Granville has received the okay from the state to improve a half-mile section of Town Highway 21 that runs through a Class 2 wetland, to create access for two badly damaged roads in Hancock and Rochester.


State officials met with representatives from Granville, Hancock and Rochester last Thursday, October  6, for a site visit. Improving Town Highway 21 will connect Buttles Road and Churchville Road to Oak Lodge Road in Rochester and provide a way for residents to get to Route 100 as well as provide a way for emergency services vehicles to get in. That improvement will also allow some residents of Fiske Road in Rochester a way to get to Route 100.

Fiske Road and Churchville Road were so badly damaged by Irene-related flooding that the work to repair them cannot be done before the snow flies and cannot even be engineered by that time. Fiske Road had been repaired following the flood but was closed again this week due to further slumping. It remains open for emergency and some local traffic.

Cheryl Sargeant, chair of the Granville Select Board, said that the state gave Granville permission to install culverts and gravel to make a one-half-mile section of Town Highway 21 safer on the very Class 4 section where it connects to Oak Lodge Road.

She said select board members of the three towns have a meeting at 6 p.m., October 13, to sort out the finances of how the project will go forward. She said that they had received an estimate of $84,000 to improve Town Highway 21 and said that what remains to be sorted out is how that upgrade will be funded.

The work is necessary for residents of Hancock and Rochester plus one Granville resident who lives above the Hancock/Granville town line on Buttles Road. As soon as finances are sorted out work will begin, she said. The state has given the towns permission to use that road for up to two years. FEMA provides towns with 18 months to repair roads damaged in natural disasters and town officials in Hancock and Rochester expect repairs to Churchville and Fiske Roads to run well into 2012.

Granville has its own serious road issues. Buffalo Farm Road, which comes down to Route 100 by D’s Doghouse, is completely washed out and closed for the winter. The town is working with FEMA on the problems.

Residents of the road are not trapped. They have access via two other roads above the damage. Estimates to repair that road range from $750,000 to a million dollars.