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Board hears, supports, local economic development organization

4 mins read

WILTON – Selectmen heard a report from a group of residents interested in helping new businesses move into town, voting to express their support for the organization.

Wilton Development Corp. II’s president, Gilbert Riley said that his group, called “II” due to the existence of another similarly named agency in the ’70s, was enthused by the opening of the Comfort Inn on Routes 2 and 4.

“Everyone’s aware of the new suites on Route 2,” Riley told the board, “and we do think that will give rise to other opportunities in that area.”

Wilton Development works to bring new business to Wilton, by providing access to municipal resources, introductions for the town and helping address issues with local and state laws.

“We’re a facilitator for companies and businesses,” Riley said, “we help them move in and set up. Our goal is jobs.”

Gil Riley (standing at right) and other members of the Wilton Development Corp II address the Board of Selectmen and Town Manager Peter Nielsen.

As an example, state Rep. Tom Saviello (U – Wilton) noted that business that recently opened on that road ran into a problem due to the road’s classification. He suggested that the town consider conducting a speed study in order to look into ways to let new businesses have the access roads they needed. Bringing issues like this to the town’s attention, Riley summed up, was what Wilton Development was designed to do.

Another hope that selectmen expressed was that Wilton Development would help raise interest in a revolving loan fund set up through the town. That fund was made available by a grant years ago, and the board members hoped that it would get more use.

The selectmen unanimously moved to announce their support for the organization. Riley said that his group intended to begin reintroducing itself to area businesses, with the board’s support.

In other business, the board heard a report from Highway Department Foreman John Welch, who noted that several road sections were still in dire need of repair. He will come back to the board with a list of suggestions, which the selectmen will walk with him before trying to generate a potential road reconstruction budget for next year.

Welch said that a new trend in road work contracts was “escalation sections” where the contract would allow a retroactive increase in the amount in the bid if material costs skyrocket.

“I find it hard to sit back and leave an open checkbook for some of these people,” Welch said.

Selectmen also unanimously approved the use of town equipment and personnel to dig a culvert for the local Methodist Church parking lot. That lot recently developed a sinkhole, despite a $17,500 paving job. It was later determined that the sinkhole was caused by a blocked culvert, all part of a underground storm water system installed decades ago. The estimated cost of the repairs is expected to be $750.

Wilton will hold its Household Hazardous Waste Collection day on Sept. 6, at the transfer station. The materials will be accepted from between 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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