Board of Finance Explains Procedure for Approving the 2020-21 Town Budget; Presents Agenda for Apr. 28 Virtual Budget Hearing; Presents Proposed Budget to Residents

From:  The Lyme Board of Finance

To:  All property owners and residents of the Town of Lyme,

I hope this message finds you, your family and friends safe and healthy. 

The Board of Finance has approved the preliminary 2020-2021 Town Budget.  Some good news up front: There should be no increase in the mill rate. 

In a typical year, we would hold a Budget Hearing and then a Town Meeting to approve the proposed budget.  Due to the Covid-19 virus, this year that process will change. 

We will hold a virtual Budget Hearing on Tuesday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m.  Property owners and residents of Lyme can join the online meeting (or call in by phone) to hear about the budget, ask questions and express comments.

To further enhance public input, the Board of Finance has established an email address (see the attached Budget Hearing agenda), so you can send in questions or comments about the proposed budget in advance of the virtual Budget Hearing.  This mailbox is open now and will be monitored through April 28.  All e-mails received will be addressed as part of the virtual Budget Hearing on April 28.

The State of Connecticut and the Lyme Board of Selectmen have authorized the Lyme Board of Finance to approve the final 2020-2021 Town Budget and set the mill rate in this manner to eliminate the public contact of a Town Meeting and help keep us safe.  The Board of Finance will meet on Tuesday, May 12, at 6:30 p.m., for final budget approval and setting of the mill rate.

Please continue to keep yourself, your families, friends and neighbors safe. Follow the guidelines established by the CDC.  Help your neighbors.  Ask for help from your neighbors.  Working together we will come out the other side of this a better community.

Kind regards,

Dan Hagan
Board of Finance, Chairman

  • To see the agenda for the Tuesday, Apr. 28, virtual Budget Hearing on the proposed budget, click here.
  • To view the proposed 2020-21 budget, click here.

 

Town of Lyme Authorizes Board of Finance To Adopt Budget, Set Mill Rate, in Accordance with Governor’s Order

By unanimous vote, the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Lyme authorized the Lyme Board of Finance to adopt the FY 2020 – 2021 Budget and set the mill rate following a virtual Budget Hearing and without Town Meeting vote. All efforts will be made to allow property owners to review and comment on the budget prior to the Board of Finance Budget Hearing virtual meeting planned for April 28, 2020.

The Governor’s Order # 7I dated 3/21/20 suspended the in-person requirement for purposes of adopting the FY 2020-2021 municipal budget and setting of the mill rate. The Board of Selectmen is empowered, by this executive order, to authorize the budget making authority (Board of Finance) to adopt the budget and set the mill rate. The Board of Finance must follow open meeting protocols for the development and approval of the budget, including holding a virtual Budget Hearing open to the public. A copy of the budget must be posted on the town’s website accompanying the announcement of the Budget Hearing date and agenda. Also included should be an email address that residents can use to comment on the budget prior to the hearing.

First Selectman Issues Public Health Advisory Update

It has been 10 days since the last update when we announced the first coronavirus patient in Lyme. We are cautiously optimistic to note that we have not yet seen another case. Neighboring towns continue to experience increasing numbers of cases and we should anticipate the same here. Please be diligent in keeping yourselves, your families, friends and neighbors safe as we work together to protect ourselves and our town.

Updates to our preparations:

  • The ambulance, fire and emergency management services continue to be ready. Protocols to protect the first responders and the patients on 911 calls have been modified and responders may be in protective equipment upon arrival at your homes if called. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been ordered and stockpiled and the flow of additional supply has been arranged with the state, if needed.
  • The COVID-19 Response Team is following all developments and participating daily with the Governor, State Health Department and Department of Emergency Management & Homeland Security to be fully aware of the most up-to-date information and recommendations.
  • Our volunteer appeal has been overwhelmingly successful. Thank you. Over 100 of you have offered to help. These volunteers are making contact (non-physical) with any residents who would like to be followed, just in case. We are actively seeking other residents who may be more comfortable knowing the town is available and can assist in addressing emergency needs that may come up. Volunteers may be needed for additional purposes if things progress negatively. It is a comfort to know this community stands up and takes care of one another. A large reason why we love living here.
  • The town facilities remain closed, but the government remains open and operational. Town Hall and library employees can be reached by email and will assist in most cases. The town crew is working on a reduced basis, but work continues on our roads. “How-to” instructions for our land-use responsibilities have been posted on the website to try and make things a little easier. The website will continue to be updated as the situation changes.
  • The town’s boards and commissions are getting back to work. Their meetings will be held virtually and remain open to the public. Agendas are posted on the website with instructions on how to participate, if desired. Minutes are also posted summarizing the actions taken in those meetings. It is our hope that all boards will be back on their normal meeting schedule by May.
  • The development of next year’s budget (beginning July 1, 2020) has continued and will be presented at a virtual Budget Hearing, on April 28, 2020 by the Board of Finance. The Board of Finance will be empowered to adopt this budget and set the mill rate for next year without Town Meeting approval. The proposed budget will be posted on the website with an email address made available for your comments. The Board of Selectmen’s budget proposal, being reviewed and debated by the Board of Finance, recommended a balanced budget that would not require a property tax increase next year.
  • Our land preserves, along with those owned by the Lyme Land Trust, remain open and have available some of the best hiking trails in CT. We urge you to take advantage of them for exercise and fresh air. Please remain at least 6 feet apart from others as you enjoy our beautiful town.

We have had a wonderful suggestion from a resident.

Feeling a little antsy, need some fresh air and exercise? For many of us it’s the first time that we actually have some spare time on our hands. How about sprucing up our town roadsides.  Our roads collect garbage and recyclables we can collect.  Take two bags; one for garbage and one for recyclables – cans, bottles and plastic make up about 90% of roadside trash. If you can, hold on to the recyclables until the recycling center reopens. And for more fun and quality time, meet up with a friend or neighbor (keeping your distance of course) or make it a family adventure. It’s just a little thing we can do in this time of stress that’s good for the town and the environment.

 This is a great suggestion, especially since the Public Hall’s Annual Spring Roadside Clean-Up has been cancelled for this year.

We should congratulate ourselves for our adherence to social distancing. This is the single most impactful action we can all take to protect us all. Lyme has responded well to this request and we trust that this will continue. As the weather warms, and the lure of being outside and the need for social contact grows, we ask you all not to get complacent. The lack of case numbers in Lyme is partially due to our social distancing actions. We need to see this through until the end … together.

Please take care, stay safe and stay home.

Steven Mattson
First Selectman

 

Estuary Council of Seniors Seeks Assistance

On April 3, the Estuary Council of Seniors posted the following statement on Facebook:

We need your help!

 

We are currently assembling shelf stable meals for our Meals on Wheels clients and need your help. We are asking everyone, if you have extra canned tuna or canned chicken you would be willing to donate, to please consider donating it to the seniors in our region. Drop off is at the senior center (220 Main St, Old Saybrook) anytime M-F from 9-4. A bin will be placed outside. 

 

We are trying to assemble enough meals for every one of our Meals on Wheels clients to have enough for 1 to 2 weeks in the event we are unable to deliver. We currently have about half as much tuna/chicken as we need and have already gotten what we can from all of our supermarkets (without depleting their stock).

 

If you cannot assist with a donation of canned tuna but are in a position to make a monetary donation, you can do so through our website at www.ecsenior.org. We continue to shop for items as they become available and this would help immensely.

 

Thank you in advance! This is our most vulnerable population right now and we are doing everything we can to keep them healthy and safe.

Lyme Land Conservation Trust Postpones Tour de Lyme

On April 3, the Lyme Land Conservation Trust issued the following statement:

The health and safety of our Event Day participants in the Tour de Lyme is always our first concern.  Given the projected course of the coronavirus pandemic, we have decided to postpone the Tour until Sunday, September 13th.  Next year we will be returning to our regular time slot.

 

Our Tour de Lyme registration website will remain open between now and then.  We hope to see you in September at our charity biking event, but if you have already registered and know that you cannot attend on that date, please email me and I will reimburse your full registration fee.  

 

Continue to ride, visit our Preserves and stay healthy.  We are all in this together.

 

Kristina White
Executive Director
Lyme Land Conservation Trust