August 5, 2019
PRESENT: B. Scott Kuhnly, Sally King, James Lofink, Mark Neumann, Edward Ohannessian and Town Manager John D. Ward,
First Selectman Kuhnly asked for a moment of silence to acknowledge Board of Finance member Gordie Bischoff, who passed away on July 26. The town has lost a great volunteer. Also, he asked that people remember those lost in the shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend.
William Regan, 62 Hungary Road, spoke about the submission of the Neighborhood Tax Act Credit they have applied for, stating final status is expected by September 1, 2019.
Resignations and Appointments to be considered
On March 12, 2019 the lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic Designation bill was signed into law by President Trump. With designation now in place, the Farmington River Watershed Association, Inc. is establishing the advisory Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic Committee (LFSWS), which will be responsible for helping to protect the free-flowing nature of the two watercourses and to protect and enhance the special resources that earned them the Wild and Scenic designation. LFSWS will include a representative and an alternate to serve for a term of three years, renewable if that is agreeable to both parties. Eric Lukingbeal and Fred Jones have been recommended for appointment as the representative and alternate. Approval by the Board of Selectmen is requested.
On a motion by Selectman Lofink, seconded by Selectman King, the Board voted unanimously (5-0-0) to approve the appointments of Eric Lukingbeal and Fred Jones to the advisory Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic Committee.
Appointments to the Project Building Committees are being worked on and should be ready for the next meeting.
Consideration of Approval for Alcohol at Park House at Salmon Brook Park for a Private Party
Town Manager Ward reported there is an application for use of the Park House at Salmon Brook Park on Oct. 13, from 1 to 7 p.m. for a birthday party. The applicant is requesting permission to serve alcohol. Kristine Vincent, director of recreation and leisure services, will take the necessary follow-up steps to insure that all state laws relating to alcoholic beverages will be strictly complied with. This approval is requested because it falls outside the date range approved in the changes to the Alcohol Permitting Policy at Salmon Brook Park. Selectman Ohannessian questioned why alcohol use at Holcomb Farm is not included for Board of Selectmen approval. First Selectman Kuhnly indicated he believed it was because of all the children’s activity at Salmon Brook Park. Town Manager Ward will review the Park Rules.
On a motion by Selectman Neumann, seconded by Selectman King, the Board voted unanimously (5-0-0) to approve use of the Park House at Salmon Brook Park for an event on Oct. 13, and the dispensing of alcohol at this event.
Consideration of Approval of Establishing a Local Complete Count Committee (LCCC)
In anticipation of the 2020 census, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz has created a Local Complete Count Committee (LCCC). The committee will include an advisory panel of community leaders across the state to look at undercounts in the census from previous years, as well as recommend strategies to ensure a full count in the upcoming census. The committee will assist municipal governments in forming their own LCCC’s to encourage and promote response in the census within their community. Soliciting recommendations of individuals to serve on a Local Complete Count Committee for the town is being recommended. A charge should be created and three members should be considered.
On a motion by Selectman King, seconded by Selectman Neumann, the Board voted unanimously (5-0-0) to approve soliciting recommendations for three individuals to serve on a Local Complete Count Committee.
Town Manager Reports
Town Manager Ward thanked everyone for their support and encouragement of him and his family, during his recent health issue.
He was sad to have missed the Bluegrass Festival, but he hopes to attend next year after hearing it was such a success. He acknowledged the biggest Bounce House having been at Salmon Brook Park and was pleased to see that safety matters due to the extreme heat were so well addressed by town staff and the event coordinators.
First Selectman Reports (B. Scott Kuhnly)
Announcement for Board of Selectmen Student Liaison Program
First Selectman Kuhnly announced that with school starting at the end of August, it’s time to think about Student Liaisons. Any interested student can obtain forms from the Principal’s office and should contact Donna Andrews, Secretary to the High School Principal.
John D. Ward Town Manager
August 19, 2019
The regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen was called to order by First Selectman B. Scott Kuhnly at 7 p.m.
PRESENT: B. Scott Kuhnly, Sally King, James Lofink, Mark Neumann, Edward Ohannessian, John D. Ward Town Manager
First Selectman Kuhnly announced the recent passing of Kay Woodford, former Director of Recreation and Leisure Services. She served in this role for approximately 25 years. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family at this difficult time.
Approval of Minutes of Regular Meeting
On a motion by Selectman Neumann seconded by Selectman King, the board voted unanimously (5-0-0) to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of Aug. 5, as presented.
Resignations and Appointments to be considered
Selectman Lofink recommended the following names for the building committees:
Town Bridges Building Committee: David Demchak (D), 22 Silkey Heights Drive
School Projects Building Committee: Jenny P. Emery (D), 71 Loomis Street, William J. Kennedy (D), 1 Duncaster Wood
Solar Project Building Committee: Stuart C. Browning (D), 6 Eastwood Drive, Clayton D. Lampert (D), 120 Loomis Street
Selectman Neumann recommended the following names for the building committees:
Town Bridges Building Committee: Jonathan T. Boardman (R), 128 Petersen Road, Glenn F. Cusano (U), 23 Sunny Heights Road
Solar Project Building Committee: Mark H. Fiorentino (R), 296R Loomis Street, Jamison Scotto (R), 23 Holcomb Hill Road, Kevin M. Riggott (U), 2 Clemons Spring Road
School Projects Building Committee: Mark J. Migliaccio (R), 6 Black Oak Drive, Thomas P. Proctor (U), 2 Silver Brook Lane
The Republican Town Committee will have its final confirmation on these individuals on Aug. 22. It still needs to find one more member for the School Projects Building Committee.
On a motion by Selectman Lofink, seconded by Selectman King, the board voted unanimously (5-0-0) to approve the appointments to the various building committees, as submitted provided the Republican Town Committee approves its nominees on Aug. 22.
Vacancies: Board of Finance (1), Capital Program Priority Advisory Committee (1), Commission on Aging (1), Conservation Commission (1).
If anyone would like to serve on a Board or Commission, they should contact the Democratic Town Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org; Mark Neumann, Chairman of the Republican Town Committee; or the Town Manager’s Office.
Kearns Community Center Advisory Committee Report
First Selectman Kuhnly stated this item was put on the agenda in error.
On a motion by First Selectman Kuhnly, seconded by Selectman Lofink, the board voted unanimously (5-0-0) to move discussion to the next meeting.
Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes 1-200(6)-(D), the Board of Selectmen motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss a real estate matter. Town Manager John D. Ward and Community Development Director Abby Kenyon are invited to attend.
Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes 1-200(2), the Board of Selectmen motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss union negotiations. Town Manager John D. Ward is invited to attend.
Reordered to be discussed after Selectman Reports.
TOWN MANAGER REPORTS
Town Manager Ward reported the Recreation Department has had a successful summer camp season. Administration will be conducting interviews on Aug. 21, for the Administration Finance Officer. The license for farming the town property on East Street went out to bid earlier this year. A new five-year license, effective May 1, 2019 was awarded to Northern Valley Farms, the high bidder. Licensee fees are $13,000 per year, with a 1 percent annual increase. The agreement does prohibit the use of glyphosate, a/k/a Roundup. There will be a report on herbicides at the next meeting.
There seems to be some confusion on the current procedure and dates for approval of Park House rentals that also request a special permit for the serving of alcohol. There was an amendment to the Park Rules in 2015 allowing the park director to approve serving alcohol between Oct. 15 and April 15. It was decided that it is time for another review of the park policy for alcohol.
Budget Operations – July
Town Manager Ward briefly reviewed July budget operations. Tax Collector and Assessors offices have done a great job. Collections are on target. Expenditures are not out of alignment. The question was asked, what are Town Clerk fees; statutory collections? The Town Clerk reported this is for document recording fees.
On a motion by Selectman King, seconded by Selectman Lofink, the board voted unanimously (5-0-0) to recess the regular Board of Selectmen meeting and go to executive session at 7:21 p.m.
Present: B. Scott Kuhnly, Sally King, James Lofink, Mark Neumann, and Edward Ohannessian. First Selectman Kuhnly called the first executive session of the Board of Selectmen to order at 7:28 p.m. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a real estate matter. The executive session adjourned at 8:01 p.m.
Present: B. Scott Kuhnly, Sally King, James Lofink, Mark Neumann, and Edward Ohannessian. Also present, Town Manager John D. Ward.
First Selectman Kuhnly called the second executive session of the Board of Selectmen to order at 8:01 p.m. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss union negotiations. The executive session adjourned at 8:17 p.m.
September 3, 2019
Present: B. Scott Kuhnly, Sally King, James Lofink, Mark Neumann, Edward Ohannessian, and John D. Ward, Town Manager
Town Manager Ward thanked the Kearns Community Center Advisory Committee members, Committee Chairman Diane Hernsdorf and Community Development Director Abby Kenyon for all their work.
Chairman Hernsdorf read the names of the committee members, including representatives from several active boards and commissions. In addition, the committee worked with and received guidance from Director of Community Development Abby Kenyon. Hernsdorf read the charge and indicated they met 11 times from Jan. 23 to June 12. It did not meet the two-month deadline to report to the Board of Selectmen and were given an extension. During that time, members evaluated proposed programs and activities, reviewed the budget, toured the school, met with members of the Steering Committee and received comments from the public.
Hernsdorf presented highlights from the committee report. Without funds in hand at the time of a lease execution, it would be difficult for the community center to achieve financial stability.
As one of the final recommendations to the Board of Selectmen, the committee unanimously recommends that, before any agreement is executed between the Kearns Community Steering Committee and the Town of Granby, proof of a commitment for sufficient funds to complete the proposed improvements and other expenses set out in their submission — currently estimated at $2.5 million — must have been received and submitted to the town.
Also recommended is that the Board of Selectmen set a deadline for compliance and if that is not met, the town should pursue other options.
Town Manager Ward reported there was an appraisal of $2.6 million on the property that was done by a professional. It was also noted, that to date, no offers have been received on this property.
Discussion and comments included: the appraisal seems extremely high; the steering committee continues to look for funding; actively explore other options that might include reaching out to CREC to see if they might have a use for the building; keep it as a learning facility; knock it down (consideration of asbestos in the floor tiles should be kept in mind); modify it for elderly housing; subdivide the property; redevelop the property so it would result in elimination of operating expenses for maintenance and potentially yield general fund revenue; town use (senior activities); or actively market the property for sale at $2.6 million.
Selectman Lofink questioned the letter of intent that expired in July. Since the Steering Committee has not come up with the funding and the letter is non-binding, we are currently in a holding pattern. It can still come back to the Board of Selectmen at any time if the money becomes available.
Town Manager Ward stated this board has not done anything but agree to allow the steering committee the opportunity to explore its proposal. There was no legal intent and the board hasn’t formally decided on the proposal except to say flesh it out for consideration.
On a motion by Selectman Ohannessian, seconded by Selectman Neumann, the board voted unanimously (5-0-0) to adopt the Kearns Community Center Advisory Committee Report.
Rita Wood, 80 North Granby Road, was an employee of CREC and has seen them level buildings and build their own.
Susan Hackett, 42 Lakeside Drive, is concerned about what is really good for Granby and suggested sending out a Request for Proposal for the property and weigh the options.
Eliot Altomore, executive director of Kearns Community Center Steering Committee, indicated they are still hopeful for funding.
Carolyn Flint, 54 Barn Door Hills Road, asked if there will be time for discussion on herbicides. She thanked DPW for not using RoundUp at Salmon Brook Park and Barn Door Hills Road.
Christopher Klemmer, 14 Winhart Drive, asked what the town’s exit strategy would be if the project defaults. That information should be included in the RFP. The response was; in the case of a default, the town takes possession. What is the cost to level the building as opposed to upkeep cost? Selectman King responded cleanup is much more expensive than leveling. Town Manager Ward responded it would cost approximately $500,000 to demolish the building. The bare bones to upkeep the building would be $30,000 according to Kirk Severance, public works director.
Bill Glueck, 18 Barkhamsted Road, thanked Hernsdorf for her work and also Ward for the appraisal. He indicated the idea to explore other options is fair to residents. It would be better to rent the building for $300,000 per year than to lease it for $1 per year.
Alicia Newtown, Kearns Community Center Steering Committee member, indicated as much as she would like to see a community center in Granby; if it doesn’t happen here, it will happen somewhere else.
Resignations and Appointments to be Considered
Selectman Neumann reported the Republican Town Committee approved the recommendations to the Building Projects committees that were announced at the last Board of Selectmen’s meeting.
TOWN MANAGER REPORTS
Herbicide and Pesticide
We have significantly reduced the use of Round Up in the Town of Granby. It is not being used on roadways or at Ahrens Park. It is being used at Town Hall and Salmon Brook Park to get rid of poison ivy. The Department of Public Works has drafted a Pesticide and Herbicide Management usage guide. It was noted that little signs are put up at Salmon Brook Park marking the area where the pesticide is being used and is applied by a trained employee. There was a question as to why the town is still using Round Up. Town Manager Ward responded it is a legal product. Evidence is not conclusive and he understands it is a passionate issue. The facts are not clear-cut. It is an effective and legal product. It was noted the commission previously did a study and said the DPW should not use the product.
Ward reported that he was not present at the bear discussion meeting but he will put together some information on a bear ordinance and possible bear proof receptacles.
Town Manager John D. Ward