagued us throughout the winter, but our highway department handled each and every storm flawlessly. Spring was a welcome opportunity to showcase our exceptional park system which experienced record attendance as residents choose to vacation close to home. Bus ridership on our transportation system also hit all time highs as extended evening hours were added to rave reviews. Summer started well as we completed energy upgrades to Town Hall and the DPW garage which will save tax dollars. The promise of a great summer was tempered, however, with Governor Cuomo’s surprise announcement that he was closing Mid-Orange Correctional Facility. The loss of jobs, good neighbors and the specter of a vacant prison weighed heavily upon us. As Fall approached we looked forward to the harvest, however, our hopes were quickly dashed as Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee pummeled our Town, causing close to a million dollars in municipal damage while destroying most of the crops in the black dirt farm region. Outstanding response during and after the storms by our police department, emergency service workers as well as volunteers kept our residents safe throughout. The outpouring of support for those who suffered was just the boost we needed to begin the process of rebuilding. October brought a trick-or-treat snowstorm that caused many downed trees and power losses, however, once again our highway department had the roads cleared in a matter of hours of the storm’s end. The state’s 2 percent property tax levy cap, without meaningful revisions to run-away state mandated costs, was a challenge to local municipalities. The Town’s elected officials and appointed management met the challenge by cutting costs, contributing to their health insurance and looking for ways to innovate to deliver services more cost effectively. I thank them for their guidance and support. In 2012 I look forward to the successful redevelopment of Mid-Orange Correctional Facility, the celebration of being the first Town in New York State to be designated an Appalachian Trail Community and to working with our villages to share resources. Finally, I look forward to working this year with the dedicated Town employees who strive everyday to provide exceptional service to our community. Together we will continue to make Warwick the best town in the State of New York.