By Shirley Murtha
Town Manager Smith and Community Development Director Fran Armentano reported on the status of the proposals having to do with the roadwork at the "Five Points" intersection and the intersection in the center of town. Fifteen years ago, the town proposed a four-way stop at the intersection of East Street, Notch Road, Quarry Road and Rte. 10/202, for which the re-configuration of Notch and Quarry was undertaken by the town. The state eventually rejected that proposal and in turn, proposed a roundabout. (The nomenclature "Five Points" has identified the intersection for decades because Rte. 10/202—north and southbound, Notch, Quarry and East Streets intersect here.) Armentano has been actively tracking the progress of the DOT's design, noting that if the town does not pay close attention, nothing happens and the time to completion lengthens.
A town meeting will be called to present the design. Property abutters will be contacted for their considerations.
20,000 cars per day pass through the center of Granby, creating long backups at the intersections of Rte. 20 and 10/202 and 189 at rush hours. It has been proposed that the eastbound lanes at the intersection be re-designed into a "T" formation, with an additional left-turn lane from Rte. 20/189 north to Southwick. Property abutters will be notified and Armentano will present the design at a BOS meeting in late January or February.
The traffic light study at the intersection of Floydville Road and Rte. 10/202 resulted in the state agreeing to install the light sometime in 2017.
Department Reports, continued
John Latella gave a history of the Community Emergency Response Team that was formed in 2010 to aid residents in times of trouble. Latella described the team's Family Disaster Plan, including how to handle logistics in one's home, such as, how to shut off electricity, gas and generator safety, preparation for shelter-in-place, evacuation kits, and special concerns for elderly residents.
The team recommends that the town continue to upgrade its emergency plans, stockpile necessities in case of emergency and participate in appropriate seminars when possible.
Latella noted that the team will give a presentation to any town organization that would like to hear more about the emergency plans. If you would like to become a member of the team, call Fire Marshal Joe Killen at 860-844-5318.
Director of Public Works Kirk Severance summed up his department's function as the "maintenance of Granby's property," including the painting and repair of town buildings, road work and lawn care. The department has 17 full-time employees, three part-time and three seasonal. He remarked that, as has been noted in each budget preparation, more staff is needed. The department is holding its own by shifting men around to whatever area's needs are most pressing at the time. The department shares equipment and resources with nearby towns such as Ellington and Canton.
First Selectman Kuhnly noted that he receives many compliments about Granby's appearance when he attends various regional meetings. "This is in large part due to the diligence of our Department of Public Works," said Kuhnly. "Thank you for all you do."
Budget Operations Begin
Town Manager Smith reported that he has begun working on a preliminary Plus-One Budget for fiscal year July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017. This is strictly for operational needs, not capital and does not take into account any state mandates that may arise.
As always, the greatest expenses are wages and salaries for the full- and part-time employees. This year there is a 3 percent increase, amounting to $153,600. Also, price increases in necessary materials cause budget increases. For example, the price of winter road salt has gone from $74 a ton to $89 a ton.
At this time, the minimal requirement for town operational needs without service reductions is $3,929,000. It is hoped, however, that the town can add back to library services and to hire one additional police officer and one public works employee for one-half year each. This would cost an additional $78,400, bringing the budget to $471,300 above the present operating budget.
Stony Hill Village tax abatement
The board passed the resolution authorizing the town manager to sign applicable documents regarding the Tax Abatement Master Assistance Agreement for Stony Hill Village.
IBAC final report
The board voted to adopt and present to the boards of education and finance the final report and memo of understanding of the intra-board advisory committee (IBAC). As the BOS representative on the IBAC, Mark Neumann reported that after studying the information technology protocols of the BOS and BOE, it was apparent that the cooperative environment that already exists should continue to be enhanced for the most efficient operation.
Annual Review of Rules of Procedure
First Selectman Kuhnly reported that the Rules of Procedure have been reviewed and no changes need be made. In accordance with the rules, however, each year a vice-chairman should be elected to take over in case of the First Selectman's absence. The board re-elected member Sally King for this office.
Resignations and Appointments
Paul Willis has replaced Peter Goff as Republican Registrar of Voters. The registrar is responsible to the Secretary of the State, not to the Town of Granby.
Anna Sogliuzzo has resigned from the Conservation Commission; no replacement has yet been appointed.
The following are re-appointments: Victoria Dirienzo to the Conservation Commission, Daniel O'Connell to the Development Commission, John Laudati to the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission, Maureen Eberly and Pam Jones to the Library Board, Abigail Roughton to the Park and Recreation Board.