Old Lyme Harbor Management Commission Meeting Minutes - 10/12/2021

Meeting date: 
Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Regular Meeting Minutes

The Old Lyme Harbor Management Commission – In Person

October 12, 2021 at 7:00 PM



Members Present: Mike Barnes (alternate), Sloan Danenhower, George Finley, John MacDonald (Chairman), Mike Magee, Tom Meyer, Harry Plaut (ex-officio), Steven Ross (ex-officio


Absent:  Robert Falaguerra (Vice-Chairman), Bill Harris, Tom Kelo (alternate), Teri Lewis, Christopher Staab


Guests:  Keith Neilson (Docko), Gene Chmiel (Black Hall Outfitters), and Tim Visel (Sound School)

Chairman John MacDonald called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.


Michael Barnes was seated for Robert Falaguerra and Sloan Danenhower was seated for Chris Staab. 





a. Clerk’s Report: approve HMC meeting minutes for September 14, 2021

Mike Magee moved to accept the meeting minutes of September 14, 2021 and Tom Meyer seconded the motion.  SO VOTED.


b. Treasurer’s Report (Harris): report review for September 2021
Bill Harris was absent, and there was no report given.


c.  HMC membership openings

One Alternate position is open.


d. Correspondence – None




Cambridge, 15 Academy Lane dock modifications CT DEEP COP application (Docko)

Retain/rebuild dock and pier, new piles and ramp.  Electronic copy was sent earlier to commission members. Keith Neilson of Docko presented the plans for dock modifications at 15 Academy Lane, Old Lyme (Cambridge property).  Mr. Neilson stated that the DEEP is in favor of the plans.


John MacDonald recommends that the applicant restrict the floating dock size to 100 square feet as per Harbor Management regulations. For safety purposes the HMC should allow the landing float to be 4.5 by 5 feet per a variance.  A 2/3 vote is required to grant the variance. The general agreement / consensus of restricting the floating dock size to 100 square feet was four members in agreement and one opposed.  


George Finley moved that the HMC grant a variance to allow a 4.5 by 5-foot landing float for safety purposes.  Mike Magee seconded the motion.  SO VOTED with all five commission members in favor.


Tom Meyer moved to move agenda item 5a. New Business to come before item 4 Old Business.  George Finley seconded the motion.  SO VOTED.


5a. Gene Chmiel Black Hall Outfitters with Tim Visel Sound School, presentation on Black Hall River “sapropel levels” BHR channel marker request.
Tim Visel gave a 30-minute presentation with attention to the problems that could become worse at the inlet of the Black Hall River if not paid attention to now and in the future.  The reason for this discussion is to be proactive, maintain the flow of the Black Hall River, monitor the issue and go to the State when needed.  Mr. Visel spoke of community dredging which members felt was an interesting concept.


Gene Chmiel would like the PVC pole removed that the company that did the dredging left in the river as a navigational point of interest and replace it with a marker in the center of the channel.




a. Four Mile River; phase one funding request sent to CPA (MacDonald)

John MacDonald reported that the funding request for engineering studies (Phase I) and misc items pertaining to this phase was accepted, and according to Joe Salvatore at the State, this item will be placed on the October 19th CT Port Authority agenda.


b. Kayak Launch and Storage at Haines Park project status update (Magee)

Mike Magee gave a report on the progress of the concept of placing a floating dock with a kayak launch at Hains Park.  Members of the kayak committee had attended the last PRC meeting and then met Sunday morning at Hains Park with PRC members and other interested parties to review ideas and placement of dock, kayak launch and rack.  This item will be on the next PRC meeting to be held in November. Mr. Magee felt all PRC members were in favor of this.


c. On-line Mooring System MOU status update (Meyer)
Tom Meyer reviewed the on-line mooring system and the idea of increasing the charge for a mooring permit from $25 to $35 to cover the fees of the on-line system.  Mr. Meyer stated that there is a lot of work to get done to get this system up and running by the beginning of the new year.  There was a discussion.


Michael Barnes moved to approve to go to the on-line mooring system for mooring permits subject to a final review of MOU and authorize Chairman John MacDonald to sign the MOU. 

Mike Magee seconded the motion.  SO VOTED with all in favor.


d. Harbor Management Plan revision plan, looking for lead person

This item was tabled.


e. 2021 audit of moorings, permits, GPS data reconciliation (ad hoc committee)

Tom Meyer reported that the audit did not get off as planned.  It was started in July and only moderately successful.  There were many issues across the group and they never got out on the water again.  Mr. Meyer stated that he did get out in the OL Shores area and he looked at about 25 mooring balls and there were a large number of moorings that he would call questionable.  Many with no stickers or names.  He put all the information in a spreadsheet and presented it to the members. Mr. Meyer reported that the audit was aborted and he advised that they take a step back and hit the ground running next season with the new on-line system.






a. Gene Chmiel Black Hall Outfitters w/ Tim Visel Sound School, presentation on Black Hall River “sapropel levels” BHR channel marker request. (30-minute presentation allocation)

This item was discussed earlier in the agenda.


b. Awards of the winter servicing of HMC town equipment: 1. Moorings 2. Nav. Aid. 3. Dock Floats. Item 1, 2, 3 bid review and vote to approve each item. Electronic copy bid documents sent.


The sealed bid from HS Plaut Environmental was opened.  Mr. Plaut was the only bidder on all three items and Old Lyme Dock Company bid on item 3 only.


George Finley moved that the HMC award the following:

Item #1: to HS Plaut Environmental $800, Item #2: to HS Plaut Environmental $300, and Item #3: to Old Lyme Dock Company $800.  Michael Barnes seconded the motion.  SO VOTED.


c. Other - None




a. Year – End Mooring Records Report; Permits/Inspections/Payments (Meyer)


Tom Meyer gave his monthly mooring permit report.


Private Permits Issued:


Private Checks to Treasurer:


HMC Waivers:


Commercial Permits Issued:


Commercial Checks to Treasurer:


Applications in Process:




Follow Up/ Actions:

  • In process applications
  • COTS tracking system
    • MOU reviewed by Town Attorney
      • Minor items noted, Vendor has agreed to address
      • Updated version pending, signature to follow
      • Onboard planning post signature
    • BOS Advisory meeting to be scheduled
    • Update process flow – Draft list of data/process changes needing discussion/approval

Mooring Cost to $35/Yr.

Designate Specific Mooring fields (exc. Riparian)

Application Cutoff Date (1 April)?

Proof of Insurance

Boat Photo

Inspector List Update

Boat Registration


2022 Decal?

  • Build forms/Training materials
  • User Communications and Training
  • Mooring Audit
    • Per Committee, Activity abandoned due to multiple observed issues, logistics of continuing prior to season’s end
    • Harbormaster providing coordinates on pulled moorings




b. Harbormaster activity report (Plaut)

Harry Plaut reported that he had discovered the mooring ball attached to the PVC pipe that Gene Chmiel had talked of. The pipe needs to be addressed asap, and the spot documented.  Harry Plaut will take care of it.


c. Harbormaster work direction guidance document review/revision for 2022

This item was tabled.  John MacDonald will re-send the document out to members. This will be placed on next month’s agenda.




a. Pilgrim Landing status report (Magee)

Mike Magee reported that Pilgrim Landing is in good shape.


b. Dinghy Dock status report (Finley)
George Finley replaced a board on the dock.  John MacDonald reported that he had spoken with Dave Peterson of Old Lyme Dock Company and Mr, Peterson believes that these docks should be good for 25 years.  The docks are only about 19 years old at this time and have more years of life in them with the occasional replacement of boards and other small repairs.  Mr. MacDonald mentioned that the handrails need attention. 







Tom Meyer moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:16 PM and George Finley seconded the motion.  SO VOTED.


The next meeting of the HMC will be on November 9, 2021 at 7:00 PM.




Submitted by,



Mary Ellen Garbarino (Clerk)