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By Shirley Murtha
A representative from Eversource, formerly Connecticut Power & Light, attended the Aug. 17 meeting of the Granby Board of Selectmen to explain the company's Clean Energy Communities Municipal Pledge proposal and encourage participation. Originally proposed in 2010 by CL&P, the pledge is a non-legally binding statement that the town will attempt to reduce its energy consumption by 20 percent by the year 2018. Eversource awards points for various energy-saving acts such as using energy-efficient light bulbs, converting from oil to gas heat and installing solar panels. These actions can be taken by the town's municipal government or by its individual residents. For every 100 points acquired, the town receives $5,000 to be used in future energy-saving projects. Granby has already accumulated 117 points.
The board approved continued participation in the pledge, joining another 145 Connecticut municipalities that have also signed on. Town Manager Bill Smith noted that Granby is already very close to reaching the 20 percent reduction and should have no trouble doing so in the remaining three years.
Eversource offers residents free promotional materials that describe some of the ways the average homeowner can save on energy usage.
Library Association Gift Recognized
The board gratefully accepted the Granby Library Association's offer to fund the purchase of a new circulation desk in the children's section of Granby Public Library. The offer includes the removal of the existing retrofitted desk. The cost of the entire project is coming in at around $20,000. The new desk will have child safety features and handicap accessibility. The installation is expected to take place in September.
As requested by the Capital Program Priority Advisory Committee (CPPAC), the town manager and selectmen are updating the list of municipal projects that might qualify for bond issuance. Granby will see a drop in bond debt service in the near future, leading to a favorable climate for new projects.
Some of the items being considered include replacing the 15-year-old communication system for the fire, police and public works departments; upgrading the transfer station; repairing bridges and roads; and adding onto the main library.
When deciding what projects the town might want to bond, consideration is given to whether obtaining a state or federal bond will entail a complicated permitting process or other red tape. Sometimes the town is better served by funding a project on its own.
The town has received the state's grant for its part of the Middle School Shelter Generator Project. The board therefore approved appropriation of the town's share ($267,000, or 25 percent of the project) from the General Fund to Capital Projects.
Just one month into the new fiscal year, 48 percent of taxes have already been received. This represents a slight increase over the past few years.
Resignations and Appointments
The board accepted the resignations of the following: Susan Dwyer from the Conservation Commission and Sarah Thrall as Republican Registrar of Voters.
Appointments include Jonathan Boardman to replace Linda Spevacek on the Planning and Zoning Commission and Eric Myers for Steve Royer as Planning and Zoning Alternate. The board also approved the appointment of three new members to the Holcomb Farm Board of Directors: Jenny Emery, Eric Lukingbeal and Lynette Simpson.