Minutes of a meeting of
The Old Lyme Tree Commission
November 20, 2014
Members present: Joanne DiCamillo (regular), Anne Bing (regular), Emily Griswold (regular), Joan Flynn (alternate)
Members absent: Gerry Foster (regular)
Ex-officio members absent: Tom Degnan, Tree Warden
Guest: Rob Roach, Boat House Committee
A quorum being present, Chairman Joanne DiCamillo called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m.
The commission has openings for two members.
Mrs. DiCamillo authorized Joan Flynn to vote in place of Gerry Foster.
Clerk’s Report – The minutes of the 10/16/14 meeting were reviewed.
Motion: Joan Flynn made a motion, seconded by Anne Bing to approve the minutes as presented.
All present voted in favor, motion passed.
Mrs. DiCamillo asked for a motion to move New Business to the first item of business.
Motion: Anne Bing made a motion, seconded by Emily Griswold, to move New Business to the first item on the agenda. All present voted in favor, motion passed.
Mrs. DiCamillo asked for a motion to add an item to the agenda under New Business.
Motion: Anne Bing made a motion, seconded by Joan Flynn, to add an item to the agenda under New Business. All present voted in favor, motion passed.
Mrs. DiCamillo reported that as of 11/20/14 the balance in the General Fund (Tree Commission and Public Works) was $11,590. Contracted Services expenditures were $2410, for a tree on Oceola Trail and pruning for a tree at the corner of Lyme Street and Academy Lane.
Hains’ Park - Boat House Committee - permit application for tree removals
Rob Roach reported that the boat house will need to meet specific codes if the second floor remained in the plan. Because of the code requirements and the cost of implementing them, the design and the footprint has been changed to a one story building with three bays. Construction will be delayed until next year while plans are being finalized.
The original plan included a smaller size basketball court than the 40x80 existing one and was approved by residents at a town meeting. There were no tree removals in the original plan. After the town meeting, the Park and Rec Commission contacted the Boat House Committee and requested a change in the size of the basketball court in the plan. They asked for the larger 40x80 court that is presently onsite. Two trees will need to be removed to accommodate the new building and the larger basketball court. The Boat house Committee contacted Tom Degnan, tree warden, to evaluate the health of the trees. Following that request, they submitted an application to remove the trees. Mr. Degnan found the trees overall to be in good health and in good shape. He is opposed to removing the trees. Mrs. DiCamillo agreed with his
evaluation, stating that the one next to the east entry driveway of the park is a beautiful old tree. She supports his decision. A dogwood tree that was planted as a memorial tree, with the intention of screening the boathouse from Town Woods Road, will need protection during construction. Emily Griswold asked Mr. Roach if the Hains' Park court is used by the basketball league for games. He responded that they are played at Cross Lane. The court at Hains' Park is used basically for recreation. Mrs. DiCamillo suggested that the two commissions meet next year and work together to find a solution. Mr. Roach responded that everything is hold. A new path for moving forward will be formulated.
Town Hall landscape
Mrs. DiCamillo and Tom Degnan, tree warden, met with First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder to discuss the recent shrub removal and trimming from the Town Hall landscape. Mrs. DiCamillo asked Mrs. Reemsnyder if she authorized the removals and trimming. She stated she was informed by Ed Adanti, Superintendent of Public Works, that trimming work would be done, but she did not authorize the removals. Mr. Adanti sometimes informs Mrs. Reemsnyder informally of what he plans to do and carries out the work without her formal approval. Mrs. DiCamillo expressed her frustration with this process. She stated that the commission operates following the guidelines of the ordinance. The First Selectwoman and Public Works are expected to uphold the guidelines, as well. The tree ordinance is a town law. It states that Public Works may
perform landscaping work on town property only when authorized by the Tree Warden or the First Selectman and any contractor hired to do work on town trees and shrubs must be recommended by the Tree Commission.
Last January, in response to a resident's complaint regarding unauthorized trimming by public works, the commission, Mrs. Reemsnyder and the tree warden, formulated a three-part plan at the monthly meeting.
1. Homeowners would be notified by postcard, drafted by Mrs. Reemsnyder, when work was planned on the town right of way adjacent to their property.
2. A public works employee would be designated to receive training in pruning. This person would supervise the work crew.
3. A written policy regarding tree trimming and other tree work to be performed by public works would be drafted by Mrs. Reemsnyder.
At that time Mrs. DiCamillo also suggested that Ed Adanti provide Tom Degnan and Mrs. Reemsnyder with a monthly schedule of the location of work to be done. No one has followed up with the commission since the January meeting and the plans were not implemented. Mrs. DiCamillo questioned why nothing happened.
Mrs. Reemsnyder suggested giving the commission the charge of recommending a contractor to maintain the landscaping at the Town Hall, the Senior Center, the Cross Lane Firehouse, and the Police Station. She will request the necessary funds in her budget for next year. Mr. Degnan and Mrs. DiCamillo agreed that this would be a good idea.
Hazardous trees removal - Lyme Street, Ferry Road, McCurdy Road
Yankee Tree Company submitted a bid.
CT DOT email –
Mrs. DiCamillo was copied on an email to the tree warden from Kelly-Ann D. Kelley, CT DOT Bureau of Highway and Construction, regarding a utility pole relocation near bridge 0097, located where the Old Boston Post Road intersects with Route 1. Trees have been tagged for removal. Ms. Kelley requested the tree warden to respond within seven days. Mrs. DiCamillo asked the members to look at the area.
Lyme Street, Ferry Road, McCurdy Road- tree trimming and removals
This project has not been started yet.
9 Matson Ridge Road-request for approval to remove trees on town right-of-way
Mr. Degnan approved the removal of several trees.
Academy Lane & Lyme Street-ash tree
The tree has been trimmed.
MEMBERS’ REPORTS – none
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Review 2015-2016 Tree Commission budget request
Mrs. DiCamillo gave out copies of the budget request and reviewed it with the commission.
2015 meeting schedule – the schedule was handed out to members.
2013-2014 Tree Commission Annual Report– Mrs. DiCamillo is writing the report on the effects of drought on trees and shrubs.
The next scheduled meeting is Thursday, December 18, 2014, 4 P.M. in the Town Hall conference room.
Motion: Anne Bing moved, seconded by Joan Flynn, to adjourn the meeting at 5:42 P.M. All present voted in favor. Motion passed.
Martha Hansen, Clerk