September 28, 2020

Letter to the Editor: Failure to Undertake Full Financial Review of Old Lyme’s Sewer Project Will Result in Unexpected Costs

To the Editor:

To understand the negative impact the proposed sewer project will have on future cost to Old Lyme property owners, one must first understand the future development plans of the towns that will share the system.

Old Lyme’s future development plans do not include any major expansion of residential or commercial projects. The chairman of Old Lyme’s Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) has stated there is no plan to extend sewers into neighborhoods other than those under order of Department of Environmental Protection (DEEP).

East Lyme’s future development plans include major residential and commercial projects, many of which are underway. The towns of Waterford and New London also  plan major expansion projects.

An article in The Day newspaper in July, 2018 quoted East Lyme’s first selectman praising the sewer agreement that allows Old Lyme’s private beach associations to connect to their sewer system. He stated it was important to have a partner that will share the costs to upgrade their sewer system.

East Lyme’s WPCA has stated that any future development will require substantial upgrades to their existing system. Waterford and New London officials have expressed these same concerns. All this will come at costs to Old Lyme sewer users.

It is noteworthy that Old Lyme town officials had no direct involvement in the terms of the sewer agreement between the town of East Lyme and the private beaches, yet Old Lyme will bear the costs once the town enters into this agreement, that is the current plan.

Old Lyme’s voters were misled about the details of the sewer project prior to the 9.4 million dollar referendum this past September. Approving funding for a project of this scope without a financial review of all relevant documents and agreements was negligence on the part of Old Lyme’s Board of Finance (BOF). The losers here are the residents of Soundview, who will be burdened with an unknown financial impact thanks to the failure of a proper project review by the town officials who we elect to act in our best interest.

Sincerely,

William Folland,
Old Lyme.

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Comments

  1. Thomas D Gotowka says

    You’ve raised some interesting issues. I can’t tell from your letter whether this is just a bit of grousing or something that deserves a response from Old Lyme’s WPCA. Your allegation of negligence seems very extreme. I really don’t see any direct relationship between infrastructure projects in East Lyme or Waterford and costs borne by Old Lyme residents.

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