What a month it’s been. What a time we are living in. While the Drummer is showcasing its 50 years of history, we are creating new history every day. How will future residents view these times? Let’s all seek awareness, stay safe, become even better neighbors and continue to support our local community. And, enjoy summer!
Community Conversations. The Granby community has responded to the national conversation on racial injustice with a number of opportunities to engage, as covered here in the Drummer. The town, under the leadership of First Selectman Scott Kuhnly, sponsored an online meeting for an “open dialogue so our community can have their voices heard.” Over 130 residents participated on June 11 “to share their stories, experiences, thoughts and ideas.” Kuhnly reported it was very healthy discussion with some very worthwhile suggestions, and it was unfortunate that after 1 hour and 26 minutes, the Zoom meeting had to end with a ‘bot’ attack (google ‘zoombombing’). As public meetings by law have to be open to any and all who wish to attend, this is a liability of the online format. He plans to continue these inclusive conversations with face-to-face meetings, in compliance with social distancing guidelines. Watch for them to be posted at granby-ct.gov
COVID re-opening plans continue. Re-opening teams have been working on specific plans for the schools and town buildings and services, as well as individual department plans. See Granby.k12.ct.us/news or Granby-ct.gov, respectively, for up-to-date news. With Phase 2 just starting as I write this, these plans will continue to evolve. The Board of Selectmen appointed Dave Watkins, a Granby native and retired Chief of Police, as the volunteer Long Term Recovery Coordinator. Watkins and a committee of 11 other residents will be working to identify unmet needs, and then help seek resources to address them. Thanks to all those helping with this planning for their service.
Taxes are due July 1, or pay within 90 days with 3 percent interest. A reminder that the Board of Selectmen adopted the Governor’s “Low Interest Rate Program” executive order granting all taxpayers an additional 90 days (until Oct. 1) to make payments subject to only a 3 percent annual interest fee, versus the standard 18 percent rate for late payments.
This is open to all Granby taxpayers, individuals and businesses. There is no requirement of proof of “significant economic impacts by COVID-19” or other requirements. For those who want to pay in-person at Town Hall, check the town website first for up-to-date instructions.
Property developments. The former Maplewood Farm (170 North Granby Road), unused for the past two years, finally sold to Coward Farms of Southwick, a family-owned plant nursery and Christmas tree farm. Today the former dairy barn was being demolished, so we shall find out what they have planned, soon. The 130-unit apartment complex across from Floydville Road, known as The Grand at Ridgewood, was sold by Upstream Properties for $33 million to a real estate joint venture. Construction on the approved 50 single-family homes there has not yet begun. Detailed maps for Station 280, the approved 235-unit apartment project at 280 Salmon Brook Street, have also been submitted to the town, but no construction timetable has been set. On the town-owned former Kearns school, no public offers have been made as of this writing, and a commercial broker is still being sought.
Other News: In addition to the round-about construction, in July the town will start re-surfacing (paving) of town roads including Acorn, Heather, Nestor, Lost Acres, Harvey, Donahue, Elizabeth and Crest. Watch for road detours and closures, especially bikers.
The library has started curbside pickup for books, and reports that online rentals more than doubled in the past two months.
Parks and Rec is rolling out revised summer programs, as are Senior and Youth Services.
Capital (bonded) projects, including bridges and school projects, are still in the engineering and design phases, no major construction appears to be planned for this summer.
This summer is finally upon us. As school-age kids have been home for months, this is a different transition than usual for young families. With re-opening, we are venturing out a bit more. Cautiously. The new normal is not normal yet. In time, we will find out what that is. Meanwhile, let’s continue to strive to keep Granby the Pride of the Valley. Enjoy summer! —Jim Lofink