Recapping Board of Selectmen, Old Saybrook Considers Harbor Commission Jurisdiction

Old Saybrook Town Hall (Credit: CT Examiner/McDermott)


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OLD SAYBROOK — The Board of Selectmen reviewed a proposed ordinance revision that would clarify that the harbor commission has jurisdiction over Old Saybrook’s waterways and all waterfront facilities as assigned by the selectmen.

Town attorney Michael Cronin Jr. and Harbor Management Commission Secretary Paul Connolly explained at the meeting that the current ordinance is not completely clear whether the commission has that power. Earlier this year, orne commission member had questioned whether the commission had power over facilities located above the high tide line.

“We were reviewing things and it became clear that it was unclear,” Connolly said.

Cronin said it was relatively simple for town officials to add a single clarifying paragraph to the harbor management ordinance, whereas it would have been more time-consuming for Cronin to review the commission’s founding documents to make the case that the commission had that authority.

First Selectman Carl Fortuna said that the selectmen expect to send the proposed ordinance to voters for approval at the annual Town Meeting in late November, unless town counsel determines that the charter prevents the selectmen from taking this action in the “lame duck” session between Election Day and the new board being seated.

At the same meeting:

  • The board appointed Selectman Carol Conklin to serve as chairperson of Old Saybrook’s Complete Count Committee for the 2020 Census. The volunteer committee is an organization of local leaders who will seek to help the staff from the federal Census Bureau to count as many Old Saybrook residents as possible.
  • Fortuna announced that Stencil Ease of Old Saybrook will be the first business in town to take advantage of Connecticut’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program, which gives property owners access to financing from the Connecticut Green Bank. Stencil Ease will use the funds to cover upfront costs of installing solar panels to cover most of their energy needs.
  • Fortuna said the town will plan a food drive on Election Day, inspired by similar efforts in Bristol.