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Board of Selectmen Special Meeting Minutes 11/20/2017


The Board of Selectman held a Special Meeting at 4:00 pm November 20, 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. Selectman-elect Christopher Kerr was in the audience.

  • Approval of Minutes:
November 6, 2017 Regular Meeting Minutes
Selectman Sibley requested the following changes:
Page 3, 4a. 2nd paragraph to read: Selectman Sibley noted that he was down at the Boathouse on Saturday and reported that there is healthy grass growing all around the boathouse. He also noted that he noticed the runoff and believes it is coming from Rt.1 and this may be a State issue. He feels that having Phil involved with his background will be a great facilitator with the State in getting this resolved.
Selectwoman Nosal request the following changes:
Page 6, #7 LOSEP to read: LOCIP
A motion was made by Selectman Sibley, seconded by Selectwoman Nosal, to approve the minutes of the November 6, 2017 regular meeting as amended. Motion passed.
2.Communication:  None
3.  Appointments:  
4.   Old Business:
  • Boathouse Hains Park Improvements Project
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported they are still waiting to finalize things on the drainage in the back of the boathouse. And they are planning on meeting this week to work on this.
Selectman Sibley reported he was at a show over at The Kate and has some really good ideas for the plaque that he would like to share with Sophie Marsh, who has agreed to work on it. He would also like to continue working on this project through its completion. First Selectman Reemsnyder encouraged him to do this.

  • Rte. 156 Bikeway/Sound View Improvements
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported all of the posts have been installed but are they are still waiting for the street signs to be installed. They are also still waiting for the bases that attach to cover the pavers to be installed. Once those are completed they will schedule the final walkthrough.

  • LED Light Installation Update
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported the installation of street lights is approximately 98% complete with only a handful of lights left. The remaining lights (5) are special considerations in which new replacement arms and fixtures were needed to be installed and/or they are waiting for Eversource to complete their connections and activate the lights. Work orders have been placed with Eversource and they anticipate these should be turned on soon.
There have been a couple of issues with the new lighting (too bright) and these have been addressed by Tanko Lighting and Red Thread (installers) have been very responsive and addressed these concerns promptly. All the other feedback has been positive, and she welcomes further feedback from residents. She also reported she discussed the lighting near Pilgrim Landing and Tanko Lighting is working with Eversource to ensure a light can be installed on that pole. If it can, they will install the arm and fixture and submit a work order for Eversource to activate the light.

  • Cross Lane Playground Committee Update
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported the site work has been completed. Al Bond has cleared out the soil that needed to be removed and replaced it with gravel and a barrier to keep the water out. The paving company will be coming in to put the paving (asphalt) down and once that is completed the tiles will be installed and they will be able to give the green light for the delivery of the equipment. She does not have an exact date but anticipates the completion of the playground in 2-3 weeks.
The committee has scheduled a meeting for next week and she will update the BOS at their next meeting. First Selectman Reemsnyder added that the playground committee is still working on fundraising for the fence. They held a fundraiser last week, but she does not know how much was raised. They have also collected additional fund towards the fence and with the savings on the gravel, she believes they will be well within budget and able to get the fencing completed.

  • Blight Ordinance
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported she has not received the updated Blight Ordinance from the Attorney yet. This will be postponed for discussion at the next meeting.

  • Proposed Lease Agreement
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported she has not received the updated Lease Agreement from the Attorney yet and if necessary she is willing to schedule a special meeting to review this.  She did report back to the Attorney the concerns raised by the BOS at their last meeting including the length of the lease and the cost sharing. She also added she shared the draft of the map which will act as Exhibit B (until the plans are completed) with the BOS, Engineer and the Attorney outlining the location of the pump station and bathrooms. She also reported the Three Beaches have reached out to her, but she feels it is important for the BOS to agree on the lease before meeting with them to discuss the lease further.
Selectwoman Nosal asked if the WPCA is reviewing this information.  First Selectman Reemsnyder reported she has shared the map and the lease with them and this was discussed at their last meeting.

  • Bid Policy
First Selectman Reemsnyder gave an overview of the Bid Policy, its purpose and the BOS discussion at the last meeting for the audience. She also gave an overview of the changes they recommended to the policy including; the issues and definition for Sole Source Vendor, the terminology used for major purchases and the format. She updated the policy to reflect their discussion and reviewed it with the selectmen. She pointed out the revised definition of a “Sole Source Vendor” and the change in wording for the requirements for advertising major purchases in the paper for both requests for proposals and requests for qualifications. She also added that additional advertising is encouraged depending on the purpose, utilizing direct vendors (at the discretion of the First Selectman or the Finance Director), and/or in Trade Association websites relating to the specifics of the request. After further discussion the BOS are comfortable with the revised policy and First Selectman Reemsnyder will present it to the BOF and run it by Nicole one more time to ensure everyone agrees. If everyone agrees they should be able to approve the Bid Policy at the next meeting.

  • Volunteers Incentive Pension Plan update
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported that at the last meeting she and a couple of the volunteers gave an overview of the Volunteers Incentive Pension Program to date. As a result of the program no longer being an option, both the Town and the Volunteers agree and have requested the plan be terminated and the funds be paid out to the volunteers. Since the last meeting, other questions about how to terminate the plan have arisen and she is awaiting further direction from both the Town Attorney and the Special Attorney.
She was hoping they would be approving a resolution tonight to terminate the plan, but wants to make sure this is done correctly for everyone. She understands the volunteers would like to see this resolved before the end of the year and will schedule a special meeting if needed once she has heard back from the Town Attorney on this.
Selectwoman Nosal asked if the Town was in jeopardy of being fined if they continued the program. First Selectman Reemsnyder replied she did not know the answer but feels that since the town is working on resolving the issue, it should bode well for them should any questions or concerns be raised by the IRS. She also added they have not deposited this year’s funds yet as it is their intention to pay out the funds once they have all the answers.

5.  New Business:
  • PW Paving budget
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported that it has been brought to the attention of the Finance Director that some of the work completed by public works has been posted to the wrong accounts in the budget. She has met with the Public Works Director and adjusted the expenditures to be reflected in the proper accounts. First Selectman Reemsnyder explained there are two lines of monies available for use in the Public Works Dept. budget to address paving. One is the Road Improvements capital account with $400,000 allocated in the budget for milling and paving and the overlay line item in the operating account with $125,000 allocated for just overlay paving. The Director of PW saw these as interchangeable and posted work in incorrect lines.  
This has led to the overlay line being over budget by $131,000 and they still need to complete work on Ave. G. The Finance Director and Chair of the Board of Finance suggested requesting an additional appropriation of $200,000 at the next Town Meeting to cover the overage and complete the work on Ave. G (estimated to be $60,000). This will leave the Town with a balance of $167,000 in the Road Improvements Fund, which was set up with the intention of building up the fund for future road reconstruction.
Selectman Sibley asked if there was anyway a portion of the funds could be moved from the overlay line to the reconstruction line (splitting the work completed on Saunders Hallow Rd.) to balance out or reduce the deficit. First Selectman Reemsnyder noted that the Finance Director has set standards and guidelines (definitions on the invoice) to follow when billing for work and she was not comfortable straying from these.
Selectwoman Nosal added that she would like some time to review this further before approving it to a Town Meeting.
The BOS also discussed prioritizing work and possibly increasing the funds for next year. First Selectman Reemsnyder will be discussing this with the BOF at their meeting tomorrow night.

  • Police Services Options Committee  
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported she would like to discuss forming a committee to explore options to look at their Police Services. East Lyme is still very interested in discussing joining forces and she thinks it is important that Old Lyme do their due diligence in exploring whether this would be a good fit for the Town.
She would like to have interested people fill out the request for appointment forms. She has not written the charge yet but would like a committee to take a good look at the pros and cons of both models. She has already received one completed request form from resident who is a police officer in another town. She thinks a committee of about five people with the skills and understanding of these services would be good. She asked the current BOS to encourage and ask any interested people to fill out the forms, so they can review them and make their selections.

  • Election Update
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported the Elections were held on November 7th and welcomed their new member, Selectman Chris Kerr who was in the audience tonight. She thanked him for attending and getting up to speed on things and looks forward to working with him.

  • Special Thanks to Skip Sibley
First Selectman Reemsnyder thanked Selectman Sibley for his years of service and dedication to the BOS and the community. Selectman Sibley thanked First Selectman Reemsnyder for the ceremony she organized prior to the meeting.       
Selectwoman Nosal also thanked Selectman Sibley for his years of services and the support and assistance he offered her when she first began on the Board. She also thanked him for the lively debates they have had and his fairness.

6.   Public Comment:
Old Lyme Resident, Lynn Fairfield-Sonn expressed her thanks to Selectman Sibley for his 16 years of service to the community and expressed how fortunate they were to have him as a public servant.

7.   Other Business:
First Selectman Reemsnyder gave an update on the changes made to the State Budget. On Friday the Governor announced he would need to tap into Municipal Aid to make up for the difference in the budget.
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported that Old Lyme is still in good shape because they budgeted conservatively. She gave the selectman a copy of the latest budget reflecting the changes made by the governor. Old Lyme received $575,700 in 2017, and before appropriations they were scheduled to receive $573,757 in 2018. After the adjustments made by the governor, they will receive $543,272 in 2018 a reduction of 5.3% (this does not include special ed.).   She went on to give an overview of the breakdown on the individual grant revenue and what they had budgeted for. She also noted she anticipates Towns are going to be responsible for benefits to citizen and programs such as the circuit breaker program, renter’s rebates and tax abatements.
She added that the renters rebate issue was resolved last week. It looks like the towns will be funding 50% of this next year, currently Old Lyme has residents who receive a total of $22,000 from this program. She also added that the town has budgeted $30,000 in revenue from the state for the circuit breaker program for this fiscal year and it is unlikely that it will be coming in from the state. They will need to look closely at these items when they are planning the budget for next year.

Selectwoman Nosal asked when they would be getting their new email addresses and feels this will be a great way to keep town business separate from their personal emails. She also added she would like a tutorial to ensure everything gets downloaded ok.

Selectwoman Nosal mentioned the Letter they received from the Historic Commissioner, John Pfeiffer regarding the signage for the First Congressional Church. She would like to discuss this further.  First Selectman Reemsnyder will put it on the agenda for a future meeting.

First Selectman Reemsnyder reminded everyone that the LOL Chamber of Commerce Annual Tree Lighting will take place on December 1st at 4PM at the Town Hall. The LOL Middle School Band will be providing the entertainment.

8.   Executive Session: None    

9.   Adjournment:
A motion was made by Selectman Sibley, seconded by Selectwoman Nosal, to adjourn at 5:20 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