Two weeks into State of Emergency, Old Lyme Leaders Focus on Helping the Vulnerable and Isolated

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Almost two week after the Board of Selectmen declared a local state of emergency, Old Lyme has yet to see a confirmed case of the coronavirus, but First Selectman Timothy Griswold said town staff, emergency personnel and volunteers need to move quickly to help residents who could be vulnerable amid state orders for people to social distance and businesses to close Griswold said he’s particularly concerned about town businesses that could struggle, residents who could lose their job or lose hours, and seniors potentially feeling isolated. “We’re obviously concerned about individuals who depend on their jobs to keep going,” Griswold

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Lyme-Old Lyme Relief Fund Established — Rick Stout and Tom Britt to Double Initial Donations

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The Lyme-Old Lyme Coronavirus Relief Fund was established yesterday by both towns and Lymes’ Youth Services Bureau in an effort to help those in need during this unprecedented state of emergency. “We’ve already helped homebound people with groceries, a family with diapers and one resident pay a portion of her rent,” said Mary Seidner, the director of Lymes’ Youth Services Bureau. “This is for residents of both communities and donations are coming in from both communities, it really is a unified effort.” The fund will be jointly managed by Seidner and the Social Services Coordinators in Lyme and Old Lyme.

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Old Lyme Declares State of Emergency Likely to Restrict Town Hall Access by Wednesday

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OLD LYME — The Board of Selectmen on Monday authorized First Selectman Timothy Griswold to declare a local state of emergency and said they plan soon to restrict most public access to Town Hall in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. “The idea is to restrict as much as possible public interaction because that’s how this thing spreads,” Griswold said at the meeting. “We want to keep the doors open for business, so to speak, but not just have the public coming in the way they have.” Old Lyme Director of Emergency Management David Roberge will meet with Griswold tomorrow

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As Southeast Connecticut Adopts “Social Distancing,” Local Businesses, Social Services, Step Up to Help Residents and Elderly

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As efforts to prevent the spread of Coronavirus get underway across southeast Connecticut, all Meals on Wheels programs are continuing for now, said Stephanie Gould, the director at the Lyme-Old Lyme Senior Center. Many pharmacies, such as CVS, are offering medication delivery for free to anyone who is concerned about going out in public. “And if their pharmacy won’t do it, we can help,” said Cathy Wilson, the director of the East Lyme Senior Center. “Our Meals on Wheels drivers are excellent and could pick up medications.” It isn’t just senior centers and pharmacies that are pitching in to help

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Shore Road Plans Raise Questions at Zoning Hearing

OLD LYME — The addition of a proposed maintenance shop raised questions from the Zoning Commission during a public hearing Monday night for a special application for the construction of four storage buildings at 224 Shore Road. Engineer Robert L. Doane Jr., who represented the applicant, Mar Holding LLC, which is owned by Frank Maratta of Old Lyme, told the commission his client wanted a “shop/office” on the 1.7-acre site where he could keep trucks and equipment used to maintain his other properties. “He has several properties in Old Lyme and he felt that he would like to have a

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Florence Griswold Museum Launches Five-year Planning, Added Space a Possibility

OLD LYME — From her second-floor office, museum director Rebekah Beaulieu can see the banks of the Lieutenant River where the Lyme Art Colony painted in the early 1900s. “This is not an exclusive museum,” Beaulieu explained, “this is a museum about the intersection of art, history and landscape.” That three-part vision, laid out by the museum’s mission statement, is key to planning the next five years for the Florence Griswold Museum, arguably the best-preserved home of American Impressionism and one of just 63 National Historic Landmarks in Connecticut. “It has this unparalleled experience where you can come. You can

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Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education Approves Sustainability Committee For Local Schools

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LYME/OLDLYME — After two years of attending meetings, Karen Taylor’s call for a focus on environmental protection has been heard, and a Sustainability Committee was approved by the Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education. “It feels so good, I truly feel listened to and heard,” said Taylor who has two children in the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools and works as a substitute teacher. “I really think this committee will allow us to coordinate efforts and make progress toward recycling and reducing waste in the schools.” The committee will advise the Board of Education and include 15 members drawn from teachers, Board of

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Old Lyme Economic Development Commission Discusses Release of August-September Survey

OLD LYME — With the results of last year’s two economic development workshops and a town-wide survey in hand Wednesday, the Economic Development Commission began to plan how the information can be disseminated effectively to the town’s other boards and commissions as well to the public. At the meeting, the commission unanimously approved the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis Results report from AdvanceCT, formerly known as the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, or CERC. The report covers data collected at workshops on August 14 and Sept. 21 that were each attended by 25-30 residents and business owners who shared

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Board of Finance Debates Study for Possible Lymes’ Senior Center Expansion

OLD LYME — Members of the Board of Finance said Tuesday night that they were open to paying for part of the costs of a $30,000 study of the Lymes’ Senior Center’s long-term needs, but members raised concerns of the appropriateness of an architect to carry out that study. “To me it almost sounds like a conflict to have an architect doing a feasibility study and say we need this [architectural work],” said Board of Finance chair Andy Russell at Tuesday’s board meeting. “It sounds like there’s probably other organizations out there that come into senior centers, look at the

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Tim Griswold Sketches Out the Big Picture for Old Lyme’s 2020-21 Budget

OLD LYME — In the eight years since he last worked on a budget as first selectman, Tim Griswold said that one of the most dramatic changes he’s seen as he works on the budget for 2020-21 has been a drop in aid from the state. In Old Lyme’s fiscal year 2010-11 budget, revenue from Education Cost Sharing — the biggest single annual infusion of state money for many towns — was about $605,500. In fiscal year 2017-18, that state funding had dropped to about $205,500. The town’s fiscal year 2018-19 audit showed that number grew to about $241,500. “It’s been dwindling,”

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