A brief recognition ceremony for former Selectman James Lofink took place prior to the regular Board of Selectmen meeting. First Selectman Kuhnly honored him by recognizing the boards and commissions that he has served on over the years. Holcomb Farm Inc.’s Board of Directors President Robert Bystrowski also spoke of Jim and all of his accomplishments at Holcomb Farm. First Selectman Kuhnly presented Jim with a plaque, as well as a bouquet of flowers to his wife Celia.
A Public Hearing regarding Wells Road Solar Project began at 7:05 p.m.
The regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen was called to order by First Selectman B. Scott Kuhnly at 7:45 p.m.
Present: B. Scott Kuhnly, Glenn Ballard, Sally King, Mark Neumann, Edward Ohannessian, Town Manager John D. Ward, and Student Liaison Jillian Thrall
Approval of Minutes of Regular Meeting
On a motion by Selectman Neumann seconded by Selectman King, the board voted (4-0-1), to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of Nov. 18, 2019 as presented. Selectman Ballard abstained as he was not sworn in as an official board member until Nov. 19, 2019.
On a motion by Selectman Ohannessian, seconded by Selectman King, the board voted unanimously (5-0-0) to reorder the agenda placing Consideration of Collective Bargaining Matters (item deemed appropriate for executive session) to follow selectmen reports.
Unfinished or Tabled Business
Budget Summit/Discussions Departmental Presentations:
Town Clerk Karen Hazen presented the Board of Selectmen a broad overview of duties and responsibilities of the Town Clerk’s Office. The office maintains and provides access to public records, as well as records, indexes and preserves municipal records, surveys, maps, and registers and maintains original Birth, Marriage, and Death Certificates. The staff serves and assists town residents, attorneys, title searchers, state officials, relatives searching family history, and genealogists. Many different kinds of documents are recorded and indexed, including deeds, mortgages, releases, special permits, variances, property surveys and subdivision maps, to name a few. The Clerk’s Office issues sport licenses of all kinds directly from the State DEEP WebPos. This is done mostly as a service to residents who do not want to order directly from the DEEP website. The list of offices to be filled and candidates for upcoming elections are prepared by the Clerk’s Office, as well as all ballots and supplies for upcoming elections, and the legal notices for elections and primaries. The office works very closely with the Registrar of Voters to make sure each election is successful. The Town Clerk also issues certified copies of vital records to applicants who meet the requirements, maintains town Justice of the Peace positions, prepares and issues dog licenses, maintains current rabies certificates, with June being the busiest month for the office. The office maintains agendas and minutes for all boards and commissions, as well as maintaining Charters, Ordinances, Oaths and Appointments. The Clerk’s Office does many other things too numerous to mention. Future challenges will be shelving for Land Record Books, maybe in ten years.
Chief John Horr of Lost Acres Fire Department reported they currently have three stations, 35 members, and 14 cadets. The cadet program has proven to be very successful, with 80 percent of the recruits becoming volunteers. The department receives 180 to 240 calls per year. Recently there were two major structure fires. Chief Horr reported once a fire starts, it moves so quickly you have less than four minutes to get out of a house before it is untenable. The department is always looking for more people. They are all volunteers, no paid staff. Eventually they will have to go to a paid service. The Chief was asked how many years until that time and he believes it to be five or six years. The radio system is failing and needs to be replaced. There were radio failures four times this year. The selectmen inquired if the capital allocation was underfunded last time. Chief Horr stated they managed. Their oldest vehicle is 28 years old. The pump is being replaced in the brush truck at a cost of $20,000. They will know more about what their needs are around budget time. A central dispatch is still being discussed although it would not be cheaper.
Kate Coupe, Chief of Service and Paramedic at Granby Ambulance Association (GAA) addressed the board providing background information regarding herself and the GAA. The association has four ambulances, two stations, and seven full-time staff members. They receive approximately 1,850 calls per year. Granby is a Heart Safe Community including the Granby Police Department. Coupe provides instructions to groups like the Boy and Girl Scouts to help them earn their badges. She also teaches certification courses and assists with the Community Emergency Response Teams. The Granby Ambulance Association is always looking for support.
The Police Department was rescheduled to the next Board of Selectmen meeting.
Further Consideration of Solar Farm at Wells Road School
Town Manager Ward indicated to the board that it can take action tonight by approving the continuation of the project at the reduced size, cancelling the project outright, or continuing the discussion to another meeting. Selectman King indicated she would like to give everyone time to think about what was discussed tonight and have the opportunity to discuss it at the next meeting.
On a motion by Selectman King, seconded by Selectman Neumann, the board voted unanimously (5-0-0) to postpone making a decision on the Solar Farm Project at Wells Road School until the next Board of Selectmen meeting.
Resignations and Appointments to be Considered
On a motion by Selectman King, seconded by Selectman Neumann, the board voted unanimously (5-0-0) to accept the resignation of Suzanne L. Yucha (D) as Zoning Board of Appeals Alternate due to her recent election as a member of that board.
On a motion by Selectman King, seconded by Selectman Neumann, the board voted unanimously (5-0-0) to appoint Thomas J, Caputi (D), 74 East Granby Road as Zoning Board of Appeals Alternate, through Nov. 16, 2021 to fill the remainder of the term due to the recent resignation of Suzanne Yucha.
On a motion by Selectman King, seconded by Selectman Neumann, the Board voted unanimously (5-0-0) to accept the resignation of Christine Chinni (D) as Planning and Zoning Alternate due to her recent election as a member of that commission.
On a motion by Selectman King, seconded by Selectman Neumann, the board voted unanimously (5-0-0) to appoint Matthew M. Peters (D), 15 Cone Mountain Road as Planning and Zoning Commission Alternate, through Nov. 16, 2021, to fill the remainder of the term due to the recent resignation of Christine Chinni.
Consideration of Election of Vice Chair
On a motion by First Selectman Kuhnly, seconded by Selectman Ohannessian, the board voted unanimously (5-0-0) to reappoint Selectman King as Vice Chairman of the Board of Selectmen.
Consideration of Review of Board of Selectmen Rules of Procedure.
Traditionally, the board reviews its Rules of Procedure following the town’s municipal election. If changes are recommended, voting is to be made at the next succeeding meeting. The rules were last revised in December 2013.
On a motion by Selectman King, seconded by Selectman Neumann, the Board voted unanimously (5-0-0) to adopt the Rules of Procedure as presented.
Consideration of Kearns School Property
Town Manager Ward reported that so far, there has been no funding available from the State in regards to the proposed Community Center.
Other options for the property were presented and reviewed. They included: demolish the building and sell the land for development of housing lots, keep the building for municipal offices, sell for any purpose, sell for educational use, sell for senior and/or affordable housing, or sell for the development of apartments or condominiums. The two strongest options are to demolish the building and sell the land for development of housing lots, or keep for municipal offices. There was discussion amongst the Selectmen, and also the mention of bringing in a professional broker. The idea of updating Kearns and using it as a municipal building led to a discussion of space requirements and needs of the specific departments. Town Manager Ward was asked to create a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the updating of the building and to discuss additional square footage needs with department heads.
Consideration of Collective Bargaining Matters
GMEA (Item Deemed Appropriate for executive session)
Town Manager Reports
Budget Operations Report- November 2019
Town Manager Ward reviewed the November Budget Operations. Everything is on target for this time of year and no accounts are on the watch list at this time. The Plus One Budget will be on the agenda for the next board meeting.
First Selectman Reports (B. Scott Kuhnly)
A letter was received from Jim Hall of the American Legion, stating the annual Christmas tree in the center has been decorated for the holiday season and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
Selectman Reports (Sally King, Vice Chairman, Glenn Ballard, Mark Neumann, Edward Ohannessian and Jillian Thrall (Student Liaison}
Selectman Ballard thanked the public for their support at the most recent election. He stated some things that he would like to get accomplished with the help of the other selectmen include creating a planning calendar for special projects, i.e. timelines, priorities, etc.; publish a list of things to change and/or improve per constituents; reorganize items on the town website by topic, and departmental reviews.
First Selectman Kuhnly congratulated Selectman Ballard on his successful election. He also indicated that the selectmen already do all of the things he mentioned.
Jillian Thrall reported the girls soccer and field hockey teams won State Championships.
First Selectman Kuhnly recessed the meeting to closed session at 9 p.m.
First Selectman Kuhnly called the executive session of the Board of Selectmen to order at 9 p.m.
Present: B. Scott Kuhnly, Sally King, Glenn Ballard, Mark Neumann, Edward Ohannessian, and John D. Ward, Town Manager
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Collective Bargaining Matters—GMEA.
Town Manager John D. Ward