Old Lyme Board of Selectmen
Regular Meeting May 6, 2002
1. Approval of Minutes:
Selectman Bice made a motion, which was seconded by Selectman Sibley, to approve the minutes of April 14, 2002 as written. SO VOTED.
a. Regina Sullivan – Adelphia – Franchise Renewal & Rate Increase
First Selectman Griswold received a letter from Regina Sullivan who is the general manager of Adelphia cable network provider. They are seeking a franchise renewal of a 15-year extension to continue supplying cable service in Old Lyme. The Board of Selectmen has been very satisfied with the coverage of the meetings, and First Selectman Griswold stated they have done a terrific job in the schools with distance learning. By the end of the year, Adelphia may be providing the town with internet service available to a certain number of their subscribers in town. The price will be competitive with the telephone company. There will be a slight increase in the rates charged for the basic service from $26.15 to $28.15 and 50 cents more for an additional digital outlet up from $6.00 to $6.50. The hearing will be on May 16,
2002 in the Middle School Auditorium.
b. Connecticut Water Company– Old Colony Fire Protection Charges
The Connecticut Water Company has sent a letter to Department of Public Utility Control requesting that they rule whether or not Old Colony Beach Association is required to pay the fire protection charges. Old Colony had decided they were not responsible and, therefore, were not paying the charges to Connecticut Water Company. The Board of Selectmen considered a compromise arrangement but the Board of Finance decided that it was a matter between Connecticut Water Company and Old Colony Beach. Old Colony Beach Association has requested to be part of the proceedings which the DPUC will conduct.
c. Letter to Atty. Baldwin – Emergency Antennae on Cell Tower
First Selectmen Griswold sent a letter to Atty. Baldwin who represented Crown Atlantic Company that will installed the Verizon communication tower on Mile Creek Road. He requested that the town be allowed to put certain emergency service communication antennae on top of the tower. Crown Atlantic is willing to accommodate the request and they will speak with the Valley Shore Communications to understand what they would like to have on the tower when it is constructed.
d. Mary Fiorelli -OLPGN- Sponsor Mid Summer Festival
A letter was received from Mary Fiorelli who is the director of the library and is also involved with the Mid Summer Festival. She inquired inquired as to whether the town would be willing to be a sponsor of the Mid Summer Festival. There are number of organizations who have pledged $450 toward a budget of $4070. First Selectman Griswold stated that the town puts on the fireworks at the Festival at an expense of $17,000 to $18,000. Selectman Bice recommended that the town be considered a backup and encourage them to seek the funds elsewhere. If there are not enough sponsors, the the Board of Selectmen will seek the funds from the Board of Finance since this is not a budgeted item.
a. The town has been interested in having a coordinator for Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). This person would handle grievances from citizens who feel they are not being provided for properly and also recommend proactive activities to do. Gregory McMahon is a willing volunteer for this position.
Gregory McMahon (U)-ADA Coordinator – 1 Year Term to January, 2003 SO VOTED.
b. The Tree Commission has a vacancy and recommends Jason Wilcox to fill this position. He owns a tree service business and realizes he would not be able to bid on town jobs. It was noted Mr. Wilcox is not a town resident, but the Tree Ordinance does not require that. Jason Wilcox - Member of Tree Commission-3 Yr Term to January, 2003 SO VOTED.
4. Old Business:
a. The Board of Finance has prepared the town budget and the vote will be on Monday, May 20, 2002 at the Middle School Auditorium at 7:30 P.M. If the school budget passes, there will be a mill increase of 1.3. The school expense is a large part of the budget. Selectman Bice added that this is a 1.3 mill increase that also has an accompanying use of $500,000 from the surplus.
b. Town Woods – Design Proposals
The Board of Selectmen has received six design proposals for the Town Woods fields ranging in cost from $32,000 to $95,000. Some proposals were less comprehensive than others. The design proposal should be a master plan with phasing points within that plan. The complex will not be built all at once. The proposals call for using the topography to the best advantage and completing the work by the end of summer. The committee may be interested in a construction REP for the fall. The committee may possibly be working with the Old Lyme Day Care in the construction of a shared building. The committee will meet this week with three of the bidders. Selectman Bice stated that he was concerned that $300,000 ($200,000 previously and $100,000 in this year’s budget) has been allocated
for this project without sufficient public opportunity to reject it. He further stated that moving toward implementation by the end of summer is premature. First Selectman Griswold added that the STEAP grant will help as well as possibly having Lyme join in as a partner.
c. Landfill Closure Status
After showing one more consultant the landfill, a request for proposal will be prepared for a closure as well as a transfer station. The landfill has two to three years before it must be closed, and it is necessary to be ready to have a transfer station design and integrate it with the recycling area. Money is in an account for this purpose, but the study would help understand the magnitude of the project.
d. Millstone Exercise
On May 1, 2002 the town participated in the Millstone Power Plant nuclear exercise Congratulations to Emergency Management Director David Hoblin for helping the town through the exercise and getting a fine performance with no deficiencies noted in our participation. This exercise gives neighboring towns an opportunity to think through the consequences of what would happen if there was a problem at Millstone involving the school children, the home bound, etc. This year was an evaluated drill and next year the drill will be unevaluated.
e. Mass Casualty Drill
On Sunday, May 5, 2002, the town hosted a mass casualty drill which involved a mock incident in the high school requiring a great deal of medical personnel to respond. Units came from Colchester, East Hampton and a number of other area towns. First Selectman Griswold thanked Selectman Bice and Selectman Sibley for helping out by being grill chefs for the day.
f. Reg. Dist. School Governance
Selectman Bice proposed that the Board of Selectmen invite the Lyme/Old Lyme School Board and Lyme Board of Selectmen to a joint public meeting to discuss the agreements and disagreements on recommendations to be made to the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee. First Selectman Griswold agreed and would like to be notified by the Legislative group as to their meeting schedules and plans. First Selectman Sibley suggested inviting the Boards of Finance from both towns as well. Selectman Bice made a motion that the First Selectman write letters to the appropriate bodies inviting them to a meeting. First Selectman Griswold seconded the motion. SO VOTED.
g. Tax Abatement
Selectman Bice stated that two volunteer members of the Old Lyme Fire Department reside in Lyme and, therefore, are not technically qualified to receive rebates. Skip Beebe, President of the Old Lyme Fire Department agrees that those two members should be included in the program. First Selectman Griswold explained they cannot be covered but spoke with Lyme Selectman Koch who stated that there is discussion going on about a Tax Abatement Plan in Lyme.
5. New Business:
a. Revaluation Reform Bill To Become Law
First Selectman Griswold received a notification from Council of Small Towns stating, after five years of work, COST’s reval reform bill has passed and will soon be signed into law by the Governor. First Selectman Griswold has not seen the actual content involved but he stated that previous discussion was if a predominately residential community had met certain characteristics through the Assessor’s office, that is, if the values of the properties were equal throughout the town, the interim statistical revaluation might not have to occur. Assessor Walter Kent has said Old Lyme values have been volatile of late.
b. Landfill Fee Schedule – Effective July 1, 2002 – Discussion
First Selectman Griswold read a memo which in part stated the town must soon spend a significant amount of money to both close the bulky waste landfill and to construct a bulky waste transfer station and a scale. Nearly all landfills in neighboring towns have closed and Old Lyme is receiving a large percentage of material that does not come from the town. The residents generate a tremendous amount of brush and bulky waste that must be chipped by a tub grinder at a cost of $2,000 a day. He suggested increasing the fees for those who dispose of certain soft goods and who bring in truck loads of wood chips, brush, leaves, bulky waste items and clean fill. Selectman Sibley agreed with the suggestions. Selectman Bice preferred to study the numbers and look at the potential benefits and costs.
He asked the Board to defer making a decision until the next meeting.
c. Sound View Plan – Create Steering Committee
Selectman Bice stated that the Hartford Redevelopment Plan is very important and complicated matter for the town. Selectman Bice read his motion entitled, A Motion to Enable the Redevelopment of Hartford Avenue and Its Environs. Whereas, citizens of Old Lyme have for several years expressed in numerous ways the desire to renovate Hartford Avenue and its immediate environs, and Whereas, the Old Lyme Economic Development Commission has identified a potential Special Development District (SDD) that includes Hartford Avenue and its immediate environs, and Whereas, a preliminary plan exists to accomplish a redevelopment, and Whereas, no particular board or commission has the legal authority to act alone in such redevelopment, and Whereas, such redevelopment would involve the jurisdictions of several boards and
commissions... The Board of Selectmen takes upon itself the responsibility for enabling the commencement of the redevelopment of Hartford Avenue and its environs. I therefore move the following three-point motion.
1. Designates Hartford Avenue and its immediate environs to be a Special Development District (SDD);
2. Establishes the Hartford Avenue Redevelopment Task Force and charges it to devise a suitable plan to accomplish redevelopment within the SDD; and
3. Commits to providing staffing to the Task Force and to assisting the Task Force in
securing the other resources necessary to carry out its work.
Furthermore, the Task Force Chairman will be nominated by the Economic Development Commission and its Vice Chairman by the Planning Commission. The following Old Lyme organizations will nominate one member each: the Federation of Beaches, the Zoning Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Water Pollution Control Authority, and the Board of Finance. Additionally, the Board of Selectmen will appoint at least one representative of the town’s art community and two entrepreneurs currently operating businesses within the SDD.
The Task Force is charged with the responsibilities (1) to delineate precisely the meaning of the term “SDD” and its implications as well as its precise geographic boundaries; (2) to devise a redevelopment plan for the designated SDD that incorporates consideration of providing affordable housing for the town’s elderly citizens within the SDD; and (2) from time to time, to present segments of its plan for approval to appropriate boards and commissions, and (3) to complete all such activities and present its final plan to the Board of Selectmen not later than one year from today.
The final plan shall include at least details as to (1) the desirable objectives that its implementation would accomplish for the town, (2) reasonably practicable modes of financing the redevelopment, (3) its likely costs to the town; and (4) recommendations for next steps required to implement the plan.
All scheduled Task Force meetings will be open to the public and conducted in accordance with existing town ordinances and other applicable administrative practice regulations.
We request other boards and commissions to expedite consideration of the Task Force’s recommendations and to offer suggestions to the Task Force and Board of Selectmen for changes in ordinances in such cases where existing ordinances impede the incorporation of desirable features of the Task Force’s plan.
We appoint Selectman Bice as the Task Force’s Chief of Staff and pledge to provide necessary clerical support. The motion was seconded by Selectman Sibley. SO VOTED.
First Selectman Griswold inquired as to whether the chairman and vice chairman be additional members to the eight people selected for the Task Force. Selectman Bice responded that he is suggesting that the Economic Development Commission nominate the chairman and the Planning Commission nominate the vice chairman, etc. making it a ten member group. Selectman Sibley stated that this is a good first step.
Chairman of the Economic Development Commission Larrye DeBear stated that the idea of a Task Force is good as long as it does not usurp the authority of any existing board or commission. The Economic Development Commission proposed that the Zoning Commission draw regulations establishing a planned or special development district but the Zoning Commission declined to draw the regulations because they have neither the time nor the resources. The Zoning Commission suggested that the Economic Development Commission take responsibility for the draft covering PDD since the proposal is from the Economic Development Commission, and they will draft a proposed regulation which will be submitted to the Zoning Commission. The resolution prepared by Selectman Bice would supplement the Economic Development
Larrye DeBear recommended deleting the section regarding a redevelopment plan for the designated SDD that incorporates consideration of providing affordable housing for the town’s elderly citizens within the SDD. Mr. DeBear stated that when citizens hear the term affordable housing, it raises hackles. If a developer worked in a PDD once it was established and felt that affordable housing could become a part of that, that would be fine. He did not feel it was appropriate to include that kind of housing within the perimeters of the SDD; it could sink the whole thing.
Mr. DeBear also stated that by having the Board of Selectmen appoint at least one representative of the town’s arts community and two entrepreneurs currently operating bussinesses with the SDD limits the participation of the Sound View community itself. The number of entrepreneurs in that area is limited, however, there are many residents who have deep concerns about the future of that area. He suggested changing it to read two property owners of the Sound View Beach Association.
Dr. William O’Meara, a member of the Economic Development Commission, stated that he disagreed with the wording of the first paragraph that reads: “Whereas no particular board or commission has the legal authority to act alone in such redevelopment.” He stated that he felt the Zoning Board does have the authority. Selectman Bice responded that Zoning Commission Board Vice Chairman Eric Fries stated that the Zoning Commission deals with one property at a time and has no authority to zone an entire district. A Task Force is the appropriate vehicle to concert this effort and to organize the timing and content of the requests to various boards and commissions that have particular jurisdictions.
Joyce Ballou suggested that the housing be considered for either student housing, affordable housing, elderly housing, etc.
Selectman Bice accepted the recommended changes to the motion. Amendment: The Board of Selectmen will solicit nominations from the Sound View Beach Association property owners from which the board will select two names. SO VOTED.
d. Various Observations During the Month of May
Governor Rowland has decreed May of 2002 as Older Americans Month. The week of May 13 to May 19, 2002 is Senior Center Week. The week of May 6 through May 12 is Public Service Recognition Week by Blue Cross Anthem. The Police Department has given the Town Hall a supply of blue ribbons honoring National Police Week from May 12 through May 18, 2002. May 15, 2002 is National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day to honor those who have died in Washington D.C.
e. Changed Date of Next Board of Selectmen Meeting
First Selectman Griswold will be out of state on May 20, 2002. The next Board of Selectmen meeting will be on Friday afternoon, May 17, 2002.
6. Public Comment:
Mr. Carlo asked if a letter will be going to the owner of the Pavillion regarding trucks loading and unloading and blocking access to the beach. First Selectman Griswold responded he and a State Trooper will be meeting with the owner before summer begins.
7. Other Business:
8. Executive Session:
A motion was made by Selectman Bice and seconded by Selectman Sibley to adjourn
at 9:25 P.M.
Eileen Coffee, Clerk