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The Daily Five: Bracing for Budget Increases, Poultry Concerns, a Local Nutcracker, and Inevitable Sewers

Five things to know for Old Lyme, Lyme, and East Lyme on Thursday, December 13, 2012

 

1. Weather.com is predicting another partly cloudy day, with a high temperature of 44 degrees and an overnight low of 32 degrees. There's just a 10 percent chance of rain during the day. 

2. For many people, going to see The Nutcracker is an annual holiday tradition and our local Eastern Connecticut Ballet's performance at the Garde Arts Center in New London on December 15 and 16 offers a local twist to the tale, because it's set in an enchanted seaport modeled after New London circa 1850 and there will be pirates!

This year, the show promises to be especially exciting as the 110 professionally-trained Eastern Connecticut Ballet dancers will be joined by world-renowned guest artist Teresa Reichlen, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet who will be dancing the part of the Sugar Plum Fairy. For tickets, call The Garde at (860) 444-7373 or online at gardearts.org

3. Old Lyme's Board of Selectmen will hold a special meeting at Old Lyme Town Hall at 1 p.m. today to go over initial budget requests for fiscal year 2014 with the town's finance department. The Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education, meanwhile, has already held its first workshop on the matter.

A recent roundtable discussion forum, which was attended by school administrators, board members, community members, and selectmen from Old Lyme and Lyme brought a number of issues to light, not least of which was the increasing number of unfunded mandates coming down from the State Department of Education.

The school district's budget already represents the lion's share of each town's budget overall but the additional costs associated with implementing the new Common CORE Curriculum Standards and annual teacher and administrator evaluations are really going to bump up the bottomline for the next fiscal year, even though the district is anticipating a further decline in student enrollment in the coming school year.

"The recent mandates are going to have a huge budget impact," said Lyme-Old Lyme School Superintendent Ian Neviaser. "There're not bad [programs] but there is no money behind them."   

4. Yesterday, the heads of Water and Sewer Commissions from East Lyme, Waterford and New London and directors of public works for each town met to discuss the impact Old Lyme's beach communities will have on the regional sewer system when they connect to it. 

East Lyme is currently in the process of connecting to New London's Sewage Treatment facility but when the project was initially planned, the town didn't expect that Old Lyme would be involved, as that town has a long standing sewer-avoidance policy. The decision by this past summer changes that. 

Although the meeting was not public, its purpose was to ensure that all the towns that are connected to the regional sewer system are prepared from the get-go for this increase in capacity. 

5. East Lyme's Zoning Commission's recently-formed "Poultry Committee" always gets a chuckle at zoning meetings, with the inevitable cracks about who did the chicken dance to open the proceedings, but if you've ever had a neighbor who had a rooster, you know this can be no laughing matter at the break of dawn.

The subcommittee, however, sees no harm in hens and is considering recommending that the board eliminate the permit requirements if people want to keep six or fewer hens alaying in their backyard.  

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