Note: For minutes of the June 6, June 20 and July 14 Board of Selectmen meetings, visit: granby-ct.gov/node/115/minutes/2022
August 1, 2022 Public Hearing
First Selectman Mark Fiorentino, called the Public Hearing to order at 6:45 p.m. to receive citizen input on the proposed amendments to Chapter 144, Solid Waste Ordinance.
Town Manager Erica P. Robertson explained that proposed changes to clean up old language and codify some changes would make the ordinance more flexible for any future changes.
There was no public comment before the hearing, and Fiorentino closed the Public Hearing at 6:49 pm.
August 1, 2022 Regular Meeting
Present: Mark Fiorentino, Frederick Moffa, Mark Neumann, Kelly Rome, Town Manager Erica Robertson, Director of Finance Kimi Cheng, and Public Works Director Kirk Severance.
Maureen Eberly, 37 Silkey Road, expressed concern for the consistency of various boards and commissions’ goals and objectives. She requested that each board and commission submit goals and objects that are consistent and measurable. Eberly added that the Planning & Zoning Commission had submitted goals that included roundabouts and industry and she would like to see P&Z become more than an advisory board.
Fiorentino announced vacancies on the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic Committee for an Alternate, and one on Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission. Interested parties should reach out as soon as possible.
Consideration of Changes to Chapter #144, Solid Waste Ordinance
Fiorentino spoke of the proposed technical changes that BOS has recommended. Neumann believes these are necessary changes and inquired about the plan going forward. Robertson explained they are a part of a larger conversation taking place across the State, and the recommended changes were just the first step.
Fiorentino would like to make the following additional amendments:
In section §144-2 (Operations) Section D, “dumping area” should be changed to “transfer station.”
In section §144-4 (Definitions), as there were currently no definitions Fiorentino inquired whether that section should be removed.
In section §144-11 (Penalties for offenses), Fiorentino noted that throughout the document added footnotes don’t seem to serve a particular purpose. He inquired if they should be removed.
In section §144-16 (Residential Refuse Collection Policy), Fiorentino inquired who decided on the residential refuse collection policy and who would be responsible for deeming items as acceptable or not.
Robertson explained that the State of Connecticut and the vendor would decide when items listed as recyclable, or items deemed unacceptable would be collected or not.
The board approved the proposed amendments to Ordinance 144, Solid Waste, as amended on August 1, 2022, with the addition of changing the words “dumping area” to “transfer station” in section §144-2 (Operation).
Board and Commission Strategic Plan Discussions
Fiorentino thanked members of the boards and commissions for their help with the Strategic Plan and reminded the public that the Strategic Plan would be a process, and nothing discussed at this meeting was a final decision. He explained that the board and then the public would be invited to ask questions and make comments after each presenter.
For the Board of Finance, Chairman Michael Guarco presented the current goals/ objectives:
• Promote efforts to grow the commercial segment of the Grand List to 10 percent as targeted within the Plan of Development.
• Maintain a reasonable stability in the scope of operations, the expense of those operations, and their cost to the taxpayers to efficiently deliver critical and basic municipal and educational services to Granby residents.
• Preserve a strong financial position as overseers of the fiscal management of the Town of Granby and its balance sheet while endeavoring to meet near-term and long-term needs, both operating and capital.
Susan Regan, 62 Hungary Road, inquired what the specific strategy would be to meet goals and believes that the Town needs to focus more on revenue efforts and less on spending. Regan went on to explain that the Town should review how many assets it has. She is concerned about how much the Town depends on residential taxes.
For the Agricultural Commission, Heather Lombardo presented the current goals/ objectives:
• Right to Farm Ordinance be adopted by Town leaders and recognize that our rural agricultural community is of high value. The Town Farm Ordinance would echo Connecticut’s Right to Farm law that aims to protect farms and agricultural operations from nuisance lawsuits when they are operating with generally accepted and standard farming practices. When it is increasingly difficult for farmers to keep their land in agriculture, it is imperative that local government demonstrate support for farmers by keeping land viable and in use for agricultural purposes for years to come.
• Permanent Preservation of Holcomb Farm because prime land soils are rapidly disappearing in Connecticut. If the Holcomb property, a model of farming sustainability and preservation were developed, prime farmland and piece of history will be lost forever. A conservation easement for Holcomb Farm ensures the intentions of its original owners that it permanently remain farmland even as town management and board membership change.
For the Conservation Commission, Melinda Gould presented its current goals/ objectives:
• The Town of Granby shall achieve Sustainable CT Bronze Certification by the spring of 2023.
For the Planning and Zoning Commission, Mark Lockwood presented goals and objectives:
• Pursue the enhancement of Granby Center through streetscape and landscape improvements, additional residential opportunities, beautification of existing buildings, increased connectivity, and promoting a mix of uses including sidewalk and crosswalk improvements. Uniform sidewalk lighting, planter boxes, benches, etc. Study and plan for Town Green area. Mix of housing options (Zoning Regulation changes). Mixed uses (Zoning Regulations change). Facade improvement program. Work to increase the number of special events within the center.
• Promote additional commercial and industrial opportunities where appropriate and in a manner that fulfills Granby’s Ten-Year Vision including uses that are responsive to changes in market: Transitional Industrial and Economic Development Zone revisions and Home Occupation revisions (Zoning Regulation Changes). Design criteria to avoid strip developments (Zoning Regulation change). Promote the construction of commercial projects to have commercial developments make up 10 percent of the Town’s total Grand list. Consider an extension of the existing sewer lines where such extensions will encourage new commercial uses or provide for commercial expansion. Study benefits of adopting a Tax Increment Financing strategy.
• Develop and implement policies and practices that ensure streets are safe for all users. This could include pursuing opportunities to provide bike paths/lanes. Create inventory of roads and intersections that are deficient in safety/ design and prepare long-range plan for their improvement. Make improvements when reconstructing roads to account for pedestrians and bicyclists. Develop a system of central parking areas and user-friendly sidewalks that include landscaping and benches to encourage pedestrian traffic and reduce vehicular movements. Curb extensions, roundabouts, landscaped median strips, pavement treatments, and increased roadside vegetation should be explored to increase speed and improve the aesthetics of the residential environment. Require the construction of sidewalks when commercial and multifamily developments are approved (Zoning Regulation change).
For the Development Commission, Martin Schwager presented the current goals/objectives:
• Enhanced opportunities to build on Granby values to foster a community that attracts young people and families and where current residents can remain in Town. This may include focusing on school curriculum that strives to offer both a four-year college preparatory track and technical/vocational learning opportunities. Provide a variety of housing options at varying price points to best meet the needs of both current and future residents. This would allow current residents to age in place and newcomers to find housing that fits their lifestyle and needs. Develop a marketing plan to promote Granby assets and what makes this community special, including regional proximity; our open spaces; recreational opportunities; high-quality school system; agricultural base and opportunities; regional industries and businesses; and regional cultural, historical, and entertainment venues.
Population/ demographic data.
School programming information.
Housing data/construction information
• Continue the improvement and enhancement of Granby Center. This may include: Pursue streetscape improvements to create a cohesive environment in Granby Center. Hire a firm to assess the Town Green and propose a design plan for the area. Evaluate the Zoning Regulations to allow additional uses to the mix uses. Provide additional housing opportunities in the Town Center area, including improvements to existing properties. Partner with local businesses to promote branding of the area. Seek opportunities to host events in the Granby Center area-programming opportunities for the Town Green, farmer’s artisan market, holiday events, and recognitions, etc.
Grants for streetscape improvements.
Funding allocation for Town Green design firm and design plan outcome.
Zoning Regulation changes.
Number of events held in the area.
For the Inland and Wetlands Commission, David Tolli presented the current goals/ objectives:
• Protect, preserve, and enhance wetlands and watercourses to ensure these resources provide essential functions and values to the citizens of the Town.
• Encourage and promote ecologically sound development practices.
• Provide education to the public to create better understanding of the functions and values of the wetlands, watercourses, and watershed, and associated regulatory processes.
For the Commission on Aging, Jean Donihee-Perron presented the current goals/ objectives:
• To secure additional space for senior activities, services, and resources.
Town Managers Report
Robertson reported the Radio Communications Project committee has created bid specifications that will be ready shortly.
She said that consulting engineers are working with the State to conduct some value engineering for the Moosehorn bridge project and the remaining two bonded bridge projects, Donahue, and Simsbury Road will be 100 percent covered by State and Federal programs.
The Department of Public Works’ summer road maintenance projects are moving ahead and a significant amount of time was spent preparing Loomis Street and sections of Kelly Lane and Quarry Road for paving.
August 15, 2022
Present: Mark Fiorentino, Frederick Moffa, Mark Neumann, Kelly Rome, Margaret Chapple; also, Town Manager Erica Robertson and Director of Finance Kimi Cheng.
Fiorentino introduced Chapple as a new member of the board.
Maureen Eberly, 37 Silkey Road, inquired about the HVAC and whether the entire project has gone out to bid.
Lisa Gray, 542 Hopmeadow St #184, Simsbury, executive director and founder of the non-profit “A Promise to Jordan”, spoke to members about raising awareness of substance abuse and that the organization is beginning to conduct a study of Granby. Gray further explained that it is in the process of setting up focus groups to learn about substance abuse in Granby.
Bill Regan, 62 Hungary Road, inquired about the plan of conservation development and expressed concern about how the economy has affected residents; more residents seem to be in foodbank lines. He indicated that the Town should be digging a little deeper to help the residents. Regan also addressed the proficiency scores in writing and math as indicated by the Board of Education.
Susan Regan, 62 Hungary Road, talked about the plan of conservation development and finding new ways to increase revenue for the Town.
Fiorentino informed members of the board that there is a vacancy on the Planning and Zoning Commission due to the resignation of Margaret Chapple.
Matthew Peters (D) was appointed a member of the Planning & Zoning Commission for a term ending Nov. 7, 2023.
Consideration of Use of ARPA Funds for HVAC
Anna Robbins, speaking on behalf of the Board of Education, explained the request to advance the HVAC projects at the Granby Memorial High School and Wells Road school. Robbins explained that these requests are #1 and #5 in the ARPA listing projects. The original estimate was a combined cost of $1,025,000, however, the current estimate is $1,135,166, or an additional $110,166. Robbins explained that the scope of the GMHS HVAC project would deliver air conditioning to the Technical Education, Culinary Arts, Choral Instruction, Band and Instruction classrooms as well to the cafeteria and kitchen. Robbins specified that, currently, the media center is the only large instructional space with air conditioning.
Robbins explained the request for ARPA funds for the Wells Road Intermediate School HVAC project and informed members that there is currently no HVAC in the oldest part of Wells Road School. Introducing fresh air and monitoring air quality in schools is a contemporary professional standard that is currently not being met in these areas.
The board authorized the Town Manager to expend funds for #1, GMHS HVAC, and #5, Wells Rd HVAC, on the ARPA project list for a total of $1,135,166.
Consideration of Celebrate the Valley Request-Approval of Use of Alcohol
Robertson addressed the board on behalf of the Simsbury/Granby Chamber of Commerce. Sally Rider, chairperson for Celebrate the Valley, requests permission for the sale of alcohol at its event on Sept. 22 – 24, with Zen Catering and Thomas Hooker Brewery providing catering services with alcohol at Salmon Brook Park. Rider is taking all necessary steps to ensure that State laws relating to the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages will be strictly followed and the alcohol will be in a fenced-in area.
The board authorized the Simsbury/Granby Chamber of Commerce’s request for the sale of alcohol at Celebrate the Valley on Sept. 22– 24, at Salmon Brook Park.
Consideration of Election of Vice Chairman
Due to the resignation of Sally King, the board needs a new vice-chair. Fiorentino explained that typically a vice-chair is elected by the board for that person’s two-year term. The board appointed Mark Neumann as vice-chair for the remainder of the term.
Board and Commission Strategic Plan Discussion
Fiorentino explained that, as part of the Board of Selectmen’s strategic planning process, each board and commission was asked to submit strategic objectives to the Board of Selectmen.
For the Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jordan Grossman presented its goals/objectives:
•.Collaborate with the Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance to identify and prioritize large capital projects.
•.Foster and maintain open communication between town agencies while working toward the integration of resources to support all stakeholders including parents/ guardians, children, and the community.
Presenting for the Library Board, Kristal Fiorentino and Cathy Watso presented its goals/objectives:
•.The Granby Public Library Board and staff feel that the buildings lack sufficient space to host larger programs/meetings and author talks. The objective is to review town properties for where larger spaces exist, and the steps needed to share such space.
•.Discover additional programs and meeting space. Invest in a consultant to assess all town buildings to determine where gathering places already exist with ADA-compliant entrances and restroom facilities. The consultant could investigate other similar empty meeting spaces in Granby that might be available as occasional rental spaces for large meetings/programs/author talks and/or used book sale space to support the successful annual fundraiser for the Friends of Granby Public Library.
For the Youth Services Board, Michele Psutka presented its goals/objections:
• Serve as a community prevention resource assisting in outreach.
• Provide education and improve awareness with the community relating to prevalent topics that impact our youth today.
• Offer–through the Youth Services Bureau, community-based programming to create social opportunities and prevention education for Granby youth and families. Offer individualized youth and family counseling to improve the overall health and wellness of Granby youth and their families.
Presenting for Park and Rec Commission, Suzanne Yucha presented its goals/objections:
• Development of 10-year capital improvement plan aligned with priorities based on the voice of Granby and non-resident patrons.
• Pursuit of capital funding allocations from the Town or alternative funding sources (grants).
• Recognition of the talent of the department to ensure the department talent is fully incentivized to focus on the long-range goals.
Town Manager Report
Robertson shared that the GPL now has an app to download to your smartphone or device—Library Connection Mobile. The app allows you to access your library account, search for items in the collection and register for events with ease.
Robertson also reported several changes to the Granby Police Department. She congratulated Danny McCauley, sworn in on July 18 as a new Granby Police Officer, and Officer Michael Joseph and Officer Michael Camilleri being promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
First Selectman Report
Fiorentino thanked members of the men’s and women’s breakfast groups for hosting the BBQ. He also said that many good and qualified candidates have expressed interest in serving on the Charter Revision committee.
Rome reported that she had an opportunity to observe Granby police officers this past weekend monitoring popular places for speeding. She thanked them for their service.
The board went into executive session for a real estate discussion.
Scott A. Nolan, Town Clerk