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    Thursday, June 13, 2024

    Get the facts about Lymes’ Senior Center renovation project

    I am the chair of the Old Lyme Board of Finance and a member of the Lymes' Senior Center Building Committee. I write to correct misstatements in an April 29 letter from Tom Grant regarding a bond issue to finance Old Lyme's share of the Lymes' Senior Center renovation project.

    Mr. Grant is incorrect that the planning process for the project has not been completed and that a bond was required to get bids. Initial construction documents were finished months ago and no bond was required. Mr. Grant stated that the bids were 88% over the "$1 million that the towns budgeted." The project never had a $1 million budget. Old Lyme voters approved a project budget of $5,263,541 in June 2023, and an additional $880,000 this April 15, increasing the budget by 16.7%. (After Lyme's 25% contribution and a $500,000 grant, Old Lyme's net budget cost, and the maximum bond amount, is $4,107,656.)

    Mr. Grant urges town voters to oppose the bonds, thereby requiring Old Lyme to pay its full share of project costs over the next year rather than over the life of the bonds. This would substantially reduce the town's reserves and its ability to mitigate the future tax impact from Region 18's school renovations — a serious mistake.

    Bennett Bernblum

    Old Lyme

    Editor’s note: The writer is chairman of the Old Lyme Board of Finance.

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