Old Lyme approves $33.5 million budget for 2014-15

Old Lyme - Residents on Monday approved a $33,524,624 overall budget for 2014-15 which is 2 percent more than the current spending plan.

The tax rate for next fiscal year, which the finance board set Monday after the annual town budget meeting, will be 19.66 mills, an increase of .36 mills.

The budget factors in $24,649,113 for Old Lyme's share of the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools' budget, which residents approved by referendum earlier this month. The overall schools' budget for next fiscal year is $31,963,401, or a 0.7 percent increase.

The town budget encompasses $90,000 more for state-mandated upgrades to police radios, about $13,000 more for the resident trooper program, under a cost formula set by the state, and an additional $10,000 for increased use of the library. The spending plan includes funding to hire a contractor to manage the town's open space and to make the director of the Lymes' Senior Center, a full-time position. The town shares that cost with Lyme.

The budget also transfers Water Pollution and Control Authority funding to a separate account under capital project funds.

About 15 residents at the town budget meeting also approved paying real-estate and property taxes in twice-yearly installments.

Residents also voted in favor of granting an easement for a septic system installed two decades ago by a Flat Rock Hill Road resident. The town sanitarian recently discovered that an easement was not granted for construction or maintenance of the pipe across the road, and the town wants to grant the easement now for liability and legal purposes, said First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder.

An agenda item to accept the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's donation of a slightly over half-acre vacant land parcel along the Lieutenant River and Halls Road was tabled until the next town meeting.

k.drelich@theday.com

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