August 2, 2021

CT’s Primary is Tuesday; Have You Completed, Sent In Your Absentee Ballot? Do You Know Where, When to Vote in Person?

LYME/OLD LYME — Connecticut’s Primary takes place next Tuesday. Hopefully everyone who requested an Absentee Ballot has now received it

For many Lyme and Old Lyme residents, this may be the first time voting by absentee ballot.  Based on the information that Town Clerks received from the state, there will be three pieces inside the absentee-ballot packet:

  • the ballot;
  • an inner envelope (which you must sign and date); and
  • a blank outer envelope (for returning the above materials).

Town Clerks have been informed by the State that the instructions included in the absentee-ballot packet may incorrectly refer to a serially numbered envelope.  This is, in essence, a typo – as neither the inner nor outer envelope has a serial number.

Instructions for Completing Your Absentee Ballot

Based on the information received by the Town Clerks, these are the correct instructions to follow:

  • After filling out your ballot, insert the ballot in the inner envelope.
  • Sign and date the inner envelope. The most important thing to remember to do is to sign and date the inner envelope where indicated. Failure to do so will result in the ballot being rejected.
  • After signing and dating the inner envelope, insert it inside the larger outer envelope (the blank envelope).
  • Your ballot is now ready to be returned.

Instructions for Returning Your Absentee Ballot

To return your absentee ballot:

The official Ballot Box outside Lyme Town Hall. Photo courtesy of the Town of Lyme website.

FOR LYME RESIDENTS

  • You may walk into Lyme Town Hall and hand it to the Town Clerk.
  • You may mail it using the U.S. Postal Service. Ballots returned by mail must be received by the Town Clerk by 8:00 p.m. on Aug. 11.
  • You may insert it in the Official Ballot Drop Box located on the edge of the sidewalk at Lyme Town Hall. (See photo at left.)

Do not return your ballot via the mail slot in the door of Lyme Town Hall.

Please note that the Official Ballot Drop Box is for completed ballots only.  No other material should be deposited in the drop box.  You should only deposit your ballot in the Town of Lyme drop box if you are a resident of Lyme.  Do not drop your ballot in the drop box of any other town.

Voters who have questions on absentee voting are welcome to contact the Lyme Town Clerk at 860-434-7733 during regular business hours.

The official Ballot Box outside Old Lyme Town Hall. Photo courtesy of the Old Lyme Selectman’s Office.

FOR OLD LYME RESIDENTS

To return your absentee ballot:

  • You may walk into Old Lyme Town Hall and hand it to the clerk at our front desk.
  • You may mail it using the U.S. Postal Service. Ballots returned by mail must be received by the Town Clerk by 8:00 p.m. on Aug. 11.
  • You may insert it in the Official Ballot Drop Box located in front of the Old Lyme Town Hall. (See photo at right.)

Do not return your ballot via the mail slot in the door of Old Lyme Town Hall.

Please note that the Official Ballot Drop Box is for completed ballots only.  No other material should be deposited in the drop box.  You should only deposit your ballot in the Town of Old Lyme drop box if you are a voter of Old Lyme.  Do not drop your ballot in the drop box of any other town.  Voters who have questions on absentee voting are welcome to contact the Old Lyme Town Clerk at 860-434-1605 x 220 and x 221 during regular business hours.

FOR BOTH TOWNS

If at all possible, residents are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to return a completed ballot via the Official Ballot Drop Box rather than mailing it via the U. S. Postal Service.  There are only a few days left until the primary, and this will ensure that the ballot is in Town Hall when it needs to be, in order to be counted.

In-Person Voting

FOR LYME RESIDENTS

For voters who do not plan to vote by absentee ballot and prefer to vote in person, the polls at Town Hall will be open on Tuesday, Aug. 11, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

FOR OLD LYME RESIDENTS

For voters who do not plan to vote by absentee ballot and prefer to vote in person, the polls at our new location at the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School gymnasium, 53 Lyme Street, Old Lyme will be open on Tuesday, Aug. 11, from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

FOR BOTH LOCATIONS

Masks will be required and social distancing will be observed.

Isaias Moving Faster Than Expected, Impact Anticipated 1-8pm; All Old Lyme Public Beaches Closed Today

The projected track of Tropical Storm Isaias courtesy of The Weather Channel.

OLD LYME — Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold announced at yesterday evening’s board of selectmen’s meeting that, in light of the impending arrival of Tropical Storm Isaias, all public beaches in Old Lyme would be closed today, Tuesday, Aug. 4.

This decision was taken during a meeting Monday morning of representatives from the beaches and all the town’s emergency services. Another meeting will be held this morning to review the situation.

Griswold explained the closure, saying, “Tides are supposed to run two to three feet above normal” during the storm and, “As the waves start mounting, we don’t want to have to shoo everyone off the beach.”

Noting, “The territory on the east [of the storm] is expected to get more wind, less rain,” he added, “This is not a hurricane … We’re hoping it will be a wind event,” but still suggested “People should check their yards … and get their umbrellas down … and stay safe.”

Old Lyme Emergency Management reported at 6 a.m. this morning, “T.S. [Tropical Storm] Isaias is moving faster than expected and this has moved up the time of impact by 2 hours for our area … The most likely timing for the tropical storm force winds is now from 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM. The primary threat from Isaias will be from strong winds …”

Visit this link to read the most recent update from Old Lyme Emergency Management in full.

Filed Under: Lyme, Old Lyme, Town Hall

Delay Announced in Mailing Absentee Ballots for Aug. 11 Primary

August 3, 2020 by Leave a Comment

The official Ballot Box outside Lyme Town Hall. Photo courtesy of the Town of Lyme website.

LYME/OLD LYME – The Town Clerks of both Lyme and Old Lyme published notices Thursday and Friday last week respectively on their town websites regarding the Aug. 11 Primary stating, “The State of Connecticut has informed us there was a delay in the mailing of the absentee ballots from the mail house in Rhode Island.”

The statement continues, “Town Clerks have been assured that the ballots were mailed beginning Monday, July 27, so you should be receiving yours soon if you sent in an application for one.”

The website pages with the statement from the Town Clerks for the Town of Lyme and the Town of Old Lyme also offer comprehensive information for voters on how to complete and submit the Absentee Ballot.

The Primaries being held are both Democratic and Republican and also include the Presidential Primaries.

Voting will take place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School for Old Lyme residents and Lyme Town Hall for Lyme residents.

The official Ballot Box outside Old Lyme Town Hall. Photo courtesy of the Old Lyme Selectman’s Office.

As these are primaries, individuals must be registered in either the Democratic or Republican party to be eligible to vote. The deadline has passed for an enrolled elector to transfer from one party to another to be eligible to vote in the Presidential Primary.

If you are a new voter and wish to enroll in a party to vote in the primary, mail-in applications must be postmarked, or received by the Registrar of Voters by/on Aug. 6, 2020.

If you are an unaffiliated voter and wish to enroll in a party, the mail-in application must be received (not simply postmarked) by the Registrar of Voters by/on Aug. 6, 2020.

The in-person enrollment deadline for new voters and unaffiliated voters enrolling in a party at town hall is Aug. 10, 2020 at 12 p.m.

Absentee ballots can either be mailed to the respective town hall or dropped off in the official ballot drop box. This latter method allows a contact-less and secure method to submit your ballot. Check the messages from the Town Clerks referred to above, which are on the town websites, for the latest information.

Old Lyme has relocated its polling place from the Cross Lane Firehouse to the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School gymnasium at 53 Lyme St., Old Lyme, where there is ample parking.

Lyme’s polling place remains at Lyme Town Hall.

For further information, contact the Lyme Town Clerk at 860-434-7733 or the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office at 860-434-1605 x 220 or x 221 or visit the Town of Lyme website or the Town of Old Lyme website.

Filed Under: Lyme, News, Old Lyme, Top Story, Town Hall

Old Lyme’s Confirmed COVID Cases Reduced to 21 Plus Two Fatalities; Lyme Constant at Six

July 31, 2020 by Leave a Comment

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

LYME/OLD LYME — Today, we have received a correction from Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold in consultation with Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) to the Old Lyme data, which we were previously given. The number of cases attributed to Old Lyme has been reduced to 21, while fatalities remain at two.

We have adjusted our records accordingly and present the revised numbers below.

Meanwhile, Ledge Light Health District confirmed to LymeLine.com in an email Tuesday evening (July 28) that five new COVID-19 cases have been identified in Lyme taking the cumulative total in that town to six.

Stephen Mansfield, LLHD Director of Health, gave the following details of the confirmed cases in Lyme to date:

  1. Male, age 34
  2. Female, age 61
  3. Female, age 34
  4. Male, age 1
  5. Male, age 34
  6. Male, age 20

Mansfield confirmed that the 34-year-old male in the list above is the original case, which had been previously identified.

Earlier Thursday, July 28, Griswold notified LymeLine by text that a new case of COVID-19 had also been confirmed in Old Lyme. This latest case is a 20-year-old male.

This is the 21st confirmed COVID-19 case in Old Lyme; in addition, there are two fatalities. Nine of these surviving cases are male and the remaining 12 are female. The two fatalities were a 61-year-old female and an 83-year-old male.

Yesterday, in a press release, Governor Ned Lamont and Department of Public Health (DPH) Acting Commissioner Dr. Deidre S. Gifford expressed concern with recent COVID-19 outbreak clusters among teens and young adults in Connecticut, stating, “Statistics from Connecticut and elsewhere show that 18 to 29-year-olds represent substantial numbers of new COVID-19 infections in recent weeks.” Both Lyme and Old Lyme have recent cases of 20-year-olds testing positive for COVID-19.

To demonstrate the growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme, the table below is a summary of the cases that LymeLine.com has reported since March 31 when the first case was announced and also includes both fatalities.

DateCumulative no. of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme
March 311
April 44
April 96
April 107
April 1510
April 1812
May 113
May 1515
May 2616
June 817
June 1018
June 1419
June 2221
June 2422
July 1722
July 2823
Sept. 224
Sept. 426
Sept. 1527
Oct. 128
Oct. 829
Oct. 1630
Oct. 1631
Oct. 1632
Oct. 3034
Nov. 436
Nov. 653

Details of all Old Lyme’s confirmed surviving cases to date are now as follows:

  1. Female, age 64
  2. Female, age 21
  3. Male, age 27
  4. Female, age 53
  5. Female, age 61
  6. Female, age 29
  7. Male, age 40
  8. Male, age 53
  9. Female, age 60
  10. Male, age 45
  11. Female, age 20
  12. Female, age 43
  13. Female, age 48
  14. Male, age 70
  15. Male, age 67
  16. Female, age 68
  17. Male, age 50
  18. Male, age 21
  19. Female, age 48
  20. Female, age 34
  21. Male, age 20

Griswold has previously noted that the 21-year-old female with a confirmed case (#2 in the list immediately above) 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 Ledge Light Health District must report her as an Old Lyme resident.

Filed Under: News, Old Lyme, Top Story, Town Hall

Old Lyme Voters Will Use New Location for Aug. 11 Primary

July 31, 2020 by Leave a Comment

The official Ballot Box outside Old Lyme Town Hall. Photo courtesy of the Old Lyme Selectman’s Office.

LYME/OLD LYME –Democratic and Republican Primaries, including Presidential Primaries, will be held Tuesday, Aug. 11.

Voting will take place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School for Old Lyme residents and Lyme Town Hall for Lyme residents.

Residents who applied for an Absentee Ballot for this primary should have received it earlier this week.

As these are primaries, individuals must be registered in either the Democratic or Republican party to be eligible to vote. The deadline has passed for an enrolled elector to transfer from one party to another to be eligible to vote in the Presidential Primary.

If you are a new voter and wish to enroll in a party to vote in the primary, mail-in applications must be postmarked, or received by the Registrar of Voters by/on Aug. 6, 2020.

If you are an unaffiliated voter and wish to enroll in a party, the mail-in application must be received (not simply postmarked) by the Registrar of Voters by/on Aug. 6, 2020.

The in-person enrollment deadline for new voters and unaffiliated voters enrolling in a party at town hall is Aug. 10, 2020 at 12 p.m.

Absentee ballots can either be mailed to the respective town hall or dropped off in the official ballot drop box. This latter method allows a contact-less and secure method to submit your ballot.

Old Lyme has relocated its polling place from the Cross Lane Firehouse to the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School gymnasium at 53 Lyme St., Old Lyme, where there is ample parking. Lyme’s polling place remains at Lyme Town Hall.

For further information, contact the Lyme Town Clerk at 860-434-7733 or the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office at 860-434-1605 x 220 or x 221 or visit the Town of Lyme website or the Town of Old Lyme website.

Filed Under: News, Top Story, Town Hall

Old Lyme Planning Commission Announces Photo Contest for Town Residents

July 29, 2020 by 1 Comment

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Planning Commission has announced a new photo contest for Old Lyme residents for the upcoming edition of the Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD). The Planning Commission is in the process of rewriting the POCD for 2020, which is revised every 10 years.

The 10 most representative photos of the town will be chosen for inclusion in the 2020 POCD. Various categories include, but are not limited to, Town Hall, nature/waterfront, farmland, open space, historic sites, municipal structures, houses of worship, etc.

Digitized photo entries should be submitted by email to kgroves@oldlyme-ct.gov by Aug. 31, 2020.

The winners will be announced on the Town website and their photo submissions will be included in the 2020 POCD with their name credited below the picture.

The Planning Commission asks readers to note that by submitting their photography, they are also agreeing to allow the Town of Old Lyme to share their image(s), with appropriate credit on the Town of Old Lyme’s website and Facebook page.

Filed Under: News, Old Lyme, Outdoors, Top Story, Town Hall

Old Lyme Selectmen Vote to Cancel Midsummer Fireworks Slated for July 25

July 19, 2020 by 2 Comments

No fireworks this year after all — the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday to cancel the midsummer event planned for July 25.

OLD LYME — At an Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s Special Meeting held Tuesday, July 14, the selectmen voted by a 2-1 majority to cancel the fireworks display, which they had previously approved to be held on Saturday, July 25.

Griswold told LymeLine by phone Thursday morning that plans were in progress to hold the fireworks –“the school was on board,” and, “we had got the application going,” when “We received word that the Governor was postponing Phase 3″ of the state’s reopening plan.” Griswold explained that this meant the crowd would have to be reduced to 500, so he had to the Governor’s Senior Adviser Jonathan Harris and asked whether, “there could be any accommodation for a larger number.”

Harris wanted to know if there would be two viewing areas and felt if that were the case, “there might be some latitude.” Griswold determined there were two such areas if one considered the areas behind the middle and Center Schools as separate entities.

When the selectmen met on Tuesday to discuss moving forward with the plans, concerns were raised which included the possible “redundant services” if there were two areas, and ultimately, although Griswold continued to maintain the situation would be manageable, the vote went against him.

Griswold (R) was the sole vote supporting the motion to continue with the fireworks while Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal (D) and Selectman Chris Kerr (R) voted against the motion.

Griswold stressed to LymeLine that the vote was specifically to not hold the fireworks on July 25, meaning it left the door open for them to be rescheduled to a later date. In reality, however, Griswold stated, “I don’t have confidence it will be rescheduled.”

He defended his vote saying, “I thought it would be a nice thing for people to come and enjoy … It’s a great show and would be a nice diversion when so many things are cancelled.” He conceded though, “We might lose some of the crowd [due] to social distancing [requirements,] and said, “I can understand the reluctance [to go ahead.]”

Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal told LymeLine in a text message that she was, “… personally disappointed that the Board of Selectmen had to cancel a cherished community event,” adding, “However, it is the prudent decision given the Covid-19 crisis and State guidelines to keep our community safe.”

Griswold concluded optimistically, “Hopefully, we can have it [the fireworks] back on the schedule for next year.”

 

Filed Under: Community, Old Lyme, Town Hall

Project to Replace Mile Creek Rd. Bridge Begins, Road Closed for Around Two Months

July 14, 2020 by Leave a Comment

OLD LYME — Machnick Bros. Construction has now begun the project to replace the Mile Creek Rd. bridge over the Black Hall River.

The first step is to remove the decking of the old bridge in preparation for installing three precast sections of the new bridge. The new sections are being fabricated in Massachusetts and will be trucked to Old Lyme. They will then be lifted into place on the existing abutments.

Mile Creek Road, in the area between Whippoorwill Rd. and Buttonball Rd. will be closed to through traffic for about two months. There will be detour signage advising motorists.

The west side of the bridge is fairly straightforward, but the east side is more complicated.

On the east side, passenger vehicles and pick-up trucks may use Buttonball Rd. to access Rte. 156. Larger and low clearance vehicles can use Cross Ln. and taller vehicles can use Mile Creek Rd. (east) to avoid the railroad underpass at Cross Lane.

Filed Under: Old Lyme, Top Story, Town Hall

COVID Cases Constant in Old Lyme at 23 Including Two Fatalities

July 10, 2020 by 1 Comment

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

OLD LYME/LYME — Hailing it as , “Good news!,” Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold confirmed to LymeLine by text message Friday afternoon, July 10, that no new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Old Lyme since our last report.

There remain 21 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme plus two fatalities. Eight of these surviving cases are male and the remaining 13 are female. The two fatalities were a 61-year-old female and an 83-year-old male.

To demonstrate the growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme, the table below is a summary of the cases that LymeLine.com has reported since March 31 when the first case was announced and also includes both fatalities.

DateCumulative no. of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme
March 311
April 44
April 96
April 107
April 1510
April 1812
May 113
May 1515
May 2616
June 817
June 1018
June 1419
June 2221
June 2422
July 1722
July 2823
Sept. 224
Sept. 426
Sept. 1527
Oct. 128
Oct. 829
Oct. 1630
Oct. 1631
Oct. 1632
Oct. 3034
Nov. 436
Nov. 653

Details of all Old Lyme’s confirmed surviving cases to date are now as follows:

  1. Female, age 64
  2. Female, age 21
  3. Male, age 27
  4. Female, age 53
  5. Female, age 61
  6. Female, age 29
  7. Male, age 40
  8. Male, age 53
  9. Female, age 60
  10. Male, age 48
  11. Female, age 85
  12. Female, age 95
  13. Female, age 20
  14. Female, age 43
  15. Female, age 48
  16. Male, age 70
  17. Male, age 67
  18. Female, age 68
  19. Male, age 73
  20. Male, age 21
  21. Female, age 48

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 Ledge Light Health District must report her as an Old Lyme resident.

Lyme’s first and only confirmed case is a 34-year-old male.

Filed Under: Top Story, Town Hall

Old Lyme BOS Votes to Hold Summer Fireworks, July 25, Despite No Midsummer Festival This Year

July 3, 2020 by 2 Comments

The Town of Old Lyme’s fireworks display traditionally rounds off Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival. The festival is not being held this year but the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen voted June 30 to hold the fireworks display July 25 regardless.

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday afternoon (June 30) at a Special Meeting to hold the annual fireworks celebration that normally takes place in the evening following the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival.  This is a significant decision since the Midsummer Festival itself, scheduled for Saturday, July 25, will not be held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The selectmen’s plan is to hold the fireworks on the evening of Saturday, July 25, with a raindate of Sunday, July 26.

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold, however, clarified to LymeLine in a text this morning that the event is still subject to a number of caveats, stating the fireworks will be held, “… subject, of course, to state and local requirements.” and also that, “We have verbal permission from the school but we must be sure the new solar panels are not harmed.”

Griswold confirmed that, assuming the fireworks go ahead, there will be no shuttle bus service this year due to social distancing constraints.

He added that the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen, ” … believes the fireworks will be a welcome family event for the people of Old Lyme!”

Editor’s Note: Visit this link to read our earlier story published June 22, titled, “Will There Be Fireworks in Old Lyme This Year?”

Filed Under: News, Old Lyme, Top Story, Town Hall

Old Lyme Confirms 20th Case of COVID-19, Fatalities Remain at Two; No Change in Lyme

June 26, 2020 by Leave a Comment

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

OLD LYME/LYME — Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold confirmed to LymeLine by text message yesterday morning, Thursday, June 25, that one new case of COVID-19 has been reported in Old Lyme. This additional confirmed case is a 21-year-old male.

There are now 20 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme plus two fatalities.

To demonstrate the growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme, the table below is a summary of the cases that LymeLine.com has reported since March 31 when the first case was announced and also includes both fatalities.

DateCumulative no. of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme
March 311
April 44
April 96
April 107
April 1510
April 1812
May 113
May 1515
May 2616
June 817
June 1018
June 1419
June 2221
June 2422
July 1722
July 2823
Sept. 224
Sept. 426
Sept. 1527
Oct. 128
Oct. 829
Oct. 1630
Oct. 1631
Oct. 1632
Oct. 3034
Nov. 436
Nov. 653

Details of all Old Lyme’s confirmed cases to date are now as follows:

The fatalities, which are in addition to the confirmed cases listed above, were a 61-year-old female and an 83-year-old-male.

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 Ledge Light Health District must report her as an Old Lyme resident.

Lyme’s first and only confirmed case was a 34-year-old male.

Filed Under: Old Lyme, Top Story, Town Hall

Will There Be a Fireworks Display in Old Lyme This Year?

June 22, 2020 by Leave a Comment

The Town of Old Lyme’s fireworks display traditionally rounds off the annual Midsummer Festival. Since the 2020 Midsummer Festival is cancelled, many are wondering whether there will still there be fireworks this year? File photo.

OLD LYME — At the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s June 15 meeting, Selectman Christopher Kerr asked whether the Town would be hosting the fireworks display that traditionally takes place on the Saturday evening of the Midsummer Festival, even though the Festival itself has been cancelled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Griswold responded that he needed to reach Commissioner Lehman to discuss details of what might be permitted under the state’s reopening guidelines. Lehman is the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD.)

Griswold mused as to whether the event could be held using “the same formula as the beach” with regard to social distancing. He said there would obviously be “no buses,” but, “if we could get clearance [from the state], we could space out.”

The three selectmen agreed after a brief discussion that the average turnout for the event was around 900.

Griswold concluded the discussion saying, “We are still entertaining the idea of still having it [the firework display.]”

Following on from that meeting, LymeLine asked Griswold on Friday whether any progress had been made towards a decision. He responded by text that information from the Governor’s office, “States that, as part of Phase 3, fireworks with proper separation may be held with no cap.” Griswold indicated that he believed that in this context, “cap” meant maximum capacity.

He ended his text saying, “I will poll the Selectmen and the Fire Marshal with a recommendation that the Town proceed with preparations for a Saturday, 25 July event with a rain date of the 26th.”

As soon as we hear the final decision from Griswold, we will report it on LymeLine.com.

Filed Under: Old Lyme, Top Story, Town Hall

Old Lyme Town Hall Reopens to Public With New Protocols in Place

June 22, 2020 by Leave a Comment

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold

OLD LYME — UPDATED  6/22: Speaking at the June 15 Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s meeting, which was held virtually via Webex, First Selectman Tim Griswold said exuberantly, “Come the 22nd, we’ll be open for public access.”

He was referring to the fact that the board of selectmen has set the date for town employees to return to work at Memorial Town Hall as Monday, June 22, which is the same day that it will also open to the public — but in both cases with many new restrictions.

The most significant change is, in Griswold’s words, that, “the front door will remain closed,” with a lock-box being used for tax payments, beach passes, documents for filing with the the town clerk and so forth.

He explained that people coming to town hall will, “Use the double-doors by the Meeting Hall and must have a face mask. They will be met by a greeter.”  The greeter’s role will be to determine when sufficient space is available to maintain social distancing guidelines at the department the person wishes to visit.

Adding, “If someone wants to speak with a particular person, they will have to call for an appointment,” Griswold also noted that hand-sanitizer will be available at numerous locations throughout the building.

He concluded, “There’ll be a period of getting used to this new way of working.”

In an email to staff, Griswold had previously explained the precautions being taken and the new protocols that will be in place for intra-staff interactions as well as those between staff and members of the public.

Griswold states in the email, “Personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves will be provided to employees and I ask that staff wear masks when in hallways and other common areas.”

He then lists the measures that are being implemented to protect both the health of employees and the public.

In terms of foot traffic entering the building, the main Town Hall doors and lower level doors will remain locked.

People will enter through the double doors in the foyer next to the meeting hall (at the left of the building as one looks at it from the road) where two Parks and Recreation “Greeters” will meet them and take the temperature of each member of the public entering the building. These “Greeters” will also ensure that each person is wearing a mask and if no mask is present, one will be provided.

Parks and Recreation Director Don Bugbee will serve as the manager of the Greeters.

The Greeters will then direct the public to the office they wish to visit.

In the event more than two or three people are requesting access to a specific office at the same time, the Greeters will ask members of the public to wait in the Meeting Hall. The Greeters will use walkie-talkies to communicate with the larger volume offices.

Once the line is sufficiently reduced, the Greeter will direct the next person waiting to proceed to that office.

The public will have access to the main floor restrooms only. There will be no public access to the lower level.

Regarding general sanitizing facilities and procedures, there will be hand sanitizing stations at the main entrance and in other locations in Town Hall. Dutch doors with built-in counters will be installed in the  First Selectman’s and Assessor’s office doorways. Plexiglass barriers will be placed in the doorways above the counters.

Plexiglass barriers will also be installed in the Town Clerk’s office and in the Building and Land Use areas on the second floor.

Tape will be used to show the public where to stand so that they remain six feet apart while they are waiting for a staff member.

The Town Hall cleaning contractor will continue daily sanitizing of common areas.

Business interactions will see a number of changes. Beach passes, tax payments, and dog licenses will only be accepted by drop-off or in the mail (except for cash payments). Beach passes will not be issued in person.

Griswold notes in his email, “We are strongly encouraging members of the public to conduct their business by phone and/or mail to reduce the number of people entering Town Hall,” adding that a front door lock box has been installed and will be utilized for people to drop off items outside of regular hours.

He also stresses that all meetings with Town Hall staff will take place by appointment only in the immediate term. and that boards, commissions, and committees will continue to meet virtually until the State changes restrictions on in-person gatherings.

Griswold concludes the email, “I appreciate your patience and flexibility as we adapt to doing business differently for the foreseeable future.”

Filed Under: News, Old Lyme, Top Story, Town Hall

Op-Ed: Old Lyme EDC Completes Fact-Finding Stage of ‘Smart Growth’ Development Plan, Seeks Additional Public Input to Move Forward

June 12, 2020 by 1 Comment

Editor’s Note: The authors, Justin Fuller and Howard Margules, are the Co-Chairs of the Old Lyme Economic Development Commission.

The Old Lyme Economic Development Commission (EDC) launched three initiatives as its first step in crafting a “smart growth” economic development strategy for Old Lyme focused on maintaining the small-town character and charm of our unique town.

We realized the success of the plan depended upon providing opportunities for the public’s voice to be heard. Therefore, we designed the project with this in mind.

The three studies are now complete, and we are pleased to share the results with you.

We believe the findings in these reports will provide essential insights for not only the mission of the EDC but also will provide valuable information for the town’s other boards, commissions, and stakeholders.

The EDC has two main goals: first, attracting new businesses that fit the character of Old Lyme, and second, supporting existing businesses. These studies provided information essential in meeting these goals.

We were delighted by the community’s high level of participation, and we sincerely thank those who participated in completing the survey and to the SWOT attendees who gave up a portion of their free time to share their ideas with the commission.

We are committed to turning these findings into recommendations aimed at enhancing our town’s future.

Our efforts were greatly assisted by Advance CT (formerly known as the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, CERC) in crafting these three reports. They provide a comprehensive sound foundation to build upon, but will require adjustments for the impact of COVID-19.

We recognize the business and economic landscape will be altered, which will require adjustments to our future plans. We believe we are in a better position to confront the “new normal” that will result from the impact of the virus by having the results from these projects as a baseline to work with.

We invited all residents and all businesses to complete an Economic Development Survey, which provided the entire community an opportunity to weigh in on a variety of issues that will help shape the future of Old Lyme.

The response was overwhelming and the results of the Survey are contained in the report at this link.  Seven hundred and thirty surveys were completed (we anticipated 150 responses), the largest percentage response of any of the approximate 80 municipalities Advance CT has surveyed.

We conducted two economic Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) workshops designed to obtain feedback from a broad cross-section of town stakeholders, including a variety of businesses, residents, town leaders, nonprofit organizations, and clergy. The SWOT workshops gave additional opportunities for these stakeholders to dive deeper into critical issues.

The Old Lyme Economic Development Study provided valuable data and expert analysis of current economic conditions and recommendations for the future economic development of Old Lyme. It generated professional analysis and recommendations that will aid us in examining business opportunities that are both realistic and are a good fit for Old Lyme.

in carrying out our two EDC goals of both providing support to existing businesses, and attracting new business, while being mindful of maintaining the charm and character of our beautiful town.

Looking to the future, we will be discussing a game plan at our next meeting and the initiatives we have described here, which have already been implemented, will play a vital role as we move forward. In a nutshell, the EDC is now transitioning from gathering information to generating recommendations for a “smart growth” economic development strategy,

Our goal will be to come up with a specific recommendations for economic development keeping in mind our two EDC  goals of supporting existing business and attracting new businesses while being mindful of maintaining the charm and character of our beautiful town.

We will recommend that we include a vision statement that includes defining  both “the character” of Old Lyme and our sense of community.

We encourage you to review the results of all three reports. We welcome your questions, comments, and suggestions. Please feel free to email us at edc@oldlyme-ct.gov. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks again for your participation and interest in the future of the Old Lyme, a town we all treasure.

Filed Under: News, Old Lyme, Op-Eds, Top Story, Town Hall

Lyme Town Hall Now Open to the Public Three Days a Week

June 8, 2020 by Leave a Comment

First Selectman of Lyme Steven Mattson

LYME — (From a press release issued by Lyme First Selectman Steven Mattson) Lyme’s Town Hall and Library are reopening gradually as buildings and work spaces are modified to reflect recommended public health protocols, while obtaining more data on trends of the local infection rate from public health authorities, and pursuing the ability to provide testing for staff.

Beginning Tuesday, May 26, both buildings welcomed back staff only to prepare the spaces and serve residents when possible. Any service to patrons will take place outside the building, without contact, as was the process shortly before the current closure.

On Monday, June 8, depending upon the infection rate in New London County and the availability of testing for staff, the public will have access to both buildings three days a week. (Staff will continue a full week schedule.)

A return to all normal operating hours for both buildings is tentatively projected beginning Monday, July 6. This date will, however, be entirely dependent upon the level of infection in the community at that time.

The following protections for staff and visitors will be observed in these facilities:

Filed Under: Lyme, Top Story, Town Hall

COVID-19 Cases in Old Lyme Rise to 18, Lyme Holds at One

June 4, 2020 by Leave a Comment

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

OLD LYME/LYME — Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold confirmed by text message Thursday to LymeLine that one new case of COVID-19 was reported on May 26 in Old Lyme. This confirmed case, which he mentioned at the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Monday, June 1, was a 67-year-old male.

Ledge Light Health District issues an update on COVID-19 statistics in their coverage area each Friday afternoon.  We will publish any additional details from that as soon as we receive the update.

There are now 17 confirmed COVID-19 case in Old Lyme plus one fatality.

In an effort to clarify the growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme, the table below is a summary of the cases that LymeLine has reported since March 31 when the first case was announced and also includes the fatality.

DateCumulative no. of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme
March 311
April 44
April 96
April 107
April 1510
April 1812
May 113
May 1515
May 2616
June 817
June 1018
June 1419
June 2221
June 2422
July 1722
July 2823
Sept. 224
Sept. 426
Sept. 1527
Oct. 128
Oct. 829
Oct. 1630
Oct. 1631
Oct. 1632
Oct. 3034
Nov. 436
Nov. 653

Details of all Old Lyme’s confirmed cases to date are now as follows:

The fatality, which is in addition to the confirmed cases listed above, was a 61-year-old female.

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 Ledge Light Health District must report her as an Old Lyme resident.

Lyme’s first and only confirmed case was a 34-year-old male.

Filed Under: Lyme, News, Old Lyme, Top Story, Town Hall

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Remain at 17 in Old Lyme, One in Lyme

May 29, 2020 by 4 Comments

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

OLD LYME/LYME — Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold confirmed in a text earlier today that no new cases have been reported in Old Lyme as at today’s date. He noted, however, that he had “not received this week’s update from Ledge Light.”

Ledge Light Health District normally issues an update on COVID-19 numbers on Friday afternoon.  We will publish the details from that as soon as we receive the update.

There remain 16 confirmed COVID-19 case in Old Lyme plus one fatality.

The two most recent cases are a 48-year-old female and a 70-year-old male.

In an effort to clarify the growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme, the table below is a summary of the cases that LymeLine has reported since March 31 when the first case was announced. It shows a fairly steady growth over time.

DateCumulative no. of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme
March 311
April 44
April 96
April 107
April 1510
April 1812
May 113
May 1515
May 2616
June 817
June 1018
June 1419
June 2221
June 2422
July 1722
July 2823
Sept. 224
Sept. 426
Sept. 1527
Oct. 128
Oct. 829
Oct. 1630
Oct. 1631
Oct. 1632
Oct. 3034
Nov. 436
Nov. 653

Details of all Old Lyme’s confirmed cases to date are now as follows:

The fatality, which is in addition to the confirmed cases listed above, was a 61-year-old female.

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 Ledge Light Health District must report her as an Old Lyme resident.

Lyme’s first and only confirmed case was a 34-year-old male.

 

Filed Under: Old Lyme, Town Hall

No Memorial Day Parade in Old Lyme This Year, Just a Small Cemetery Service — But Here’s The Homily From Mervin Roberts

May 25, 2020 by Leave a Comment

This wreath was placed last year in front of the Memorial Stone in Duck River Cemetery. File photo by John Ward.

OLD LYME — There will be no Memorial Day parade in Old Lyme this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In our opinion, it’s a sad but sensible decision.

A small ceremony will be held at Duck River Cemetery at 11 a.m. when local veterans, representatives of the emergency services, and town dignitaries will gather to place a wreath by the Memorial Stone, which stands in front of the flagpole at the cemetery.

Those gathered there this morning will pay their respects, “To all who served and sacrificed so we could enjoy lasting freedom.” These are the words inscribed on the Memorial Stone along with these details, “Dedicated by American Legion Post 41, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1467, and the People of Old Lyme.”

Mervin Roberts, Chaplain of the Old Lyme Fire Department since 1960.

Mervin Roberts, who has served as the Chaplain of the Old Lyme Fire Department for 50 years, normally gives the homily towards the end of the service when the cemetery is packed with parade participants and onlookers.

There will be no crowd this year but before Roberts knew the parade was going to be cancelled, he had already prepared the homily. He anticipated this might be his final homily since he is feeling a little frail — we should add that Roberts is 98-years-young!

There is a possibility he will attend the ceremony this morning and read the homily, but since the majority of townspeople will not be there, a video has been made of Mr. Roberts reading the homily, which we are proud to publish below.

We have also received a copy of the text of the homily, which we are similarly honored to publish here (in italics):

As I review my previous Memorial Day homilies, I’ve come to realize that there is a pattern unfolding.  Taken together, they help to tell us why we are here again in this cemetery. I’ve had the occasion, and the challenge, to explore with you how and why we voluntarily meet here on this designated day to celebrate the lives and mourn the passings of preachers, teachers, siblings, parents, ancestors, neighbors, heroes, government officials, duck hunters, bird watchers, conservation commissioners, friends, lovers, spouses, artists, musicians, fishermen, cow farmers and others.

Truly a web of life.

There were people I knew who sometimes quit too soon and some who might have done better if they quit sooner. Perhaps it is our very individual differences that are a clue to our overall success as a species.  Certainly we are not all alike. In this world full of predators, parasites, and unforeseen diseases, if we were all alike, we would all have succumbed to whatever it was that struck.

But that has not been the case and somehow I suspect our fate lies elsewhere.

So let’s revel in glories of our various lives, our music and other arts, our religious faiths and, high on my list, our love for each other, for certainly what others have done for us should be an inspiration to all to keep up their good work. Here in Lyme and Old Lyme we have homes or resting places of so many people who lived here and left us with something to remember them by.  Let me mention a few in no particular order:  

They are not alone. 

From my own life, I would recount just one example.  My late wife Edith and I had born to us six children, the last being William John, named for one of his grandfathers.  Billy had Down syndrome. He was loving, kind, generous, sociable, and academically very limited. We could have had him live in an institution as was the common practice at that time, but instead we kept him home.  Here the Lyme Old Lyme Board of Education provided as much help as he could benefit from and, lo and behold, limited as he surely was, we, his family and our neighbors accepted him for what he was.

Now Dick and Jane Bugbee knew us. Dick and I were both duck hunters. Dick painted houses.  Jane taught piano. Although our homes were about one-half mile apart, Billy would occasionally meander over to visit Jane.  We didn’t take him there, or even show him the way or even suggest his movement.  He just found his own way and Jane would phone Edith that her son Billy was there having a cup of tea, and when he was through, Jane would see him start on his own way back home. 

No alarm of lost child, no social worker, no emergency, just Billy Roberts visiting for a cup of tea.  This is but an example of how this web of life worked for us. We certainly owe the people of Old Lyme our gratitude for everyone’s help. 

Incidentally, Billy was a strong supporter of the Old Lyme Fire Department and was elected an Honorary Member. 

On a personal note, I’ve been a member of this same Department since 1960, but now frail in my 98th year, I can no longer remain active as Chaplain. This, then, will probably be my last homily. 

I thank you for the opportunity to serve.

And to wrap up our coverage of this strange Memorial Day, visit this link to watch a wonderful video of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Bands playing “Taps for Band” by Thomas Knox and Jari Villanueva. We assume the video was made during the time the school was closed and the students were following a distance learning schedule — a time that continues to this day.

Many congratulations to Band Director Joseph Wilson and all the students that participated in this excellent performance!

Enjoy … and have a very Happy (socially- distanced) Memorial Day!

Editor’s Note: Visit this link to read At Age 98, Mervin Roberts Looks Back Over 50 Years of Service as Chaplain of Old Lyme Fire Department written by Michele Dickey and published May 24, 2020 on LymeLine.c0m.

Filed Under: Old Lyme, Town Hall

Ledge Light Health District to Issue Closure Orders when Establishments Violate Governor’s Executive Orders

May 20, 2020 by Leave a Comment

LYME/OLD LYME/AREAWIDE — (from a press release) After consulting with the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) legal team it has been determined that LLHD is the responsible entity for enforcing the Governor’s Executive Orders, as they pertain to regulated entities such as foodservice and cosmetology establishments that are operating in violation of the Governor’s Executive Orders.

Ledge Light Health District will be issuing an order of closure to any establishment in violation of the Governor’s Executive Orders.

While waiting for clarification from the State regarding its authority and requirement to issue orders to close, LLHD did conduct a courtesy inspection of one cosmetology establishment when health district staff received word that the establishment owner planned to open in violation of Governor Lamont’s decision to delay the reopening of salons and barbershops.

“Our primary responsibility is to protect the public health and assure, to the extent possible, that all possible measures to prevent the spread of disease are being taken in each situation,” said Stephen Mansfield, LLHD Director. “We were notified that this establishment owner intended to move forward with opening and while we wanted to review health and safety measures with her even as we waited for clarification from the State regarding our authority and mandate to issue a closure order.”

“LLHD has been going above and beyond for the communities they serve during this challenging time. The voluntary actions taken this morning by LLHD to ensure the safety of a business owner and her customers, are further evidence of that,” said Danielle Chesebrough, Stonington First Selectman.

“Many of us share in the frustration of business owners and non-profit organizations looking to get back on their feet; however, with the clarification received today from the State, LLHD is now doing what is being required of them. We ask residents, businesses and organizations for their continued patience and civility during this challenging time.”

Director Mansfield emphasized LLHD’s commitment to working to promote community health, stating that “Ledge Light Health District will continue our efforts to respond to the changing nature of this pandemic and the decisions made at the state level to support the health and safety of our communities.”

Editor’s Note: Ledge Light Health District serves as the local health department for both Lyme and Old Lyme, as well as East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, New London, North Stonington, Stonington and Waterford. 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.

Filed Under: Lyme, Old Lyme, Top Story, Town Hall

Old Lyme Board of Finance Approves $38.8 Million Budget for 2020-21, Mill Rate Up 0.79 Mills

May 20, 2020 by Leave a Comment

OLD LYME — On Monday evening, the Old Lyme Board of Finance unanimously approved the proposed $38,805,674 town budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the meeting was held virtually using a WebEx platform with members of the boards of finance and selectmen, and also several members of the public and press participating.

This year in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont in Executive Order 7I waived the requirement for towns and school districts to vote on budgets by “any in-person budget adoption requirements,” including town meetings or referenda. The board of finance was therefore able to approve the budget with a vote of their members rather than hold the traditional town meeting at which the public votes on the budget.

Board of Finance Chairman Andy Russell gave a Powerpoint presentation of the budget highlighting areas of significant change in both revenues and expenditures. He noted the budget was marginally lower than the one presented at the April public hearing due to Lyme-Old Lyme Schools reducing their total budget to $34.7 million at their final presentation. Based on the respective student population percentage  in each town, Old Lyme pays $27.7 million of the LOL Schools’ budget with the Town of Lyme paying the remainder.

Stating that although the proposed mill rate for the 2020-21 fiscal year of 23.2 represented an increase over the current year’s mill rate of 22.41, Russell noted that the town would draw $800,000 from its surplus to prevent a higher increase. He pointed out that although the town’s budget has decreased slightly this year over last year, the grand list has fallen significantly due to the recent revaluation.

There were no questions asked about the budget during public comment but Russell said he had a received a question by email from a resident of Stonewood, who wanted to know how the board might deal with the financial stress on households caused by the pandemic, which, in turn, could affect their ability to pay their property taxes.

Russell responded that the budget had been developed for the most part before the pandemic struck but the board had subsequently “picked some capital items out” of the budget, but equally they “don’t want them to pile up.” He said the board would be watching the rate at which property taxes are paid and “if we have to make modifications during the budget year, then we’ll do that.”

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold reminded residents that the board had agreed to a low interest rate of 3%  as proposed in an Executive Order by Gov. Lamont on delinquent property taxes from August through October. He noted though that the interest rate “snaps back to 18%” at the end of October.

Read a detailed report on the meeting by Mary Biekert and published in ‘The Day’ May 19, at this link.

 

 

Filed Under: Old Lyme, Top Story, Town Hall