Old Lyme Board of Selectmen Regular Meeting Minutes
18 October 2021 at 4:00 PM
The meeting was hybrid - held in person in the Meeting Hall of the Memorial Town Hall with a phone-in option.
In attendance: (in person) First Selectman Griswold, Selectman Kerr and Selectwoman Nosal.
First Selectman Griswold called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.
Selectwoman Nosal moved seconded a motion to have Parks & Rec. present after the Approval of the Minutes. The motion was approved.
First Selectman Griswold also asked that the Board considers moving Public Comment to be after the Parks and Rec. item. Selectman Kerr moved and Selectwoman Nosal seconded a motion to have Public Comment follow the Parks & Rec. item. The motion was approved.
- Approval of Minutes
Selectwoman Nosal moved and Selectman Kerr seconded a motion to approve the 4 October 2021 minutes. The minutes were approved with the following amendments:
Page 2. Ames Open Space – Discussion: (add the language in red) Selectwoman Nosal talked about the abrasive behavior of the Board of Finance Chair during the Board of Finance meeting toward the Open Space Commission officials, and she regrets not saying anything at the time. The Board of Finance Chair took the Board of Selectmen and Open Space Commission to task.
Page 2. Tantummaheag Landing: (add the language in red – 7th line) She asked that the Town issue a cease-and-desist letter put something in writing to detail the current status.
Page 4. Other Business: Selectwoman Nosal thanked all the people that spoke today about the “Resolution Declaring Racism A Public Health Crisis“ race issue. It has been a long year of trying to bring up this issue and she has tried repeatedly to have racism the “Resolution Declaring Racism A Public Health Crisis”, added to the agenda.
Selectwoman Nosal said she has not seen the minutes from the Emergency Meeting held on August 21, 2021. They are yet to be approved. (Note:There was no Emergency Meeting on 21 Aug 2021. There was a Special Meeting on 31 Aug 2021 and its minutes were approved on 7 Sep 2021).
- 5 i. Park & Rec. Commission – Part-time Assistant Director Position
Bob Dunn, Chairman of the Parks & Rec Commission, urged the Board of Selectmen to vote to recommend the Board of Finance approve hiring a Part-Time Director to work on average 25 hours per week, starting in the Spring of 2022. He passed out a spreadsheet comparing Lyme/Old Lyme staffing with Parks and Rec department staffing in neighboring towns. Don Bugbee said he has an ideal candidate for the position. This person has worked seasonally for Parks & Rec supervising programs. The new hire could help to develop new Park & Rec programs, online registration, expanded tennis camps, pickle ball and water sports. Don and the Director of Finance needs to work on salary specifics. Selectwoman Nosal agrees that Parks and Rec needs the help, but she would like to see the Board of Selectmen establish a hiring policy. First Selectman Griswold said it is not an immediate need and he would need more input from the Board of Finance.
- Public Comment
First Selectman Griswold asked that all public comments be limited to 2 minutes each and he believes the public comment portion of the agenda should be limited to 30 minutes.
Selectwoman Nosal made a motion to add the adoption of the Resolution Declaring Racism A Public Health Crisis to the Agenda. There was no second.
22 town residents spoke either in support of or in opposition to the proposed Resolution Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis. There were many diverse opinions. Following the Public Comment period, First Selectman Griswold asked for a brief recess at 5:23 PM.
- Communications – Selectwoman Nosal said the Selectmen have received emails from Sheila Riffle asking to set up an appointment. First Selectman Griswold said he has not seen them.
- Appointments – None
- Old Business
- Project Updates
Soundview Sidewalks: Selectwoman Nosal reported that the Zoning Commission has approved the request to build the transit hub at 290 Shore Rd. She is setting up meetings with the abutting neighbors to hear their concerns. First Selectman Griswold said an appropriation will be required at some point to complete the project and the Committee must decide the amount that will be requested. The Boards of Selectmen and Finance must also agree and, finally, the request must be approved at a Town Meeting. Selectwoman Nosal said the cost estimate to date is $423,783. Selectwoman Nosal wants DOT to be reminded about the 5-year-old plan for a bike lane.
Soundview Sewers: First Selectman Griswold reported that new bids have been received for the shared infrastructure: the collection pipe, the pump station and the force main to East Lyme. The bids for the collection pipe (from Old Lyme Shores to the pump station) range from $3.9 million to $4.5 million. The bids for the pump station range from $2.2 million to $3.6 million. The bids for the force main and the odor control facility range from $8 million to $13 million. The engineering firm (Fuss & O’Neill) is evaluating the bids. The three private beaches and the Town are working with Congressman Courtney’s and Sen. Murphy’s offices to hopefully identify additional revenue sources.
Transfer Station: First Selectman Griswold reported that the Scale House is under construction and should be completed by the first week in December.
Blood Street Partners LLC: First Selectman Griswold reported that 3 of the 5 current partners have signed the Agreement and a sixth partner will also sign when he/she is identified.
Ames Open Space: All approvals should be in in hand so First Selectman Griswold and the Open Space Committee will schedule a Town Meeting in about 3 weeks.
Tantummaheag Landing: First Selectman Griswold drove to the property and observed that at least two bushes have been planted on the Landing property. This must be addressed. The Town Attorney is working on title situation, but it is a complicated matter.
American Rescue Plan: First Selectman Griswold reported that the Committee met on October 6th and the members were sworn in. He will prepare a list of direct appeals received and will forward it to the Committee for its review.
Employee Handbook Revision – Sick Days: First Selectman Griswold discussed the revisions that need to be made to the sick day and personal day policies. As the other Selectman had not seen the proposals, he read them. Selectwoman Nosal confirmed that they are the policies that were approved on July 14 and July 21, 2020. Selectwoman Nosal moved and Selectman Kerr seconded a motion to approve the revised policies and to have them incorporated into the Employee Handbook. The motion was approved.
- New Business
First Selectman Griswold reported that the Wage & Salary survey has begun, using the $6,000 in carryover funds from the FY 2021 budget. Selectwoman Nosal asked if there is a contract with the consulting firm? She feels we need someone to do a gap analysis and have defined job descriptions before proceeding. Selectman Kerr moved and First Selectman Griswold seconded a motion to recommend that the Board of Finance augment the existing $6,000 wage and salary survey budget by an additional $6,000 to complete the study. First Selectman Griswold and Selectman Kerr voted in favor of the motion and Selectwoman Nosal voted against the motion. The motion passed.
Repaving Center Beach Ave: First Selectman Griswold stated that, this past summer, the CT Water Co installed a new water main along one side of Center Beach Ave. Rather than repave half of the street, CT Water offered to pay the Town $75,000 in lieu of doing the repaving. Mr. Adanti, Supt. of Public Works, said that sum was not enough, and CT Water offered $100,000. Mr. Adanti obtained the firm price of $145,000 to repave the entire street and would like to repave before Memorial Day 2022. This would require another $45,000 from the Road Improvement Fund. The Selectmen will urge the Board of Finance to approve the plan and do the work before Memorial Day.
MIRA: First Selectman Griswold asked that we add the MIRA Municipal Service Agreement to the agenda. MIRA operates the trash-to-energy plant in Hartford that processes municipal solid waste for 48 towns. The plant will close soon due to its poor condition and, once done, the MSW will be trucked to out-of-state landfills. MIRA is asking each member town to commit to stay with MIRA for the next five years so that MIRA can line up contractors to haul the MSW to out-of-state destinations. No action is required at this time but It will be a topic for the Board of Finance.
- Other Business
First Selectman Griswold reported that Roger Davis is still interested in acquiring 11 Alpha Ave. in Rogers Lake West Shores at a price of 10,500. There was another individual that also expressed interest in the purchase but, as of the Friday deadline, no response. The sale will require a Town Meeting approval.
First Selectwoman Nosal was excited to announce that Courtney Joy is now an official Town Clerk.
Selectwoman Nosal asked if Harry Plaut has paid his Transfer Station bills. First Selectman Griswold responded yes, he paid what was owed. There will be a written agreement that specifies how his Transfer Station credit arrangement will work.If he does not pay on time, his credit privilege will be terminated.
Selectwoman Nosal said it is Cyber Awareness month and the Town need to purchase Cyber insurance. First Selectman Griswold said the Information Technology Committee is working on this and certain procedures must be put in place before we approach an insurance carrier.
Selectwoman Nosal spoke about the Resolution Declaring Racism A Public Health Crisis again. It is a national discussion mainly about health issues. It is a value statement with no legal issues that would set policies with an equitable lens.
Selectman Kerr moved and Selectman Nosal seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:37 p.m.
The motion was approved.
Minutes prepared by: Suzanne McAuliffe