By Austin Crosier
For the first time in six months, the Granville Town Board conducted a public meeting on Thursday at the town clerk’s office and discussed both on-going and breaking developments within the town.
Although there were 10 people in attendance, including the four board members, pressing issues were discussed passionately in public discussion.
Board member Matt Rathbun stood up from his desk at the front of the room, walked over to the public seating benches and sat down to raise his concerns as a member of the public.
“Seeing that I can’t get nothing done on that side of the bench, I figured I’d try this side of the bench,” Rathbun said.
Rathbun approached the bench of board members, handing pictures of trash buildup at a residence off Route 40 in West Granville to town supervisor Matt Hicks. The pictures showed the accumulation of garbage dating back to the beginning of March.
According to Hicks, the delay in removing the trash is because of the shutdown of the government as a result of COVID-19. Hicks said via phone call he completely understands Rathbun’s frustration.
“County enforcement wasn’t working because of the emergency situation,” Hicks said. “I get it.”
Hicks said he would turn this information over to local code ordinance officer Russ Bronson to take action.
Also in the public discussion section of the meeting, board member James (Jim) Bradt said he was displeased with the maintenance of the water district in North Granville, especially with the line that connects into the Slate Valley Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing.
“I don’t want people having dirty water,” Bradt said.
As required by New York State, the sprinkler system must be tested four times a year. Because of the global pandemic, this never happened.
Town highway superintendent Scott Taylor was very displeased with one of his employees.
“Our water guy gets paid a lot of money and he should be on top of that,” Taylor said. “He’s been there for 22 years.”
Hicks agreed that he and the employee are at fault, and that the next testing will be on Nov. 5.
“We both dropped the ball on this one,” Hicks said.
In more positive news, the board agreed on white “softer and brighter” LED lights to be placed in the village. The installation is anticipated for the first quarter of 2021.
Replacing the lights will cost roughly $5,000 up front but will be paid off in less than a year.
“We’re gonna save around $7,000 annually,” Hicks said.
In new business, Hicks announced two residents of Gillespie Road in Granville have requested a speed limit be placed on the bumpy, inclined dirt road. Hicks said the current speed limit is 35 MPH and the board agreed to request action from the state Department of Transportation.
Taylor’s highway superintendent report was full of information and action.
New culverts have been installed on multiple roads, several roads have been stripped of blacktop to make a “nice and smooth transition” and every dead tree on a blacktop road has been eliminated and removed in an effort to prevent trees falling in the winter.
Taylor was impressed with his crew’s determination and work ethic in this effort.
“Every one of them is doing something, always,” Taylor said.
In the Friday phone call, Hicks said that $4,000 has been exported from the contingency fund to pay for new IT equipment and installation that was much-needed. The prior equipment was at least 10 years old.
Hicks said new “Welcome to Granville” signs are anticipated to be placed in early October. This will help law-enforcement officers and first responders when navigating locations of calls, especially in a small town like Granville.
The town board will reconvene on Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. for a budget workshop. The next board meeting will take place on Thursday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m.