Busy fall ahead with municipal elections, Kearns School proposal and bridge repairs

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Welcome back, Granby! Summer has passed, a much better summer than last year—unless you’re a farmer. Unfortunately, COVID is still making its impact. Stay safe, mask up if in doubt, and help protect your neighbor. We will get through this, as our farmers will get through the temperature swings, wet/dry periods and surge of mildews this year. Mother Nature is still the most potent force on the planet! Read on, and throughout the paper, for town news.

Search for a Town Manager is still underway. At least 18 applicants have responded, and the Board of Selectmen (BOS) is still actively engaged in the selection process and hoping to reach a conclusion early this fall.

Municipal elections will be in November.  Both major parties have endorsed slates of candidates, with several contested seats that provide voters with a choice. It is good to have so many people interested in helping serve our community. Please get informed and exercise your right, and responsibility, to vote Nov. 2. More in this issue!

Granby bear feeding ordinance is now in effect. The BOS passed a new ordinance that took effect Aug. 4 prohibiting the intentional feeding of bears. Residents that are identified as unintentionally feeding bears will be educated and, if necessary, warned.  If feeding continues after that warning, these residents may then be treated as intentional feeders. To residents cited with intentional feeding, the ordinance carries a $250 fine for every day that intentional feeding continues. As a part of the ordinance, bird feeders may only be used from Dec. 1 through March 31, unless using Nyjer, thistle or other bird feed that is widely recognized as not desirable to bears. No violations were being processed at the time of this writing. If you would like a bear-resistant trash container, put your name on the waiting list at DPW (860-653-8960).

Former Kearns School development plan. While no offers are on the table, a developer is now working with the Town to develop an approach combining the Kearns property with an adjoining lot which currently hides the view of the school from Rtes 10/202. The five-acre triangle lot (across from the Salmon Brook Veterinary Hospital) is bordered on the other sides by Canton Road and the Canton Road Extension to Kearns. The town’s broker, Goman + York, interested a Connecticut developer, Mark De Pecol, who has experience developing senior living, assisted living and memory care facilities. De Pecolo now has control of the triangle property and has developed at least three conceptual plans that show the potential if both properties were combined into one mixed-use development plan. The BOS is working with various town agencies and our attorney to determine how development could move forward.

Road paving projects are in final stages. Barring weather delays, all planned paving projects will be completed by Labor Day, with only lane striping and curb blending projects to complete in early fall. This includes Barn Door Hills Rd, Bushy Hill Rd, Canton Street Extension, Case Street and Edgerton Road. With smooth roads, still watch your speed please.

Bridge work will close north part of Hungary Road. Removal and replacement of a bridge near the Suffield line is planned to start early September and will close a portion of Hungary Road through late November.  Griffin Road bridge construction is well underway and the bridge  may be re-opened in November. In early fall, the State plans to start utility work on the Town Center realignment project, which could impact traffic flows. Please check the DPW Facebook page (Granby-CT-Department-of-Public-Works) for details on these and other road work.

Let fall begin, and stay informed and engaged in your community. We do better, together.

­­—Jim Lofink