Wilton Selectboard approves Carbon Cash Back for town meeting warrant

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WILTON – During Tuesday night’s selectboard meeting, members approved the request to place an article allowing the public to vote at the town meeting on the federal Carbon Cash Back legislation. Nancy Walters and Peter Campion presented an informational session on the initiative and board members shared their opinions on the legislation which would apply a fee of $15/ton of fossil fuel oil used. The fee will increase by $10 each year and, according to Campion and Walters, would be affordable for the “average person in Wilton.”

Walters, who emphasized the inevitability of fossil fuel cost increases, attempted to sway the board by considering the Cash Back initiative as a protection for the consumer in the future.

“Sooner or later, the carbon producers will be taxed. Unless a bill like this is put into place, we’ll have to pay the burden of that product later,” said Walters.

Campion explained the finances of the legislation in response to the misconception that this initiative is a tax. This isn’t true since the government would be retuning the funds to protect the consumer.

“All but three percent would be returned to the consumer and the dividend would be handled by an existing agency with a good track record,” said Campion on comparing the process to income tax return.

The board members were largely in support of the idea of reducing the carbon footprint, but were hesitant to support this particularly initiative. They did unanimously agree that, aside from their personal opinions, the public should have the chance to vote in support or against it.

Discussions concerning the possibility of an ATV access route from the trailhead to Depot Street and continuing on to Main Street are still active. According to the ATV club’s President, Robert Dalot, the access trail would increase business in the downtown area. The board supported the possibility to establish the trail on a one-year trial basis, and voted unanimously to send a letter of support to the ATV club to proceed with obtaining approval for trail construction. The trial period will include regulations to decrease the possibility of disruptions.

“We need to do what we can to make Wilton a recreational place, and this is one step in that direction,” said board member David Leavitt.

Frank Donald of Wilton Parks and Recreation presented his yearly report and was optimistic about the coming months and possible activities.

“It looks like traditional spring sports are a go,” said Donald.

In Chief Wilcox’s report, it was announced that a conditional offer of hire had been extended to Benjamin Moseley and that Ethan Keyes has been promoted to the position of Sergeant.

Anita Spencer, who has lived in Wilton for four years and “would like to make a contribution to her town” was unanimously approved to join the Budget Committee.

It was also announced that the final vote on the Wilson Lake retaining wall project will be held at the next Wilton Selectboard meeting at the beginning of April.

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