Franklin Countys First News

Wilton Selectboard sends moratorium to special town meeting

From left to right is Town Manager Rhonda Irish, Selectpersons Tiffany Maiuri, Tom Saviello, Chair Keith Swett, David Leavitt, Phil Hilton and Town Clerk Diane Dunham.

WILTON - The Selectboard moved to advance a moratorium on Public Service Corporation projects at Tuesday evening's meeting, against the advice of the town's code enforcement officer.

A special town meeting vote would be required to place a moratorium on projects falling under Section 5.7 of the town's zoning ordinance, Public Service Corporations, to allow the town to work on sections pertaining to public utilities. Two applications previously introduced to the Planning Board, a proposed Central Maine Power substation on Main Street in East Wilton and a solar energy project off the Weld Road, would be exempt from the moratorium.

Selectperson Tom Saviello, who introduced the idea at a previous meeting, made the motion, which was supported by Selectpersons Tiffany Maiuri and Phil Hilton. Board Chair Keith Swett and Selectperson David Leavitt were opposed. An initial motion to advance the moratorium failed to get a second until the two ongoing projects were exempted.

Saviello said that section of the ordinance had not been updated since 1999. He also drew attention to issues in Section 5.11, which addresses transmission towers, windmills and wind energy systems. Transmission towers were not defined in that section, he said.

Code Enforcement Officer Charlie Lavin said there are many ordinances that haven't been updated since 1999, and in his opinion a moratorium was unnecessary.

"I think the moratorium is ill-conceived and is basically a political statement," Lavin said. "I have limited time and appetite for [this]."

Selectman David Leavitt noted that the ordinance hadn't been changed since 1999 did not mean that it hadn't been reviewed since then.

Lavin told the board that he'd be happy to work with them, but he would also be happy to quit if the moratorium passes.

The special town meeting is scheduled for Sept. 3.

In other business, Town Manager Rhonda Irish reported that demolition of the Forster Mill Building was progressing, but she was not sure the project would be complete prior to the contractual deadline of Aug. 20.

"It's moving along. All the walls are down but they are at the most difficult point now of going over the stream," she said.

EnviroVantage, who has been working on the project in phases since last year, began the second part of demolition in early July - several weeks after they had intended to start. Despite their speed, Irish told board members that if they do not meet the Aug. 20 deadline, the town has the option of fining the company $500 for each day the project runs over.

Irish said she thinks it is still too early to begin discussing the future of the site, but several board members agreed to meet on Depot Street to see the project and the possibilities this coming Friday.

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8 Responses »

  1. Taking time to review, after 20 years of fading print, makes perfect sense. The thoroughness of review and investigation, of past and present conditions, changes in the law, procedures, technology, and social needs, deserve careful examination as well. When something is neglected, or left in place for decades, we can be assured it will not meet 2019 forward needs.

  2. Please Mr.Lavin resign...Some how you forget wilton voted overwhelmingly against the line. Maybe CMP called you? Mr. Leavitt and Mr. Swett please remember the same thing. This moratorium still needs to be approved by the town folk. If they agree with you, they will vote against it. You should have voted to give them a say. Thank you Tiff, Phil and Tom for giving us a say.

  3. Nothing wrong with a little update. Nothing at all. It’s called doing your job. Respectfully said of course.

  4. It sounds like if Mr Lavin does not get his way....he will quit!! People don't always get their way!!!

  5. The proposed CMP substation is NOT part of the CMP corridor. It is to replace a failing and outdated substation in Temple.

  6. You’re all welcome to apply for the position ;)

  7. Put the new Sub Station on the pad of the Old Mill !
    That area already looks a place for that kind of project.
    East Wilton should stay clean and beautiful.

  8. I'm personally having trouble understanding the issue. It sounds like a moratorium that would prevent ANYTHING from happening, is a pretty extreme reaction when it comes to doing business (regulation) on the part of the town. Things DO need to be updated and maintained, not just the regulations. Preventing this is a foolhardy proposition, if you ask me. Maybe I misunderstood something, but this just doesn't make sense to me.