Eminent Domain Proceedings Halted as Town and Beach Communities Agree to Payment

Monday night's Board of Selectmen meeting in Old Lyme (CT Examiner/Hewitt)


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OLD LYME — The town has halted eminent domain proceedings to acquire two easements necessary for the planned sewer project in Old Lyme after the property owner agreed to a one-time payment in exchange for allowing a sewage pipe to be constructed across the properties.

In a reversal that includes a $30,000 payment to Frank Maratta, owner of 85 Swan Ave. and 86 Hartford Ave, in consideration of the easement, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a resolution Monday night that will allow the town to proceed with an important piece of the planned sewer project that will serve the beach communities of Old Lyme.

First Selectman Timothy Griswold said that eight entities will sign the agreement: the town of Old Lyme and its Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA), and the three beach communities — Old Colony Beach, Old Lyme Shores, and Miami Beach — and their WPCAs. 

Griswold said Old Colony Beach Association will initially pay the $30,000 on behalf of the three beach associations and the town. He said the payment will eventually be divided among the three associations and the town in accordance with a cost-sharing agreement. Griswold said that the town will pay its share after the agreement is signed on a future date to be decided. 

“Once the agreement is signed by all parties, we will be able to turn over the $30,000 check to Maratta,” said Griswold. 

Griswold say that the payment was not arrived at by any particular formula. “It’s just a number. It started out considerably higher, but it came down to that amount.” 

With the easements in place, Griswold said that Fuss & O’Neill, the engineering firm selected to design the project, will be able solicit bids next month. 

“We had two possible ways to approach this. Eminent domain was least favorable, this is slightly more expensive, but this gives us advantage of time,” Griswold said. “At this point, we need to get this out to bid as quickly as possible so the contractor can be lined up and ready to go in early spring because we need to have this pipe through Sound View by May 15th.”