East Lyme voters OK fire equipment purchase; decision on Bayreuther property delayed

East Lyme - Town residents voted at a special meeting Wednesday to appropriate $205,045, payable in annual installments over five years, for breathing apparatus equipment for firefighters.

The appropriation will cover the purchase of 30 of the 4.5 model of Scott Air Paks, bottles and masks for the Niantic Fire Department. The department's current model of equipment is outdated and not compatible with other departments, according to a presentation by members of the Niantic Fire Department.

A town vote to allocate $25,000 to help purchase the roughly 40-acre Bayreuther Property in the Oswegatchie Hills was postponed to a later date due to a technical issue. The parcel would be purchased with town funds, a $100,000 state grant, a donation from a private foundation, and funds from the Friends of the Oswegatchie Hills.

The town has learned that the state will require that the town appropriate the entire $280,000 purchase price, not just its $25,000 contribution, in order to receive the state grant. The financial terms of the deal remain the same, said Town Attorney Tracy Collins.

After appropriating the $280,000, the town would then be reimbursed by the other parties, said Collins.

Following the special meeting Wednesday, the Board of Selectmen approved the $280,000 appropriation, which will now go the Board of Finance and eventually to a town meeting.

- Kimberly Drelich

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