Demolition planned for ‘great old’ Grange Hall
NORTH CANAAN — For about a decade now, the town has owned the old Laurel Grange Hall on Route 44 in East Canaan. It was given to the town after the grange disbanded. Boy Scout Troop 22 has used it since, mostly for storage. A major problem there is the lack of a bathroom, or enough land to install a septic system. The lot is barely bigger than the footprint of the building, and it backs up against a steep hill. Those using the building have to park along the Route 44 shoulder and climb steep, crumbling steps to the front door. The property itself could not support even a small home under current building and zoning codes.The hall was described as “a great old building,” by the selectmen at their meeting Jan. 3, but one that has outlived its usefulness and that needs a lot of work. There seems to be no option other than demolition.The three abutting property owners have been contacted. The board said it would likely offer the property to one of them for $1, with the cost of demolishing the building their responsibility.Paul Vernali was the only one to express an interest. “It’s probably in our best interest and his to sell it to him. He would pay for the cost of demolition, if he decides to do that,” First Selectman Douglas Humes said.