Granville Then & Now – Granville foundation fund established

By Erik Pekar, Town Historian

The formation of the Granville Community Foundation Fund was announced in late January by the non-profit Glens Falls Foundation.

As described by the Glens Falls Foundation, the Granville Community Foundation will “evaluate local needs and opportunities and will look to fund projects that address broad areas of community development, education, art and culture, environment, health or social needs.”

The Granville Community Foundation Fund was created by Mike and Paula Freed, both former Granville residents, to benefit the town of Granville. The Freeds made a donation of $250,000 to kickstart the foundation. To encourage donations, they will be matching 50% of every donation made during 2021 up to an additional $250,000. If this threshold is reached, by the end of the year the fund will have at least $1 million.

The Granville Community Foundation Fund will be a donor-advised sub fund of the Glens Falls Foundation. Its advisory board will encourage the raising of money and look over submitted grant requests to recommend to the Glens Falls Foundation for approval. The actual assets of the GCF will be overseen by the Glens Falls Foundation. While the advisory board was described as “donor-advised,” the members do not have to be donors themselves.

The members of the advisory board are Michael Freed, chair; Denise Davies, Kathy Juckett, Jenine Macura, Martha Hicks Pofit, Rick Roberts and Michael Somich.

While anyone can donate to the fund, part of the reason Mike and Paula Freed created the fund is to allow for former Granville residents to help Granville. Mike Freed noted in a press release that he was “…hopeful that the GCF will provide a vehicle for those of us who have a special connection to Granville, but no longer live there, to help in some way. We may not be able to donate our time or talent, but we can at least donate money.” He also expressed the importance that the money raised for the fund has to augment the money already being raised for Granville organizations, and not be raised in place of their funding.

Donations to the Granville Community Foundation Fund can be made online at the Glens Falls Foundation website, or by writing a check, making it payable to this fund, and mailing it to the Glens Falls Foundation.

The Granville Community Foundation Fund will benefit Granville in the years to come. Hopefully, those who call Granville their hometown will answer the call and donate what they can to help Granville’s new fund reach its $1 million goal by the end of 2021.

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The proposed partial sports merger between Granville and Whitehall made a big step last week, when the Whitehall school board held the much-anticipated vote at their Feb. 22 meeting. The board voted to approve the merger proposal.

The merger will affect the schools’ football and boys’ soccer teams. The Granville and Whitehall football teams would combine into one Granville-Whitehall team, and Whitehall students would be able to play on a boys’ soccer team.

The Granville school board will be voting on the merger at its next meeting on Mar. 9. If the merger is approved, it would not take place until the 2021 season. The Fall II season will not be affected.

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Progress has been made with the planning and approvals for the proposed community solar farm, to be built by U.S. Light Energy on a section of the 160 Mineral Hill Way property, located in Middle Granville behind Curtis Lumber. The solar farm was discussed at the Granville Town Planning Board meeting last Tuesday, Feb. 23.

Sight tests and glare tests were conducted by C.T. Male Associates, the architects for the project. The sight tests were done from Route 22 just south of Curtis Lumber, and from a point on Dayton Hill Road between Detour Road and Old State 22. Neither location was found to have good visibility of the solar farm site. Glare tests were done from Route 22. It was found that there was next to no chance for glare at all, at any time of year.

It was clarified at the meeting that while some solar panels are made of toxic compounds, such as zinc, the panels to be used on the Middle Granville solar farm would be non-toxic silicon based solar panels.

The Curtis Lumber right of way easement was found to be too narrow for use as a right of way to the solar farm. Negotiations for a new access road easement are now underway with Joseph Howard, owner of the 9497 State Route 22 property, to the south of Curtis Lumber. At this time, it has not been decided whether the access road will be at the north or south side of the property. While there were concerns about the original planned access road crossing a small wetland area, the new planned access road will eliminate those concerns, regardless of whichever route is chosen.

The public hearing for the proposed solar farm has been moved to the April meeting of the town planning board, to be held April 20.