Library renovations to be completed in April and other selectmen news


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OLD LYME — The Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library is expected to begin accessing town funds this month for ongoing renovations once they surpass the $300,000 in costs that the library committed to cover through donations and raised funds, said First Selectman Timothy Griswold at his first meeting of the board since he took office following November’s election.

At a July 2018 town meeting, Old Lyme voters approved the town to spend $1.75 million on the construction, with $1.25 million coming through a bank loan and $500,000 from surplus.

Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library is also set to receive a $1 million state grant once the construction is 50 percent complete, which Griswold said was expected in February 2020. The whole project is expected to be completed in April 2020.

In other business, the selectmen discussed:

  • The Old Lyme Fire Department recently received a delivery of new tankers and so the town will now seek to sell two older tanker trucks that have been replaced, Griswold said. The trucks will go out for bid and proceeds would go to the town’s designated fund for the next time they’re seeking to buy a fire truck.
  • The selectmen accepted the resignation of Bennett “B.J.” Bernblum, a Democrat, as chair of the Hall Roads Improvement Committee. Debate over developing Halls Road became a prominent campaign issue ahead of November’s election.
  • Griswold said that the board will consider appointments to commissions — including a new committee to study affordable housing in town — at the selectmen’s meeting in January. Griswold welcomed residents to submit applications to volunteer and noted that several commissions have vacant seats.
  • Monday was the deadline for all town departments and agencies with budgets to submit their requested budgets for fiscal year 2020-21 to the town’s finance department. Griswold said more detailed budget discussions among the selectmen would begin in January.
  • Griswold said that the new owner of the property at 21 Town Woods Road was open to granting the town a 10′ right-of-way so as to access and maintain a standpipe, used for fire protection, by Rogers Lake Dam that partially runs through that private property. The selectmen voted unanimously to give Griswold the authority to execute that agreement.
  • The selectmen also voted unanimously to approve Town Hall closing early — at 1 p.m. — on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.