Granville OKs school budget, building repair

GRANVILLE — In two special meetings this past Monday, Granville voters approved a school budget and plans for a new town office, both decisions they  had postponed on Town Meeting Day.
At the annual school meeting on March 2, town residents raised questions about the $708,541 spending figure warned to educate Granville youths in 2010-2011. At that meeting, Town Clerk Kathy Werner said, it was discovered there were numerous mistakes on handouts provided by the Windsor Northwest Supervisory Union, and Superintendent Tim Mock was not on hand to answer questions about the budget.
Nearly two months after the annual school meeting, voters approved the school budget at Monday’s special meeting and elected Bruce Hyde to a two-year school board position, replacing Victoria Crowne, who had resigned her position after one year.
Following the school meeting, town residents took another look at the budget for renovating the Granville schoolhouse into a new space for town offices. Town officials cited more accessibility and access to high-speed Internet as reasons for the proposed move.
At March town meeting, the budget for renovations was warned at just over $92,000. But since Town Meeting Day, the selectboard has begun the application process for a federal stimulus grant through the USDA that would pay a portion of the repairs and allow the town to take out a 20-year bond for the remaining cost.
With the grant in mind, Granville voters decided to add a number of repairs to the plan, including an overhaul to the building’s steeple and a fresh coat of paint to the exterior.
Selectboard chair Vivian Branschofsky said that the more than 30 people at the meeting voted overwhelmingly for a plan that includes almost $196,000 of repairs to the schoolhouse.
Branschofsky hoped that the town had a good chance of receiving the relatively small grant that it was asking, but said it wasn’t a sure bet.
“If we don’t get the grant, we’ll have to go back to the town and find some other way,” said Branschofsky.
In addition to the potential grant, the town also received a $48,930 stimulus grant early this month, which it will put toward energy retrofits on town buildings.
Reporter Andrea Suozzo is at [email protected].

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