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April 22, 2024

Present: Mark Fiorentino, Mark Neumann, Kelly Rome, Frederick Moffa, and student liaisons Ben LaVigne and Charles Orluk, Town Manager Michael Walsh, Town Clerk Scott Nolan, Finance Director Kimi Cheng, Public Works Director Kirk Severance, Director of Human Services Sandra Yost, Emergency Management Director CJ Staiger, Community Development Director Abigail Kenyon.

Special Board Meeting

Request for proposals (RFP) for Kearns School

Fiorentino proposed the agenda item, Consideration of RFP for Kearns School be tabled  until a later date due to information shared by the McLean senior living facility and a market study it had done. Fiorentino said the groups needed more time for discussion before taking further action. The board agreed.


The board appointed William Salazar (U) to the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic Committee for a term beginning immediately, as recommended by the Republican Town Committee.

The board appointed Debra Holcomb (R) to the Commission on Aging for a term beginning immediately, and ending on Jan. 8, 2026, as recommended by the Republican Town Committee.

Neighborhood Assistance Act Tax Credit Program

Yost explained that the Connecticut State Department of Revenue Services (DRS) offers a tax credit program designed to provide funding for municipal and tax-exempt organizations by providing a corporation business tax credit for businesses that make cash contributions to qualifying entities. Program proposals must be submitted to the municipality and require a public hearing prior to submission to the DRS. The public hearing is on May 20. Approved proposals will be submitted to the DRS by the July 1 deadline.

Compliance with Statement and Policies Supporting Fair Housing

Kenyon explained that a recipient of small cities, community development block grant funding is required by the Connecticut Department of Housing to actively evidence its commitment to and take specific actions to support the principles and practices of fair housing and equal opportunity. Granby received its first small cities funding grant in 1990 and has been participating in the program ever since. Kenyon said the community development department is undertaking a variety of measures to demonstrate such commitment and asks that the board of selectman adopt the resolution, statements and policies to further demonstrate the town’s overall commitment to fair housing and equal opportunity, compliance with the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, affirmative action policy statement, municipal grievance procedure, and ADA. The board considered and passed all recommended resolutions; for a full description, please review the meeting minutes on the town website.

Granby Library grant receipt

Walsh said the Granby Public Library was awarded a grant from the state of Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority in the amount of $22,263 to be spent on replacing all library patron and library staff computers. The grant does not require any matching funds from the town, and he noted that grant money must be spent by Oct. 16, 2024, or be returned to the DEEP business office.

Middle School Boiler

Walsh said that the middle school boilers are original equipment, in service since 1992. The boiler system provides heat to the building as well as certain humidity controls to several nearby classrooms. One boiler is out of service requiring the remaining boiler to carry the entire load. The boiler is at the end of its useful life. It failed in March, and repair parts were difficult to obtain. Walsh is concerned about its reliability. He reviewed the bid process, explaining that replacing the boilers is complicated and best completed when school is out of session over the summer.

The board authorized: 1) Walsh to sign and execute the Blake Thermal quote/contract to replace the middle school boilers; 2) use of the 2021 bond proceeds designated for BOE use as the funding source for this project; 3) the acceptance of a $250,000 contribution from the BOE from unused Severance and Capital funds to be deposited in the Capital and Non-recurring fund for future programming; and 4) the referral of this project to the School Projects Committee for further oversight.

Emergency Management Performance Grant, Competitive Funding Pool

Staiger explained that each year the town applies for funding under the emergency management performance grant through the state of Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. He said that while all Connecticut municipalities are eligible for this funding each year, a portion goes unclaimed. The state has pooled this unclaimed funding from the past four years and is making it available to municipalities through a competitive grant program in which municipalities can apply for up to $25,000 to renovate or reequip their emergency operation center or up to $15,000 to upgrade an emergency shelter. Staiger intends to submit a bid for funding under this grant program and while details of the specified project are being decided, the grant application requires a municipal resolution. The board agreed with this request and directed Walsh to support its accomplishment.

First Selectman’s Open House

Fiorentino said he is planning to host another open house on June 10, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and again from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Water Pollution Control Authority Meeting

Public Hearing

The public hearing was held to receive citizen input for the purpose of setting the sewer use rates for 2024-25. No members of the public addressed the WPCA.

Setting Sewer Rates

The Granby Water Pollution Control Authority (GWPCA) approved setting the 2024-25 sewer rates for residential users at a minimum of $250 per unit up to 60,000 gallons per year and for commercial/ industrial users at a minimum of $350 per unit up to 110,000 gallons per year. For all gallon usage (residential and commercial/industrial) above the minimum, $0.0065 per gallon will be charged. For unmetered residential properties, a 50 percent surcharge will be applied, which is $375 per unit. All commercial properties must have a water or sewer meter, or a use analysis performed by the town’s engineer.

Cost Share for Wastewater Treatment

Cheng said Granby has an agreement with Simsbury to have its wastewater treated at the facility in Simsbury. That agreement requires Granby to pay its share for expansion and improvements to use 9.2 percent of its sewer capacity (380,000 GDP) and that the payment schedule had been in place for years in the amount of $116,400 yearly. She said that Simsbury refinanced its Clean Water Bond in March 2021 and received a very favorable rate. The board approved and appropriated the fund balance from the Sewer Assessment Fund for the Clean Water Fund Bond payments to Simsbury for the fiscal years 2024-25 and 2025-26 in the amount of $111,688 and $111,746, respectively.

Wastewater Flow Study

Severance described a study of Granby’s wastewater flow that has been conducted by Tighe and Bond. To read details of the study, please review meeting minutes on the town website.

Fiorentino said the next steps would be for staff to prepare an RFP for a consultant to prepare/assist with establishing a method to allocate sewer flow for new projects and to create an allocation and reserve policy for review and adoption by the WPCA. Fiorentino also directed that staff prepare an RFP to study the pump stations with the intention of upgrading/replacing them and this RFP would include a requirement that the selected firm prepare specifications and assist with the development of bid documents for the upgrade/replacement.

MAY 6, 2024

Regular Meeting

Present: Mark Fiorentino, Mark Neumann, Kelly Rome, Frederick Moffa via Zoom, Margaret Chapple, Town Manager Mike Walsh, Finance Director Kimi Cheng, Town Clerk Scott Nolan, Director of Human Services Sandy Yost via Zoom, Lost Acres Fire Department Chief John Horr, Jr., Aquarion Water Executive Director George Logan, Parks and Recreation Chairman Anthony McGovern and Granby Education Foundation Chairman Kim Becker.

Park and recreation update

McGovern thanked the DPW for maintaining the town’s parks and athletic fields. Strategic goals include incorporating effective planning and facility development to address present and future needs and establishing financially sustainable high-quality recreation services and well managed facilities. Focus areas include the community playground and basketball courts at Salmon Brook Park, recreation fund usage and the pricing of fees for services.

Aquarion Water Company presentation

Hogan explained the history of the Bridgeport-based company acquired in 2017 by Eversource. He outlined challenges facing water treatment facilities and described the next steps for an ongoing partnership between Aquarion and Granby to ensure fire hydrant maintenance.

GEF overview

Becker said that residents, inspired by a former GMHS teacher, founded the 20-year-old GEF. The foundation is tied to the town’s science curriculum, including the Salmon Brook Ecology Center, the solar system, a WeatherBug, and growing fish in conjunction with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Run by volunteers, it receives no grant funding but is entirely funded by community contributions. It is now partnered with Makerspace at Cossitt Library and continues to seek opportunities to expand and pull people together.

DOT MGP transportation grant

Yost reported that the Department of Transportation seeks requests for proposals for the Matching Grant Program for Elderly and Disabled Responsive Transportation for 2025-2028. She explained that Granby has been awarded this grant since 2006, and that grant funding combined with matching town funds pays to employ van drivers for the town’s three senior vans that transport seniors ages 60 and older and residents with disabilities for medical and personal care appointments, grocery shopping, senior center activities and social excursions.

Last year, the vans provided more than 3,000 trips to 121 individuals, traveling more than 17,600 miles in 1,302 hours of operation. The grant allocation request for fiscal years 2025-2028, requiring a 50 percent match from the town, will be $29,453.

Budget for library summer intern

Walsh reported that the Granby Library Association (GLA) and the Friends of the Granby Public Library (FGPL) have agreed to provide $5,500 for a temporary, full-time (35-hour), 10-week summer intern with no benefits. The candidate will be a GMHS graduate who has completed at least one year of college. The GLA and FGPL will each contribute $2,750, and the intern will be working at the library in early June. Since the GLA contribution will increase town expenditure, two budget amendments were adopted.

Capital equipment loans

Cheng explained that the fiscal 2023-2024 budget includes approval for the loan purchase of capital equipment. A capital equipment loan program allows the town to spread purchase costs over several years. While selectmen recommend this practice, high interest rates resulted in a significant increase in cost. In addition to the 4.5-year loan agreement, the town requests a $45,000, two-year loan program through the quality and diversity fund to purchase Chrome books and iPads for students. Selectmen unanimously approved this request.

Contingency plan for elections

Nolan recommended the adoption of a new emergency contingency plan for conducting elections in compliance with state law. The proposed new plan meets state requirements of covering primaries, referenda, election day and all early voting events and includes troubleshooting problems, including an absence or shortage of poll workers; loss of power; a fire or fire alarm at a polling site; voting machine malfunction; natural disaster; removing and replacing a worker or moderator; disorder in or around a polling site. Rome moved adoption of the new plan, which was unanimously approved.

Town manager’s report

 Walsh reported that he visited Holcomb Farm and the community gardens and met with a resident about the condition of the transfer station. He added that he promoted officer Danny “DJ” Macaulay to detective and met with the police chief to assess traffic safety measures for the Route 10/202 intersection.

 Children and Teen Librarian Michele Kaminski and Library Director Amber Wyzik will receive the Connecticut Library Faith Kektoen Award for outstanding children’s library programming.

 The building department has collected $203,936 for permits on buildings 5 and 6 at Station 280 and $84,150 in sewer connection permits for that project.