Granby gives green light to arts festival
The Granby Public Art Committee is moving ahead with an arts festival on Sept. 4 at Polhamus Park.
On Tuesday, Granby trustees approved a special event permit for Granby Art in the Park following a presentation from Autumn Bishop, chair of the PAC.
Bishop explained that after the committee was formed in 2019, a community survey was distributed to find out what people in Granby wanted to see with their publicly allocated arts funds. The most popular answer was an art and/or music festival.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 hit as the PAC began preliminary work on such a festival and stalled the event. During 2020, however, the group did begin discussions for solutions on the deteriorating mural on the retaining wall along US Highway 40 out front of Granby Dental.
According to Bishop, that mural was supposed to last 5-10 years. Due to the nature of the wall and the freeze-thaw cycle, it lasted less than three years.
To prevent a similar issue, the PAC wants to put up a surface for murals to be mounted to the wall. This would create space between the art and wall, and hopefully prevent the early destruction of the artwork.
PAC thinks this new festival could be an annual event where the mural would be auctioned off and new art installed along the wall every year or so.
The event would also include interactive art installations and booths, ideally in cooperation with a private business partner or sponsor. This year’s festival will headline A Band Called Alexis in partnership with KFFR 88.3 FM.
A number of details will need to be worked out related to contracts, installation, upkeep, liquor sales and the possible closure of Jasper Avenue for the event. Additionally, money set aside for public art projects will likely need to be reallocated toward the festival.
The town board showed strong support and expressed enthusiasm for showcasing the local artistry in Granby.
Bishop added that the hope is to build off the success of the first event, eventually growing the festival with a juried show, art vendors and a larger musical act.
In other business:
• The board again continued the hearing for the renewal of Reclamation Ridge’s conditional use permit. Staff was directed to speak further with the owner of the gravel pit about when wholesale sales of gravel may be permitted, which the owner argues is a use by right.
• Trustees approved an update in the town code related to water meters, service lines and backflow prevention devices.
With this change, water users are now responsible to have water meters installed rather than the town’s water department. The update also standardizes the definition of service line and clarifies that backflow prevention devices for residential service lines do not require certification by the town.
With a couple modifications to language, the change was approved with Trustee Chris Michalowski dissenting.
• The board approved the budgeted $17,195 purchase of a software upgrade for the water department’s south service area and the budgeted $20,000 purchase of 35 water meters for resale.
• Trustees OK’d an update to regulations that should clarify the town’s zoning code. The biggest change includes the removal of the floor to area ratio requirement with most other alterations lining up with other parts of the code.
• The board approved an ordinance dedicating and accepting a small amount of land for public use at the north entrance at River Run, which should improve safety at the entrance.
• The town’s finance director announced that Granby has already collected 50% of this year’s budgeted sales tax revenues with only 42% of the fiscal year elapsed.
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