TOWN OF OLD LYME
BOARD OF SELECTMEN
The Board of Selectman held a Regular Meeting at 7:30 pm December 18, 2017 in the Meeting Hall of the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall. First Selectman Bonnie Reemsnyder, Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal and Selectman Chris Kerr were present.
December 4, 2017 Regular Meeting Minutes
Selectwoman Nosal requested the following change:
Page 2, 4.b. second sentence to read: They are still waiting for the installation of the banner pole skirting and the street sign bolts.
A motion was made by Selectwoman Nosal, seconded by, Selectman Kerr to approve the minutes of the December 4, 2017 regular meeting as amended. Motion passed.
2. Communication: None
3. Appointments: January 2018 Appointments
Michael Reiter (D) – Halls Road Improvements Committee
A motion was made by Selectwoman Nosal, seconded by Selectman Kerr, to appoint Michael Reiter (D) to the Halls Road Improvements Committee. Motion passed.
Donald Abraham (D) – Senior Center Board, 3-year term to expire 2020.
A motion was made by Selectman Kerr, seconded by Selectwoman Nosal, to appoint Donald Abraham (D) to the Senior Center Board, for a 3-year term to expire 2020.Motion passed.
First Selectman Reemsnyder noted that all of the appointments are initially acknowledged and have been reviewed and approved by the Board/Committee/Commission chairs prior to approval by the BOS.
4. Old Business:
- Boathouse Hains Park Improvements Project
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported she did not have an update.
- Rte. 156 Bikeway/Sound View Improvements
First Selectman Reemsnyder asked Selectwoman Nosal for the update. Selectwoman Nosal reported the engineer from WMC has been working with the contractor to complete the remaining items, so they can schedule the final walkthrough. The main issue is the decorative poles, as they are trying to find a vendor who can supply the missing pieces to attach the skirting to cover the breakaway poles and extend down to the bump outs. The inspector is recommending a vendor out of Texas and they would be looking at approximately two weeks for delivery. She will be working with Frank Pappalardo and the inspector to ensure this is the best route to take.
The only other outstanding issue is the completion of the paperwork from the audit (Federal Highway Administration), which needs to be completed by the inspector.
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported once all of the items are completed they will be able to close out the finances for this project. She reminded everyone this project was a Federal Grant administered through the State which funded 80% of the costs and 20% from the Town.
- Cross Lane Playground Committee Update
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported the paving was completed on Dec. 14th and the surface tiles were delivered today. The actual installation of the tiles will occur over the next two weeks. She is hoping to have some pictures at the next meeting and gave an overview of the budget:
The Town of Old Lyme funded $162,000 (all except $257 has been expended) and the Junior Women’s League raised $40,000, which will cover the remainder of the project, including the fencing, and will still be within budget. The committee has a meeting scheduled for tomorrow and she is hoping to get the completed form for the budget to share with the BOF and she will forward it to the Selectmen also.
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported she forwarded an email with a memorandum (she read the memorandum) from the town attorney along with the draft blight ordinance reflecting the changes they discussed. She pointed out some of the key points in the memorandum, including her question about having a public hearing (the attorney noted the Town Meeting meets this requirement), it includes a Blight Enforcement Officer, Citation Hearing Officer, the definition of a Blighted premises, the language to reflect State Statutes and their authority to adopt a Town Ordinance.
She recommended the Selectmen review the draft Ordinance for questions and/or changes, so she can forward them on to the Town Attorney.
First Selectman Reemsnyder gave a brief overview of sections in the Ordinance, including definitions, exemptions to certain commercial and agricultural activities, the blight enforcement process, minimum standards, legal proceedings, recording of lien and the effective date. The BOS went on to further discuss the importance of having an informational public meeting prior to a Town Meeting, sending a copy for the Land Use Committee to review and what other towns have done to ensure public awareness.
- LED Light Maintenance Contract approval
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported she had sent a copy of the contract to the Selectmen for review. She added that one of the questions raised regarding the response time (5 working days) for repair to a light outage has been corrected to state if a routine repair is not completed within the prescribed time frame (7working days) a penalty of $5 per day beyond 7 days will be deducted from any payments.
First Selectman Reemsnyder is hoping they will be able to get a 42-month contract however the “Plus” contract is for a 3-year term, she has requested 3 ½ years to bring them to June 2021 which would end with the end of a fiscal year.
First Selectman Reemsnyder has also requested some ideas about decorative arms and pricing information for the fixtures on Hartford Ave. from Tanko Lighting.
A motion was made by Selectman Kerr, seconded by Selectwoman Nosal, to approve the Maintenance Contract for a period of up to 3 ½ years (exp. June 2021). Motion passed.
- Police Service Options Committee
First Selectman Reemsnyder reviewed a preliminary draft for the charge of the Police Service Options Committee which included; researching the possibility of the Town of Old Lyme collaborating with the Town of East Lyme on Police Services, evaluating the current Resident Trooper model, research services of a consultant to aid in information gathering, research all aspects and impacts of collaborating with East Lyme, including but not limited to, operating costs, capitol costs, current capitol assets, representation on the police commission, agreement language, option for termination, scheduling and coverage, impact for current officers, chain of command, services to beach areas during busy summer months, revenue from Town parking tickets, ensuring State Statute allows for one police department to serve two communities, researching the
process for implementation and other tasks as needed. As this would be the first regionalized Police Dept. in CT, it is vital that all aspects are thoroughly reviewed for potential impacts before making a recommendation. The committee must meet all FOI requirements in regard to posting agendas, minutes and providing the BOS with regular updates.
She also reported she has received five applications (copies were included in the Selectmen’s packets with their relevant experience) so far and two offers to assist with the committee.
First Selectman Reemsnyder referred to the article in the paper that expressed the Old Lyme Police officers do not think this is a good idea for OL and would like to have a representative on the committee. She thinks it may be a good idea to have a liaison from the current police dept. to provide input, but not sure they should be a voting member of the committee. She also added at the last BOF meeting it was suggested they may want to bring in a consultant to assist with this.
The BOS discussed the draft charge, the possibility of the committee having a budget, especially if they bring on a consultant, the term date (6 months/no longer than a year), the size of the committee (the BOS agrees 7 members would be a good number to allow for diversity and small groups), still accepting applications (level of expertise), how often the committee would meet, regular updates and meeting all of the FOI requirements.
First Selectman Reemsnyder asked the Selectmen to review the draft charge and email her any changes. She also asked them to reach out to anyone they feel would be interested in serving on the committee and asking them to complete an application.
5. New Business:
- HDC Letter re: First Congregational Church
First Selectman Reemsnyder read a letter she received from the Chairman of the Historic District Commission, which was prompted by the response they received from the First Congregational Church’s response to the letter they received asking them to abide by the Historic District’s rules on signs not being posted longer than 30 days. At issue was a sign made out of plywood posted to a tree welcoming all people, which promoted social justice and political causes that was up for longer than the 30 days. The Historic District Committee requested the BOS consider this matter. First Selectman Reemsnyder also read the letter from Reverend Jungkeit in response to the HDC letter. His letter gave an overview of the signs displayed on Lyme Street (in store windows, on flag poles, in the architecture, etc.) which have a way of expressing who
belongs and who doesn’t. He feels the signs posted outside the church are made with kindness, caring and generosity welcoming everyone in the community regardless of their immigration status, gender or race. He gave an example of a community member whose daughter attends Old Lyme schools, but she is undocumented and facing immediate deportation. When asked what made her come to them, her response was the welcoming signs she saw posted in the yard of the church making her feel Old Lyme was a trustworthy community.
First Selectman Reemsnyder reminded everyone of a story in the news last week regarding an immigrant seeking refuge at the First Congregational Church in Old Lyme. As the First Selectman she was made aware of this and had the opportunity to meet with the refugee seeking shelter and she shared her experience with the Selectmen. The BOS went on to discuss this matter in great length and recommend the Historic District Commission review their policies on signage and consider updating their policies and/or possibly exempting churches. First Selectman Reemsnyder will draft a letter to the Chair of the Historic District with their recommendation and run it by the Selectmen before she sends it.
- Request for Assistance – WSB Pump Repair
First Selectman Reemsnyder gave a brief overview of the White Sand Beach pump repair request. This involves the pump located on White Sand Beach Road, which is utilized by the public to access the town beach. Because the water is so close to the road, it overflows and settles on the road. There is a drain with a pump, but due to a recent storm the excess of water and debris resulted in WSB having to have the water pumped out (at a cost of $1400) and the pump repaired for a total cost of $3,890.74. They are requesting the Town split this cost with them, which would be $1,945.37 from the Town. The Town has assisted them with these costs in the past because these roads are used as access to the Town beach. The BOS discussed this, and it is the consensus of the BOS that the Town split the costs for the pumping out of the water and the
repairs of the pump. First Selectman Reemsnyder will share this with the BOF at the meeting tomorrow night.
A motion was made by Selectwoman Nosal, seconded by, Selectman Kerr to approve splitting the cost (50%) of the WSB pump repair. Motion passed.
- Committee and RFP for Trash/Recycling Service
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported the contract with OL Sanitation will be expiring in June of 2019 and they will need to find someone new to provide those services. She had Cathy Frank look up the RFQ they used when they went with single stream automated pick-up. She used this as a place to start. She thinks they should form a committee, discuss the number of members, develop a charge and talk about anyone they may want to serve on the committee and the timing of the RFP. Selectwoman Nosal suggested reaching out to members on the recycling committee who may be interested in serving on the committee as well as a liaison from the BOF.
First Selectman Reemsnyder will begin working on a draft charge for the committee and they can begin posting on News and Announcements in January that they are looking for volunteers to serve on the committee. She thinks it is also time to discuss weekly recycling collections as well.
First Selectman Reemsnyder asked the Selectmen to share any other ideas or suggestions they have on this with her.
- Annual Town Meeting Draft Call Discussion
- Acceptance of Annual Town Report FY2017
- Announcement of Citizen of the Year
- Appropriation of $200,000 for Road Reconstruction Project
- Blight Ordinance?
- Land Lease for Pump House?
First Selectman Reemsnyder reviewed the draft Call for the January 22, 2018 Town Meeting.
She is not sure the Blight Ordinance will be ready to go through the whole process before the Town Meeting and they can re-asses the status of this at the next BOS meeting.
She also recommended not putting the Land Lease on the call as they are still waiting for final decisions on some matters to be addressed and they would need to have time for public review before going to a Town Meeting. She had a conversation with Carlos Esguerra from the DEEP and he may be able to work out the details to allow the three beaches to move forward with the design (they must have a design to secure the clean water funds) without knowing the location of the pump house. She also added that the three beaches may have another location for the pump house. Selectman Kerr asked what this would mean for the Town. First Selectman Reemsnyder replied the Town would still negotiate with them to use their pump house.
First Selectman Reemsnyder asked if there were any other items that should be added to the Call. Selectwoman Nosal asked if the temporary health shelters should be added regarding the opt in/out option. First Selectman Reemsnyder replied she would like to hear more on this from zoning.
First Selectman Reemsnyder acknowledged they had students present at the meeting tonight from the High School for their civics class, and thanked them for attending and encouraged them to attend again in the future.
6. Public Comment:
Connie Pan (student) thanked the BOS for addressing the issues with the concerns regarding the signs at the Congregational Church. She was glad to hear that the BOS discussed these issues and she liked what she heard. She is a part of the Spectrum club at the High School who made the board at the High School acknowledging and welcoming minorities to the school.
Benton Hudson (student) asked where the speakers were in the Meeting Hall.
7. Other Business:
First Selectman Reemsnyder wished everyone a Happy Holiday!
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported she has invited Sam Gold, Executive Director of the RiverCOG to join them at the Jan. 16th BOS meeting to discuss a new initiative called Sustainable CT and what this means to the Town. If you are named a sustainable community it shows you are doing everything you can to be more energy efficient. It can give the community some very good press and OL has already begun taking steps toward this with the changeover to the LED street lights.
First Selectman Reemsnyder reported they have received the first bill from Eversource since the change over to the LED street lights. Last month’s bill was approximately $3,075 and this month’s bill was $930 so they are seeing a huge difference already. She also added the Facilities Manager is currently looking into having all of the lights in the Town Hall switched over to LED lights.
First Selectman Reemsnyder announced that Ruth Roach will be retiring effective today. They will be looking for a new IT person to replace her.
They will be having a lunch to honor Ruth and thank her for her many years of service on January 21stat 1:00pm.
First Selectman Reemsnyder announced they have submitted the $5,000 Bright Ideas Grant application and will be putting this money toward the LED street light conversion project.
First Selectman Reemsnyder announced she will not be here for the Jan. 8th budget review meeting and will cancel it, she will email alternate dates, so they can reschedule.
Selectwoman Nosal asked if they had a copy of the approved bid policy from the last meeting? First Selectman Reemsnyder will get that to her.
Selectwoman Nosal would like to add discussing the no smoking ordinance to the upcoming years To Do List.
Selectwoman Nosal noticed that the BOF and subcommittees have started working on their budgets for the next fiscal year and wondered if they have considered budgeting for a consultant to develop a marketing plan to identify strengths/weaknesses, future Town development etc. maybe a master plan.
First Selectman Reemsnyder asked her to send her a full description of what she is asking so she can share this with others. She also added that they are working with the State Historic Preservation Office on the grant they received, and will have to go out with an RFQ for a consultant to complete the Historic Survey.
8. Executive Session: None
A motion was made by Selectman Kerr, seconded by Selectwoman Nosal, to adjourn at 9:16 pm. Motion passed.