Sound View Commission
Meeting Minutes — Unapproved
27 August, 2018
Shoreline Community Center
Present: Frank Pappalardo (Chair), Michaelle Pearson (Secretary), Joann Reis Lishing, David Kelsey, Harry Plaut, Jackie Miano (Alternate)
Absent: Frank Maratta (Alternate), Sandra Ziemba (alternate)
Also Present (ex officio): Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal, Scott Boulanger (Miami Beach) Doug Whalen (Old Colony Beach)
7.33 pm Meeting called to order by Chairman Frank Pappalardo.
Approval of June 2018 Minutes
Joann Lishing motioned to approve, Harry Plaut seconded. All in favor. Motion Carried.
Approval of July 2018 Minutes: Joann Lishing, HP 2d
Michaelle Pearson motioned to approve, David Kelsey seconded. All in favor. Motion Carried.
7.35 Zoning Update/ ZBA Update. No new information to report.
7.36 Connectivity Grant: In July 2017, First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder brought to the the Sound View Commission (SVC) the possibility of obtaining a Connectivity Grant from the State. The SVC discussed the grant and agreed it would be a good thing for Sound View. This funding is to enable towns to make connections among the various bike/ pedestrian accessible areas. The plan connects Hartford Avenue from Bocce Lane to Route 156 with a bike path and sidewalks. BSC Group prepared the application, and we received the grant. It’s a 100% grant. Only planning and design is not included. However, a significant portion of the planning/ design is surveying, for which SVC had asked the Board of Selectmen (BOS) and the Board of Finance (BOF) for funding to conduct a full survey of Sound View, for the purpose of
resolving “paper roads” (streets that exist on paper, but were never improved), alleyway encroachments, and other issues. David Kelsey said that the BOF is aware of this and the funds should be used soon. He will work with Frank Pappalardo on a plan to present to the Selectmen and BOF by the next SVC meeting in September. The Connectivity Grant will have to go to town meeting, and proceed from there.
Concerts: The Town of Old Lyme and SVC sponsored 4 concerts this summer. All were very well attended. It was asked if concerts could be moved to another day of the week, to avoid conflicting with the Senior Center. Frank Pappalardo responded that the SVC was aware of the issue and would try to resolve it, but Thursday nights are the best for a number of reasons (other events in town, bingo, etc.), so perhaps we will try to alternate with the senior center.
7.45pm Hartford Avenue Trees: The SVC received a letter from Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal regarding trees on Hartford Ave. WMC still waiting for B&W paving regarding final activities for the Hartford Avenue trees. The Tree Commission has also been notified of the need for the Hartford Ave trees to be added to the town watering and maintenance schedule.
Sound View Banners: The banners are up and there have been many positive comments about them. Would like to add hangers to advertise concerts, etc. Will put this in next year’s SVC budget.
7.50pm Sandra Ziemba Resigning: Frank Pappalardo read a letter from SVC alternate Sandy Ziemba, stating that she is resigning from the SVC, due to the fact that she is moving out of Old Lyme. Sandy was a very active member of the SVC and of the Sound View Community, planting and maintaining the flowers at the flagpole, among other things. She will be truly missed.
7.55 pm Pump Station Lease:
Frank Pappalardo received the lease on Friday, and sent it to the SVC members for review.
The initial discussion regarding the pump station lease concept took place in March 2016. On April 26, 2016, Frank gave SVC members a copy of the key issues to be resolved with the lease. The proposed benefit was that it would be cost beneficial to Sound View residents. Because the private beaches wished to locate the pump station on property within Sound View, the SVC was to have input as to the design, aesthetics, etc., and restrooms were to be included in the facility, and felt that if this was undertaken as a partnership, Sound View residents could have some safeguards regarding operations, noise, odor, etc. Of concern: hold harmless clause.
However, the SVC was not allowed to be part of the two-year lease negotiation process, despite the fact that the SVC is the designated advisor to the Selectmen regarding management of the Sound View area, and the SVC initiated the lease concept. We received a copy on Friday, and will discuss this evening. A discussion regarding the proposed pump station lease ensued, at which the following points of concern were raised:
Because the lease was negotiated between the private beaches and the town, it does not appear to grant any standing or protections to Sound View property owners. It protects the town’s interest, as a landlord; and protects the private beaches’ interest as tenants, but nowhere is it stated who is responsible to Sound View residents if and when there is a failure or other issue at the pump station. The interest of the town as a landlord is not the same as the interests of Sound View property owners.
The private beach associations are not joint and severally liable under this agreement. SVC understands that there may be a separate agreement binding the private associations together, but that is not referenced or covered in this document. Needs to be clarified. Amount of insurance/ liability seems insufficient. Individual instance is one million dollars, but general/ umbrella coverage is also one million dollars. Should be quite a bit more, considering how many households could be affected by a pump house failure.
The “exhibits” listed were not provided with the document. There is no way to know where the pump station will be located, which streets will be affected for access to the pump house,etc., without being provided the relevant maps, surveys and supporting materials.
Restrooms are also not part of this lease, despite it being communicated at the initial meetings that the restrooms were an essential part of the “quid pro quo” of allowing the private beaches to use public land for the pump station.
Frank Pappalardo asked Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal, Doug Whelan (Old Colony) and Scott Boulanger (Miami Beach) if they could help fill in the blanks on some of these questions.
Selectwoman Nosal stated that the lease was given to the BOS only last week, and did not contain any attachments because it had been sent electronically. The BOS attended a meeting with the private beach associations in June, where a draft was discussed, but that the document had been with the lawyers since then. Selectwoman Nosal made it very clear that the BOS does not wish to rush this process and is not trying to just get something through quickly. The Selectmen wants to have input from the town, and give people a chance to review. Also, she reminded us that there must be a public informational hearing within 10 days before a town meeting.
Doug Whelan said that all the beaches want is a land lease agreement. This is one piece of a much larger picture. The lawyers have made considerable changes, but this version is only one week old. Town agreement to go into sewers has nothing to do with the punp station lease.
The private beach associations provided four locations for a pump station, (of which the town lot was one) and all four were approved. Having the pump station in the town lot is costing the associations a lot more money than the other three options would. Once it’s approved then needs a referral from town of Old Lyme for public hearings. This is just to get the land lease in place before design phase. The Old Lyme WPCA has a very detailed program for this beach community. Frank Pappalardo said the WPCA document contains qualifications and remedies that have nothing to do with the land lease.
Doug Whelan agreed that any pressure to speed this along is not coming from the town, but from the beach associations. They are making the push to get this voted on before the end of the beach season. The reason for the various clauses is to protect the town contingencies.
David Kelsey said the private beach communities are getting a very good deal under this lease agreement, but 200K over 20 years is not going to fund restrooms. There’s no provision in this agreement to see that bathrooms will be funded. In a different community that would come out of surplus. Would not need to be bonded.
Doug Whelan replied that the private beaches can’t tell the town to put in bathrooms. The private beach associations in a good faith effort included Sound View in the flow capacities. They want Sound View to be included in the sewer project.
Michaelle Pearson thought the SVC should remain neutral on the lease issue for now, and let the process play out through the public hearings and town meeting. The last thing we want to do is get in the way of the process, but we do have questions. Frank Pappalardo asked if the other Commission members agreed, stating that the SVC does not wish to be an obstacle, but we do have concerns with the lease as presented. The SVC agreed that if our questions could be answered and the document amended to address the concerns of Sound View residents, SVC could then issue a recommendation in favor of the lease. Frank Pappalardo asked the Commission members to forward their written comments to him by Wednesday. He will combine them into a document and send to BOS, BOF and WPCA. If the SVC receives a positive response to our concerns,
including some type of understanding as an attachment to the lease, so the restrooms will at least be a matter of public record, then we could call a special meeting of the SVC to endorse the lease. David Kelsey added that all exhibits must be included as well. It was further repeated that the SVC is very interested in moving this process along while keeping it in the best interest of the Sound View Community and the town.
7.35 pm PUBLIC COMMENT:
Frank Lishing, Swan Avenue, asked how the general public would be made aware of the lease agreement. Mary Jo Nosal replied that it would be posted on the town website.
Robert Breen, Swan Avenue, said that there was no further information yet on the water situation. He will pass along any info when he recieves it.
Robert Tulisano, Hartford Avenue, asked if the restrooms were going to have showers, because he didn’t agree with that. Frank Pappalardo said that the proposed restroom design did not contain showers.
Paula Melillo, Portland Avenue said she was glad to hear the SVC reaffirming that they represent Sound View residents. She doesn’t hear much said about Sound View at the WPCA meetings. They have been mostly discussing Hawks’ Nest and the private association lease, etc.
Dennis Melluzzo, Portland Avenue, asked if something happens on Portland Avenue from the pump house, who is responsible?
Doug Whelan said that right now the three private beach associations will be responsible. This is a joint venture, that we are one entity for the main trunk line. East Lyme will be our service provider. Service will be done by East Lyme WPCA. When Sound View decides to come on board, the town of Old Lyme will become the fourth entity in the main pump station, so the town would be responsible.
David Kelsey commented that the lease as written has three tenants. They are not joint and several. He wondered how an insurance agency would insure this. There needs to be a joint venture. If the pump house fails, the umbrella insurance is a million dollars and the aggregate insurance is a million. Frank Pappalardo agreed that a million dollar aggregate seemed very low, and that while this lease may protect the town as landlord, it appears that the interests of Sound View residents may not be protected from harm or damage caused by a failure at the pump station.
Dennis Melluzzo, Portland Avenue, stated that he lives in Newington, and when development came in, MDC put in a pump station, which has failed four times, with sewage backing up into people’s basements, down the road, etc. As a result, MDC had to construct their pump station higher to increase height of pump station so the controls will not be under water. Had to build separate building for controls and generator. Mr. Melluzzo expressed his concern that the issue of the pump station being located in the midst of a lake that floods is not being considered carefully enough.
Frank Pappalardo said that it was actually talked about that the restroom facility would need to be floodproof. When a force main fails, the sewage ends up in people’s homes and you still have to find a way to pump low to high (usually by using trucks). A million dollars would not be appropriate coverage for such an occurrence.
Paula Melillo, Swan Avenue, expressed her concern regarding possible well contamination, saying that she has two houses with wells and has not heard anything to prevent well contamination if the pump station fails.
Joann Lishing thanked Doug, Scott and Mary Jo for attending the meeting tonight and for being open and willing to help regarding the many questions raised by this lease, and for listening to our comments and concerns.
8.58 pm Motion to Adjourn
Joann Lishing motioned to adjourn. Dave Kelsey seconded.
Meeting adjourned at 6.50