June 16, 2021

Letter to the Editor: Sound View Sewers? Town Funding Not Justified, But Consider Other Alternatives

To the Editor:

A group of Sound View property owners are voicing strong opinions regarding the funding for the proposed sewer system for Sound View, specifically why it is not considered a public works project to be funded by all Old Lyme taxpayers rather than just Sound View property owners.

In my opinion the distinction is simple. The Old Lyme taxpayers receive no benefit from the sewers for Sound View properties and have no right to access or use those private properties. Only the Sound View owners benefit and can use their properties so only they must pay for the improvement.

I think that the Sound View folks should aim their efforts in the way Merv Roberts has suggested for decades. Pressure DEEP to approve alternative on site septic systems being used in other states instead of installing sewers. Only properties tested and found to be in need of new systems would have to install them and the cost would likely be substantially less that the proposed sewer assessments and maintenance costs. The technology is available and only the “empire builders” at DEEP are refusing to consider alternatives to sewers. They mandate sewers with little or no empirical data and testing.

I’m sure that other property owners, such as those in Hawk’s Nest and elsewhere (Rogers Lake?) would gladly join the effort with Sound View to insist upon proper testing and the use of alternative septic systems.


Steven A. Ross,
Old Lyme.


  1. Bill Folland says

    The currant proposal that Sound-view residents pay 100% for the cost of the proposed sewer project is short sighted.

    The purpose of the sewer project is to prevent further pollution of the town owned sound-view Beach that all town residents and visitors use. Sound-view residents will see property assessments increases, hookup fees and usage fees. They should not be on the hook for the infrastructure cost of this public works project.

    We only have to look as how our neighboring community, Old Saybrook, handled this same issue. Old Saybrook residents voted at a Town Meeting for all town residents to pay 25% of the infrastructure cost of a sewer system for the beach communities.What is needed here is better communications with all members of our community to voice their opinion and approve or disapprove a plan at a Town Meeting. This is called open government.

  2. Why would town wide residents pay for the sewer project when Sound View Beach is a public beach and not a Town of Old Lyme Beach as is White Sands Beach or Haines Park at Roger’s Lake?
    Seems that difference would help define the town’s legal obligation.

  3. Bill Folland says

    Soundview and Whitesands are both town beaches, they are both public beaches.

  4. Dwayne Basler says

    If my home’s septic system requires replacement will Mr Folland pay for a portion of the cost to replace it? It would be needed to prevent impact on the local environment similar to his property at the beach. I normally don’t look to others to pay for my property improvements but I guess that’s the world we now live in.

    • As a property owner in Sound View I truly want the option to maintain and continue to test and pay for my own individual septic system. I have a compliant system on a compliant lot – just like you. But I may be forced to pay for something I didn’t ask for, didn’t want, don’t need. It costs about 16K to replace a septic and leech field plus about $500 every 7 years to pump. Selectman Reemsnyder thinks I should pay 40K plus $5000 over 7 years in new taxes to replace something I already have that is working just fine! Why? Because she signed an agreement with DEEP and once signed, even with legal consultation, that contract could not be broken. No one in Sound View signed that agreement, or was even consulted. Sounds like taxation without representation wouldn’t you say?

      Please don’t assume we are all negatively impacting the environment – we are not. We care. This is one of the our still outstanding and unanswered questions – where is the current test data that proves we are all polluters? And who conducted the tests – the consulting firm that stands to make millions? Ledgelite Health District said the swimming was great – all summer long.

      You should feel lucky Dwayne, that you still have that option to pay for your septic… for now at least.

      Mary Daley

  5. Bill Folland says

    M. Basler’s comments are without merit. First of all the property owners in Soundview will pay or all work for septis jookupsi on their private property, the same as all property owners in the town are required to do. What the property owners in Soundview should not be on the hook for is the infrastructure between their private property and the East Lyme sewer connection. If a new wastewater line was installed in Mr. Basler’s neighborhood should the town require only that neighborhood to pay for it?, I think not.

    By the way I do not have property in Soundview, I a a fair minded Old Lyme resident with property in the town center.

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