Town of Lyme Notice of Public Hearing Re: Joining Ledge Light Health District

The Board of Selectmen has scheduled a public hearing to be held on Thursday, April 5th, 2018, at 7:30 p.m., at the Lyme Town Hall, 480 Hamburg Road (Route 156), Lyme, Connecticut, to receive questions and comments from the public regarding the Town of Lyme becoming a member of the Ledge Light Health District.

Dated at Lyme, Connecticut, this 29th day of March, 2018.

Steven Mattson

For the Board of Selectmen

FAQs about Health Districts

What is a “health district”? In Connecticut, local public health services are provided either by a municipal health department or a “health district.”

  • A health district is formed when two or more towns decide to consolidate their public health functions.
  • There are currently 20 health districts across the state.
  • Ledge Light Health District is a district that has been formed by the towns of Old Lyme, East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, New London, Stonington, North Stonington and Waterford to serve their residents.

What are the benefits of joining a health district versus running our own health department? The benefits for our town would include:

  • the ability to provide our residents with a full range of public health services all year long;
  • the ability to offer emergency-related public health services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week;
  • lower annual costs for providing public health services to our residents;
  • ongoing access to a team of certified public health professionals;
  • uniform and consistent enforcement of state public health codes and regulations; and
  • the assurance that the town is in full compliance with all state rules and regulations governing local health departments. 

What would the health district’s responsibilities include? The health district’s responsibilities would include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Inspecting and approving the septic systems of local homes and businesses.
  • Conducting soils testing, plan reviews and approvals of any subdivisions, new lots or building additions approved by the town.
  • Reviewing, inspecting and approving the locations and construction of wells.
  • Inspecting and certifying the health and safety of any establishments that offer food services.
  • Responding to potential public health emergencies, such as incidents of lead poisoning or outbreaks of rabies, Lyme disease or food-borne illnesses.
  • Offering health promotion programs and services to our residents – e.g., smoking-cessation programs, flu clinics, Lyme disease prevention awareness campaigns.

Will anyone at Town Hall lose their job if we join the health district? No. Our Sanitarian, George Calkins, will either be retiring on June 30, 2018, or he may be rehired by the Ledge Light Health District to continue to work part-time serving the Town of Lyme, as he has done for many years. His potential retirement has been one of the events that lead to our recommendation to join the health district.

Is the decision to join the health district irreversible? No. The Board of Selectmen will monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the partnership and recommend to residents whether it should be continued. The initial commitment is for a minimum three-year period and may be discontinued by a town vote after that time.

Will services still be available at Lyme Town Hall? Yes. Ledge Light personnel will have set office hours at Town Hall like our sanitarian has maintained – probably on Tuesday mornings. In addition, staff would be available during any weekday for a specific office appointment or for inspections, site testing, etc. Staff would be available for as many hours as are needed to fully perform any necessary or requested function.