Winds of change; weather, taxes and road construction

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Well, Mother Nature and Old Man Winter sure have combined forces, haven’t they? It’s felt like a real New England winter lately, one of our four clearly distinct seasons here in Granby. That is part of the charm, even if you don’t (or can’t) travel, the world around us is always presenting us with new views. And that’s true in other aspects of our lives; change is inevitable. Here in Granby we too change, perhaps too slowly for some, and too quickly for others. Read on for what’s happening.

Thank the DPW for keeping us mobile this winter. Sanding, road pre-treatment and snow plowing: DPW crews have been working long hours keeping the roads clear this February. It’s a 24 hour-a-day team job, running heavy equipment in hazardous conditions, often through the cold and lonely hours of the night. But that is what is needed, and done, so you can get through what would otherwise be snow- and ice-covered roads. When trees fall, and you have to get to the store, or bring your children to the doctor, they clear the way. They don’t expect much in the way of appreciation, so a “thank you” makes an impression.

Granby Public Library continues to actively serve the community. While the library buildings have remained closed for patron and staff safety, curbside pickup and online resources are available and staff is working Monday through Saturday. During January, approximately 650 curbside pickups and 70 technology appointments were kept, an increase from December. Programming was vibrant with over 480 patrons attending 21 virtual programs via Zoom, including such topics as Owls in New England, co-sponsored by the Granby Land Trust; Cooking with Katie—Cinnamon Rolls; and First Chapter Fridays, for school-aged youth. Program registration is online at, and there’s something for everyone’s interests.

Budget work continues, looking like a second year with no tax increase. The Board of Finance has been receiving and integrating the latest information from the Governor’s budget and the updated Grand List revisions. So far, planning stays on track including modest increases in anticipated state aid and the planned use of some reserves to avoid taxpayer rate increases. The operating boards are working to stay within the budget guidelines. The budget presentation is still planned for April 12, and Town Budget Vote will be April 26 unless Executive Orders forego that, as done last year.

State plans to start work in April on the town center intersections. The town is preparing for the start of the long-planned widening of state roads around the town center. Routes 20, 189 and 10/202 may be impacted for two construction seasons (18 months), while roads are re-aligned and turning lanes added. The state is reimbursing Granby $27,700 for four slices of roadside land needed for the project, after approval by Planning and Zoning and the Boards of Finance and Selectmen. Watch for construction signs, soon.

The former Kearns School marketing efforts presented. Mike Goman, the broker retained by the town to help find a buyer for the property, explained to the Selectmen his efforts over his first six weeks on the job. His three-pronged approach has included reaching out to about 2,800 real estate professionals and developers in the region, providing detailed information to about 30 firms identified as having the capacity and funding for a project like this, and working the phones with any contacts who express interest. Market conditions are weak in office, hotel and retail space in particular, but logistics/warehousing and apartment sectors are more active and capital is available for qualified opportunities. He anticipates a 90- to 120-day review of progress and then a discussion of alternatives based on market feedback and conditions.

Be safe and well, and enjoy winter while it lasts. Change is inevitable. Spring awaits! 

Jim Lofink