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    Thursday, August 18, 2022

    Old Lyme residents approve $2.1 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding

    Old Lyme — With about 60 Old Lyme residents voting unanimously to approve a disbursement plan for $2,120,593 in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding, the town has now allocated all of its ARPA funding.

    This vote came at a special town meeting Tuesday, following a special town meeting in March when residents approved the first $41,622: $21,622 for Ledge Light Health District, per Ledge Light's request that member towns give 1% of their total ARPA dollars, and $20,000 to hire consultant George Krivda to administer the town's Economic Recovery Grant program.

    Cheryl Poirier, a member of the town's American Rescue Plan Act Committee and chairwoman of the town's Economic Development Commission, explained that the town hired the consultant to have "someone objective looking at the sensitive information of small business owners in town" and avoid conflicts of interest.

    The town received applications from 42 businesses and nonprofits for the economic recovery program, of which nine were disqualified due to not being located in Old Lyme. The town selected the other 23 businesses and 10 nonprofits to receive grants, mostly for $10,000 but a few for less.

    Businesses include the holistic wellness center, Bonne Sante, property management company READCO, Anton Paving and Construction Co., Coffee's Country Market, Hair by RSquar, Morrissey Cycles, Old Lyme Pizza Palace, Old Lyme Inn and Andy's Deli & Market.

    The 10 nonprofits receiving grants are Christ the King Church, Florence Griswold Museum, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Charities Inc., Lyme-Old Lyme Little League, Lymes' Youth Service Bureau, Music Now Foundation, Old Lyme Children's Learning Center, Shoreline Church and Sound View Beach Association.

    Here are the largest items approved as part of the $2.1 million:


    [naviga:li]$275,000 to EMS for a replacement ambulance[/naviga:li]

    [naviga:li]$158,347 to the Water Pollution Control Authority toward the shared force main exiting the Sound View neighborhood[/naviga:li]

    [naviga:li]$157,095 to the CT Audubon Society/Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center "to help fund the creation of an accessible science discovery and environmental learning center for children"[/naviga:li]

    [naviga:li]$150,000 to the Affordable Housing Commission, to offset costs related to the McCulloch Family Open Space affordable housing opportunity[/naviga:li]

    [naviga:li]$137,599 to the Sound View Beach Association to help fund its Shoreline Community Center renovations project[/naviga:li]

    [naviga:li]$135,000 to the Halls Road Improvement Committee to help fund the bridge and walking trails development project on Halls Road[/naviga:li]

    [naviga:li]$123,990 to the fire department for 25 sets of personal protective equipment for firefighters[/naviga:li]

    [naviga:li]$114,160 to Lymes' Youth Service Bureau, to increase individual therapy appointments, family counseling, support groups and parent education over a 4-year period[/naviga:li]


    "These recommendations not only bring funding to individual businesses and organizations that make up the fabric of our community, but also help the Town itself move forward from a time that challenged our ability to provide important public services," First Selectman Timothy Griswold said in a news release.

    To view the complete list of projects, visit bit.ly/OldLymeARPA. The town received its first installment of ARPA funding last year and expects to receive the second tranche soon, and then businesses and organizations will get their grants.

    The Board of Selectmen in September appointed 12 residents and town department and commission representatives to serve on the American Rescue Plan Committee.

    The committee received more than 900 responses to a survey in December and January, opened up grant applications and then reviewed applications, and presented its final recommendations on June 21 to the Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance, which recommended the package to the town meeting.


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