2018 Granville town meeting preview

GRANVILLE — Residents of Granville will have some big decisions to make at their annual town and school meetings next Tuesday evening. The school meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. at the town hall, and the town meeting will follow at 6:30 p.m.
The first big task at the town meeting, residents will decide whether to start a town highway department; currently roadwork is contracted out. The decision will come in response to a request to spend $199,800 to purchase road equipment and hire a full-time road foreman. In the town report, the selectboard laid out more than 20 benefits Granville would gain from having its own Highway Department, including that repairs would be done in a timely manner and costs will be managed better.
If residents shoot down that move, they will move to Article 5 in the warning which asks voters to approve spending of $398,264, of which $191,319 would go toward general town spending and $209,108 would go toward highway spending. That represents an increase of $13,246, or 7.4 percent, in town spending and increase of $41,308, or 24.6 percent, in highway spending.
If residents approve the new highway department, Article 5 will have to be amended to lower the amount budgeted for road costs.
Another weighty issue at town meeting will be a decision to add to two seats to the three-person selectboard. Petitioners asked that this question be put on the warning. If approved, the two new selectboard members would be added at the next town meeting — whether that is the annual meeting in March or a special town meeting if one comes up in the next year.
At Tuesday’s meeting, residents from the floor will elect one selectboard member to a three-year term. Incumbent Sean Linskey’s term is ending and he has said he would be interested in being re-elected, Town Clerk Kathy Werner said.
The annual town school meeting will be the last. Granville is joining with a neighboring town to form the Granville Hancock Unified School District, which will have its own six-member school board. The unified district will replace the Granville School District on July 1. School directors said that having the two towns merged will smooth out spikes and valleys in student numbers. Twenty years ago Granville had more than 70 students, then it dropped to 22 and today it is 50. This makes budgeting difficult.

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