Lyme launches Facebook page, Instagram account

Lyme — When a road is closed, a storm is forecast, or new recreational programs are available, town residents will have a new way of receiving information from local officials.

The Board of Selectmen has started an official town Facebook page and Instagram account to share information with town residents.

Lyme's Facebook page can be found at bit.ly/LymeCTFB. The town's Instagram page is bit.ly/LymeCTIG.

The Facebook page will feature items, including public safety notices, storm alerts, construction updates, agendas for municipal meetings, and Parks and Recreation activities, while the Instagram account is a platform to "celebrate life in Lyme," Selectman John Kiker said.

Recent posts on the two pages include photos of ice breakers on the frozen Connecticut River, a traffic notice about the East Haddam Swing Bridge, the Board of Finance's budget meeting schedule, a reminder about tax bills, and a photo of Town Hall in the snow with a note for people to "Come say hi!"

Kiker said neither social media platform will replace the town's website, www.townlyme.org, but the selectmen wanted to enhance the town's capabilities to communicate with residents and more widely and quickly "push out" information to them.  

The move comes at a time when the small town needs volunteers for boards and commissions, as well as nonprofit organizations. Kiker said the selectmen want to ensure that residents have an understanding of what is going on in town and get them involved.

"If the people are involved and they feel involved in the town, then they will step forward and help the town," said First Selectman Steven Mattson, adding that it's especially important to have that help in a small town, like Lyme.

In addition to helping get people involved, Mattson said he wants to develop an opportunity to communicate with residents regarding infrastructure and safety issues, such as storms, road closures and electrical outages and the social media pages are a start.

"Being able to reach more people in town through more different ways is a great start at us being able to develop something like that," he said.

Lyme joins several municipalities in the region that have Facebook pages for general communications or specific departments.

Kiker added that the selectmen understand that not everyone uses social media, so they are also working to determine how else to communicate with residents. The local officials plan to reach out to residents to ask what would be the best way for the town to communicate with them, whether it's through mail, email, social media or another means.

"We're going to make sure we do all of those elements, so we make sure we’re not leaving anybody out," he said.

k.drelich@theday.com

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