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Board of Selectmen Minutes 09/19/2017

The Board of Selectman held a Regular Meeting at 7:30 pm September 19, 2017 in the Meeting Hall of the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall. First Selectman Bonnie Reemsnyder, Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal and Selectman Skip Sibley were present.

  • Approval of Minutes:
September 5, 2017 Special Meeting Minutes
A motion was made by Selectwoman Nosal, seconded by Selectman Sibley, to approve the minutes of the September 5, 2017 meeting. Motion passed.
  • Communication:  None
  •  Appointments:  None                 
4.   Old Business:
  • Boathouse Hains Park Improvements Project
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported the basketball court has been completed and the lines have been painted.  Phil Parcak, Tom Metcalf and Paul Gianquinto met to discuss the details to plan the drainage in the back and have discussed this with ZEO Keith Rosenfeld and Kurt from BSC to ensure all of the requirements are met. They are also discussing clearing some of the debris and trees and having Public Works doing some of the work.
She also reported that Paul has emailed Scope Construction regarding some of the punch list items and they are working on the details of those, which include getting the grass to grow.
Selectman Sibley added that some of the trees are on town property but some are also on private property but he believes the director of Parks and Rec had reached out to the property owners and has their approval to remove them. First Selectman Reemsnyder stated that the trees would be removed or pruned as part of the debris/tree removal plan.

  • Rte. 156 Bikeway/Sound View Improvements
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported the milling and paving scheduled for today has been cancelled and rescheduled for September 28th with a rain date of September 29th.  Since the last meeting they have been working on some of the items on the punch list.
Selectwoman Nosal gave an update on what has been completed so far, including shaving the curb fronts, and repairing the water connection to the carousel. They will be back next week to complete the remainder of the punch list including the banner poles, seeding and decorative street signs.

  • Blight Ordinance Draft
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported she had handed out the updated draft with the Town Attorneys comments on the ordinance at the last meeting and reminded them they have been working with Town Officials from Land Use, Buildings, Zoning, and the Fire Marshal. She gave an overview of the progress to date. After reviewing the ordinance, the Town Attorney returned it with quite a few suggestions for changes. Many included language based on the requirements of state statutes. Some of the other recommendations she pointed out included removing the definition of abandonment (very tricky to apply) and concentrating on the condition of the property, he suggested attracting animal activity is a consequence not a condition, authorization of actions must be based on state statutes along with other comments, suggestions and recommendations.
The BOS went on to discuss this further, including reviewing the Norwich Blight Ordinance, which was included in his comments for consideration..
First Selectman Reemsnyder is going to request a clean copy of the document with just his comments so they can discuss them further at their next meeting. She will continue to try to schedule a meeting with the BOS, the Town Attorney and the Town Officials so they can review this together.

  • Cross Lane Playground Committee Update
First Selectman Reemsnyder gave an update on the first Cross Lane Playground Committee meeting held on Thursday, Sept. 14th. The committee elected Anna Reiter as the Chair, and Megan Anderson as Secretary. Anna presented a budget she had worked on and Nicole Stajduhar, Finance Director, was at the meeting to review the budget format.
First Selectman Reemsnyder handed out copies of the budget that Anna presented and she will give them an updated budget once all of the budget lines have been put into the new budget format.
She gave an overview of the budget which includes $150,000 of town funds for this fiscal year, $10,000 of town funds from last fiscal year, $35,600 raised by the Junior Women’s Club, giving them a total of $195,600. She also gave an overview of  costs such as the deposit (1/3 of the cost) on  the playground equipment, 50% for Unity Creations, which supplies the tile surfacing, etc. The one item she suggested they change was eliminating the fencing for $11,000 and making that amount a contingency in case it is needed. If the fundraising is successful, the fencing would be added at the end of the project.
First Selectman Reemsnyder added that on Friday she met with Anna, Ed Adanti and Dave Catalano, the playground specialist and a resident of Old Lyme, who is willing to assist with ensuring everything is installed properly. They discussed some of the trees that need to be removed (marked by the tree warden) and moving the soil away from where the playground is going to be installed. Ed will be able to handle the work they discussed and this will come out of his budget. Any pruning that will be done should come out of the Tree Commission’s budget as this should have been done some time ago.
The next meeting is scheduled for this Friday and she will keep the BOS posted on their progress.
Selectwoman Nosal asked if there were any concerns with election day. First Selectman Reemsnyder stated that there will be temporary fencing in place during the project and the playground area will be cordoned off. She also added that any holes that are dug will be dug just prior to the equipment being installed or they will be covered.

  • Updated Draft Bid Policy
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported she has given the Selectmen a copy of the updated Bid policy. She added that they are trying to come up with a simple, straight forward, consistent policy. The BOS discussed having BOS approval of sole source vendors,  defining major purchases of $75,000 or more, regular purchases as $20,000 – under $75,000 and incidental purchases to be below $20,000. They also discussed the major bid process and agree that there should be 3 ways a bid can be done including; a request for a bid, request for a proposal or a request for qualifications. They also agree that these should be advertised on the Town Website, in the paper, with companies they have previously worked with and possibly give direct notice to  trade associations  for posting on their websites if applicable. They also discussed reviewing Region 18 policy for guidance and suggestions. It was also suggested they take one of the vendors they are currently using and run it through the policy to get an idea if it works. Also discussed were three-year contracts which would be approved by the BOS and conservative purchasing using electricity and health insurance as examples. The BOS agree this is a good start and they may make changes in the future as needed. The BOF will be meeting tomorrow evening and First Selectman Reemsnyder will report their suggestions to them, she still maintains this is a BOS policy but they want the BOF involved with the development of the policy.

  • Proposed Lease Agreement
First Selectman Reemsnyder gave an update on the lease agreement with the three beaches, which include Old Lyme Shores, Old Colony Beach and Miami Beach for locating a pump station in the town parking lot on Hartford Ave. This could be good for the town as they anticipate Sound View Beach area will be installing sewers, with a possibility of Hawks Nest Beach area in the future. The lease agreement would be for a total of $200,000 payable over a 20-year period at $10,000 per year. This would enable them to put the bathrooms in at the same time and the lease payment would help pay for the bathrooms. She has shared the lease agreement reviewed by the town attorney and his comments with the Selectmen. There have been many areas of concern addressed by the town attorney, the WPCA, and the Sound View Commission, such as assuring that the town will be able to tie into the pump station at a proportional share, and lease termination language. A meeting was held with representatives of the three beaches, their attorney, the chair of the WPCA and the town attorney to discuss some of the details.
In addition, First Selectman Reemsnyder has reached out to Kurt Mailman with Fuss and O’Neil to see if their firm could also design the bathrooms when the pump station is designed. This would allow for synergy between the two buildings as well as having all of the work done at the same time. He confirmed that this is something his firm could do and would separate out the costs of bathroom design.  He also suggested she reach out to CT DEEP to see if this could be funded through Clean Water Funds or other grants. She reached out to Carlos Esguerra at DEEP and described what they were trying to do.  He agrees the building being used for the bathrooms could also meet the needs for the pump station. For example, the generator and pump controls could be housed in this building. Carlos also thought there is a possibility that the bathrooms could be funded through Clean Water Funds as a low interest loan.
First Selectman Reemsnyder added she went to the Planning Commission on Thursday to present this as a referral for a section 8-24 and it was approved. She will be discussing this at the BOF meeting tomorrow night to give them a heads up. The three beaches are hoping that this may be able to go to a Town Meeting in October to allow for members of the beach communities to vote before winter sets in, however, this is a pretty aggressive schedule considering they will need to have a lease agreement (which would need to be approved by the BOS), bathroom costs, approval of clean water funds and discussions on EDU’s and flow versus EDU’s. The BOS discussed the above items and agree this is a very aggressive schedule and the importance of breaking this down into smaller steps. Selectwoman Nosal expressed concerns about some of the details of the lease and commented that these really needed to be resolved before considering going to a town meeting for approval.
First Selectman Reemsnyder asked the Selectmen to review the lease and put together their comments and questions and send them to her.

5.  New Business:
  • Sound View Commission Letter re: Hartford Ave. Building Improvements
First Selectman Reemsnyder read a letter she received from Frank Pappalardo in August regarding the development of three properties on Hartford Ave. between Bocce Lane and Martino Road (which are currently in very poor condition). The letter begins with an overview of the work of a subcommittee of the Sound View Commission, which included review of the Sound View Village District regulations and consulting with the property owners over the past year. The property owners, Frank Noe and Bill Randazzo, have developed a conceptual plan to demolish the existing buildings and construct 15 townhouse condominiums. Attached to the letter were copies of what the condominiums would look like, including a site plan, conceptual front elevation and conceptual rear rendering. The letter requests that the BOS review the discussions to date, define key issues for plans to proceed in some manner and recommendations for next steps to progress going forward. The letter also talks about issues with density requirements, height restrictions, and floor/area ratios, all of which would require changes to the zoning regulations or variances.
The committee’s recommendation for the next steps included zoning variances, revision to the existing Sound View Village District regulations, or a creation of a small sub-district within the Sound View Village District. It was also noted that with the significant variances required the route of the zoning board of appeals is unlikely to succeed.
In closing the committee suggested because of the number of interrelated issues it may be a good idea if a meeting of Board Chairs from WPCA, the Zoning Commission, and the Planning Commission, along with the BOS, Sound View Commission and the owners could meet to discuss their plans and solicit informal comments and guidance from those in attendance on what steps to take next.
First Selectman Reemsnyder commented that the BOS has no jurisdiction or influence over the Zoning Commission but can discuss in general what they would like to see happen in Old Lyme and the direction in which the town would like to go.
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported upon receipt of the letter she forwarded it to Jane Cable, Chair of Zoning Commission, for her review. She read the letter she received from Ms. Cable, which she prefaced by saying were her opinion and not that of the Zoning Commission. She expressed many concerns about the recommendations, including that a sub-district would really be akin to spot zoning.
She addressed the three options put forth by the SV Comm. and agrees that none of them are viable options. She went on to state that when she has a chance to walk down Hartford Ave. and view the entire neighborhood she may be able to suggest something helpful to the applicants, but as it stands now, she is unable to endorse this project.
The BOS discussed all of this further and First Selectman Reemsnyder expressed her concern about the BOS being asked to influence a commission or board, and overstepping their authority. Both selectmen agree with First Selectman Reemsnyder and feel that the owners need to go through the process and follow-up with the Zoning Commission. First Selectman Reemsnyder will forward this information on to the Zoning Commission and maybe they can give the BOS some direction on looking at the SVVD regulations to see if there are opportunities to allow any flexibility.

6.   Public Comment:
Frank Papalardo thanked the BOS for reviewing the SV Commission request and their points are very well taken. He undertook this task to identify the issues and has also met with Jane Cable. He is aware of all of the obstacles with the current plan and was looking to assist the owners on how to go forward. He was hoping that an informal meeting with all the involved parties would give the owners a better feel of what direction to go in (renovation/remove/new approach).
First Selectman Reemsnyder reiterated it is not the role of the BOS to intercede and they need to follow the process. She suggested they need to come up with revised plans to present to the Zoning Commission and rely on their feedback for guidance in developing a workable plan.

7.   Other Business:
First Selectman Reemsnyder reminded the Selectmen they are scheduled to hear ticket appeals at 6:30PM prior to the BOS meetings on Oct. 2nd & 16th. She will keep them posted if there are no appeals to be heard.

8.   Executive Session: None    

9.   Adjournment:
A motion was made by Selectman Sibley, seconded by Selectwoman Nosal, to adjourn at 9:26 pm. Motion passed.
Respectfully submitted,
Patti Broedlin

52 Lyme St, Old Lyme, CT 06371  (860) 434-1605

Town Hall Hours  Monday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM