With the passage of the budget for fiscal year 2012 at the town’s Annual Meeting at the end of May, the Board of Selectmen now wishes to inform residents of pending projects and other matters of interest concerning our community.
First, some good news, our mil rate is going down. After the budget meeting, the Board of Finance voted to set the new rate for the upcoming fiscal year at 13.50, down from the present 13.55.
The town crew will be undertaking an ambitious oiling schedule this year. Beaver Brook, Bill hill, Becket Hill, Brockway’s Ferry, Burr, Day Hill, Gungy and Keeny Roads are all slated for treatment. Work on Tantumorantum Road is already underway. The seriously deteriorated southern portion has been ground up and re-graded. Paving and fence work will begin shortly and probably will have been completed by the time this newsletter is published. It has not been determined as yet whether the entire road will be paved this year as oil prices have made the cost for asphalt extremely volatile. Please excuse any delays or inconvenience you may encounter as we attempt to get our roads back in shape after a brutal winter.
Another infrastructure related project involves the Joshuatown Road Bridge. State Department of Transportation inspections reveal the possibility of critical scour issues. Test borings will be done this summer to determine whether the bridge’s footings have been eroded to a point where they are no longer seated on bedrock.
The town also continues to work on a closure plan for the Brush Hill Road landfill. The engineering firm of Fuss & O’Neill has been retained to help steer us through the Department of Environmental Protection maze of closure regulations. We have been given five years to complete the project and will be working on a parallel track to secure a transfer station permit for the facility so we will still have a place to dispose of bulky waste, brush and other items.
Beginning with the 2012 budget, the town will be aggressively setting aside funds to cover the costs to avoid having to borrow. In other landfill related news, electronic waste is now being accepted at the site. A list of accepted items is available in the Announcements section of the town web page, or by calling the town hall at 860-434-7733.
Lyme now has a new ordinance dealing with driveway plowing. Unfortunately, over the past several years, the town crew has had to deal with an increasing number of situations where residents have cleared their driveways and left large amounts of snow on our streets in the process. This presents significant safety issues and it has not been possible to correct the situation with simple requests for cooperation. Infractions will now come with a $50.00 fine per violation.
The Town Campus Center Planning Committee continues its work to develop a proposal for possible renovation and expansion of the town hall and library. The conceptual design work is almost done and there will be a second informational meeting in the near future to update residents on what will be proposed. The next step, which is funded in the 2012 budget, will be to develop schematic designs. At this point it will become possible to develop reliable cost estimates to ultimately be submitted for voter consideration.
The concept of regionalism has been making headlines of late as the State of Connecticut and municipalities look for more cost effective ways to deliver services to our respective communities. To this end, the state has been pressing for consolidation of regional planning organizations. Presently, there are 15 and the number we are hearing after some form reconfiguration is 8. Lyme is a member of the nine town Connecticut River Estuary Regional Planning Agency which some years ago formed a legislatively permitted association with the Mid-State Regional Planning Organization. In order to avoid a state mandated consolidation order which not be of our choosing, the two groups have requested and received approval from the state Office of Policy and Management to form a council of governments. Planning is underway to effect this consolidation which should be completed by the end of the 2012 fiscal year.
You may have noticed some new signs on display at our town boundaries designating Lyme as a HeartSafe Community. This comes as a result of a Lyme Ambulance Association initiative to train town hall staff in CPR and the operation of a so called Automated External Defibrillator which has been installed in the town hall. Hopefully, it will never have to be used, but should an emergency situation arise we are now equipped and trained to deal with it. Thanks to the Ambulance Association and instructor Karen Dahle for providing the training as well as this valuable asset.
Finally, as we assume everyone knows by now, long-time Town Clerk Ruth Perry has retired after 30 years of exemplary service to the Town of Lyme. An event to thank her and recognize her many contributions is being planned for Wednesday, July 20th at the Old Lyme Beach Club. We will publish additional details as plans are firmed up and try not to embarrass her too much, but we’re not going to let her just quietly slip out of town.
As always, the Board of Selectmen welcomes questions and comments and wishes all a safe, enjoyable summer.