By Erik Pekar, Town Historian
The sunny summer days are coming on strong, but thankfully not too hot. An unusual amount of pollen has been in the air this spring and so far this summer. The days have been dry, and some lawns are browning in spots. The Granville area did receive a brief break from the recent streak of sunny days. Last Tuesday, July 12, the area was projected to receive thunderstorms, as well as high winds. Rain began to fall in Granville around 3 pm. It rained for a half hour, but the thunder and high winds did not come. A brief power outage occurred around that time, but the power came back within a minute.
The rain forecast may have had the management of Granville’s drive-in eateries concerned for a moment. By 3:45 pm, the sun broke through. At Scarlotta’s, Payton Barlow and Kenzie Aldous broke out all the towels they could get and wiped off the tables and chairs on the deck. After about four passes of wiping, it was all dry and one would not have been able to tell that rain had fallen upon the deck furniture. The call to dry off was right, as the sun kept on shining, and there was no further rain that day.
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Granville has a new car wash. Bardin’s Laser Wash opened in June at 66 Quaker Street and is already popular. “Everybody loves it,” said owner Mark Bardin, who has had experience with drive-through car washes. “I had one before,” said Bardin.
The car wash’s opening has been in the works for some time. “It’s been in planning for four years,” said Bardin. He was inspired to start his car wash after he noticed some things were off at the present do-it-yourself car wash in Granville. He told the owner of the other car wash about his concerns. “I told [him], jokingly at first,” recalled Bardin, “if you don’t fix it, I’ll put in a car wash. He said, ‘Go ahead.’”
Over the intervening years, Bardin researched car washes. He initially considered a used car wash system but found that parts to repair them were impossible to obtain. Bardin attended a car wash convention in Las Vegas and there he found what he was looking for. “I talked with a man from Albany,” said Bardin. “I decided to upgrade and install a new touchless drive-through car wash.” There were hardships on the way to financing the effort; Bardin’s Tire Service Inc. had been dissolved, and since he was applying as a new Bardin’s LLC, lenders were hesitant to give him funding. He was able to get funding through Washington County’s economic development program. In the meantime, work started on getting the car wash ready, with a few people helping out along the way.
Bardin’s Laser Wash opened on June 20. The main feature is the Razor touchless drive-through car wash system. “[There’s] nothing on the floor, unlike the old one,” said Bardin. The car wash is open 24 hours, and has automatic doors that close during washing, allowing for the car wash to be used in the winter. There are also vacuums available for use to the north of the car wash. More improvements are in the planning stage, including two do-it-yourself washing stalls, and a dog wash stall, to allow for cleaning dogs of dirt or skunk smell at any time of day.
Congratulations on the opening of Bardin’s Laser Wash. Granville area residents now have a drive-through car wash in town.
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In Poultney, Vermont, there has been good news and bittersweet news. The Poultney Stewart’s won the Shop of the Month award for June. Congratulations to the employees of the Poultney Stewart’s on their store receiving the award.
It is the end of an era in Poultney. Jeff Roberts, longtime Poultney barber shop owner, worked his last day on June 30. After closing the doors to his shop for the last time, he received the surprise of his life. Community members, customers, and friends gathered on Maple Street to thank Roberts for all his years of dedication to Poultney and congratulate him on his retirement. Many conversations and memories were shared. Congratulations to Jeff Roberts on his retirement, and may he enjoy his years of retirement.
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A long-awaited paving project has begun. Vermont has started work on repaving Route 22A from the New York state line north to where the town of Fair Haven takes over maintenance as South Main Street. This section was rutting on each side, making for an unpleasant ride and likely caused some wear and tear on vehicles. The road was milled last week and paving is likely to begin soon. Route 22A in New York was repaved in 2018.
Another paving project is coming up soon. Main Street in the village of Granville will soon be repaved. Utility covers have been repaired and squares paved around them. Markings have been painted on the road and last week a portable variable message sign was placed at the corner of West Main and Quaker Streets. Most of Route 149 through the village was repaved last year, but Main Street was omitted from that project. Route 149 was previously paved through the village in 1998.
The work to finish up the last parts of the Church Street bridge replacement project is still on hold. The J. H. Maloy Company has a utility pipe on back order. After they receive it they plan to place the pipe, finish the sidewalk, fully pave the bridge, and connect the power conduits. The power on the bridge will light up the two lights and will allow for Christmas decorations to be powered from outlets on the bridge itself, rather than from long extension cords as done in prior years.
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After the Church Street bridge replacement is finished, the village plans to build a small parking lot at the corner of Church and Water Streets, at the parcel on which formerly stood the 34 Church Street building. The parking lot, if built on just that parcel, would be of inadequate size to accommodate parking for those who frequent the Mettowee Park or the rail trail. The solution is to acquire one or both of the two adjacent parcels on Water Street. Both are presently owned by Kevin Daigle, who is contemplating placing a modular double-wide residence at that location. The “mobile home” placement permit was approved by the village board on May 2, without so much as a public hearing or consideration of the impact on their parking lot plans.
The look of Water Street has been greatly improved in recent years, first with the demolition of the two old buildings, and then with the leveling of the area. A house placed on Water Street at that site would set that progress back decades. While there is nothing wrong with Daigle wanting to build a house, it is not the right place for it to be built. It would ruin Granville’s chances of having a quality access point to the Mettowee River.
Granville presently has only a small parking area next to the rail trail on the west side, facing the Mettowee River and near the Slate Valley Museum, at the end of River Street. This tiny parking area has to be shared by riverfront park users, rail trail users and those who go to the Slate Valley Museum. Hopefully the adjacent parcel, or both parcels, can be donated by Daigle to the village to add to the already planned parking lot. This would allow for improved access to the Mettowee River, waterfront park, and the rail trail, would increase use by residents and tourists with the rail trail. The access site would be an asset to Granville, and the best use for the land that would do the most to better Granville.