Smith is the longest-serving town manager with a single town.
And his time in Granby has been significant and fruitful, officials said, honoring Smith at the beginning of the Board of Selectmen meeting Monday night.
Making a presentation, First Selectman John Adams described the changes Smith had shepherded the town through.
"William Smith brought professional leadership to this town," Adams said. "He came to a small rural farm town in 1978 and has been instrumental in shaping Granby into a prosperous suburban community."
"From people to facilities, Bill has ...touched virtually all the bricks and mortar projects, from bridges to the town hall complex, and worked tirelessly on too many building committees to count. He has been instrumental in the development of the police department and bringing professionalism to town planning and financial management, the social and senior services."
Adams was not the only one to laud Smith's work in Granby. Former Granby First Selectman Robert Verrengia sent a letter offering his congratulations on the milestone.
Granby seen significant improvements because of your leadership.
"I remember when you arrived Bill Messenger had an old plow truck with rusted out fenders, our facilities were in a decline and our roads were crumbling," Verrengia wrote.
"Has that changed! We now have state of the art equipment …roads and road signs that are the envy of every other community... Your ability to respond to resident of for our community on a daily basis… is a tribute to your management skills and effectiveness."
Adams presented Smith with tokens of the town's appreciation - remnants of pipe from the sewer project and a football signed by several former first selectmen.
Smith graciously returned the praise.
"The only thing I can do is thank everyone for the expression of support. It's not really me - everyone lends themselves to making this a great community …it’s just the general support that gets things done. Not one person but all of you," he said.