After wrestling for years with a chunky proposal to manage the shoreline around the three big lakes in western Connecticut, FirstLight Power Resources has come up with a skinny substitute. "We call it shoreline management plan lite,'' New Fairfield First Selectman John Hodge said Thursday. But after a meeting Friday in New Milford Town Hall, it seemed the slimmed-down version might satisfy everyone. "We're glad they are addressing the issues,'' Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said Friday about FirstLight's recent work on the plan. "It's a slow, arduous process.'' More for youNewsMeeting Wednesday about Candlewood Lake shoreline planNews-Times, The (Danbury, CT)NewsFERC to review shoreline planNews-Times, The (Danbury, CT)NewsShoreline planNews-Times, The (Danbury, CT)NewsFERC changes course of actionNews-Times, The (Danbury, CT)NewsShoreline plan time lineNews-Times, The (Danbury, CT)NewsShoreline plan moving to finish lineNews-Times, The (Danbury, CT) Blumenthal said his office will continue to "monitor and scrutinize'' FirstLight to make sure the plan respects the legal rights of lake residents. The plan, when completed, will be the first time there has been a comprehensive set of regulations governing the shorelines of Candlewood Lake, Lake Lillinonah, Lake Zoar and stretches of the Housatonic River. There is hope the plan will control development around Candlewood Lake, which in turn may slow the lake's overcrowding. FirstLight inherited the complex shoreline management plan from Northeast Generation Services in 2006, when NGS's parent company, Northeast Utilities, sold several hydroelectric plants in Connecticut and Massachusetts for $1.34 billion. FirstLight has to complete the plan because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has required it to do so as one of the terms of a 40-year license issued in 2004, which lets FirstLight operate the five hydroelectric plants on the Housatonic River. Three of those plants form the lakes. James Ginnetti , FirstLight's vice president for external affairs, said Thursday the utility decided to greatly reduce the 50-page document because, after studying it, the company's lawyers found it to be needlessly complex -- sometimes redundant and sometimes contradictory. The new document is an attempt to clear away that complexity and state the basic concepts of the plan as simply as possible. At Friday's meeting, FirstLight took steps to neutralize the main point of contention between the company and shoreline residents -- charging the people who live on the lake an annual fee for their use of a narrow band of utility-owned land that circles Candlewood Lake. FirstLight broke the impasse on the issue in February when it agreed to not charge the fee. But at Friday's meeting, Ginnetti said that pledge might have to be broken in the future, if some radical change of circumstances forces FirstLight to impose a levy on shoreline residents. "Our hope is that we'll never have to charge," Ginnetti said."But we can't blindly say nothing will change.'' In reply, Hodge said it is New Fairfield's position that the utility has no legal right to charge any fee, at any time, on people who have a deeded right to use their property. "You think you have the right to impose fees,'' he said. "I don't agree with you.'' FirstLight attorney Dan Adamson then came up with a compromise: include language in the plan that says the towns reserve the legal right to contest any fees imposed in the future. "It's saying we agree to disagree," New Milford Mayor Patricia Murphy said at Friday's meeting. Representatives from FirstLight, from the five towns that surround the lake, and from lake authorities will meet again on the plan March 19. Ginnetti said the group may not complete the plan by March 31 -- its self-imposed deadline with FERC -- but progress seems to indicate the new plan can be completed this spring. "They took some positive steps today,'' Hodge said after the meeting. "I just hope it isn't one step forward, two steps back.'' Contact Robert Miller at email@example.com or at (203) 731-3345. Companies donating supplies n In New Milford -- Scott's Landscaping, B & B Mason Supply, Ring's End Lumber, Northeast Carpet & Flooring, Lasco Roofing and Sheetmetal, Steve's Deli, AFI Heating and Air Conditioning, Powerhouse Appliances, Modern Plumbing. n In Danbury -- Metro Roofing Supplies, F & M Electric Supply Co., Danbury Plumbing & Supply. n In Brookfield -- East Coast Building Supplies, Brookfield Glass. n In Bethel -- Lo Presti & Sons Carting. n In Newtown -- Safe & Sound Alarm Services. n A number of other local businesses have donated time and manpower toward completing the project.