Print More

November 16, 2020 Public Hearing

Present via Zoom: B. Scott Kuhnly, Glenn Ballard, Mark Neumann, Edward Ohannessian and John Ward, Town Manager

The Board of Selectmen called for a Public Hearing for public comment regarding the proposed sale of portions of town-owned land at 4 North Granby Road and 3 East Granby Road. Ward stated he received no comments, either written or oral, on the Public Hearing. No other public addressed the Public Hearing.

Ward recommended the board take no action at this time. There are two and possibly four more requests from the state to purchase land from the town for the intersection improvements. It was recommended that another public hearing be scheduled to address all four/six proposals at once.

On A Motion by Neumann, seconded by Ballard, the board voted (4-0-0) to close the Public Hearing.

November 16, 2020 Regular Meeting

Present via Zoom: B. Scott Kuhnly, Glenn Ballard, Mark Neumann, Edward Ohannessian, John Ward, Town Manager. Sally King joined the meeting at 7:10.


On A Motion by Neumann, seconded by Ohannessian, the board voted (4-0-0) to approve the minutes of the BOS retreat Nov. 2. King was not present. Ballard asked if the town received any documentation from the facilitator to provide the public with more detail as the audio version was unusable in his opinion. Ward will follow-up with Dave O’Brien.

Unfinished or Tabled Business

Discussion of Black Bear situation within town with Chief Carl Rosensweig and Granby Animal Control Officer Jennifer Abalan

Kuhnly began the discussion with a personal experience he and his family had with a bear killing their goats noting that Animal Control Officer Jennifer Abalan was outstanding in dealing with situation.

Ward introduced the Chief and ACO and explained they were attending the meeting at the request of the board to learn more about the black bear situation in Granby. Abalan discussed the various calls and issues she received and took questions from the selectmen.

Neumann questioned whether there are enforcement issues in towns like Hartland that have an ordinance prohibiting the feeding of bears. Abalan is one of the enforcement officers and explained the process of enforcing the ordinance. The first step is to issue a warning to potential feeders and if they do not comply, a fine is imposed. The ACO has to witness the feeding or catch it on video to write a ticket. Once a ticket is issued, the resident must pay the fine, stop feeding the bears and give the town access to inspect the property. This process has been effective with one resident on the east side of Hartland. 

Kuhnly questioned the chance of collecting fees and what methods are used to try to collect. Abalan was not able to share specific details about the case of a known feeder in Hartland, but did offer that the resident has other fines related to P and Z infractions and the case is going to Superior Court. Abalan explained that feeding bears is a death sentence and a “fed bear is a dead bear.” The town of Hartland is considering amending the ordinance to include all wildlife such as bobcats and coyotes.

Ballard asked for specifics on the number and type of calls the town receives relative to bears. Rosensweig explained calls are related to bears being near school buses, on walking trails, in McLean’s, eating garbage, etc. Abalan added that she picked up four bears in the last three months that have been struck by vehicles. Eleven calls related to bears were received since Jan. 1 and five since the last meeting. Ohannessian questioned the low number and the Chief responded that those are just calls specifically mentioning bears. The police usually respond to all such calls.

A discussion followed about the enforceability of an ordinance in a town such as Granby known to have bears. Ohannessian questioned next steps after a resident has amassed fines. Abalan reiterated that she could not speak about specific residents but shared that DEEP has identified at least three feeders in Granby while she knows of five. 

Ohannessian asked the ACO to share the current protocol when a complaint is received. First, the ACO speaks to the resident to educate them on the danger of feeding and socializing bears, explaining that is it dangerous for the people and unfair to the animal. The bears become dependent on the humans and forget how to hunt and feed themselves. There is nothing the ACO can do if the resident doesn’t comply and continues to feed the bears. This process has not been successful in Granby to stop bear feeding.

Ballard asked if the Town Manager’s office has complaints on file from neighbors of the feeders. Ward offered that in the last 15–18 months, his office did have complaints from a neighbor and they were referred to the Police Department and Animal Control Officer. The town manager has no other tools to work with and does not do anything independent of the police and ACO.

Rosensweig explained that if a bear is a threat to citizens or in the garbage, etc. the police respond and take care of the situation. Bear sightings are reported to DEEP.

Kuhnly asked Abalan if the ordinance in Hartland made her job easier or harder. Abalan believes having the ordinance makes her job a little easier because she has an additional tool. However, she can’t respond based on rumors and cases can be difficult to prove.

Kuhnly asked Rosensweig if there were a concern on his part that an officer responding to a bear call may not be available to respond to a more serious call. No, the officer would prioritize and leave the bear call.

Ward added that enforcing an ordinance would increase the workload for administration to process paperwork, fines, etc.

Kuhnly thanked Rosensweig and Abalan for their due diligence and doing what is right for the town.

Consideration of Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) Priorities

The board discussed following through on the 19 POCD tasks that were assigned to the board as the implementing agency in February. At that time, it was decided to postpone the discussion until after the budget process. 

Ward decided to add this topic to the agenda since it has been discussed recently. The next step is for the selectmen to review the tasks and report back to the implementation committee and Planning and Zoning. 

Kuhnly recommended the board schedule a special meeting and Ohannessian agreed that more time was necessary. Ballard offered that he was prepared to review the list and discuss his priorities. However, if the board were to have a special meeting, he would like it to be a working meeting with the Development Commission and Agricultural Commission to get all the groups in the same room and not in separate silos. He would also request information from the Long-Term Recovery Committee and invite the public. Ballard feels the information has been sitting around for a while and not presented in a way that is consumable and should be changed to re-engage people. He indicated this is a great next step and people should be asked their opinion on priorities. 

Kuhnly disagreed, citing that people worked hard on the list three or four years ago and at this time the Board of Selectmen only need to address the tasks where the BOS is the lead entity. Neumann added that there are a number of direct actions given to the BOS that should be discussed as a board before requesting input from other agencies.

On A Motion by Neumann, seconded by Ohannessian, the board voted (5-0-0) to approve a special meeting to review the Plan of Conservation and Development tasks and establish priority for implementation.


Consideration of Connectivity Grant application

Ward described the grant program, which provides funding ranging from $125,000 to $600,000 directly to municipalities for small-scale infrastructure projects to improve accommodations for pedestrians and bicyclists. Ward thanked directors Vincent, Kenyon and Severance, along with town engineer Clark, for identifying the need and preparing the grant application for the Salmon Brook Pedestrian Connector. 

If approved, the project would result in a safe ADA accessible pedestrian walkway around Salmon Brook Park connecting to McLean Game Refuge and the sidewalk that connects to the center of town, condos and schools. The estimated cost of the project is $482,400 and does not require matching funds from the town. However, the grant will only cover construction costs and the town will be responsible for engineering fees estimated to be between $20,000 and $30,000.

Ward recommends the town move forward and has submitted the application in the interest of time. The town would get a $500,000 project completed for ten cents on the dollar. Ward believes the town has a competitive chance to obtain the grant.

On A Motion by Neumann, seconded by King, the board voted (5-0-0) to grant the administration the authorization to continue with its application for a CTDOT Connectivity Grant for the Salmon Brook Park Pedestrian Connector.

Consideration of “Agreement Between the Granby Board of Education and the Granby Education Association dated July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2024.”

The Board of Education approved the agreement with the Granby Education Association. State statute provides that the Board of Selectmen has three options: vote to reject the agreement; bring the issue to a town meeting; or take no action. If the board chooses to take no action, the agreement will be binding on the town 30 days from the filing. 

Superintendent Jordan Grossman and BOE member Jenny Emery were in attendance to discuss the process and answer questions. Ward added that the agreement was negotiated by the BOE and Board of Finance and he recommended the contract not be rejected. If the contract goes to arbitration it may cost the town more money.

Emery thanked the members of the committee as well as attorneys Shipman and Goodman for their work on the agreement. She also recognized the support of the administration. The group worked with a team of teachers from the Granby Education Association and they were tremendous partners. 

Mark Fiorentino, Vice Chairman of the Board of Education, outlined the changes in the negotiated contract in a memo to the Board of Selectmen. Emery reviewed the changes to salary and benefits. The first goal was to fix the salary schedule that had gotten out of sync because of automatic increases for people still growing in their careers. Experienced teachers don’t have opportunity to get annual increases. The scale was realigned, and an additional step and a general wage increase was added. This will also create more flexibility given the uncertainty of the future. The new contract also increases the teacher workday by 15 minutes. Grossman added that this will pay great dividends. 

The second goal was to implement changes to the benefit plan that were worked on over the years. Effective July 1, 2021 the PPO will not be available and only a HDHP will be offered to manage costs. These are important cost management tools and will help to defray the cost of the salary increases. Emery concluded that the Board of Education is satisfied with the benefits changes and salary increases.

Kuhnly asked if the BOE received any input from other towns. Emery responded that Shipman and Goodman provides economic and demographic information to the district. Overall, Granby tends to be in the top quartile for student achievement, but closer to the 50th percentile in pay. These changes will keep the town from falling further behind.

Board of Finance Chairman Michael Guarco was in attendance and supported the agreement given where Granby stands relative to other towns in the county. Guarco commented that the new conditions of the contract fit with the BOF goal of keeping taxes and the mill rate level. He cautioned that there are many dangers of arbitration and it can cost a great deal of money. Guarco recommended the agreement be accepted and this issue be put to bed.

Ballard questioned if there was any reason not to send this to a public meeting. Ward explained that action must be concluded within 30 days and a public meeting has no more power than the Board of Selectmen. If the contract is rejected, it would go to arbitration and the town would bear the cost that is estimated at $25,000 to $30,000 for an attorney and arbitrator.

Emery added that additional public input would only be to reject the current deal. All professional advice indicates arbitration would not result in a lower outcome.

Ballard countered that the contract seems to be lacking context and a town meeting would serve to hear what people have to say.

Emery responded that she would be happy to engage with the public. However, she reminded Ballard that this settlement was accomplished working with the BOF towards the goal of 0 percent increase in the mill rate and it fits with the financial goals of the town. The schools returned almost a million dollars to the general fund last year. Emery believes the board members elected by the townspeople to make these decisions did a good job.

Ohannessian added that he has been part of such negotiations a few times and he understands the process. It is very difficult to go through mediation and arbitration. 

Ohannessian requested further clarification on the salary steps and general wage increase. He is not opposed to a public meeting to allow the citizens to see the details. However, he believes it would pass and just end up costing the town money. He commented that the board is elected to make these decisions and should do what is best for the town.

Emery added that there will be no change in the employee co-pay of 17.25 percent. The increase in deductible and managed care edits will go into place immediately and Anthem estimates that is worth several hundred thousand in savings to the Town.

Neumann congratulated the negotiation team for doing a great job, especially on the benefit revisions, under the threat of mediation.

On A Motion by King, seconded by Neumann, the board voted (5-0-0) to take no action on the Agreement Between the Granby Board of Education and the Granby Education Association effective July 1, 2021- June 30, 2024.

Town Manager Reports

Ward thanked Registrars Laura Wolfe and Sonja Smith, the CERT team and town clerk Karen Hazen and her team for the remarkable job they did during the most complicated election in the last 15 years. Ward also thanked Superintendent Grossman and the high school principal for their cooperation during voting.

Ward reported that the Governor issued an Executive Order to take the state back to Phase 2.1. The order will limit attendance, and restaurants are required to close by 10 p.m. The state has a new app — —that can track and notify residents of possible exposure to the virus.

A map was included in the selectmen’s packet showing the latest infection rates around the state. Free COVID testing is available every Thursday in Farmington. There are currently 250 testing sites in the state. Residents are encouraged use 211 for more information.

Budget Operations

There was no change in collections for October. The next tax bills are due January 2021. The town has received 25 percent of the $1.3 million expected education cost sharing amount for the year. The remainder is coming in slowly. Town revenue is similar to what it has been in other years at this point. Expenditures are within budget and there are no areas of concern.

Kuhnly and Ward introduced the new student liaison. John Bell. John is a junior at Granby Memorial High School and will begin reporting on school activities at the next meeting.

Selectman Reports

Ballard informed the board that he has organized a group of residents interested in forming an ethics commission. The group has recently met with the State of Connecticut to get guidance on what would need to be done. Kuhnly asked how the committee was formed and if the meetings were properly organized and documented. Ballard offered that he had asked for volunteers and he planned to report the findings back to the Board of Selectmen.

Ballard also reported he extended an invitation for interested people to improve the town’s website. This group has also met and he has a meeting scheduled next week with Kathy Kane to discuss the website

Kuhnly reiterated that the maintenance of the town website falls under the Town Manager’s office and it is not the role of the BOS.

December 3, 2020 Special Meeting

Present: B. Scott Kuhnly, Glenn Ballard, Sally King, Mark Neumann, Edward Ohannessian, John Ward, Town Manager


Consideration of Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) Priorities

Ward gave a brief background of the required adoption of a Plan of Conservation and Development, which is to occur at least once every ten years. In 2019, the Selectmen distributed the Implementation Plan to various lead entities. It was requested the lead entities review their various tasks and priorities and report back with any changes or revisions. 

The task for tonight’s meeting is for the board to review each topic where it is the Lead Entity and determine if it agrees to the assigned priority timeframe and its status. These tasks were taken directly from the Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) document and there should not be any proposed changes to the specific tasks. If the board thinks another lead entity is more appropriate to handle a specific task, or if another partner should be identified, they should indicate that.

Ballard inquired if all the entities have reported back to the POCD and what are the next steps. Ward noted the board will be the last group to submit their report. At that point, the recommendations will go back to the Implementation Committee for review and submit their report to POCD.

Community Development Director Abby Kenyon replied that once the review process is completed, the report goes back to the Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) Committee. Once the plan is adopted, the committee will send the plan to all the boards and commissions to begin the work on their assigned tasks.

The following are the relevant sections of the Implementation Plan where the Board of Selectmen is identified as the lead entity:


B.14–C no change. Six to ten years is appropriate.

B.15–O no change. On-going is appropriate. King indicated the town already has an arboretum and the tree trail is ongoing.

B.17–O no change. On-going is appropriate.

Budgeting, Taxation and Grand List Variations

D.12–O no change. Ward indicated O is appropriate for the priority and the board will be working on this. Ohannessian felt “reallocating services” would be better wording than “reduce services”. Ballard inquired how the board knows if the services are adequate and felt the task may need to be rewritten with more specific tasks. He felt A would be appropriate.

D.3–O no change. Ballard indicated anything involving budgeting and taxation should be changed to A. Ohannessian noted the budget is looked at every year, so it is an ongoing task. Most agreed it should stay at O.


E.15–A change to F. It was felt there isn’t a need for a traffic board and sidewalks were previously done with money from the STEAP grant. Kuhnly noted most areas deal with the center, which are state roads and maintained by the state.

Commercial and Industrial Development

F.6–B. All agreed Planning and Zoning should be the lead entity and they should prioritize. Kenyon explained whenever the creation of a sub-committee was recommended; the Board of Selectmen was identified as the lead entity as the board can create a sub-committee. It was decided that task should be moved to Planning and Zoning and they will refer creation of a sub-committee to the board if need be.

Granby Center

G.1–A change to F. The board felt Planning and Zoning and the Development Commission should be the lead entity for this task but would like to get some additional information from the Implementation Committee.

G.2–O. No change.

G.9–A change to F. This is similar to G.1. There was a discussion about combining G.1 and G.9. The consideration of relocating the WWI Memorial was thought to be a conflict with the use of the town green and would add more congestion.

Open Space and Recreation

H.7–A change to O. A question was asked if the town has a dedicated Open Space Fund. Ward stated yes, but it hasn’t been funded in about three years. There was discussion regarding considering this as part of the annual budget. It was noted there is currently about 40 percent of open space property in Granby.


I.4–O. No change.

Government Services and Public Facilities

J.1–O. No change.

J.7–O no change. Ward indicated he is in favor of shared services, but not regionalization of police services.

J.9–A change to F. It was felt the “branding” of the Granby name and looking for ways to attract commercial development to town is more in line with Community Development and possibly Planning and Zoning.

J.11–G. No change.

J.14–B change to C. Six to ten years would be more appropriate. The Board of Selectmen is the Sewer Authority.

J.15–B change to C. Six to ten years is more appropriate.

J.16–G. No change.

On A Motion by King, seconded by Neumann, the board voted (5-0-0) to accept the changes made.

December 7, 2020 Regular Meeting

Present via Zoom: B. Scott Kuhnly, Glenn Ballard, Sally King, Mark Neumann, Edward Ohannessian, John Ward, Town Manager; and John Bell, Student Liaison

Public Session

Hope Schaffrick, 15 Maple Hill Drive, suggested soliciting the town with a survey regarding what residents want to do or see done in town. She also suggested a committee or task force be formed to be proactive with regard to the MIRA trash closure.

Kate Bogli, 198 Salmon Brook Street, questioned who holds the holistic vision for the town. She feels elected officials like the Board of Selectmen should hold the vision for the town and the Town Manager and Community Development Director should help implement and guide the vision. She stated she and her husband own a small brewery in town which has been affected by the restrictive regulations put out by the Governor in regard to COVID-19. She believes the businesses that don’t follow guidelines regarding distance should be held accountable instead of putting additional guidelines in place.

Update on Upcoming Legislative Session

State Senator John Witkos indicated he was not pleased with the Governor’s new COVID-19 restrictions for food service and that the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is making the guidelines and not the Farmington Valley Health District..

Witkos noted some of his legislative goals for next session include: a statewide ordinance against intentionally feeding bears; building up businesses that people are aging out of, such as trades; regulating medical marijuana if it becomes legalized; on-line sports betting; looking at ways to increase state revenue without raising taxes; and providing affordable higher education.

State Representative Mark Anderson noted his goals for next session: the prevailing wage law has to go and he doesn’t agree with the Family Medical Leave tax and is against the minimum wage increase. He agrees with the ordinance against feeding bears and supports limited bear hunting.

There are concerns regarding the trash to energy plant closing and possibly making it a transfer station. Witkos is not in favor of transferring trash to be buried in some other state. There is talk of a possible “pay as you throw” program.

Consideration of Public Hearing for Sale of 11 and 15 North Granby Road

The State of Connecticut is interested in acquiring town property in order for the intersection improvements at U.S 202/Route 10 at Route 10 and Route 189 to be completed. Four town-owned properties will be affected by the center reconstruction project, two of which have been previously discussed: 4 North Granby Road and 3 East Granby Road.

The first property is 11 North Granby Road with 18,730 square feet. The state proposed to acquire approximately 1,100 square feet.

The second property is 15 North Granby Road with 629,877 square feet. The state proposed to acquire 2,708 square feet.

The State has offered $12,500 for the total property acquisition (3,808 square feet).

The proposal was referred to the Planning and Zoning Commission for evaluation. The commission approved the property acquisition by the DOT at its Nov. 24 meeting.

In order to accept the state’s offer, the Board of Selectmen, then the Board of Finance and lastly, the town meeting attendees must approve the sale.

On A Motion by King, seconded by Neumann, the board voted (5-0-0) to approve a Public Hearing on the proposed sale of portions of the properties known as 4, 11, and 15 North Granby Road and 3 East Granby Road to be held on Jan. 4, 2021.

Consideration of Additional General Fund Appropriation for Goman + York Contract

The Board of Selectmen previously authorized the Town Manager to contract with Goman + York for brokerage services for the sale of Kearn’s School. The terms discussed that were: a fee of five percent of the sale price with a minimum fee of $50,000. 

Since the service fee was not budgeted in the Fiscal Year 2020-21 Adopted Budget, Ward is requesting an additional appropriation from the General Fund Balance in the amount of $50,000 to fund the contract. It works out to be a monthly retainer of $3,000. 

Ohannessian is not in favor of taking money from the General Fund and believes there should be a contingency fund for this sort of thing. Ward explained putting this amount in contingency would never be approved in the budget. 

Ballard commented that the $3,000 per month retainer would total $21,000 getting us through this fiscal year. The contract can be terminated at any time, so we are not necessarily on the hook for $50,000. Ward indicated he believes the firm expects we have the money secured before the contract is signed. It would not look good for the town if we didn’t. Ohannessian suggested we have some kind of contingency fund for next year.

On A Motion by King, seconded by Neumann, the board voted (5-0-0) to authorize an additional appropriation of $50,000 from the General Fund balance to fund the Goman + York brokerage services contract and forward the request to the Board of Finance to approve.

Consideration of Waiver of General Assistance Liens

There are three outstanding General Assistance (GA or welfare assistance) liens remaining on the record in Granby. These liens were placed through the now defunct General Assistance program. Two are for one property totaling $528 and the other is for $523. These funds were reimbursable by the state. The state took over this town reimbursement program on July 1, 1998.

State Statute gives the Board of Selectmen the authority to release such lien without payment of the amount secured as long as it is necessary and beneficial to the town. It is suggested this be done to clean-up the accounting of many years ago.

On A Motion by Neumann, seconded by King, the board voted (5-0-0) to authorize the release of the three remaining General Assistance liens in whole without payment.

Consideration of Additional Solid Waste Fund Appropriation for Brush Grinding

Due to the large number of recent storms and strong wind events, the transfer station has accumulated a large pile of branches, limbs and tree trunks. The estimated cost for the project to grind the accumulated brush is $7,000.

The project was not budgeted in the Fiscal Year 2020-21 Adopted Solid Waste Fund budget. An additional appropriation from the Solid Waste Fund Balance in the amount of $7,000 is requested to fund the project.

On A Motion by Neumann, seconded by King, the board voted (5-0-0) to authorize an additional appropriation of $7,000 from the Solid Waste Fund Balance to fund the transfer station brush grinding project and forwards this request to the Board of Finance to approve.

Town Manager Reports

Ward reported that due to the resurgence in COVID-19 cases, effective Dec. 1, the Town Hall is open to the public by appointment only. This will be revisited on a monthly basis. The library will continue curb-side pickup and it was suggested that January tax bills be paid online.

Neumann inquired if the town will be involved with the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The response was no, but we will offer our help.

Ballard asked for an update regarding MIRA. Ward responded they are nearing the end of their workshops and should be producing final recommendations soon. The plant will shut down in 2022 and turn into a transfer station and haul everything to Ohio. It seems that recycling never really paid for itself and they may move to abolish single stream. Bottle return fees could double. DEEP will be rolling out recommendations soon.

December 21, 2020 Regular Meeting

Present via Zoom: B. Scott Kuhnly, Glenn Ballard, Sally King, Mark Neumann, Edward Ohannessian, John Ward, Town Manager; and John Bell, Student Liaison

On A Motion by Neumann, seconded by King, the board voted (5-0-0) to reorder the agenda, placing Business Item G to be discussed during closed session following Selectmen Reports.

Unfinished or Tabled Business

Consideration of Authorizing a Tax Deferment Program and/or a Low Interest Program

Ward explained that the Governor’s Executive Order 9R signed Dec. 16 requires the town to have one or both programs available to taxpayers. These are the same programs that were available in July, i.e. deferment of payment or a low interest rate.

On A Motion by Neumann, seconded by King, the Board of Selectmen voted (5-0-0) to offer the low-interest program to taxpayers.


Consideration of Plus-One Budget 2021-2022

Ward presented the Plus-One Budget for Fiscal Year 2021-2022. He noted the Board of Finance issued the call for a 1.5 percent budget with no tax increase for the upcoming fiscal year. Ward noted he has not met with department heads and the budget workshops have not yet been held. This is strictly an operating budget and does not include any capital or debt, or any of the non-general funds. At this time, there is not a clear picture of revenue. The proposed Plus-One is at 1.99 percent, slightly above the Board of Finance’s recommendation of 1.5 percent.

On A Motion by King, seconded by Neumann, the board voted (5-0-0) to adopt the Plus-One Budget as presented.

Consideration of Call for Three Board Meeting

Kuhnly reported the Board of Finance is contemplating whether or not there is a need to hold a Three Board Meeting. All of the information is provided ahead of time and they are cautious about holding a Zoom meeting with three different boards at once.

On A Motion by Neumann, seconded by Ohannessian, the board voted (5-0-0) to table the call for a Three Board Meeting.

Consideration of Sale of Development Rights for East Street Property

Ward explained that, when Agbotic showed interest in the land at 107 East Street, Community Development Director Abby Kenyon reached out to the state regarding development rights. The state noted it would buy the development rights if the town sells the easement, which would restrict any future use that isn’t agricultural. On Friday, the state contacted Kenyon and stated it would like to work with the town as the property is prime farmland. Ward noted the state is looking long-term and no action is needed tonight.

There was discussion around the creation of a committee to review this option and report back to the board. Kuhnly inquired if this would fall under the scope of the Agritourism Committee. Kenyon noted the Agritourism Committee is dealing with planning and zoning regulations surrounding agritourism and farm stores. 

Ohannessian stated the land was bought for future use by the town and putting a committee together shows we want to do something that doesn’t include that. Ward explained the board is not obligated to do anything regarding this offer. Kenyon noted the two easement areas the state is referring to split the property in half and the offer is contingent on the easement being assigned to the whole property. The board noted they would like to continue the discussion and see the maps provided by the state.

On A Motion by King, seconded by Ohannessian, the board voted (5-0-0) to table the discussion to the next meeting.

Consideration of Re-Allocation of Playscape Money for STEAP Grant

Ward thanked Kirk Severance and Kristine Vincent for all their work regarding this grant. The state put a ceiling of $128,205 on all the grants. The town applied for and received the maximum award for two areas of improvement at Holcomb Farm—the bathrooms and fixing up the farmhouse exterior. The estimates are now $37,000 higher than originally estimated. 

Ward recommended $93,500 be reallocated to this project, with the balance of almost $69,000 coming from the General Fund to meet the town’s required contribution. The project can be done for 60 cents on the dollar and the farmhouse cannot wait. The state is looking for confirmation that the town will go ahead with the project.

Ohannessian expressed his concern that this is the third request from the General Fund this year and inquired about the Board of Finance’s reaction. It was noted that the Board of Finance has never had an issue when the Town Manager and First Selectman present a request. 

Ohannessian also inquired if this is in regard to this year’s budget or next fiscal year? The reallocation from the Recreation Fund can be taken right away and the money is there. It would come from this year’s budget unless construction cannot occur this year. Recreation Director Kristine Vincent noted the appropriation of funds needs to be done within 30 days.

On A Motion by King, seconded by Neumann, the board voted (4-0-1) to allocate $93,500 from the Recreation Fund to pay for a portion of the town’s contribution to the STEAP Project and forwards this request to the Board of Finance to approve. Selectman Ballard voted no.

On A Motion by King, seconded by Kuhnly, the board voted (4-0-1) to appropriate the sum of $68,695 from the General Fund Balance to pay for a portion of the town’s contribution to the STEAP project and forwards this request to the Board of Finance to approve. Selectman Ballard voted no.

Executive Session

Present: B. Scott Kuhnly, Glenn Ballard, Sally King, Mark Neumann, Edward Ohannessian, John Ward, Town Manager and Kimi Cheng, Administration Finance Officer.

The purpose was to discuss collective bargaining matters. 

Respectfully submitted,

John D. Ward, Town Manager