Inland Wetlands Approves Permit for Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Turf Field

OLD LYME — The Inland Wetlands Commission approved an administrative permit for the proposed Lyme-Old Lyme Schools multi-purpose turf field on Tuesday evening in a 4-0 vote. The field would have a smaller footprint than the current grass field and, according to Megan Raymond, a professional wetland scientist for Milone & McBroom, will have no negative impacts on the existing wetlands bordering the Duck River. “There is a great deal of substructure to the field that encourages infiltration and minimizes runoff,” Raymond said. The proposed plan would add native wetland plants to the surrounding area and not require any fertilizers

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Meet Ron Turner, New Facilities Director for Lyme-Old Lyme Schools

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Ron Turner joined the staff at Lyme-Old Lyme Schools as the new facilities director at the end of February, just before the schools closed for COVID-19. “The first couple weeks I was off to a great start, meeting the staff and students, and then the sky kind of fell with COVID hitting,” Turner said. “I’m really hoping to meet everyone in the fall, I can’t underscore that enough. Since the shutdown, I think that’s what so many of us are struck by the most. Buildings don’t become a school until staff, students and members of the community are here. I

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Sewers and Septic — a Problem with a History for Halls Road in Old Lyme

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OLD LYME — As the Halls Road Improvements Committee moves ahead with drafting a master plan, wastewater infrastructure will play a key role in determining the density of any planned redevelopment. Over the last few years, the topic of wastewater treatment has been largely absent from the committee’s meetings and presentations to the public, but resurfaced recently during an April 16 Zoom meeting of the committee. “It’s sort of this chicken and egg thing that’s going on here all around because we kind of need to know how much density in terms of residential and retail and office space is

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Halls Road Committee Moves Forward on Master Plan, Housing Remains an Issue

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OLD LYME — Now in its fifth year — after local elections in 2019 that turned in part on questions of housing and development —  the Halls Road Improvements Committee is quickly moving to create a master plan to encourage redevelopment and new housing in the commercial district in Old Lyme. The committee will fund the plan with the roughly $48,000 remaining from an abandoned effort to implement Tax Increment Financing and to hire Yale Design Urban Workshop. Committee chair Edie Twining said at a May 14 meeting that the committee has informally asked three firms to bid on the

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$400 Million Connecticut River Railroad Bridge Replacement Takes a Step Forward, Design Details Announced

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A significant but relatively little known plan is underway to replace the aging railroad lift bridge that spans the Connecticut River between Old Lyme and Old Saybrook. The estimated $400 million project, proposed by Amtrak, would construct a new bascule bridge 52 feet south of the existing structure. The original bridge, which dates back to 1907, is an essential link on the Northeast Rail Corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C. and would remain operational during construction. The existing structure will be largely removed once the new bridge is completed.  Though few town officials seemed to know about the plan, it resurfaced

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Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Clarify Reports of Cost Savings

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This Wednesday, Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education will vote on the first budget decrease in the district’s history. The $34.9 million proposed budget is 1.06 percent less than last year’s regional district budget. The current proposal is $180,000 less than the budget originally proposed in February. “The goal was to have a zero percent increase in payments for both towns,” said Ian Neviaser, superintendent of Lyme-Old Lyme Schools. “Originally, even though Lyme was seeing a reduction in cost, Old Lyme was looking at a $180,000 increase.” The nearly $200,000 in total savings from the 2019-2020 budget come from a refinancing

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Proposed RTP Center Collaboration with the Town of Old Lyme Loses Out on Connecticut Port Authority Funding

OLD LYME — Plans for a new office for the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center, which were described in a June 12, 2019 application to the Connecticut Port Authority as a close collaboration with the town, received a setback on Monday when the authority announced that the project had not been recommended for grant funding. The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center, part of the statewide Connecticut Audubon Society, had applied for a $1.833 million grant in “round two” of the Small Harbor Improvement Projects Program to build an educational center at 314 Ferry Road. The nonprofit purchased the property for

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$38.96 million Old Lyme Budget Proposal Goes to Monday Night Teleconferenced Hearing

OLD LYME — The Board of Finance will present a fiscal year 2020-21 budget proposal of $38.96 million — a 0.13 percent or $54,217 increase in expenditures over the current fiscal year — at a teleconferenced public hearing on Monday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. Board of Finance Chair Andy Russell credited “conservative spending” for the modest increase, but said that the town’s tax rate will increase more significantly than its expenses due to a drop in assessed value of taxable property on the town’s most recent grand list. The mill rate in the finance board’s 2020-21 proposal is 23.30,

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Canceled Public Comment Sparks Outcry at Sewer Meeting Teleconference in Old Lyme

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OLD LYME — Local residents expressed significant consternation at the close of the Water Pollution Control Authority meeting on Tuesday night when chair Richard Prendergast announced that public comment had not been included on the agenda, a decision that he said would remain until COVID-19 mandates for social distancing had been lifted and meetings could be held in person once again.  “You notice that a lot of times we have public comment. We don’t have public comment on this agenda. We removed it. We are not required to [have it] and I’m not trying to stop people from commenting. I

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