Granby’s 2008 budget focuses on capital improvements, downtown enhancement |

Granby’s 2008 budget focuses on capital improvements, downtown enhancement

“Parks, streets and planning for the future,” guided this year’s Granby budget, according to Town Manager David Huseman.

Huseman credited the town board for formulating a budget that reflects “how they want the town to look in the future,” and less on “how many pencils the board is willing to buy.”

In Granby’s 2008 budget, total revenues amount to $3,718,050 and expenditures total $3,599,717, with excess revenues amounting to $118,333.

The town’s downtown improvement and capital improvement programs garner special attention.

Stashed away in the general fund is the potential for $2,826,285, with $1.5 million derived from a potential foundation grant this winter. The total is earmarked for streets and parks.

Jasper Street reconstruction, with a one-time cost of $1.4 million, has been deemed a town priority in the 2008 budget cycle. The street project would reconstruct all surfaces from Mesa Avenue to Fourth Street.

The new park, with town tennis courts, future indoor soccer and possible hockey near the middle school, has a potential $1.5 million set aside in its name, pending grant funds. The park has been named “Raffety Park” after town elder and trustee, Ed Raffety.

Coinciding with this project are plans to build a sidewalk linking the middle school to the high school, and a sidewalk from the school area to the downtown. The town is also seeking grant money to continue the school sidewalk east of Raffety Park to First Street.

Also through the capital improvement program, the town aims to reconstruct most of its streets in coming years. Many are in dire need of repair, Huseman said.

In 2008, the board will have the option to choose among surveying, preliminary engineering, construction engineering, construction paving, street lights and poles, sidewalks, seal coating and overlay, each with a price tag from $10,000 to $600,00.

Another program ” supported by bond proceeds from developers ” makes downtown revitalization a priority next year. A streetscape project, with new sidewalks, planters, brick pavers and other enhancements is the most significant component, with a $500,000 cost in 2008 and $1.5 million total for the project.

The rest of the program supports downtown events, loans to business owners, grants for building improvements, downtown holiday decorations, new signage, consulting and other expenses related to making the downtown more appealing.

In total, the town has a beginning balance of $687,000 in its downtown improvement program, with an expected $75,000 more coming in next year. The projects have taken a while to “get ramped up,” Huseman said, but this coming summer, citizens will begin to notice the fruits of labor as “some very real and physical things will be happening in the downtown.”

New planner and building department

Granby’s 2008 budget also anticipates creating two new positions at Town Hall, with the combined cost listed at $99,616.

A first-ever Granby town planner as well as a receptionist will be coming on board, Huseman said.

The receptionist is being added to the town’s roster to help administrate a new town building department.

The town is in the process of severing its building permit services from the county and starting a department both in-house and with the help of contractor, Safe Built. The town will keep 25 percent of building fees, which should put $70,000 to $80,000 in the town’s coffers if projections are correct, Huseman said.

“We think it will provide as good or better service to the homebuilders,” he said.

The town has also set up a new capital-replacement program in the 2008 budget which, if successful, should soften future financial burdens.

A reserve is being built up annually for any vehicle, equipment or technology cost that may spring up because of aging equipment.

Capital replacement costs in 2008 are projected at $304,720, with a new police patrol vehicle and one-ton truck on Granby’s wish list.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail

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