July 16, 2020

Griswold Reports Now 14 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Plus One Fatality in Old Lyme

OLD LYME — Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold told LymeLine.com by phone this morning that there are now 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Old Lyme residents as at today, Friday, May 1. These cases comprise 10 females and four males.

There has also been one fatality in Old Lyme.

Griswold said the confirmed cases comprise:

  • a 64-year-old female
  • a 21-year-old female
  • a 27-year-old male,
  • a 53-year-old female
  • a 61-year-old female
  • a 29-year-old female
  • a 40-year-old male
  • a 53-year-old male
  • a 60-year-old female
  • a 48-year-old male
  • a 85-year-old female
  • a 95-year-old female
  • a 20-year-old female
  • a 43-year-old female

The fatality was a 61-year-old female.

The numbers for Lyme continue to show one confirmed case of a 34-year-old male.

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold has previously noted that the 21-year-old female with a confirmed case was tested in Florida, but used an Old Lyme address although she does not live here. Because she gave the Old Lyme address, Griswold said that LLHD must report her as an Old Lyme resident.

Ledge Light Health District will issue a new report later this afternoon showing the numbers as at noon today. We are not expecting any differences from the numbers reported above but will report any changes detailed in that report after we have received it.

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Lyme Board of Finance Unanimously Sends $10.6 Million Budget for Final Approval at May 12 Meeting

Lyme Board of Finance Chairman Dan Hagan.

LYME — Lyme Board of Finance Chairman Dan Hagan hosted a swift, virtual Public Hearing on the proposed 2020-21 Lyme Town Budget Tuesday evening with not a single member of the public and just one member of the press attending the Zoom meeting.

Hagan summarized the numbers noting the proposed budget called for total expenses of $10,688,087, which represents a reduction of $326,155 (3%) over the previous year’s budget of $11,014,242. He noted that revenues of $10,607,533. were anticipated leaving a general fund balance at the end of June 2021 of $2,192,000, which he said was, “well over the two months of operating budget that the town expects to have on hand.”

Reviewing the income section in detail, Hagan noted that revenues were increasing from $10,428,173 to $10,607,533 with 90 percent of the town’s income coming from general property taxes. He explained that these showed “a sizable increase” primarily due to the value of Eversource’s property in town increasing by some $6 million after major upgrades, giving the town an additional $140,000 in revenue.

On the expense side, Hagan highlighted the “major portion [of expenditure] at 65 percent of the total as being the $6,442,000 to Region 18 Schools, which represents a decrease from the current year’s figure of $6,579,421. Noting that this decrease is accounted for by two factors, Hagan explained firstly, “the schools decreased their budget overall for next year by almost 1 percent” primarily due to refinancing their debt service.  Secondly, he pointed out that Lyme pays a share of the total Region 18 budget based on the percentage of the student population for which it accounts in terms of residents.  The 2019-20 percentage was 19.3 whereas the 2020-21 number has reduced to 18.5 percent. He described the combination of these favorable factors as “a big plus for us.”

Hagan mentioned two expense amounts in the budget for bridge work on the Birch Mill Rd. Bridge ($25,000) and Macintosh Rd. Bridge ($250,100), saying the former was ongoing but the latter would likely be moved into next year due to the impact of the coronavirus.

Commenting that the budget also called for moving various monies into savings funds, he described that as a “fantastic” achievement. He then concluded by thanking all involved for “doing a great job,” and creating a budget, which would not only enable the town to hold the mill rate steady for another year, but also, “reflects the values of what we hold near and dear in Lyme.”

After reporting that, despite an email address being open for 21 days to receive questions from the public, not a single one had been received. Hagan asked for a motion to forward the budget for final approval at their May 12 meeting. No town meeting is required this year to approve the budget per the Governor’s Executive Order 7-B.

The vote was unanimous and the meeting adjourned at 6:44 p.m., precisely 14 minutes after it had started.

 

 

 

 

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Lyme Board of Finance Hosts Virtual Public Hearing on Proposed 2020-21 Town Budget Tonight; Call for Access Info to Meeting by 4pm

Lyme Board of Finance Chairman Dan Hagan.

LYME  — The Lyme Board of Finance will host a Public Hearing on their proposed 2020-21 budget Tuesday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m. View the agenda at this link.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the hearing will take place virtually since the Governor’s Executive Order 7B temporarily suspends the In-Person requirement for municipal public meetings.

To obtain access to the Lyme Public Hearing, contact Jennifer Thomas at jen@townlyme.org no later than 4 p.m. on the day of the meeting.

To further enhance public input, the Lyme Board of Finance has established an email address at lymebudgetcomments@gmail.com, so you can send in questions or comments about the proposed budget in advance of the virtual Budget Hearing.  This mailbox is open and will be monitored through April 28.  All e-mails received will be addressed as part of the virtual Budget Hearing on April 28.

View the proposed Lyme 2020-21 budget at this link (scroll down.)

The budget will be approved at a regular board of finance meeting scheduled for May 12.  The board of finance has been authorized to approve the budget without a town meeting this year. This is also a result of the Governor’s Executive Order 7B.

Read a more detailed analysis by Mary Biekert of The Day of the proposed 2020-21 town budget for Lyme, which includes an $80,000 allocation to cover potential costs related to the coronavirus response, at this link. Biekert’s article was published April 8.

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See, Hear Recording of Last Week’s Old Lyme BOS, BOF Meetings

OLD LYME — Recordings of the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen meeting and the Old Lyme Board of Finance Budget Presentation, both held Monday, April 20, are now online at the links indicated.

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Ledge Light Data Released Friday Reports 13 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Old Lyme, One in Lyme

LYME & OLD LYME — In a report issued yesterday evening, Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) recorded 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Old Lyme residents as at noon Friday, April 24. These cases comprise nine females and four males.

There has also been one fatality in Old Lyme.

Ledge Light Health District does not release details of individual cases in terms of age and gender in their report but from data previously supplied by the Old Lyme First Selectman’s office, we know that the confirmed cases comprise:

  • a 64-year-old female
  • a 21-year-old female
  • a 27-year-old male,
  • a 53-year-old female
  • a 61-year-old female
  • a 29-year-old female
  • a male whose age is unavailable
  • a 40-year-old male
  • a 53-year-old male
  • a 60-year-old female
  • a female whose age is unavailable.

The fatality was a 61-year-old female.

We know the 12th and 13th cases are both female but are actively seeking age data on them.

The numbers for Lyme continue to show one confirmed case of a 34-year-old male.

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold has previously noted that the 21-year-old female with a confirmed case was tested in Florida, but used an Old Lyme address although she does not live here. Because she gave the Old Lyme address, Griswold said that LLHD must report her as an Old Lyme resident.

In a preface to their April 24 report, LLHD notes, “This data may conflict with what DPH reports on their website, as there is often a delay in posting data at the state level. The data that we provide each Friday will be current as of noon of that day.”

The preface adds, “Ledge Light Health District continues to work with local and state partners to prepare for widespread community transmission of COVID-19. Residents and businesses are urged to access up-to-date information regarding the pandemic from reputable sources including the Ledge Light Health District website (www.llhd.org), Facebook (@LedgeLightHD), Twitter (@LedgeLightHD), and Instagram (@LedgeLightHD).”

Editor’s Note: Ledge Light Health District serves as the local health department for East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, Lyme, New London, North Stonington, Old Lyme, Stonington and Waterford, Connecticut. As a health district, formed under Connecticut General Statutes Section 19a-241, LLHD is a special unit of government, allowing member municipalities to provide comprehensive public health services to residents in a more efficient manner by consolidating the services within one organization.

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Old Lyme Board of Finance Hosts Virtual Public Hearing on Town Budget This Evening

Old Lyme Board of Finance Chairman Andrew Russell (File photo)

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Board of Finance hosts a Public Hearings on the Town’s proposed 2020-21 budget this evening at 7:30 p.m. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the hearing will take place virtually since the Governor’s Executive Order 7B temporarily suspends the In-Person Requirement for municipal public meetings.

View the Notice of Public Hearing at this link.

To obtain access to the Old Lyme Public Hearing, join via https://oldlymect.webex.com/oldlymect/j.php?MTID=m65b9742ab8f8c5b0f3fddfa21696bebf or by calling 1-408-418-9388 and entering the Access Code: 714 150 082. Residents are encouraged to join the meeting five minutes before it is due to start to ensure you can gain a connection.

A regular Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s meeting will take place, also as a virtual meeting, at 4 p.m. the same day.

The Old Lyme Public Hearing will consist of a presentation by board of finance chairman Andy Russell. After his presentation, those joining by computer/online will be invited to submit questions using the ‘Chat’ window. After those questions are addressed, those calling in from a phone with no online access will be un-muted and allowed to ask their questions.

View the proposed Old Lyme 2020-21 budget at this link.

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Old Lyme Board of Selectmen Meet at 4pm Today

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen are scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. this afternoon. As the board will convene in the Meeting Hall while the Town Hall is closed to the public, anyone wishing to listen to the meeting may call 1-408-418-9388 and enter Access Code 24735882 to participate in the meeting.

The published agenda for the meeting is as follows:

1. Approval of Minutes:     6 April 2020

2. Communications:  None

3. Appointments:  None

4. Old Business:

a.   COVID –

i.   Vote to Participate in One or Both of the Tax Programs of Executive Order 7 S

ii.    Executive Order 7 T

b.   Projects Update

Sound View: Sewers – Update

Sound View Sidewalks – Community Connectivity Grant

Mile Creek Bridge – Work to Start in Early May

5.   New Business:

Potential Beach Closure due to COVID 19

Swearing-In of Part Time Officers Benjamin Paul DeCrosta and Matthew Ward

Board of Finance Budget Hearing – 20 April 7:30 via Web Ex

Memorial Day Contingency Plan – Mid-Summer Festival Day (25 July 2020)

U.S Census – Reminder to Respond

Old Saybrook Rotary Club – $2,000 Donation for OL 1st Responders’ PPE

Fire & Ambulance Apparatus Parade through Town – Fri 24 April Start 5PM

6.   Public Comment:

7.   Other Business:

8.   Adjournment:

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Gov. Lamont Reschedules Presidential Primary … Again, This Time to Aug. 11

HARTFORD/LYME/OLD LYME – Last Thursday, April 17, Gov. Ned Lamont announced in Executive Order 7BB that he is ordering Connecticut’s 2020 presidential primary election to be rescheduled to Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, due to the ongoing public health crisis caused by COVID-19. He stated this action is being taken in coordination with Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.

This is the second time the governor has rescheduled the presidential preference primary due to the pandemic. It was originally scheduled to be held April 28 and then ordered last month to be rescheduled to June 2.

Voting on Aug. 11 will take place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Lyme Town Hall for Lyme residents and Cross Lane Firehouse for Old Lyme residents.

Absentee Ballot Applications already received by the Lyme and Old Lyme Town Clerks will be used for the new date. Visit this link to request an absentee ballot for the Primary.

For more information on the local Primaries, visit the Town of Lyme website or the Town of Old Lyme website.

The state is already scheduled to hold primaries for other federal, state, and local offices on August 11. Moving the presidential primary to this date will enable the presidential primary to appear on the same ballot as those other races.

“To protect the health and safety of voters, poll workers, and the most vulnerable populations, it just makes most sense to extend the date out to August,” Governor Lamont said. “I appreciate the continued contact with Secretary Merrill, as well as all of our town clerks and registrars who’ve worked with us each step of the way through this crisis to respond and make necessary adjustments.”

“I support the governor’s decision to move the primary to August 11 to coincide with our state and federal primary,” Secretary Merrill said. “This date change will allow us to make it easier to protect the health and safety of voters and local election officials, prepare for the anticipated increase in demand for absentee ballots, save towns money, and let voters make their voices heard in the presidential primary process, all by holding one primary instead of two.”

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Lyme, Old Lyme Boards of Finance Announce Dates, Times of Public Hearings on Proposed 2020-21 Town Budgets

Old Lyme Board of Finance Chairman Andrew Russell (File photo)

Lyme Board of Finance Chairman Dan Hagan.

LYME & OLD LYME — The Boards of Finance of Lyme and Old Lyme have announced the dates and times of their respective Public Hearings on their proposed 2020-21 budgets. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, both hearings will take place virtually since the Governor’s Executive Order 7B temporarily suspends the In-Person requirement for municipal public meetings.

The Lyme Public Hearing will be held Tuesday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m. View the agenda at this link.

The Old Lyme Public Hearing will be held Monday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m. View the Notice of Public Hearing at this link.

To obtain access to the Lyme Public Hearing, contact Jennifer Thomas at jen@townlyme.org no later than 4 p.m. on the day of the meeting.

To further enhance public input, the Lyme Board of Finance has established an email address at lymebudgetcomments@gmail.com, so you can send in questions or comments about the proposed budget in advance of the virtual Budget Hearing.  This mailbox is open and will be monitored through April 28.  All e-mails received will be addressed as part of the virtual Budget Hearing on April 28.

View the proposed Lyme 2020-21 budget at this link (scroll down.)

To obtain access to the Old Lyme Public Hearing, join via https://oldlymect.webex.com/oldlymect/j.php?MTID=m65b9742ab8f8c5b0f3fddfa21696bebf or by calling 1-408-418-9388 and entering the Access Code: 714 150 082. Residents are encouraged to join the meeting five minutes before it is due to start to ensure you can gain a connection.

The Old Lyme Public Hearing will consist of a presentation by board of finance chairman Andy Russell. After his presentation, those joining by computer/online will be invited to submit questions using the ‘Chat’ window. After those questions are addressed, those calling in from a phone with no online access will be unmuted and allowed to ask their questions.

View the proposed Old Lyme 2020-21 budget at this link.

 

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Old Lyme’s Kindness Committee Creates Two Encouraging Videos for the Community

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Kindness Committee has been hard at work in an effort to stimulate a positive environment throughout the community in these challenging times.

First, members developed a campaign to support frontline workers, neighbors, seniors as the numbers of those infected with COVID-19 continues to rise. They asked the Old Lyme community to post hearts on doors or anywhere else visible to passers-by and to share photos of kindness they have seen within the community on their social media pages. 

The community rallied and hearts popped up all over town and images of kindness in the community were posted on multiple social media sites. The Old Lyme First Selectman’s Office then compiled many of these images into a wonderful video that has been shared on the Town’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

“One of the most beautiful things to come out of this crisis is seeing how much love and support is being shared, between people decorating their doors, sharing uplifting news on social media, and looking for ways to be helpful,” said Melanie Lee, a member of the Old Lyme Kindness Committee.

Next, the Old Lyme Kindness Committee discussed the idea of doing a project to let the teachers, staff and administration of Lyme-Old Lyme Schools know they are appreciated and valued during these times when they are physically separated from their students. The committee developed the idea of a video in which residents could submit short 20-second clips to be compiled into a larger video that would be sent to everyone who works within the school system.

One week later the Old Lyme First Selectman’s office compiled and released the almost eight-minute long video with special guests U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, and State Representative Devin Carney.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools expressed their thanks for the video to the selectman’s office and also ensured that all members of the LOL Schools community received the link to the video.

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Lyme Still Has Only One Confirmed Case of COVID-19, Mattson Gives Additional Updates in Public Health Advisory

Steven Mattson, First Selectman of Lyme.

LYME — In a Public Health Advisory Update issued April 5, Lyme First Selectman Steven Mattson stated, “It has been 10 days since the last update when we announced the first coronavirus patient in Lyme. We are cautiously optimistic to note that we have not yet seen another case.” He noted, “Neighboring towns continue to experience increasing numbers of cases and we should anticipate the same here,” urging, “Please be diligent in keeping yourselves, your families, friends and neighbors safe as we work together to protect ourselves and our town.”

He gave the following updates to the Town’s preparations:
  • “The ambulance, fire and emergency management services continue to be ready. Protocols to protect the first responders and the patients on 911 calls have been modified and responders may be in protective equipment upon arrival at your homes if called. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been ordered and stockpiled and the flow of additional supply has been arranged with the state, if needed.
  • The COVID-19 Response Team is following all developments and participating daily with the Governor, State Health Department and Department of Emergency Management & Homeland Security to be fully aware of the most up-to-date information and recommendations.
  • Our volunteer appeal has been overwhelmingly successful. Thank you. Over 100 of you have offered to help. These volunteers are making contact (non-physical) with any residents who would like to be followed, just in case. We are actively seeking other residents who may be more comfortable knowing the town is available and can assist in addressing emergency needs that may come up. Volunteers may be needed for additional purposes if things progress negatively. It is a comfort to know this community stands up and takes care of one another. A large reason why we love living here.
  • The town facilities remain closed, but the government remains open and operational. Town Hall and library employees can be reached by email and will assist in most cases. The town crew is working on a reduced basis, but work continues on our roads. “How-to” instructions for our land-use responsibilities have been posted on the website to try and make things a little easier. The website will continue to be updated as the situation changes.
  • The town’s boards and commissions are getting back to work. Their meetings will be held virtually and remain open to the public. Agendas are posted on the website with instructions on how to participate, if desired. Minutes are also posted summarizing the actions taken in those meetings. It is our hope that all boards will be back on their normal meeting schedule by May.
  • The development of next year’s budget (beginning July 1, 2020) has continued and will be presented at a virtual Budget Hearing, on April 28, 2020 by the Board of Finance. The Board of Finance will be empowered to adopt this budget and set the mill rate for next year without Town Meeting approval. The proposed budget will be posted on the website with an email address made available for your comments. The Board of Selectmen’s budget proposal, being reviewed and debated by the Board of Finance, recommended a balanced budget that would not require a property tax increase next year.
  • Our land preserves, along with those owned by the Lyme Land Trust, remain open and have available some of the best hiking trails in CT. We urge you to take advantage of them for exercise and fresh air. Please remain at least 6 feet apart from others as you enjoy our beautiful town.”
Mattson also added a suggestion from a resident that one way residents could usefully fill any spare time gained due to the COVID-19 situation would be to go outside and collect garbage and recyclables from town roadsides.  He noted that this was an especially pertinent suggestion since the Public Hall’s Annual Spring Roadside Clean-Up has been cancelled for this year.

 

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Old Lyme Board of Finance Denies Lyme Academy’s $15K Budget Request, Seeks More Info

File photo of the Chandler Academic Center, which comprises part of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts. The France Foundation now rents 40,000 s.f in the buidling.

OLD LYME — At its regular meeting this past Tuesday (March 24), Old Lyme’s Board of Finance considered a budget request for $15,000 from the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts. The meeting was held in the town hall but most board members called into the meeting, along with member of the press and public, to avoid the dangers of convening in person and spreading the coronavirus.

It soon became clear that board members were facing a problem in determining whether to approve the request because there was minimal supporting information explaining why the Academy needed the funds and how they were going to use them.

Board of Finance Chairman Andy Russell noted that the only documents received by the board were a Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss statement for the Academy, each for a nine-month period. He mentioned that these showed total assets and endowments at $8.6 million with $1.8 million potentially owed to the University of New Haven (UNH).

Finance Director Nicole Stajduhar noted the Academy’s endowment was listed at $7.4 million of which only $1 milion is unrestricted and that, “The $1.8 million note [to UNH] is still there.” although Russell had commented, “There is an idea it may be forgiven if the property is sold outright.” Stajduhar also highlighted that it appeared the Academy’s $800,000 mortgage had been paid off, though it was not clear by whom.

Board member Bennett (BJ) Bernblum opened discussion of the request saying, “There are lots of questions in my view. These numbers don’t show an entity in dire trouble,” and concluding, “I personally am reluctant to make an award at this point.” He added, however, that he would be willing “to reserve the right” to allocate some monies to the Academy at a later date if more information were presented.

Alternate member Judith Read agreed with Bernblum, saying, “There’s not enough information to justify handing out a $15,000 grant to them.”

Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold was more conciliatory towards the Academy reminding the board the institution was no longer a college and its revenue would consequently be impacted by that situation. He noted the Academy was engaged in an ongoing process of developing a strategic plan, which was,”really a road map going forward,” and commented, “The burn rate through their funds must be extensive.”

Griswold mentioned that the Academy had leased part of its property to The France Foundation, but the Academy’s ability to enter into any further leases was restricted by Old Lyme’s Zoning Regulations, which require the Academy only to lease to educational institutions. He also pointed out that the Academy, like other non-profits, “May need an indication of our support,” in order to apply successfully for grants and other funds, but he conceded, “I guess we need to await something more concrete,” from the Academy in terms of supporting information for the request.

Board member Janet Sturges said she had met with Lyme Academy Interim Director Frank Burns and in the interview, he had conveyed, “Lots of promise … lots of hope,” causing Russell to remind the board, “They’re asking for $15,000. We could give them less.”

Bernblum followed up, saying, “One of the concerns is whether they’re staying in business,” but added, “I think it’s politically wrong to deny them. I would rather postpone.”

That compromise was well received but Stajduhar pointed out the board needed to award something at this point to be what Russell later described as “a placeholder.” Member David Kelsey proposed the board should award $1,000 to the Academy for the 2020-21 financial year and Russell emphasized, “There could be an additional amount,” if more information about the request were presented.

The motion was passed unanimously.

 

 

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First Case of COVID-19 Confirmed in Lyme

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

LYME — Lyme First Selectman Steve Mattson issued a statement at 2:10 p.m. today as follows:

The Connecticut Department of Public Health today confirmed the first positive case of COVID-19 within the Town of Lyme.

The first thing I want to say, on behalf of the entire Lyme community, is that our thoughts and prayers for a complete recovery are with this individual, their family and their loved ones.

For the community at large, our main goal continues to be slowing the spread of the virus. The best way to do that is to practice social distancing and to follow the other public health recommendations that have been issued – everything from frequently washing your hands to eliminating all non-essential travel.

For the most up-to-date information on the state’s public health guidance and other resources, residents are encouraged to visit www.ct.gov/coronavirus. We need to take our public health experts’ advice to heart and limit any unnecessary person-to-person contact until further notice. These efforts are essential to help reduce the spread of the virus and limit the number of people who may become infected.

The Town’s COVID-19 Response Team and our Emergency Management Department are continuing to follow the comprehensive emergency response plans we have developed, practiced and refined over many years.

Our first responders – our fire company, our volunteer ambulance service and our Emergency Management Department – are mobilized and ready.

Our volunteer coordination effort has begun in anticipation of furthering outreach to our most vulnerable residents.

We continue to communicate and work closely with the Ledge Light Health District, the State Department of Public Health, the Governor’s office and other state and local partners.

The Town website and Facebook page continue to be updated with the latest public health news and information.

All residents continue to be encouraged to sign up for the Town email list on our website’s home page to receive important public health updates by email.

Our emergency response team will be on the job until it’s over.

We will get through this, together.

Stay Safe. Stay at Home.

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Lyme, Old Lyme Leaders, Emergency Services Urge Residents, Visitors to ‘Stay Safe, Stay Home’

LYME/OLD LYME — The boards of selectmen of both Lyme and Old Lyme and their respective Emergency Management Services are urging ALL RESIDENTS OF LYME AND OLD LYME AND ALL VISITORS TO OUR TOWNS to follow the guidelines from both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the State of Connecticut.

The Lyme Board of Selectmen state in their most recent Public Health Update, “The main public health goal going forward continues to be slowing the spread of the virus.  The best way to do that is to practice social distancing and to follow the other public health recommendations that have been issued. ”

They continue, “We must all take our public health experts’ advice to heart and limit any unnecessary person-to-person contact until further notice.  These efforts are essential to help reduce the spread of the virus and limit the number of people who may become infected.”

Old Lyme Emergency Services Director David Roberge spoke to LymeLine by phone yesterday and had the same message, saying, “People must follow the CDC Guidelines and practice social distancing, wash hands frequently, and stay home whenever possible, especially when you feel unwell.”  He added that people should cover their nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or  elbow when they cough or sneeze and not touch eyes, nose, or mouth if your hands are not clean.

The consistent advice from both towns is, in the words of the Governor, “Stay Safe, Stay Home.”

 

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Town of Lyme Closes Public Library, Transfer Station, Hamburg Recycling Center, Town Garage; All Employees To Work from Home

Lyme Public Library is now closed  until further notice in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

LYME — Following the March 21, Governor’s order requiring all non-essential activities to cease, the Town of Lyme is taking the additional steps listed below in an effort to further reduce the exposure of residents and employees to the COVID-19 virus.  Municipalities are considered an essential service and the Town plans to continue operations where possible, though sometimes at a reduced level.

As of yesterday, Tuesday, March 24:

    • The Lyme Public Library will close until further notice. Please follow the Library’s website at www.lymepl.org for instructions regarding the availability of online access to books and other information.
    • All Town Hall employees will be instructed to work from home. Employees will be limited to a few hours each week at the Town Hall to maintain their department’s operations and address any required activities that may be received by U.S. mail. Such visits will be coordinated to assure only one employee is present in the building at any one time. Each department will monitor their emails and do their best to assist residents when possible. The email addresses of the major Town departments can be found on the website at www.townlyme.org/town-departments.
    • The Town’s Transfer Station will close and disposal of landfill materials will not be possible until further notice.
    • The Hamburg Recycling Center will close and recycling will not be possible until further notice.  Residents will either need to hang onto their recyclables for disposal at a future date or dispose of them as household garbage – that is, via their trash service with Jansky Rubbish who will be remaining open and servicing the town.
    • Town Boards and Commissions are instructed to hold any essential meetings via conference call only and encouraged to delay any business that is not mandatory. The Governor’s orders have approved such meetings, provided agendas are published on the Town’s website and provisions are made for interested residents to participate via phone. More information regarding the procedures to be used will be forthcoming and posted on the Town’s website when finalized.
    • The Public Works Department will operate on a reduced schedule and will respond to emergencies only. The Town Garage will be closed.
      Summarizing the situation in light of actions taken previously:
    • Lyme’s first responders – the fire company, ambulance service and Emergency Management Department – have prepared and are on standby should their services be needed.
    • The Town has developed a list of vulnerable community residents, who will be contacted and followed up with on an ongoing basis, in order to ensure that all residents have the support they require. Should an individual resident enter into isolation and wish to be included on this list, email the Town Clerk at townclerk@townlyme.org and provide your name, street address, email address and phone number so that they can be included.
    • A volunteer list has been developed for Lyme residents interested in helping to make follow-up calls to the Town’s vulnerable citizens, and provide additional help that may become needed in the community. If interested in volunteering, email the Town Clerk at townclerk@townlyme.org and provide your name, address, phone number and, if relevant, any specific skills you can offer..

Lyme Selectmen Issue Call for Volunteers; Also, Info on Help for Vulnerable Residents, How to Stay Informed

Lyme Town Hall

The Lyme Board of Selectmen have issued the following updates:

Call for Volunteers

The coronavirus is the biggest public health challenge Lyme has faced in generations.  The board wants to make sure none of our vulnerable residents are facing this challenge alone.

In preparation for anticipated needs in days ahead, the Town of Lyme is issuing a call for volunteers who are willing and able to help isolated individuals in our community.  We anticipate a need for volunteers who can pick up and deliver groceries, medications and other supplies; and volunteers who can offer ongoing emotional support by phone or email. In the future, there may be additional ways that you can help.

The volunteer coordination effort will be led by our Social Services Director and our Town Clerk, supported by our Emergency Management Department and Second Selectman.

Email the Lyme Town Clerk at townclerk@townlyme.org if you are willing to help.  She will be compiling a list of resident volunteers.  If you have other expertise you think may be valuable in serving others during the coming days, mention that in your email.

Help for Vulnerable Community Residents

The Town of Lyme is continuing its preparations to help its most vulnerable citizens through the days ahead.

The Town has a list of the community’s most vulnerable residents, which has long been maintained by our Social Services Director and the Emergency Management Department. The board wants to make sure, however, that no one who is isolated and vulnerable in the community is overlooked in the coming days.

If you know someone in Lyme who is isolated – or if you, yourself, are a vulnerable individual as a result of your age or other reason – notify the Town Clerk at townclerk@townlyme.org.  If you do not have access to email, call Town Hall at 860-434-7733.

Stay Informed …

The Town website is being updated regularly with the latest news and information.

  • For the latest word on the Town of Lyme’s public health response to the coronavirus, click here.
  • For the current status of town facilities, click here.
  • For other important community updates related to the coronavirus, click here. All residents are encouraged to sign up for the Town email list on the website’s home page to receive important public health updates by email.
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Important Updates from Old Lyme Board of Selectmen: How to Volunteer, Request Help, Sign up for Text Notifications, & More

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold

Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal

OLD LYME — (From an update  to the community from the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen) The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen is providing periodic updates for the Old Lyme community as it navigates and plans for what is and will be a challenging time.

Use the links on the Town of Old Lyme website to:

Find information on the

Old Lyme Selectman Chris Kerr

Recent Updates:

• On March 16, 2020 a Declaration of Local Emergency was signed by First Selectman Timothy Griswold. Additionally, the First Selectman issued an Executive Order to close or modify the availability of town facilities.

• Town Hall is closed to the public but staff is available to respond to resident’s needs via phone. Be patient and calls will be returned as soon as possible.

Communication is being enhanced to quickly share important information with the community. SIGN UP FOR COVID-19 EMERGENCY PHONE SMS/TEXT NOTIFICATIONS HERE.

• A task force to oversee the community response is being led by the First Selectman’s Office, the Town of Old Lyme Social Services Department, and the Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau. To sign up as a volunteer, click here.

• The First Selectman’s office has arranged a way to hold virtual Board, Commission, and Committee meetings. Any scheduled meetings will be noticed with the Town Clerk as well as listed on the town events calendar.

To date, there are no known cases of Covid-19 in Old Lyme to report. However, as readers are aware, the availability of testing is expected to change this statistic.

The Selectmen’s update concludes, “The health and safety of our community, First Responders, volunteers, and town staff is of utmost importance. Please practice social distancing and avoid unnecessary errands to keep us all safe. One thing we can all do is to continue to be good neighbors. Please safely reach out to folks in your neighborhood. A kind, human voice reminds us that we can and will help each other through this.”

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Death Announced of Old Lyme’s 2017 Citizen of the Year, Captain Roderick M. White

This photo was taken Jan. 22, 2018, on the night that the late Captain Roderick M. White was named Old Lyme’s 2017 Citizen of the Year. From left to right standing are Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal, Selectman Chris Kerr, Judy White, and then First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, who presented the award. Captain White, whose death was announced yesterday, is seated.

OLD LYME — The death of Captain Roderick M. White on March 11, 2020, has been announced. He was 91. A service for White will be held at the United States Coast Guard Chapel with an inurnment in the Columbarium at the Academy. Services will be scheduled when the Academy re-opens.

Captain White was Old Lyme’s 2017 Citizen of the Year and the proclamation announcing that read, “Over the course of his 50+ years in Old Lyme, Rod White has set a high standard for community service. Born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, Rod graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1950. He spent the next quarter of a century making his mark in the Coast Guard. A faculty member from 1969 to 1974, he served as Dean of Academics from 1974 to 1983. In 1969, he was named the outstanding Naval Engineer of the year, receiving the prestigious Gold Medal from the American Society of Naval Engineers.”

Commenting in more detail on White’s Gold Medal citation, the Proclamation said it, “refers to “his exceptional analytical skills and technical competence… [and] significant contributions in the advancement of icebreaker design …” It was Rod’s “White Bow” design that made it possible for the SS Manhattan to make the first successful transit of the Northwest Passage by a commercial vessel.”

Another photo from the 2017 Citizen of the Year celebrations shows Captain White (seated) being congratulated by previous Old Lyme Citizens of the Year, Jeff Sturges (left) and Lynn Fairfield-Sonn (right.) See more photos of that night at this link.

The Proclamation continued, “Rod White has used his exceptional skills in our community in so many ways. A founding member of the Harbor Management Commission, he served as Chair from 1988 to 1994, and was elected Registrar of Voters from 1993 to 2004. An active member of the Republican Town Committee, serving as both secretary and vice-chair, he was elected for two terms to the Regional District 18 Board of Education, serving from 1997 to 2005.  Rod was our Town’s representative to the Southeastern Tourism District for many years, and currently serves on the Board of Assessment Appeals, a position to which he was first elected in 2007.”

Adding, “Despite his obviously busy schedule, Rod willingly shared his talents with a larger community, as well,”  the Proclamation listed that Captain White served as Executive Director for the Eastern CT Foundation for Public Giving, Executive Director of the Coast Guard Foundation, Chair of the Boy Scouts Long Range Planning Committee and as a member of both the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Board and Connecticut’s Olympic Committee. He was also a loyal and active member of Rotary International since 1975.

Read Captain White’s obituary at this link.

Editor’s Note: We extend our deepest sympathies to Captain White’s family on his passing. We knew him as a kind and gracious gentleman, always ready to help anyone at any time, and a pillar of public service .

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Selectmen Declare State of Emergency for Old Lyme

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold

OLD LYME — Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold called this morning to let us know that, at their meeting yesterday evening, the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen approved the declaration of a State of Emergency for the Town of Old Lyme. The immediate effect of the declaration is in Griswold’s words, “to keep the public at bay” [from town hall] meaning that the public will no longer have access to Memorial Town Hall from tomorrow onward.

Town hall staff will still be working, however, and reachable by phone and email.  People who need to conduct face-to-face business with a department must call that department to discuss whether they can schedule an appointment.

Griswold said tonight’s scheduled Old Lyme Board of Finance meeting would go ahead as planned but noted that the selectmen are looking into “a service to enable some meetings to be held probably telephonically,” in the future. He explained “the recording of the meeting could then be put online,” and that would “satisfy [Governor] Lamont’s recommendations” regarding not getting together in person for meetings. Griswold stressed, however, that boards, commissions and committees are being “encouraged to postpone” whenever possible unless “there is something they really need to meet for.”

Responding to a question as to why the State of Emergency was justified, Griswold said it gives the board “more flexibiility” and “the ability to take action without a meeting … more quickly and more unilaterally.” He added that it also enables volunteers, who becomes ill [from the virus] to claim Worker’s Compensation and significantly, allows the Town to have a “higher chance of reimbursement” if it spends any unanticipated monies during the crisis.

Asked what his message was to the residents of Old Lyme, Griswold urged them to “follow all the advice we’ve been hearing,” by “being sensible,” and “minimizing social contact with other people.” Saying, “I feel for small businesses and we’re really hoping there will be some relief for them from the Feds or the state,” he noted, “LYSB is going to assist where needed,” and stressed, “We’re all doing the best we can.”

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All Old Lyme Municipal Buildings to be Closed from Wednesday Onwards

File photo of a Flagpole Ceremony at Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall. The Town Hall will be closed to the public from Wednesday, March 18.

OLD LYME — The Town of Old Lyme issued the following announcement this evening:

Due to the threat of the global COVID-19 pandemic, several measures are taking place to protect public safety and limit the spread of the virus within the town.

Town Buildings Closing to the Public

The Town will be closing all municipal buildings to the public on Wednesday, March 18, until further notice. Municipal Town Hall will be staffed and offices will be reachable by phone and email.  A list of phone and email contacts will be available on the Town of Old Lyme COVID-19 home page shortly. People who need to conduct face-to-face business with a department must call that department to discuss whether they can schedule an appointment.

Lymes’ Senior Center Closed, Lunches Offered “To-Go”

The Lymes’ Senior Center will be closed until further notice as of Tuesday 3/17/20.  The town nurse will still be available M-F 11:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Those who normally eat lunch at the center will be able to order a lunch “to go” through the Estuary Senior Center in Old Saybrook by calling (860) 388-1611 x216 before 11 a.m. on the Monday before the week. Those wishing to use this service can pick it up curbside at the Lymes’ Senior Center on Tuesday’s between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. One reservation will provide five frozen meals. For more information, visit this link.

Public Safety Operations

Old Lyme public safety services including Fire, EMS, and Police are fully functional. If the needs arise to call 911 to report an emergency, advise the dispatcher of any COVID-19 related symptoms or issues that may exist for that call. This will give first responders the ability to better prepare themselves for any type of response. 

Remain Vigilant

During this time it is imperative that all persons practice recommendations provided by public health officials. Those include practicing social distancing, refraining from touching your face, avoiding crowds, using appropriate methods to clean surfaces, and practicing personal hygiene including washing your hands.  

Additional Updates from the Town of Old Lyme

More information will be available shortly on the Town of Old Lyme website and Facebook page, as well at the Town of Old Lyme Emergency Management Facebook page.

As a reminder, here at LymeLine.com, we are updating our list of local Closures & Cancellations daily.

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