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GRANVILLE — Since the 1960s, Granville’s tiny town office has been on a small plot of land with no running water.
Last Wednesday, Granville celebrated the grand opening of its renovated town hall and new town office, located in the town’s former schoolhouse. Town officials said Sen. Patrick Leahy was instrumental in landing the low-interest loans and grants that allowed them to complete the project, and though Leahy was in Washington at the time, Marcelle Leahy, his wife, spoke on his behalf at the ceremony on Route 100.
The reshuffling of Granville’s municipal buildings comes two years after the town shuttered its one-room schoolhouse and chose to send students to nearby towns for school.
With an unused schoolhouse on their hands, town officials decided to undertake a renovation project that would consolidate the town hall and the town office into adjoining buildings. Town voters in June 2010 approved a building renovation bond that to finance the majority of the project, and the town received a low-interest USDA loan early this year to help finance that bond.
In all, the renovation project was funded by a United Stated Department of Agriculture grant of $90,700, an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant of $48,930 and a low-interest USDA loan of $164,300.
The adjoining buildings are now handicap accessible, energy efficient and structurally sound. In the move, the town office’s facilities have also increased substantially — rather than a portable outdoor toilet and a three-car parking lot, the new office has ample parking, a kitchen and two bathrooms.
The town’s historic theater curtain that was recently restored was also on display in the town hall.
And though the town held a dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting last Wednesday, town officials have been settling into the new offices since March.
“This is brighter and roomier — there’s more space for everyone,” said town clerk Kathy Werner. “People don’t get scared if there are (already) three cars in the lot.”
And, said Werner, town officials spend more time in the office now that they know there will be room for them to work.
Now that the town clerk’s office is right next to the town hall and Granville has a consolidated municipal space, officials also plan to allow the buildings to be used for community social events and meetings.
Reporter Andrea Suozzo is at email@example.com.
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