Franklin Countys First News

Wilton selectpersons approve Halloween festivities

WILTON - Town officials are preparing for the fall season after gaining approval from the Board of Selectpersons; discussions were lead by Recreation Department Director Frank Donald and Chief of Police Heidi Wilcox.

Town Manager Rhonda Irish said the town received a grant from the state specifically geared toward encouraging healthy, outdoor activities. In collaboration with Healthy Community Coalition, the Keep ME Healthy grant at $41,646 will provide funding for various COVID-19 related requirements such as personal protective equipment, sanitizing materials and signage for the town's parks and playgrounds. Donald said the Recreation Department has been offering a variety of outdoor activities all summer long, for both adults and children, and the funding will allow them to continue programming with added safety measures in place.

About $17,500 of the grant will be used for an electronic sign that can be mobile for different outdoor events and will be designated for COVID-19 related messages to the public. Irish said they plan on hiring a person to specifically be on the task of keeping sport spectators and athletes in line with regulations. Several no-contact hand sanitizer dispensers are being purchased for Kinneowatha Park, as well as a water bottle filling station.

"I think we're covering the bases pretty well," Donald said.

Chief Wilcox proposed an idea to the board for Halloween night; "Truck or Treat" will offer a healthy version of trick or treating that families can participate in safely, she said. Wilcox proposed closing down Main Street on the afternoon of Halloween, from 3:30 p.m. to 5, and only from Foot City to China Wall. She said she will vet up to 50 people to hand out candy along the designated path, and no other pedestrians will be allowed in the area. Candy distributers will be screened for COVID-19, and stationed 20 feet apart. Families and costumed children can ride in the back of trucks or other vehicles to receive the candy.

Wilcox said she is hoping to get the event live streamed, and to get businesses and the public library involved with the event as well.

"It's a way to let our kids still have something for Halloween," she said.

The idea was approved unanimously.

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