Washingtonville Names Akers Citizen of the Year
By Eugenia Moskowitz
Rebecca Akers was named Washingtonville’s Citizen of the Year in a surprise moment at the June 3 Washingtonville village board work session. Believing she was there with her fellow Washingtonville Community Events Council organizers for an inquiry about the upcoming Date Night live music and outdoor movie series at Vern Allen Park, she was taken aback when Mayor Joe Bucco rose from the table and announced this year’s winner of the annual award presented to a resident of the village who has consistently been a champion of the community.
For the tireless enthusiasm and contagious joy she has brought to many village events, Bucco said, “I give you this award. You gave rebirth to the village of Washingtonville. And I think everybody feels the same way. Thank you.”
Akers accepted the award with her daughter Mikayla by her side and her family sitting in the audience.
Members of the Events Council then brought the other reason they were there to the village board: the issuance of a permit to allow beer and wine sold by Newburgh Brewery (local Washingtonville owners) and Brotherhood Winery (a platinum sponsor of the Date Night series) by truck vendors at the July 19 date night event during the live music portion of the evening, from 7:00pm to approximately 8:45pm when the movie begins at dusk and the food vendor trucks start packing up to leave. The vendors alone would be responsible to bear responsibility for the sale of the alcoholic beverages, the Council said. Responding to security comments from Washingtonville Police Chief Brian Zaccaro, Council members said the trucks would card and issue tamper-resistant wristbands to purchasers, carding and checking wristbands for every individual at every point of sale.
After some discussion, with both the board and the Council working well together, the motion passed with Bucco and trustees Val Laudato and Diane Mack voting yes, and trustees Rich Calore and Paul Lang voting no. While the Council would like to see the beverage trucks at every future Date Night, Mack asked the Council to first show that everything can run smoothly the first time, while Calore and Lang would like to hear from the village attorney that the village would not be liable for anything. The Council fully agreed with these concerns and stipulations, and the board will reconvene the matter after the July 19 date night event to see about future Date Night dates.
The first Date Night event of live music, fireworks, and the movie Jaws will be on July 5. The village expects a somewhat larger crowd than usual because of the fireworks, and no alcoholic beverages will be sold.
In other village news: June 8 will mark the start of the laying out of the Naomi Sewell Park across from the middle school. The police booth from center square is being refurbished at the Washingtonville High School by students in the wood shop classes and should be done and replaced by the end of June. A commercial/business zone is taking shape on 208 heading south of the village, with attorneys working on the conditions. A public hearing will be announced shortly. Phase I of the sewer treatment upgrade should be finished in November, when Phase II will be started. Maps and illustrations of the village’s different zones can be found at Village Hall. A detailed map of the upcoming Dog Park at Vern Allen is also available.
CAPTION 1: Rebecca Akers accepted Washingtonville’s 2019 Citizen of the Year award from Mayor Joe Bucco on June 3, with her daughter Mikayla by her side. (Photo by Denni Lozza)
CAPTION 2: The layout of Washingtonville’s first Dog Park, now in the works at Vern Allen Park off Ahern Blvd. Please contact Village Hall for details. (Photo of map by Eugenia Moskowitz)