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Given the choice, most of us want to stay in our homes. Sometimes, people need help to remain at home. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Personal Care Consultation


“Staff is great there a great place to work and call your workplace”

Babispyce S.

“I’ve been a nurse for over 40 years, and I am currently a nursing professor. When my mom was recently in the hospital, I knew it would not be possible for her to be completely on her own right away. She loves where she resides and enjoys all of the activities that are offered. My goal was to get her back into her apartment as soon as possible with the support she needed to increase her strength and return to her prior level of wellness she had before she went into the hospital. She was used to walking a couple miles a day. When I reached out to ABC I made it clear that my mom would need somebody who would be willing to walk with her in the morning, and in the evening enabling her to get back to her baseline. I would like to complement all of the staff at ABC who provided my mom such wonderful support after two weeks she returned to her baseline and remained in her apartment. She really enjoyed all of the staff that were with her , they were professional they encouraged her to walk, drink fluids, eat and were instrumental in assisting her to reach her prior level of independence. I would strongly recommend ABC to anybody who is in need of support for their loved one.”

Robin Y.

“Mom’s care needs have been progressing over the past month - increased difficulty standing. walking, decreased appetite, increased incontinence. (Part of the expected declining process per her Dr.) Tara has been wonderful in adapting to Mom’s changing needs as they develop and a very helpful partner in troubleshooting. brainstorming how to adapt to best support Mom. It’s also been helpful in my regular communication with Mom’s Dr, to let her know in detail what has come up and how we have approached. Thank you (again) for your talented staff!”

Jeremy H.

“Outstanding personal service from this company. All of the caregivers were personable and provided outstanding care to our aunt. I would highly recommend them to anyone who has an elder family member in need. Also, the staff that helped to set up their services was outstanding as well. They made the decisions easy to understand with no hidden agenda. Thank you again to "ABC!"”


“You can't go wrong with this crew. Extremely patient and caring.”

Daniel S.

“Caring for family can be difficult and challenging at times. It's so nice to know that Always Best Care Senior Services is there to help!”

Cathy K.

“Taylor, John, and Kristine and their crew are the best. They are patient, understanding, and a joy to work with.”

Daniel S.

“Sabina always has a pleasant, caring, and respectful attitude. I feel she treats me as she would as her own mother. She treats me the way she would like to be treated. We are a good “team” together.”

Tracy H.

“Diana has a total commitment of compassion, empathy, and respect for myself and my family. My daughters feel she is truly a tremendous caregiver. They know I am in good hands. She acknowledges with commitment of my physical, emotional, and practical needs, my quality of life has excelled due to Diana’s help. I look forward to her presence everyday her attitude is exceptional, Diana comes to work daily with a smile on her face. She enters the front door, singing softly ready to work. She has never taken a day off, I have had many caregivers, but Diana is truly the best!”

Anne H.

“Tina has been with us since the start, caring for my mom. Tina has nothing but my mom’s best interest at heart. She continues to go above and beyond to care for my mom, and ensure anyone else who may be there also understands my mom’s needs. Tina has even gone so far to rearrange her schedule or give up her free time to stay with my mom to avoid her having someone that doesn’t know her. I can see that she genuinely cares for my mom, and treats her as if she was her own family member. That also goes both ways, my mom lights up when she sees Tina. We consider Tina part of our family.”

David L.

“Always Best Care helped our family get through a very difficult time with my mother's care. Kristine and Taylor are a pleasure to work with. They are very knowledgable and had the answers to all our questions. They were able to help with all aspects of the care we needed. I highly recommend them.”

John S.

“Kristine and John are extremely caring and compassionate about helping their client's and family and making sure they receive the best care available. Highly recommended!”

Greg G.

“We needed some home care services for Dad who has dementia, and we made the right decision to trust ABC Senior Services for this support. Dad was lined up with a caregiver who was attentive and helpful, and she and Dad really hit it off. The management and administrative staff from ABC were also very effective and professional. You'll make a good decision to go with ABC Senior Services...”

Liam M.

“I approached Kristine regarding care for my elderly father. Even though he was outside her service area, she helped to find resources for us. Her commitment to providing outstanding care is only surpassed by her desire to help others. Thank you Kristine!”

Matt B.

“I have known Kristine Lajeunesse for many years now through business networking and she and her Team at Always Best Care are very caring and professional and exactly who you would want on your side if you have a loved one who needs help!”

Ann B.

“The client care at Always Best Care Senior Service is outstanding”

Kimberly O.

“Rosemary has many great qualities. She is a hardworker, sensitive, has a giving nature and has an immense desire to help my father. Reliability is vital trait in Rosemary. When my father was in the hospital and came home she immediately wanted to be by his side. My father has come to rely and depend on Rosemary. She is always on time whether it is giving medication or administering food and often encourages my father and helps my father maintain his dignity”

Denise D.

“Always Best Care provides caregivers to our building on a regular basis when we are short staffed. Due to our licensing, we can only have CNAs on the floor and Always Best Care has provided excellent CNAs every time we need some extra help. All of their CNAs have been helpful, willing to go above and beyond for our residents and we always have great responses from our own CNAs and supervisory staff. I am so thankful to Michelle and Wilda who will always staff a shift that I need, even if I call 30 minutes before the shift starts. You’ve been such a huge help!”

Kaytee S.

“I have known John and Kristine Lajeunesse for almost 20 years and when my dad needed care following a diagnosis of dementia, I knew there wouldn’t be anyone better to call than them. The caregivers that have worked with my dad have been wonderful. They are true saints to my family, allowing us the knowledge that Dad is okay to stay at home. They have navigated all of the changes in his cognitive state with grace and kept my father’s dignity in place. He was always a very active man and the caregivers have managed to keep him active, even as his health declines.”

Belinda F.

“Always Best Care helped me to get care lined up for my uncle, after I received their information from a close friend of mine that also used their agency. My uncle was a very proud man and did not want help from anyone, including family. Taylor met with me and spent time getting to know the ins and outs of my uncle’s care as well as his personality. She asked about his background so that they could look for a caregiver with similar interests. Although he took a turn for the worse rather quickly, the short time care was provided was wonderful. Thank you for your help and compassion.”

Karel O.

“My dad’s caregiver is great. He is a man of few words, but she is able to get him talking about all aspects and experiences of his life. They go out regularly and she encourages my dad to participate in the activities put on by the community he lives in. They run errands, go out for meals, or go for a drive just to get a change of scenery. I was nervous at first about how my dad would take having a caregiver come in to help him, but he seems so happy and has great things to talk about after his time spent with his caregiver.”

Martin F.

“Thank you, Kristine - I am very appreciative of the professional manner with which you and your organization operates. From the initial phone and in-person conversations with Taylor, to the ongoing support of my mother's care - it's been thorough, timely and well managed. I am also struck by how the home-health employees conduct themselves. They are reliable/responsive *and* responsible, and making every effort to work through the challenges day to day with my mother. Thanks for the great job you and your organization are doing. It means a lot to me, especially during this trying time! Best Regards”

Anna T.

“I wanted to take a moment to thank you and your staff for all of your hard work and dedication to their clients. When my parents finally realized they needed help in their home, I chose ABC as the company I felt would be the best fit. Yes, we have had some ups and down, but when you paired Leah with my parents, it was truly a blessing. My parents love her. She genuinely cares for them and they speak highly of her work ethic. As my mom says, “she is too good to be true”. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your working with me to find the right fit. Well on our end, Leah fits like a glove and I hope she feels the same. She is a special person so I wanted to acknowledge her hard work and dedication to my parents. It makes me feel more at ease knowing there is someone coming to the home to properly care for them. Again I want to thank you all and encourage you to keep up the good work.”

Craig F.

“My family provides the care to my mother 24/7, we called Always Best Care to provide respite care to my mom while we took some time to ourselves for a weekend. Mom’s caregiver, Gloria, was great and she had the perfect disposition to work with my mom. She was attentive and kept mom well fed and engaged during the time we were away. We would definitely call Always Best Care again when we need some time away.”


“The caregiver that helped my husband and I were so kind to us both, especially to my husband while I spent some time in the hospital and rehab. Our caregiver brought my husband to see me every day while I was at the hospital and at rehab, I knew he was in excellent hands and I could focus on getting stronger again.”

Heather R.

“i really like my caregiver, Victor very much. Victor is a very patient and observant aide who knows when I need his help. I knew from the first day meeting him that we would get along very well.”

Johnson L.

““I want to give a huge thank you for the care that Always Best Care provided over the last year and a half. They started out assisting just my dad since he was wheelchair bound and then began providing care to my mom as well who had advanced dementia. The two ladies that helped them both did an amazing job and gave me the confidence that they were being well cared for since I live on the other side of the country. Up to my dad’s passing, his caregivers were there for him to provide comfort and companionship while managing my mom’s emotions as well during the difficult time my dad had. Being a nurse myself and in the healthcare field for a while, I had high expectations which were exceeded by the caregivers and office staff of Always Best Care.”

harry B.

“Both of Mom’s caregivers are exceptional. They are always professional, calm and extremely patient with my mom. They know how to keep her calm and to manage her anxiety. My whole family is very grateful, knowing that Mom is getting really competent care, great meals and friendly companionship. Thank you.”

Kathleen F.

“My husband had care from Always Best Care until he passed away. Thankfully he is on his "next journey" and finally pain free, while he was here with us, his caregiver, Craig, did an amazing job caring for him and was here to help us from our first day of services. Craig always managed to get my husband to share stories from his time in the war that even I had not heard before. It was a great way to get to know more of my husband so his memory can continue with others around him.”

Beth F.

“I am very pleased with the care that Craig gave to my husband. My husband enjoyed having another man to talk to instead of conversation only between him and I. Craig managed to keep him occupied and safe so that I could go and get some time to myself, allowing me peace of mind that my husband was in great hands”

Sonia T.

“I hired Always Best Care to help my mom who was living with me at home. She was diagnosed with dementia and within 3 months she could hardly do much for herself anymore. I was able to continue working full time while my mom received care from Always Best Care. We had the same caregiver from day 1 and she was absolutely amazing. She kept everyone in the loop with any changes my mom experienced and the regular in person and phone check ins were a great added support to myself and my family. Thank you ABC for all the help and compassion that you showed my mom until her passing.”


“They are very caring and easy to deal with. They work with the family and the patient to see that the patient has what is needed for their care. In all we had a good experience with Best Care.”

Elaine G.

“Our caregiver is the absolute best, you all got lucky finding her.”

Bob G.

“Anything from Always Best Care is good to have. The care from them has given me my life back. I wasn’t expecting a perfect match on the first caregiver, but Always Best Care did a very good job.”

Claudia B.

“We have been using the services of ABC for almost three years, and I have worked personally with John, Kristine, Taylor, Michelle and Wilda, as well as the many wonderful caregivers who have attended to my mother’s needs with great care and attention. Throughout this time, my mother’s care needs have changed many times, and they have always been very responsive to any requests, including the directives of the hospice nurses that work in concert with all of them. Taylor and Michelle are incredibly diligent about keeping on top of issues that arise day-to-day, and running their questions and concerns by me. I remain a loyal customer to ABC because I feel that my mother is getting really great care, and will continue to see the warm, friendly faces she has come to know and trust today and every day. At 94 yrs old, my mother is quite dependent on the care providers for almost all her needs, and they always show up and make her feel safe and secure.”

Rachel C.

“It has been a true pleasure working with you and your organization. You all demonstrate empathy and compassion in caring for frail elderly family members and insure distant families are comforted knowing you are there.”

Steve S.

“Mom’s caregiver is a part of the family, we absolutely love her!”

Joe L.

“Always Best Care has done a fantastic job in providing us with at-home care for my step-mother while we prepared for her transition to move permanently to a skilled nursing facility. With their help, she was able to spend a full six months at home before moving. We would not have been able to do it without them. All the caregivers we have met and used have been kind and attentive, frequently going the extra mile, whatever that may be on any given day. The office staff is friendly, empathetic and very diligent in keeping all parties informed of all aspects of day-to-day care. They are knowledgeable, respectful and efficient. I would not hesitate in recommending them to anyone who is looking for help in keeping their loved one at home for as long as possible.”

Sarah C.
 In-Home Care Old Lyme, CT

How does In-home Senior Care in Old Lyme, CT work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

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 Senior Care Old Lyme, CT

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:


How much does a senior's home truly mean to them? A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Old Lyme, CT, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living
Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.


For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience
Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Old Lyme, CT gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Empowers Seniors

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

Veteran's Benefits
Veteran's Benefits

Aid and Attendance benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.

Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-Term Care Insurance

Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.

Private Insurance
Private Insurance

Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.

Life Insurance
Life Insurance

Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

Respite Care Old Lyme, CT

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Old Lyme,CT understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

 Caregivers Old Lyme, CT

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

An assessment of your senior loved one


An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home


Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

Latest News in Old Lyme, CT

Breaking Standoff, Old Lyme to Assert Rights in Public Access Dispute

OLD LYME — A nearly three-year standoff about public access is nowhere near resolution between Old Lyme and the owner of a historic landing on the Connecticut River. Nevertheless, the town announced Friday it will move ahead with installing signage on the property, establishing rules for public use.“The signs are being fabricated. Three signs will be installed, I would say probably this month,” First Selectman Tim Griswold told CT Examiner on Friday.But property owners George Frampton and Carla D’Arista,...

OLD LYME — A nearly three-year standoff about public access is nowhere near resolution between Old Lyme and the owner of a historic landing on the Connecticut River. Nevertheless, the town announced Friday it will move ahead with installing signage on the property, establishing rules for public use.

“The signs are being fabricated. Three signs will be installed, I would say probably this month,” First Selectman Tim Griswold told CT Examiner on Friday.

But property owners George Frampton and Carla D’Arista, who purchased 12 and 19 Tantummaheag Road in 2020, have not agreed to public signs identifying the 300-year-old Tantummaheag Landing and directing vehicles toward a parking area away from the Framptons’ house and buildings.

Frampton told CT Examiner this week that the town does not own the land and that a public road never existed between his driveway entrance and the land leading to the Connecticut River, according to his research. If a road did exist, he explained, it was deemed legally inactive after 1727 through the landowner’s will.

Though agreeing that Old Lyme does necessarily not own the land, Griswold said the public has used the roadway or right-of-way on the property since about 1700. He argued it’s a town road regardless of who owns the underlying real estate and that, over the years, Old Lyme has maintained the road and mowed the path to the river.

Frampton said he and D’Arista bought the property “with the understanding there was a pedestrian right of way,” that “it was possible for cars to go down there,” and that people had launched kayaks from the river.

“We understood there would be people using it, and people have used it. I mean the neighbors, fewer now, not very many people. But there are half a dozen neighbors, at least, who walk a couple of times a week,” he said.

But when the owners tried negotiating limits on use of the back driveway to reflect “a balance of public access with our safety and security,” Frampton said, the town insisted on unlimited car and truck access, parking for two cars, signage, and promising year-round vehicle access.

Frampton said he and D’Arista presented the first selectman with an “extensive deed search and historical archival record analysis” in July 2021, showing that they owned the entire landing and that the town had no ownership interest.

Frampton accused Griswold of keeping the research secret for several months, but the first selectman denied the claim.

“In terms of hiding or having secret information, I don’t know what he’s talking about,” Griswold said. “If it’s in land records, it would be public information, so I’m not sure specifically what is meant by the town hiding information, because all of the information comes out of land records.”

Griswold said the 1700s land records are “murky” and not as carefully documented as contemporary records.

“We maintain, based on advice from learned counsel, that the road was made and it existed, and as to the exact spot, I don’t know,” he said. “But the whole idea of the road coming forward to the present is that it is in the right location. … We’re not saying that we own the ground, but we have a town road.”

Frampton sent a complaint and compromise offer to the town on May 27 that included a demand that Old Lyme “issue and publicize a written apology to the Framptons acknowledging its failure to be forthright about the status of the Landing for the past two years.” The letter also demanded the town record a quitclaim deed conveying any “right, title or interest of any kind the Town may have in Tantummaheag Landing” to the Framptons.

“The Framptons will be under no obligation whatsoever [to] post signage or place or stow objects or allow any form of vehicular access of any kind or parking on their property,” the compromise offer stated.

Griswold said the town has not yet responded to the compromise offer, but that his answer would be “no.”

“We haven’t responded, and I personally would have trouble with some of those suggestions. But we would leave that to counsel, but it seems like we’re diverging instead of converging and trying to get something solidified,” he said.

The first selectman also noted there are many roads in Old Lyme that the town does not own, but that property owners are not allowed to block them.

“We don’t own the real estate under Lyme Street. We don’t own real estate under Mile Creek Road. So many, many roads are basically rights-of-way, and they evolved from people saying ‘I need to get from here to there,’ and you make a kind of deer path and it becomes a road,” he said.

Griswold said the town is offering the Framptons its proposal from two years ago – drafted by the Harbor Management Commission and the Board of Selectmen – which included a sign with hours of operation, private property signs and parking signs, as well as a boulder placed on the path to prevent vehicular access to the water.

According to Frampton, the town’s latest offer also bans the owners from subdividing their land, but Griswold said he was unaware of that requirement.

The first selectman said residents are frustrated with the long resolution process.

“People have been critical that, for a good long while, nothing’s happened. And we have been back and forth, and spent money trying to come up with something that would be an agreeable way to come to conclusion. … That has not really materialized,” he said.

When informed of the town’s plan to erect signs on his property, Frampton responded, “If the town believes it has the right to secure public access to our back driveway greater than the pedestrian access we have consistently afforded … Connecticut law requires the town to establish the exact details of such use in court.”

“They continue threatening to bulldoze our property because they believe it’s been a public highway for the past 300 years,” he continued. “… Their continuing threat to bulldoze our back driveway, carve out new parking places that have never existed, erect their own signs and smash our wetlands without any legal basis at all to do so is simply lawless behavior unbecoming of such a storied community as this.”

Cate Hewitt is a reporter and Associate Editor for CT Examiner. Hewitt covers planning and zoning issues.

Local Developer Plans 189-Unit Apartment Complex With Affordable Units in Old Lyme

OLD LYME — Three years after proposing an apartment complex requiring a tie-in to sewers, Mark Diebolt is back with an affordable housing project relying instead on septic.The state’s affordable housing statute allows developers to largely bypass local zoning approvals in towns where less than 10 percent of the housing stock qualifies as affordable. According to the 2022 Housing Appeals List, 1.57 pe...

OLD LYME — Three years after proposing an apartment complex requiring a tie-in to sewers, Mark Diebolt is back with an affordable housing project relying instead on septic.

The state’s affordable housing statute allows developers to largely bypass local zoning approvals in towns where less than 10 percent of the housing stock qualifies as affordable. According to the 2022 Housing Appeals List, 1.57 percent of Old Lyme’s housing stock meets state rules of affordability.

Diebolt is planning six buildings of 30 to 32 units each. Of the total 189 units, 57 would be affordable for people earning 50, 60 or 80 percent of the area median income, which was $113,889 in 2021, according to census data.

The buildings would be built on Diebolt’s 20.6-acre parcel at 49 Hatchetts Hill Road and a 16.25-acre adjoining parcel at 54-6 Four Mile River Road that he recently purchased and where he plans some of the septic.

Diebolt, engineer Seamus Moran and investors from Port One Companies presented the outlines of the proposal to the Planning Commission during an informal discussion on Thursday, in part to secure the commission’s approval to subdivide the two existing lots into six lots to fulfill state septic requirements.

The Hatchetts Hill property was zoned for multifamily use under a special exception in 2005 when a developer purchased the land from Diebolt with plans to build 16 luxury condos. That project was never built and Diebolt eventually regained ownership.

Peter Bartash, CEO of Port One Companies and a licensed architect, told the commission that the location for the project – in a mixed industrial and residential setting with easy access to the highway – would have very little impact on the town.

“It really stood out to us that we could look at doing something that has a little bit larger scale here from an overall project perspective without compromising the character integrity of the town,” he said.

Moran told the commission that subdivision was the first step in moving the project forward.

He said that testing of the soil in the 54-6 Four Mile River Road parcel showed it was “very nice sand and gravel that would be great for septic systems,” and he estimated that each building would need 7,500 gallons of sewage capacity a day, the limit allowed for approval by Ledge Light and the Department of Health.

Moran said that except for the septic area, the lower property would be dedicated open space with walking trails.

Commission member Jim Lampos questioned whether the well on the site could provide sufficient water for the residents.

Moran acknowledged that a well on site produces 50 gallons per minute, but said the buildings would have water storage tanks to meet demand at peak flow.

He also emphasized that the design was in its early conceptual phase. “We’re at about two and a half percent of the design.”

Bartash said the construction is planned for two phases over a two or three year period, first with 60 units closer to the Hatchetts Hill Road entrance, followed by 129 units in the second phase built toward the back of the parcel.

The site is close to a pump station for the East Lyme sewer system, but Diebolt was unable to gain permission in 2020 to use 50,000 gallons of 300,000 gallons designated for the town and the beach communities in an agreement with New London. The beach community sewer project, estimated at $14.1 million to $21.1 million, is still on hold while the town awaits word on a $17 million forgivable loan from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story stated that Diebolt was unable to gain permission from the Old Lyme Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) to use 50,000 gallons of 300,000 gallons designated for the town and the beach communities, but the WPCA did not have the authority to grant that permission due to its agreements. Also, “Four Mile Creek Road” has been corrected to “Four Mile River Road.” This story has been updated.

Cate Hewitt is a reporter and Associate Editor for CT Examiner. Hewitt covers planning and zoning issues.

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Old Lyme community disagrees with officials' decision to not remove hazardous tree lodged onto shore

The tree, sitting at about 40 feet long, has been stuck in the water for more than two weeks at Miami Beach in Old Lyme.OLD LYME, Conn. — A massive tree is causing a bit of a “tiff” on Connecticut’s shoreline. The tree made its way to Miami Beach in Old Lyme during last month’s storms, and it’s been stuck in the water ever since. Over the last two weeks, there’s been a lot of back and forth about who i...

The tree, sitting at about 40 feet long, has been stuck in the water for more than two weeks at Miami Beach in Old Lyme.

OLD LYME, Conn. — A massive tree is causing a bit of a “tiff” on Connecticut’s shoreline. The tree made its way to Miami Beach in Old Lyme during last month’s storms, and it’s been stuck in the water ever since. Over the last two weeks, there’s been a lot of back and forth about who is responsible for getting rid of the safety hazard.

“From our perspective, the town should have worked with the state of Connecticut, worked with DEEP to get it removed before it became a danger,” said Mark Mongillo, President of the Miami Beach Association.

The association is made up of 262 houses and about 450 members who live near the water in Old Lyme. It’s a chartered organization, responsible for the same things as a local municipality. Members of the association pay town taxes, plus extra taxes for living along the shore.

“We pay for our own lights, electricity, insurance. We have to maintain our roads, we have snow plowing contracts, we have beach contracts. Anything that would happen in a municipality is basically what we do,” Mongillo said.

However, Mongillo said their property line very clearly ends at a certain point…at the high tide water mark. Therefore, anything below that, meaning in the water, he said is not their responsibility. The tree is sitting in the water, near the public swimming area.

“So, therein lies part of our issue with what’s happening,” Mangillo said.

The association has been reaching out to the state and to local town officials since the tree showed up on their shore on July 18. Mangillo said those efforts have fallen on deaf ears.

“Briefly stated, (they said) it’s not our problem,” Mangillo said.

FOX61 reached out to the town’s First Selectman, Tim Griswold.

Griswold believes the tree is not sitting on their property, either. Removing it, he said, wouldn’t be fair for other associations, which have already spent thousands cleaning up after this summer’s storms.

“If we were to suddenly say, ‘Okay, we will take a large tree off of your beach,’ then that sets a precedent and other people would want the same treatment,” Griswold said.

Griswold said if there were a federal disaster declaration for the damage, they may have been get the state to help out.

FOX61 also reached out to The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The organization’s communications team responded with the following statement.

DEEP recognizes that there is an extraordinary amount of debris in Long Island Sound and our inland rivers as a result of the weather events of the past few weeks. DEEP does not address naturally occurring floating debris such as trees, logs, or other woody debris upon Connecticut’s waterways, nor will the USCG typically respond unless the floating debris is lodged in such a way to block a federal navigation channel (e.g. in a bridge underpass). We recognize that this type of debris can be hazardous for those recreating in the water and we routinely advise boaters and swimmers to be wary of floating debris and to always be on the lookout.

Now, Mangillo said he and his members have no choice but to take matters into their own hands. They reached out to see how much it’d cost to take the tree down and got a quote for $4,000. Mangillo said they don’t have that kind of money, especially after already spending $4,000 on other summer storm cleanup efforts.

“From our perspective, now we have this large tree that could have been taken care of almost two and a half weeks ago,” Mangillo said.

Mangillo argues that even if the tree is not considered to be on public property now, the state and the town had a chance to take care of it when it definitely was. At first, the tree was out at sea near Hawks Nest Beach. Within a few days, it moved, knocking down the swim line and the buoys in its path, before landing near Miami Beach’s shoreline.

“So, it took about five, six days for it to break through and start to come down this way. So, that’s five or six days that the town could have done something about it instead of saying, ‘let’s see what happens,’” Mangillo said.

Now with no other option, the association is taking care of it this weekend on their own time, with their own money. The first selectman said he sympathizes with them but stands by his point about precedence.

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“Certainly, on the shoreline in Old Lyme and even over to New London, big chunks of wood and other things have washed up on the beaches and people have been disposing of them without demanding the towns take care of it for them,” Griswold said. “And probably people who spent anywhere from 3-$10,000 cleaning their beach. And maybe they’d say, ‘Well, I’ve already cleaned out so maybe you should pay me the cost of removal.’ So, I think it would snowball into a big problem.”

“It’s a shame it’s coming down to this but, we already paid $4,000 for pickup. We can’t afford to pay another $4,000. This is our taxpayer’s hard-earned money,” Mangillo said. “But we did not budget for $8-$10,000 of extra costs. It just didn’t make any sense.”

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Julia LeBlanc is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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Blasting intermittently closes I-95 in East Lyme

EAST LYME, CT (WFSB) - Ledge blasting is causing intermittent closures twice a day on Interstate 95 in East Lyme.Drivers can sign up for text message alerts of blasting operations on the project’s website, i-95eastlyme.com.For Oct. 9, the state Department of Transportation said there would be one blast. It was set for between 11 a.m. and 11:10 a.m.Both sides of I-95 will be closed during that span of time....

EAST LYME, CT (WFSB) - Ledge blasting is causing intermittent closures twice a day on Interstate 95 in East Lyme.

Drivers can sign up for text message alerts of blasting operations on the project’s website, i-95eastlyme.com.

For Oct. 9, the state Department of Transportation said there would be one blast. It was set for between 11 a.m. and 11:10 a.m.

Both sides of I-95 will be closed during that span of time.

The DOT started the periodic closures on Aug. 1.

The blasting was scheduled to take place Monday through Thursday for a period of 6 to 8 weeks. It will not happen on Fridays.

“As a result, I-95 northbound and southbound will be closed twice a day between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. for 15 minutes for each blast,” the I-95 East Lyme Project announced. “Please know that every effort will be made to keep the these temporary highway closures to the shortest duration possible.”

The DOT noted that the start of this closure could change based on weather or other factors.

Detours included:

“Because this work is so technical, so specialized and so dependent on conditions in the moment, we could only give a 30 minute window of when the operation is going to happen. If people head to I-95EASTLYME.COM, they can sign up for text alerts to receive that 30 minutes heads up,” said Josh Morgan with the DOT.

“[It] has just been so busy: People rushing on the highways, speeding, cutting through lanes,” said Mark Cofrancesco, of Plainville.

Cofrancesco took I-95 to get his family to the beach last week, but he may soon have to find a different route.

“We plan for the worst scenarios, but we certainly hope for the best,” said Robert Obey, resident engineer for GM2 Associates. “We have about 30,000 yards of rock to remove.”

Rock on the northbound side will be blasted to make room for new lanes.

“Everything we do is to minimize that risk of putting debris onto the highway,” Obey said.

“It’s so dependent on conditions in that moment: Weather conditions, wind, what the blast operator is seeing,” said Josh Morgan with the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

The closures were set to last 15 minutes, sometimes within a five-hour span.

“That will allow the team to send out a 30-minute heads up that at this time on this day we will be closing the roadway,” Morgan said.

Those texts were why Chelsea Horton thought the restaurant she worked at off of Route 161 would be a little busier.

She said it’s been that way even before the blasting.

People were getting off the highway to avoid the construction.

“I think it has upped our business a little bit with through traffic and whatnot, so I think it will help us a little bit,” Horton said.

The blasting and closures will not happen on Fridays, weekends, and Labor Day to try and minimize the impact on summer travel.

“The hope is that these will be short, 15 minutes closures twice a day just to safely remove that rock ledge,” Morgan said.

For real-time traffic updates, check the Channel 3 traffic map here.

Copyright 2023 WFSB. All rights reserved.

Beach Association Questions ‘Public Use’ Agreement with Town of Old Lyme

OLD LYME — Miami Beach Association has questioned the legality and content of an agreement with the town that has allowed public use of a short stretch of Pond Road since 1997.Currently the agreement allows public vehicular access along Pond Road between Hartford and Portland avenues plus about 50 additional feet of Pond Road heading west.The association owns Pond Road. The town owns Hartford and Portland avenues. The town’s beach parking lot is also bordered on three sides by Hartford Ave., Pond Road, and Portland ...

OLD LYME — Miami Beach Association has questioned the legality and content of an agreement with the town that has allowed public use of a short stretch of Pond Road since 1997.

Currently the agreement allows public vehicular access along Pond Road between Hartford and Portland avenues plus about 50 additional feet of Pond Road heading west.

The association owns Pond Road. The town owns Hartford and Portland avenues. The town’s beach parking lot is also bordered on three sides by Hartford Ave., Pond Road, and Portland Ave.

Mark Mongillo, president of the Miami Beach Association, told CT Examiner on Friday that the 1997 agreement posed a number of legal issues, including that Larrye DeBear, who was president of the association in 1997, did not have the authority to sign the agreement with the town.

“The board or the board members should have signed a corporate resolution granting the president the right to sign a document with the town and that never happened,” Mongillo said.

In addition, Mongillo said the original agreement with the town allowed only emergency vehicles and garbage trucks on the designated swath of Pond Road – which he said is reflected in the minutes of the association board and member meetings.

But the agreement was changed to allow public access, Mongillo said.

“For some reason the words in that agreement were changed – by whom we do not know – and I’m not pointing fingers anyplace. I’m just saying the words in that agreement were changed from what was communicated to the Miami Beach membership back in 1997, which are in our minutes,” he said. “Somehow, those words got changed to read ‘open to the public.’ Something transpired and we did not know, but that’s why it’s in the hands of the town lawyer and our lawyer because it’s not only the fact that the president didn’t have the authority to sign the document with the town… but also because the wording changed and we don’t know by whom or what.”

But Mongillo said he could not share the association minutes with CT Examiner until the legal issues had been resolved.

Mongillo also said research by association members uncovered the language change, which he said he raised with former First Selectman Bonnie Reemsnyder in 2013.

“We’re not just coming up with this now. This has been going back almost 10 years,” he said.

Mongillo said Miami Beach Association is proposing several options to the town, including that the town build its own road parallel to Pond Road.

“We’re trying to be good neighbors, and saying we need to reclaim our road. But we also understand the town needs a way to get from Hartford out to Portland Ave,” he said.

But said that his board is also willing to propose to the association membership the idea of giving the town an easement on certain areas of the property, which would require a membership vote.

“But the town has to make the first move as far as ‘are you open to putting in a road’ because that would be the easiest solution. If they want to, that’s the path we’re trying to go down… there’s options and to me that’s a neighborly, amicable way of resolving all of this.”

Mongillo said he gave the legal documents to First Selectman Timothy Griswold and Selectmen Martha Shoemaker and Matt Ward on July 7, and presented the information at the Board of Selectmen meeting on Aug. 7.

At the Aug. 7 meeting, according to meeting minutes, Keith Henson, who owns a parking lot at 11 Pond Road, told the selectmen that making Pond Road private would “shut down his business” and that he was being targeted unfairly.

Mongillo said that upon approval of his association board, the association would share excavation and paving costs and give the town two small parcels that abut the town parking lot.

As of Friday, Mongillo said he and the association attorney had not heard back from the town attorney about the issue.

“We’d like a fair and equitable resolution to an issue that has been out there for a couple of decades,” he said.

When CT Examiner spoke with Griswold on Friday, he said he remembered signing the agreement in 1997, the year he was first elected to office.

He acknowledged the association’s claim that President DeBear was not authorized to sign the agreement but said that the Miami Beach Association and President DeBear were represented by counsel at the time.

Griswold said that building a new road would involve moving electrical poles, contending with a water main and drainage issues.

He said the town has not responded to the association yet.

“It’s an open issue. We’d like to resolve it amicably,” Griswold said.

Pond Road is listed as an agenda item for Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting.

Cate Hewitt is a reporter and Associate Editor for CT Examiner. Hewitt covers planning and zoning issues.

[email protected]


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