Sound View Residents Hire Attorney, Commission Assessment, to Claim Proposed Sewer Fees Exceed Legal Limit

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OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Sewer Coalition, LLC, has hired an attorney and an appraiser to challenge the town’s cost-benefit assessment to pay for the planned installation of sewers in Sound View Beach and Miscellaneous Area B, arguing that the town’s formula violates Connecticut General Statutes §7-249 prohibiting assessments in excess of the benefits accrued to property owners. “The statute states expressly ‘[t]he sum of initial and subsequent assessments shall not exceed the special benefit accruing to the property’ and later repeats this limitation, ‘[n]o assessment shall be made against any property in excess of the special benefit to

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Old Lyme WPCA Hires Consultant, Debates Sewer Funding and Tests

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OLD LYME — The Water Pollution Control Authority made incremental progress Tuesday night, approving a contract to hire a benefit assessment consultant, discussing a potential agreement with the three private beach communities, as well as considering an independent expert to evaluate water testing at Hawk’s Nest.  WPCA Chair Richard Prendergast said that hiring a assessement consultant will help define variables in the town’s Sound View Beach neighborhood which is slated for sewer installation, but has a wide range of commercial and residential properties. In a referendum on August 13, town voters approved a $9.5 million sewer construction bond for Sound

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New London Opts to Renegotiate Regional Sewer Agreement

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NEW LONDON — At its December 19 meeting, the New London Water and Water Pollution Control Authority voted to renegotiate the 30-year-old sewage agreement with the towns of Waterford and East Lyme.  The tri-town agreement would have automatically renewed on January 10, 2021 for a ten-year period unless one or more member municipalities gave formal notice to the other parties to change or terminate the agreement.  The three towns share the use of the Thomas E. Piacenti Regional Water Pollution Control Facility in New London. The plant can process 10 millions gallons per day. New London is allocated 55 percent

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WPCA Discusses a State-Mandated Revision to Old Lyme’s Sewer Ordinance and Cost Sharing

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OLD LYME — In part due to the town’s recent re-evaluation, the Water Pollution Control Authority plans to hire attorneys and consultants to determine property values in Sound View Beach as the town’s sewer project moves forward.  At Tuesday’s WPCA meeting, Douglas Wilkinson, treasurer, said next year’s budget includes $10,000 for a land use lawyer and about $15,000 for an appraisal consultant to evaluate properties, especially since the town is going through a re-evaluation this year.  In an August 13 referendum, residents voted 883 to 565 to bond $9.5 million for sewer construction in Sound View Beach and Miscellaneous Town

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Letter: How the Politics of Sewers Impacts One Old Lyme Family

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Originally the scope of the sewer project in Old Lyme — as determined by the Old Lyme Water Pollution Control Authority and DEEP — included the public beaches of Sound View, White Sands Beach and Hawks Nest. The private beaches were already marching forward.  At the October 2014 meeting of the Old Lyme WPCA, as a result of a motion raised by Mr. Prendergast, White Sands was removed from the project, citing cost. Area B (near the railroad tracks) was subsequently added. The estimated cost to sewer the three Sound View public streets – Portland Ave, Hartford Ave and Swan Ave

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Letter: WPCA Minutes Tells Larger Story, Suggest Waterford Sewer Fees Unresolved

WPCA minutes are not always 100% inclusive, but they should be because they are important.  They are the town’s public reporting of how Old Lyme got to the point where it is today – under a state mandate to implement what has now become a $9.5 million dollar burden.  It is disappointing then to see that the CT Examiner has more detailed information about the latest formula to tax selected homeowners $9.5 million, than what’s recorded in the WPCA October 2019 minutes.  Per WPCA minutes, it all started years ago when town leadership signed an agreement to complete a Clean

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Denied a Town Meeting by Petition, Officials Provide No Legal Explanation

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OLD LYME — Without a clear legal basis, the town has denied a petition for a special meeting with the Water Pollution Control Authority submitted by a group of Sound View residents. “We the residents/taxpayers of Old Lyme request a meeting with the Old Lyme WPCA, where we the people of Old Lyme will ask questions and receive answers to those questions regarding aspects of the WPCA actions to install sewers in Sound View and Area B,” stated the petition signed by 61 Sound View residents.  On August 13, voters approved a $9.5 million bond for sewer construction in Sound

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Sound View Pump Station Reviewed in Tuesday’s Zoning Hearing

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OLD LYME — The special permit application for the proposed pump station at 73 Portland Avenue proceeded fairly quickly through a Zoning Commission public hearing Tuesday. The pump station will be the “central collection and discharge point for the wastewater generated in the participating Old Lyme beach areas. The station will convey flow through approximately 16,000 feet of proposed force mains to an existing sewer manhole at 275 West Main Street in East Lyme, about 1,900 feet east of the town line at Four Mile River,” according to the special permit application prepared by Fuss & O’Neill, dated September 6

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Frank Chan Proposes New Formula for Assessing Sewers Fees in Sound View

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OLD LYME — At the October 8 Water Pollution Control Authority meeting, Vice-Chair Frank Chan proposed a new formula to calculate Equivalent Dwelling Units for the Sound View Beach that would narrow the difference between minimum and maximum assessments. “Our basic premise is every dwelling will receive [the] sewer as a benefit and larger sized dwellings with a larger capacity generate [more] wastewater and therefore will be assessed a larger amount,” he said. “The minimum to maximum ratio should be small, should be reasonable, instead of 10 to one [it] should be two or three to one.” Under new benefit

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Editorial: A Stray Conversation About Sewering Rogers Lake and Elsewhere in Old Lyme

What should we make of a recent interview with Waterford First Selectman Daniel Steward, credibly recounting conversations with Old Lyme First Selectman Bonnie Reemsnyder on the topic of installing sewers in Rogers Lake and elsewhere in Old Lyme? “What they haven’t included in any of these discussions is what it costs to transport the sewage from East Lyme through Waterford. The IMA [intermunicipal agreement] needs to include Waterford and to my knowledge it does not,” he said. “Bonnie knows this because Bonnie is also talking about doing the other part of Old Lyme because you’ve got other areas in Old

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Waterford’s First Selectman Daniel Steward Retiring, But Still Looking Forward

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WATERFORD — Retiring First Selectman Daniel Steward has seen Waterford’s transformation first hand over 69 years living in town. Steward’s father sold the family dairy farm in the early 1970s, and now those acres are the site of a Lowe’s Home Improvement and shopping plaza just off Interstate 95. The catalpa tree his father planted as a boy stands high above the parking lot. But if you ask Steward about all that’s changed, he doesn’t get stuck on sentimentality for days gone by. “It’s what happens. It’s the way life progresses,” Steward said in a Friday interview at Waterford Town

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Of Note: The Matter of Contacting Property Owners Before a Vote

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On Thursday, the Old Lyme Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) met for the first time since voters approved a plan to borrow up to $9.5 million to install sewers in the shoreline neighborhood of Sound View. About 40 people attended, many were property owners from the Sound View neighborhood and upset about being saddled with the great bulk of the cost of installing sewers. Two police officers also were on hand, and stood at the back of the room, but the meeting was entirely peaceful. WPCA chair Richard Prendergast was absent, and the Vice Chair Frank presided in his stead.

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Editorial: Strategy, Liability, and Planning for Sewers in Old Lyme

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Now that the votes are counted, and the referendum to borrow up to $9.5 million approved, I guess it’s too late for the relatively tiny neighborhood of Sound View to reconsider a strategy which, when you think about it, amounted to convincing the vast majority of residents what a fantastic deal they’d be getting by approving the plan. Whether that deal holds up remains to be seen — Sound View residents have hired a lawyer and are mounting a well-funded legal challenge — and the actual text of the resolution (you did read the full text of the resolution, didn’t

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