Planning for reopening and recovery

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Today, May 20, 2020, Connecticut started to reopen. Finding the balance between the forces of economic health and personal safety will be a challenge everyone will face daily. Good luck, stay safe, and support your local businesses.

Granby Recovery Planning. To support our local reopening and identify gaps to address, Governor Lamont has asked each town to form a Long-Term Recovery Committee. The goal is to bring a diverse group of volunteers together to assess the recovery needs of the community and to assist with meeting those needs. It is modeled on lessons learned from Hurricanes Sandy and Maria, and strategically unites local, state and federal efforts and resources. Committee members should be representative of several sectors of the community including small business, health care, social services, faith ministries, education, housing, transportation and more. If you are interested in serving, contact the Town Manager’s office at 860-844-5300.

COVID-19 restrictions cancelling town activities. Any list seems to be out-of-date the minute it is published, and the restrictions determined by federal and state authorities will impact planned local summer activities. The Granby Memorial Day Parade has been canceled, as well as July’s Bluegrass Brews and BBQ Festival. The Salmon Brook Park Summer Day Camp program has also been canceled, but some short-duration special-focus camps may still be offered. Keep up-to-date by checking with Parks and Recreation, Granby Public Library, Senior Services and Social Services on the town website:

Tale of Two Properties. A two-part question: A. Which town property is for sale with no viable offers, and B. Which town property is still attracting interest even though it is not for sale? If you answered A–the former Kearns school and B–the former Evonsion farm, you would be correct. Interesting times. 

Town seeking broker for former Kearns property: The Board of Selectmen has authorized an RFQ be released to hire a real estate broker that will represent Granby in the sale of Kearns, vacant since the summer of 2016. After five years of studies and several proposals, but no firm, actionable offers, the town is now setting a course to more aggressively market the property. Once the broker successfully attracts a buyer or lessee with a reasonable offer, a Town Meeting will have to be conducted to authorize the sale of the property, per Town Charter.

Property at 107 East St. (former Evonsion farm) has interest: John Prete of Agbotic, Inc. a “Smart Farm’ startup from Sackets Harbor, N.Y., has made a presentation to the BOS for the potential purchase and use of the former Evonsion Farm. The 125-acre property is currently under lease with a farmer, but Agbotic presented a plan to build a Smart Farm with 10 robotic, organic-soil-based greenhouses growing produce in 22 days from seed-to-pick. Prete reported that Agbotic has been operating six greenhouses in New York since last fall using its innovative processes and are expanding nationally. The company has not presented a formal purchase offer as yet and is reportedly looking at other sites in Connecticut and nationally.

Granby residents running for State office: Expect to see three Granby residents on the Nov. 3 election ballot. Dr. Fred Moffa (D) will run for the 7th Senate seat against incumbent John Kissel (R) and two Granby residents are competing to become your next 62nd State Representative: Mark W. Anderson (R) and Audrey Meyer Lampert (D). Expect to hear more from them over the summer but maybe not as much door-knocking due to social distancing. 

Other News: Bear-resistant trash containers are almost sold out at DPW—a few are left for a $230 one-time fee. Construction of the roundabout at East St./Rte. 10-202/Notch Rd is off to a slow start but will pick up and local merchants are re-opening albeit slowly, including new outdoor dining alternatives.

While it’s nice to be outside in the warm sun, we now need even more protection than a hat, water, sunglasses, sunscreen, mosquito repellant and tick-preventative measures. Add a mask, sometimes gloves. And have soap/disinfectant at the ready. Does it make you wonder how you, and all the generations before you, ever survived? Mother Nature is a potent force in our daily lives. Farmers know it. Now we all feel it, every day. Stay safe, and say ‘hi’ to your fellow neighbors, even if you can’t shake hands.