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By Shirley Murtha
To continue encouraging residents to recycle and reduce landfill waste, the Board of Selectmen approved the Town Manager’s request to appropriate $18,722 from the Solid Waste Fund to be used in four major areas.
1. Hazardous Waste Collection: Granby manages this initiative independently. It was previously managed in collaboration with the Metropolitan District Commission and the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority.
2. Compost Bins: Encourages residents to reduce the town’s solid waste through the process of composting. The town provides compost bins at approximately one-half the retail cost.
3. Recycling Education: Students participate with public works employees to learn about recycling practices.
4. Transfer Station: Make improvements to the transfer station facility to keep up with current practices and facilitate residents’ usage.
There is now $323,000 in the solid waste fund, so this appropriation will not have a negative impact on the fund.
It is important to continue the town’s good record of reducing solid waste, not only for environmental purposes, but also to reduce the $64/ton tipping fee paid to the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA, the successor to the CRRA). From last July to February 2016, Granby generated 3,265 tons of solid waste, so this is not a negligible amount of money.
Grant Application for Stony Hill Improvements
The board approved application for up to $800,000 from Connecticut Small Cities Community Development for improvements and renovation at the Salmon Brook Elderly Housing Complex (Stony Hill Village). There are some vacancies in the complex and some upgrading is necessary.
Each year the town is required to inform the federal government that it is in compliance with the 1964 Civil Rights Act regarding fair housing. The board agreed that the Town of Granby does not support discrimination on any basis.
Stop Loss Insurance
The board adopted a resolution to support the application for Regional Performance Incentive Grant funds from the State Office of Policy and Management. These funds would cover the Stop Loss Captive Insurance Initiative requested by the Capitol Region Council of Governments. Known as CT Prime Inc., this partnership under which self-insured towns and districts create their own risk pool, extends their self-insurance to another layer of coverage that can mitigate the town and school’s exposure to large medical loss claims.
Senior Van Purchase
There are currently three vehicles in the Senior Van Program: two 14-passengers and one handicap-access van that is in need of replacement. The board endorsed the purchase of the needed vehicle, which is expected to cost around $32,000. From fundraising and donations, the Senior Club is providing $8,000 toward the purchase; the remainder of the cost will come from the Senior Activity Fund provided for in the operations budget.
Fiscal Year Budget
After noting a few changes to the previous iteration of the budget for the next fiscal year, Town Manager Bill Smith presented the final rendition ($15.3 million) to the board for its approval and transmission to the Board of Finance: $50,000 property tax income has been added to the solid waste fund; $27,000 to expenditures primarily for stabilization of the vacated Kearns building; and $23,000 to the Lost Acres Fire Department.
Current Fiscal Report
Town Manager Smith reported that tax collection reached 100 percent at the end of February and 101 percent at the end of March. The collection of overdue taxes ($5,000 property, $68,000 motor vehicle) added to revenue. Although the town received less in special education funding from the state ($64,000), it is countered by an increase in tuition from other towns.
Expenditures are on target; all debt service is paid for the year. Due to the moderate winter weather, there were fewer expenses in snow/ice removal (materials and overtime).
Habitat for Humanity presentation
Representing the Hartford Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors, Granby resident Don Shaw described for the BOS the plans for the home to be built on West Granby Road. The board and residents are invited to the ground-breaking ceremony on May 19 at 4 p.m., followed by a reception at Lost Acres Vineyard from 5 – 8 p.m.