Chester to bypass vendor, roll out first phase of STR registration applications No implementation dates from swamped Granicus

By Shawn Cunningham
©2023 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Last Friday’s “kick off” meeting with Granicus, the company that Chester hired to establish and manage its short-term rental registry, has spurred the town to seek an old-school route while waiting for the more hi-tech segments to be created.

Zoning Administrator Preston Bristow said the town will bypass Granicus and mail the first set of registration notices. <small>Telegraph file photo</small>

Zoning Administrator Preston Bristow said the town will bypass Granicus and mail the first set of registration notices. Telegraph file photo

“Alex bravely answered our questions and stayed chipper,” Zoning Administrator Preston Bristow said on Tuesday, speaking of Alex Wenglein, the new project manager assigned to Chester by Granicus. “But she had to admit things aren’t going well.”

“They don’t seem to have the capacity to fulfill the contract requirements at the moment,” Bristow continued. “But Alex said she hoped to have a better sense of the timing within two weeks.”

Town Manager Julie Hance told The Telegraph that during the meeting she pressed for  implementation dates, but could not get them.

“I told her (Wenglein) that the next Select Board meeting would be on Sept. 6 and we would need dates by then,” said Hance. The town expected the work to be done and the registry to be up and running in April of this year.

Board Chair Arne Jonynas said it looked like Granicus has an IT bottleneck but he was expecting to see some progress by the September meeting.

Registration should begin by September

Registration should begin by September

In the meantime, the town has decided to take an old school route and send letters informing short-term rental operators already identified by Granicus that registration is now open. The letter will be accompanied by an application form to be mailed back to the town with payment.

Information gathered from the applications will then be entered by the town into Granicus’s database.

Bristow said anyone who has not complied with that first letter will, after a month, receive a warning letter giving them a set time to contact the town and register. Lister Cathy Hasbrouck will be handling the “paper” roll out of the registry.

Since this operation was supposed to be done electronically through Granicus, Hance said she is asking Bristow and Hasbrouck to keep track of their time for later discussions with that company.

Bristow expects that the first letters will go out in about two weeks.

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