Upcoming Old Lyme Fire Department Audit to Determine Local Insurance Costs

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OLD LYME — The town’s volunteer fire department is preparing paperwork for an evaluation that will affect how much Old Lyme property owners pay for fire insurance. In preparation for the evaluation process, the Board of Finance approved $15,120 for aluminum signs and hoses on December 17. The Insurance Services Office, a subsidiary of insurance data company Verisk Analytics, rates fire departments and their surrounding communities, on their readiness to respond to fire emergencies. Those ratings are based in part on staff size and training, water supply, emergency communications, and public outreach efforts. “It’s there for the people and for their

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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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Sneak Peak at Phoebe Griffin Noyes Renovation

The first phase of the $3.05 million renovation of the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, the historic and upstairs portion of the building, is almost complete. “This piece will be open in January or early February. It will move the staff offices to the historic back of the building and turn the upstairs into staff workspace,” said Katie Huffman, the library director. The upstairs of the library has not been in use since before Huffman took on the job of director of the library. Previously, the space was used by the Old Lyme Historical Society, but more recently has remained unused

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Audit Shows Boon for Old Lyme Reserves

OLD LYME — In 2018-19 fiscal year, Old Lyme took in higher revenues and paid several lower expenses than were expected. This allowed for a $739,152 contribution toward the town’s general fund balance of $11,309,944 on June 30, 2019, according to an annual audit presented to the Board of Finance Tuesday night. Board of Finance Chair Andrew Russell said that this general fund balance — which is equal to over a quarter of Old Lyme’s most recent annual budget — will help to keep a steady mill rate by preparing for unexpected one-time costs, and get a low interest rate if

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Old Lyme Board of Selectmen Talk Beavers, Sewers, Reviewing Roles of Commissions

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OLD LYME — The Board of Selectmen provided updates at their Monday meeting, on projects planned for the Sound View neighborhood, continuing struggles with beaver dam flooding around Black Hall Pond, and announced plans to review the roles of town committees Beaver flooding Several town boards — including the Open Space Commission and the Flood & Erosion Control Board — have been made aware of problems posed by beaver dams in the area around Black Hall Pond, First Selectman Tim Griswold said. The dams block water flow and cause water levels to rise, which has left one resident unable to

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Proposed Subdivision Sparks Debate Over Open Space

OLD LYME — A 3-lot, 45-acre subdivision is proposed for 19-1 Great Oak Road, off Short Hills Road, in Old Lyme by Ron Pelletier of CAWIAMCA LLC. The project, called “The Oaks – Phase 2,” would extend Great Oak Road and construct three single-family homes set back from the road, in addition to providing open space located near to the road. The open space comprised mostly of wetlands – called the Joseph Parcel – make up less than the 15 percent contribution recommended in Old Lyme’s planning and zoning regulations as a guide to developers, a point of contention at

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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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EF Watermelon Celebrates 40 Years

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Jewelry, geodes, objets d’art are specialties of EF Watermelon, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this weekend. Jim Elliott and Richard Freeman are the “E” and “F” of EF Watermelon. They met in graduate school, but after Jim discovered gemstones, the two began traveling the world to look for interesting stones and materials.  The duo became enamored with tourmalines, especially the striking watermelon variety, which can range in color from white to green to pink. And, inspired by the 1970’s ad that began with, “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen,” the name EF Watermelon was born.  Spouses Cathy Elliott and

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Lyme-Old Lyme VFW Post 1467 Honors Work and Volunteers at Annual Banquet

OLD LYME — The local Veterans of Foreign Wars celebrated acts of service in helping veterans in need at their annual awards banquet Friday night at the Old Lyme Country Club. Among VFW posts, Lyme and Old Lyme’s Post 1467 is rare in that it doesn’t own a building, which members say keeps them lean and allows them to devote more of the money they raise directly toward covering essential expenses for veterans in need around southeastern Connecticut, filling in gaps left by the the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and similar social services. “Our motto is ‘No bar,

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Turf Field Compatible with Existing Geothermal Wells, Board of Education Assured

LYME-OLD LYME — 250 geothermal wells located six feet beneath the proposed site for Lyme-Old Lyme’s artificial turf field would not pose a threat to the project, according to the Connecticut Geothermal Association. “Typically, geothermal wells never have to be accessed. There is nothing mechanical in the well, just pipe,” said Guy Wanegar, the president at A&B Cooling and Heating Corporation. “On a big system like that, wells would all be connected to a vault. You do need to get to the vault occasionally, so as long as that isn’t under the field you should be okay.” Superintendent Ian Neviaser

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