EAST LYME — Local voters approved emergency spending $43,225 in emergency repairs to the Town Hall building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and about $36,000 of other special appropriations at a Wednesday night town meeting.
Grants or sales of old town equipment funded each of the appropriations rather than new taxes.
“If you’re noticing that it’s pretty cool in here tonight — actually, it’s freezing — and it’s not because we like cold,” First Selectman Mark Nickerson told town meeting voters gathered in Town Hall. “It’s because the only way to get the humidity out of the building is to constantly be running the air and taking it out.”
Nickerson went on to explain that the computerized systems that moderate the humidity in the building malfunctioned, requiring a total replacement.
Voters approved spending the $43,225 out of Local Capital Improvement Grants from the state to replace the system. The contract was awarded to Carrier Company Controls.
Voters also approved spending $20,311 from grant money to purchase equipment for the town’s emergency operations center. This included computer equipment, network failure routers, and multiple traffic signs for evacuation.
The funding comes from the owners of the Millstone Power Station by way of the state’s Nuclear Safety Emergency Preparedness Fund. These particular purchases will be paid for with a July 2019 grant to East Lyme from the fund.
“This is what we commonly refer to in town government as nuclear money, because we’re a nuclear town and we have unique risks,” Nickerson said.
Additionally, voters approved spending $15,742 in public works equipment — including $8,934 for a lift for a vehicle maintenance truck, $4,500 for a shop press used to manufacture parts, and $2,300 for a ‘10 snow push box used in snow removal.
That $15,742 comes from a fund that the town keeps with proceeds from the sale of old public works equipment, public works director Joseph Bragaw told town meeting voters.
About 18 people gathered for the town meeting, and each of the votes were apparently unanimous. Moderator Eugene Cushman decided each by voice vote.