Wilton Selectboard hears Water Department concerns and announces nomination ballots

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WILTON – Heinz Gossman of the Wilton Water and Waste Department attended Tuesday night’s Wilton selectboard meeting to update members on upcoming budgetary concerns as well as to obtain approval for several new roof price quotes. The budgetary concerns stem from the possibility of the EPA altering their future phosphate regulations, which would lead to an increase in the Water and Waste Department’s costs for chemicals to keep the levels under regulation. This could have an effect on clients in the future.

“They’re trying to put a lot of limits on us. It’s going to affect us majorly and when those numbers come out next year, we’ll probably have to raise rates,” Gossman said.

The board approved Gossman’s $2,200 quote for Arctic Roofing to complete a new roof for the water plant, which will take place in the spring or early summer. After the board’s unanimous vote of approval, Gossman was also given the green light to obtain a request for proposal of the engineering of a new transmission line for the water department.

The Wilton Farmers Market, will once again be held in McGillicudy Park after unanimous approval by the board. Lisa Small spoke on behalf of the market vendors, requesting approval after a successful year despite initial parking concerns in the new downtown location.

“The farmers market did very well this year. A lot of townspeople were repeat customers. They were happy to see us. Vacationers were happy to see us. We’d like to come back and have another successful year,” said Small.

Several of the board members reported that they had enjoyed the Wilton Farmers Market during the previous summer as well.

“I loved having the market downtown. It was one of the few times I could get out and see people socially distanced. I fully support it,” said board member Tiffany Mauri.

A discussion on the possible placement of ATV trail signs between Steve’s Market on Depot St. to the downtown area followed, especially concerning the budgetary costs the signs would entail. There was no decision reached on what the public’s involvement will be in either allowing or denying the placement of such signs, but it was agreed that, if the authority lies in the public’s hands, there should be some involvement.

“It’s going to have to be something the town pays for, which we didn’t budget specifically for,” said Town Manager Rhonda Irish, who then went on to update the board on the town’s overall budgets for the year so far.

“All of the budgets are right on target with the exception of the general assistance which is already at the max. We’ve not run into this before,” said Irish.

The budget for general assistance for the year was for $5,000 and has already been used on account of an unexpected influx in funeral expenses accumulating at the beginning of the year. There have already been 4 funerals requesting funds from the general assistance account, which now implies that those wishing to apply for funds out of general assistance will have to obtain alternative and additional approval.

The Wilson Lake Retaining Wall Project is moving along steadily. The board unanimously approved to proceed with allowing the engineering company working in tandem on the project to conduct a topographical survey on the construction area.

As spring approaches, so does election season for both the selectboard and the school board. Nominations papers for both boards will be available on Feb. 26 and will be due back on April 12. Elections will be held on June 8 and the town meeting will be held on June 14. There is one seat open on each board. The location for the town meeting has not been determined yet.

“We’ve done it outside, we can do it again,” Irish said.

The final update from Irish came in the form of a caution to dog owners of the area to license their dogs before Feb. 1, after which point an additional $25 in state fees will be added to the existing cost.

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