Updated 09/27: 7:27am: The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen has announced a Special Town Meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School to consider and vote on four items.
The first is to authorize approval of $911,100 for the construction cost of the Rte. 156 Bikeway/Sound View Improvements Project. Although $877,000 was approved by residents for this project in July of this year, according to an article by Kimberly Drelich published today (Sept. 24) on theday.com, “Reemsnyder said the bids for the project came in higher than expected” and an increase in the budgeted amount is now required.
This project has changed significantly since it was first introduced when it included bathrooms and a park (Sound View Green.) Those items have been eliminated for cost reasons and the bikeway on Rte. 156 has also been dropped from the Sound View project since Rte. 156 is a state road, which means the project falls under the state’s jurisdiction. Editor’s Note: Selectwoman MaryJo Nosal has clarified (see ‘Comment’ below) that, “the DOT’s plans for the bike way, namely stripping and signage, remain the same. The route is currently listed on the CT State wide bicycle map.” The map to which Nosal refers can be found at this link.
(See Editor’s Note below for related articles on the Sound View project.)
The second agenda item Tuesday is to authorize the Town to join the Ledge Light Health District (LLHD). Steve Mansfield from LLHD gave a presentation Aug. 29 at a Public Hearing attended by around 20 people, who were evenly divided in terms of being for or against the proposal. Mansfield will give another presentation prior to Tuesday’s vote.
Concerns raised by participants at the hearing included not having a Sanitarian readily accessible in Old Lyme thus creating the need to travel to New London to connect with a Sanitarian, a possible increase in wait times for inspections, and an increase in costs to users in some cases. An example of the latter is that in the case of restaurants, LLHD fees are based on classification whereas the Town of Old Lyme’s current fee structure relates to seating capacity.
The board of selectmen, which is supporting the proposal, cites benefits for the town, which include having the current health department employee based in Old Lyme for at least half her time initially to assist with the transition and the provision of a consistent range of services. The selectmen also note that Ledge Light offers more officials, who individually specialize in different areas of expertise, and can provide the public with information and quality services in a timely manner.
If the motion is approved, the Town will have a two-year commitment to LLHD with the town’s representation on the LLHD Board based on the town’s population.
The third and fourth agenda items relate to the Town granting easements for entry and exit to a number of properties on Boston Post Rd. in the Rogers Lake area.
Editor’s Note: Articles previously published on LymeLine.com related to the Sound View project include:
All Three Items Approved at Old Lyme Special Town Meeting; Sound View Construction to Start Later This Year Published 07/18/16
Rte. 156 Bikeway/Sound View Improvements Proposal: The Case For and The Case Against Published 07/18/16
Presentation of Sound View Improvements Draws Praise, Criticism at Lively Meeting Published 04/28/16