Warwick Town Board appoints 15 to prison property advisory committee

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:03

    Panel’s first meeting is set for Nov. 14 Warwick — Supervisor Michael Sweeton announced this week that the Warwick Town Board has appointed 15 members to serve on a citizens’ advisory committee to generate ideas and assist the town with plans to insure that the former Mid-Orange Correctional property will remain a vital part of the Town of Warwick. “The Town Board and I will remain pro-active just as we have been since the announcement of the closing of the facility,” Sweeton said in his press release announcing the appointments. “The Town Board has been in constant contact with our state legislators, the New York State Department of Corrections and Empire State Development Corporation in order to ensure the town is an equal partner in any redevelopment of the site. In addition, we have met with the Orange County Partnership, Hudson Valley Agriculture Economic Development Agency as well as members of the governor’s newly formed Hudson Valley Regional Economic Council in an effort to promote the location for business development.” Jobs and tax revenues Sweeton said that the charge to the committee from the Town Board is: To identify and offer uses for the property that will be consistent with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan and will provide long-lasting job opportunities as well as tax revenues to the taxpayers as quickly as possible. John Hicks has been appointed the group’s chairman. The advisory committee has indicated that its meetings will be open to the public, but that time for comment from the public in attendance will be limited to allow the committee to carry out its duties in an efficient manner. The first meeting of the committee will be held Monday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Senior Center behind the Town Hall. The advisory committee is also planning to host an open forum where public input can be gathered. Details will be forthcoming. Background Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered Mid-Orange and six other prisons closed in June to eliminate 3,800 beds the state no longer needs. The governor estimated the closings would save the state $72 million this year and $112 million next year. The Mid-Orange property is located on 772 acres off Kings Highway in Warwick; there are 90 buildings. Immediate impact was the loss of 309 local jobs and $210,000 annual payment to sewer district shared with about 540 nearby homes. Previously, Sweeton has said the town wants a plan for site redevelopment “so we can have a 'shovel ready’ commerce park.” Advisory Committee The Warwick Town Board has appointed the following 15 people to identify and offer uses for the former Mid-Orange Correctional Facility property that will be consistent with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan and will provide long lasting job opportunities as well as tax revenues to the taxpayers as quickly as possible: Mike Dunleavy Peter Groenendaal Peter Hall Jeremy Havens John Hicks, who will serve as chairman of the group Geoffrey Howard Richard Hull Elizabeth Hurd Peg Jeffries Russell Kowal Michael Laplace Andrew McLaughlin Amy Noteboom Karl Roecker Pamela Scotto Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton also indicated that additional appointees could be named in the future.