On February 13, the Board of Selectmen hosted a second Open House. The attendance wasn’t nearly as large as the first one, when residents were confused and a bit upset about what the state’s mandate to make a plan for affordable housing actually meant for Granby but, for those who participated, it was a chance for real communication.
The Open House in February consisted of two sessions: the morning one was presided over by First Selectman Mark Fiorentino and Selectman Fred Moffa. Residents were concerned with pedestrian safety in the town center, requested crosswalks in strategic places and the continuation of sidewalks past the high school. A resident asked if the town had a “dark sky initiative,” a plan to reduce light pollution. Fiorentino replied, “We don’t use that terminology, but the town does have regulations that are used by Planning and Zoning.”
Another resident would like to see the town have a composting initiative. Fiorentino noted that a pilot program is underway at Kelly Lane School. Bins have been installed and students are taught what items are compostable. The school is switching from plastic straws to paper ones and is considering the possibility of using paper utensils as well.
The town was complimented on the improvement in communications: “Keep up the good work!” A resident suggested the BOS should do a workshop on how to stay informed, suggesting it be called “Get to Know Your Town.” As he has noted many times, Fiorentino repeated that every resident can sign up to get notifications automatically from the town at granby-ct.gov/subscribe.
Fiorentino and Selectwoman Peggy Chapple presided at the evening Open House. The question arose at this session of how much taxpayers are being assessed for the affordable housing set aside at The Grand. Fiorentino replied that this housing is paid for by the other renters. That fact that no taxpayer money is involved was a pleasant surprise for those attending.
Another discussion centered on the cost of what the resident called the “kitchen project” at the high school. Fiorentino explained that the project involved cost overruns for a number of reasons, including inflation and unforeseen conditions that lead to a number of change orders. Also, it is incorrect to call it the “kitchen project” because that was only one part of a multi-part renovation. In addition to the cafeteria and kitchen projects, new band and chorus rooms, a culinary arts room and improvements to the woodshop were made.