It’s time for the 2017 Joseph B. Nilsen Memorial Golf Tournament. Join the Granby and Bradley Regional Chambers of Commerce for another fun-filled day on a great course for a great cause at Crestview Country Club, 281 Shoemaker Lane, Agawam, Mass., on Monday, June 5, from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
By Kim Becker
Pressure is mounting on the schools and Town in light of the revenue shortfall facing the State. Governor Malloy’s revised budget demands almost $4 million from Granby, including cuts to the ECS and shifting the cost of the State’s contributions to the teachers’ pension fund to municipalities. Though the Town passed a budget last month, deep funding cuts will make it difficult to maintain services.
By Jim Lofink
The Granby Democratic Town Committee (DTC) would like to thank Congressman John Larson for supporting it in offering a second $1,000 scholarship to recognize a Granby student who best exemplifies the DTC mission of making Granby a better community, and has demonstrated engagement in the political process.
This year, the DTC increased it’s annual scholarship from $500 to $1,000 due to increased community support. With Congressman Larson’s support this year, DTC will offer not one, but two scholarships to graduating Granby high school seniors going on to college.
By Susan Altieri, CCMA, II
The Town of Granby is in the process of beginning state mandated revaluation for October 1. State law now requires all municipalities to conduct a revaluation every five years. Revaluation is the equalization of property values by estimating the current market value of all properties in town. Its purpose is to value all property by the same standards at the same point in time.
The town has hired Vision Government Solutions to assist the Assessor’s office with this project. As part of the process, the town has compiled a data mailer with information about the property from existing town records and previous house-to-house visits. These data mailers were sent the first week of March.
By Shirley Murtha
At the March 6 Board of Selectmen meeting, Town Manager Bill Smith reiterated his concern that services will need to be cut to adhere to the Board of Finance’s directive for no increases in town operations for the upcoming fiscal year. In addition to a minimum of money expected from the state, the state is asking Granby to provide $1,514,998 to support the teachers retirement fund. This will have a serious impact on the budget. With other state revenue cuts, it would change a potential mill rate from under 3 percent to around 10 percent. In order to meet the zero percent increase, Smith identified reductions in all social service categories, reduced supply purchases and a reduction in part-time help.
To illustrate his remarks, Smith identified the following reductions in the 2017-2018 budget as prepared March 6: $13,000 in Legal Services; $60,000 (50 percent) in Contingency and Reserve, which will curtail the town’s ability to respond to emergencies and other unexpected situations; $16,800 in General and Equipment Maintenance in Public Works; $46,000 in Fire Prevention; $19,221 in Library Services, which would lead to a reduction in hours at both Granby Public and Cossitt.
A group of citizens is seeking input from the community regarding establishing an ethics committee for the town of Granby. It has posted a survey on its website: www.granbytaxpayers.org
An article in last month’s Drummer asked for participation, but there has been a relatively small response. The majority, 69 percent of respondents, answered “yes.” Comments included, “thank you for this” and “pleased if there were a forum to pose inquiries on legitimate topics by citizens.”
The group encourages you to participate if you want more transparency in the administration of town business and budget process. This is an opportunity to establish an appropriate forum for citizens. Over 40 percent of Connecticut towns have ethics committees, as does the State of Connecticut (see interview with the Office of State Ethics executive director on p. 21).
By Tim Rickis
Did you know that Forest/Wildfire season is upon us? Lost Acres Fire Department wants to keep you safe during brush fire season. Because leaves and grass have not greened yet, there is an abundance of dried-out and exposed materials that are ideal for wildfires. It’s also when residents begin yard cleanup, cookouts and campfires, all of which can easily ignite the dried leaves, twigs and grass.
Granby requires a permit from the Open Burning Official for open burning, and there are conditions attached to that permit that restrict its use when there is an increased potential for degradation of air quality or when the Forest Fire Danger is high or above. Permits are not required for burning wood in a campfire, bonfire, chiminea or other similar device. However, it is prohibited if the burning is conducted so that it creates a nuisance for neighbors.
The Registrars of Voters hosts monthly poll workers meeting to discuss upcoming legislative initiatives that might impact future elections.
Public Hearing is April 10; Referendum is April 24
The annual Budget Public Hearing will be held on Monday, April 10 at 7 p.m. in the GMHS auditorium.