OLD LYME — UPDATED 6/29: The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen has called a Special Town Meeting to be held on Tuesday, July 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Meeting Hall at the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall at 52 Lyme St. The Special Town Meeting will be conducted in person only.
This meeting will consider and act upon the following single agenda item:
Whether to approve the disbursement of $2,120,593 of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, as outlined in the report of the Old Lyme American Rescue Plan Committee (APRC) report dated June 21, 2022, and as recommended by the Old Lyme Boards of Selectmen and Finance on June 21.
Copies of the proposed ARPA disbursements are available in the Town Clerk’s office and on the Town of Old Lyme website.
- 23 small businesses (< 500 employees per the US Treasury Department) applied for and met the requirements to receive grants up to $10,000, having substantiated pandemic-related economic loss occurring between March 3, 2021 and April 1, 2022:
- 10 nonprofit organizations (501c3) applied for and met the requirements to receive grants up to $10,000, having substantiated pandemic-related economic loss occurring between March 3, 2021 and April 1, 2022:Community Initiative Grants were recommended
- To invest in and support mental health services or public health services to assist Old Lyme residents (seven projects)
- To reinvest in Old Lyme government services that were deemed essential during the pandemic (such as emergency services) to ensure future preparedness (11 projects)
- To invest in current and future infrastructure challenges such as clean water and sewer/waste treatment (two projects)
- To invest in town-wide broadband (internet) improvements and/or cell services (one project)
- To invest in early childhood care, and education (three projects)
- To invest in bringing visitors to our Old Lyme attractions, restaurants, shops, and accommodations (six projects)
- To invest in affordable housing to meet the needs of those working and living in Old Lyme (one project)
- To provide (direct and indirect) financial assistance to Old Lyme families and households having difficulty recovering from pandemic losses (two projects)
In addition to the 10 recommendation categories above, the American Rescue Plan Committee has included in its recommendations:
• Reserving up to $20,000 to cover fees by an independent consultant retained to administer the Economic Recovery Grant applications (this expenditure was approved by the Town in its 3/21/22 Town Meeting)
• Reserving up to $20,000 in legal, outreach, and administrative costs associated with the survey and application, and granting processes.
Read the full details of all the proposed beneficiaries/projects at this link.
OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen has called a Special Town Meeting on Thursday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Meeting Hall at the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall, 52 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Conn.
This meeting will be conducted in person only.
The agenda for this meeting is as follows:
- Due to the absence of the Town Clerk from this Meeting, the appointment of a clerk pro tempore (per general Statutes § 7-21), for purposes of this Meeting only.
- The following proposed Resolution:
RESOLUTION: Be it resolved that the Town of Old Lyme, CT grants the request by The Point O’Woods Association, Incorporated (POW) that the Town of Old Lyme (Town), for purposes of Connecticut General Statutes §7-372 only, consents to POW issuing bonds pledging the security of POW in the amount of up to $820,000.00 for the purpose of restoration and rebuilding of the boat basin bulkhead.
POW is a separate taxing district situated within the limits of the Town of Old Lyme. The Town is not liable at law for any debt of such a district, and its consent to this bond issue does not and cannot be interpreted to mean that the Town is now assuming or shall ever have any obligation to assume any or all of the obligations to be created by the bond issue.
Copies of a brief description of the project proposed by POW are available in the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office and online here.
Senator Richard Blumenthal will be attending as the honored guest.
There will be picnic goodies galore to enjoy, as well as opportunities to mingle with friends, neighbors and local DTC members.
Parking for the event will be available in the parking lot of the Lyme First Congregational Church or the Subaru dealership (the $6 fee benefits the church and the local Boy Scouts.)
A $25.00 donation for the picnic is suggested. Find donation information to the Lyme DTC and Old Lyme DTC at these links.
OLD LYME — Old Lyme’s Planning Commission will hold a Special Meeting/Public Hearing tomorrow evening, Thursday, Sept. 29, at 5 p.m. in Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall.
After the Pledge of Allegiance, there are only two items on the agenda and since it is a Special Meeting, no changes or addition to the agenda can be made.
The first agenda item is the continuation of the Public Hearing regarding the application by Keystone Capital Corporation for the resubdivision of 16 Neck Rd. into nine lots.
The second item, assuming the Public Hearing is closed, is for members of the board to discuss and then possibly vote on the proposal.
The land at 16 Neck Rd. is the same area where the HOPE Partnership endeavored to secure approval for a 37-unit Affordable Housing development back in 2018, which became a highly controversial topic in the community.
The new proposal is for a gated community of nine building lots.
Both the OL Open Space Commission and the Connecticut River Gateway Commission have submitted letters for consideration at tomorrow’s meeting to the Planning Commission. Both letters can be viewed in full at the links given above.
The Open Space Commission’s letter, signed by its co-chairs Amanda Blair and Evan Griswold, states, “It appears that no open space is indicated on the applicant’s plan and, even if land were set aside, the gated premises to be accessed by private roadway would not afford public access.”
The letter continues, “In accordance with the provisions of C.G.S. § 8-25, when there is not a suitable area within a subdivision and when there are other areas with Town that the Open Space Commission considers more beneficial to be preserved, the Planning Commission may authorize the applicant to pay a fee in lieu of open space of up to 10% of land’s pre-subdivision appraised value.”
The two-page letter proposes that, although, “It is the Planning Commission’s discretion to determine such payment,” the Planning Commission should request the 10 percent fee of the purchase price from the developer, which it states, “… would equal $105,010.”
These monies would then be used by the Open Space Commission to assist in the purchase other open space properties in the town as they arise. The letter explains, “Although we cannot identify the specific parcels, we will report to you that the Open Space Commission is now actively talking to or considering approaching the owners of at least four properties in Town for acquisition.”
Asked about the possibility of the Open Space Commission receiving a fee in lieu of the absence of open space in a building proposal, Griswold responded in a phone conversation with LymeLine that, “This has happened before,” citing the example of a proposed development on Binney Rd. submitted, “around three years ago.”
He added, however, that a similar previous request by the Open Space Commission regarding a proposed development on Mile Creek Rd. was declined by the Planning Commission on the basis it was, “a family-oriented subdivision.”
The CT River Gateway Commission four-page letter, signed by the Deputy Director of the River COG [Council of Governments] Staff, Gateway Commission Torrance Downes, describes the property at 16 Neck Rd. as “a highly visible riverfront parcel.”
In summary the letter says, “The Gateway Commission would recommend such an [Conservation] easement be placed along the banks of the Connecticut River at the western end of the property.”
It goes on to request that the Planning Commission should, “… use all of the regulatory tools available in its decision-making process to manage the development of the site – at least with respect to the western hillside of the property facing the Connecticut River.”
The letter continues, “Protection of natural areas including mature tree stands is recommended for consideration of open space designation,” noting, “Retention of an attractive and rural community appearance, which would include the treed hillsides of the Connecticut River, should be “one of the most important criteria used in land use decision making”.”
Concluding, “Community Appearance recommendations state visual details including preservation of natural site features and vistas are critical components of the town character Old Lyme is charged with protecting,” the letter notes, “Preserving and maintaining the tree cover on the river-facing side of this property is consistent with these … recommendations.”
Members of the community can address either or both of these issues during the Public Hearing or submit letters or emails to the Old Lyme Land Use Department prior to the meeting.
LYME/OLD LYME — Setting the Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Building Referendum on Tuesday, Nov. 8 — the same day as the state elections — has, in Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold’s words (sent via text), been, ” … very complicated with, I believe, five lawyers working out the details.” Those details were required to be filed with the State of Connecticut today.
Griswold went on to explain, “Electors will vote on the candidates by ballot and on the school referendum question (yes/no ballot) in the same room,” but, “Qualified voters who are not electors may vote only on the referendum question in a separate room.”
Lyme Selectman John Kiker similarly confirmed by text, “… regular voting will be in [Lyme] town hall and the referendum voting will be in the [Lyme Public] library.”
Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser noted by email that Lyme-Old Lyme Schools are sending out a Fact Sheet to all Lyme and Old Lyme residents and property owners next week, which, along with additional information on the referendum, will help to clarify the difference between ‘electors’ and ‘qualified voters.’
The Fact Sheet explains that an ‘elector’ is any registered voter in either Lyme or Old Lyme.
It then goes on to state that, “A qualified voter who is not an elector is any citizen of the United States of the age of 18 years or more who, jointly or severally, is liable to the Town of Lyme or Town of Old Lyme for taxes assessed against him or her of not less than $1,000 on the last completed grand list of the Town, or who would be so liable if not entitled to an exemption under subdivision (17), (19), (22), (25) or (26) of Section 12-81 of the Connecticut General Statutes, and is not an elector (registered voter) of the Towns of Lyme or Old Lyme.”
This difference between the two is significant as qualified voters (who cannot vote in the state elections in Lyme or Old Lyme because they are registered to vote elsewhere) must by state statute physically vote at a location at least 75 ft. from that of registered voters.
Therefore, in Old Lyme:
- ‘Electors’, i.e., registered voters, will vote in both the state election and on the school building referendum in the LOL Middle School Gym.
- ‘Qualified voters’ (who are not electors) will vote solely on the LOL Schools Building Referendum in the LOL Middle School Cafeteria.
Meanwhile in Lyme:
- ‘Electors’, i.e., registered voters, will vote in both the state election and on the LOL Schools Building Referendum at Lyme Town Hall.
- ‘Qualified voters’ (who are not electors) will vote solely on the LOL Schools Building Referendum in the Lyme Public Library.
Regarding the unusual need for two polling locations in both Lyme and Old Lyme, Griswold stressed, “The Registrars must man and equip the two separate voting locations in each town,” noting, “The school will be responsible for the costs related to the school referendum.”
The ballot question for the LOL Schools Building Referendum will read as detailed below and and then ask for a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ response.
“Shall the resolution appropriating and authorizing bonds in the amount of $57,555,000, of which it is expected that an estimated $9,775,000 shall be reimbursed by the State of Connecticut, for the planning, design, demolition, construction, renovation, equipping and furnishing of Mile Creek School, Center School, Lyme Consolidated School and Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School and related costs, be approved?“
Two public meetings will be held in advance of the $57.6 million LOL Schools Building Referendum on respectively Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m. at Lyme School, and Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. at Mile Creek School.
Polls will be open in both towns on Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information on the referendum from LOL Schools, visit https://www.region18.org/district-information/referendumwww.region18.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-434-7238.