Franklin Countys First News

Wilton’s town meeting includes ordinance changes, $3.17 million budget

WILTON - Residents will assemble at the Academy Hill School cafeteria Monday evening for the annual town meeting, with a proposed $3.17 million municipal budget and several ordinance changes on the warrant.

Residents already cast their ballots in the local election Tuesday, with Tom Saviello, a former member of the Board of Selectpersons, elected to fill in for the one year remaining on Selectperson Ruth Cushman's term. Phil Hilton will fill the three-year seat left vacant due to Selectperson Jeff Adams choosing not to run for reelection. Both races were uncontested.

There was no declared candidates for the Regional School Unit 9 school board, with current Director Angela LeClair receiving the most write-in votes. Reached Thursday afternoon, LeClair said that she would serve on the school board.

The municipal budget is proposed at roughly $3,168,291 by the Board of Selectpersons, with $338 separating the board and Finance Committee's recommendations. While the board supported $1,338 for Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Services, the committee recommended $1,000.

The board's budget would represent an increase of roughly $28,000 over the current fiscal year's budget, or less than 1 percent.

The warrant includes articles to appropriate money out of the Undesignated Fund to support town projects. Article 46 would appropriate $50,000 to repay the state's Brownfields program, the first of four such payments. Residents will also be asked to support using $25,000 out of the Undesignated Fund for the Wilson Lake Wall Capital Account. The capital account, which currently contains $9,505, is dedicated towards studying and ultimately replacing the retaining wall on Wilson Lake.

Two other articles would appropriate money out of the Comfort Inn Tax Increment Financing district to make annual payments on the town's Quint fire truck and for a portion of the loan payment on the waste treatment facility Phase I project. Specifically, Article 44 would appropriate $54,441 in TIF funds for the 2013 HME 78-foot Aerial Quint Fire Truck, while Article 43 would appropriate $15,000 to go toward the debt service payment on the waste treatment plant's Phase I improvements. An annual item, that TIF payment would be matched by a proposed $15,000 raised and appropriated from general taxation, for $30,000 in total contributions towards the annual payment. Most of that payment is covered by the system ratepayers.

Funds appropriated from either the Undesignated Fund or the TIF district do not directly impact the tax rate. Those expenditures are not included in the $3.17 million in proposed municipal expenditures.

The town meeting warrant includes a number of changes to the town's zoning ordinance. Articles 3, 4 and 5 would add zoning languages for taverns/pubs, retail marijuana sales and cultivation, and redefine "Adult Business Establishment" as an entity that customarily excludes persons under the age of 21. Only the retail sale of marijuana falls under the amended zoning table, with restrictions to include no sales within 500 feet of schools, churches or libraries. Consumption on site would not be permitted.

Article 6 would increase the timeline that recreational vehicles, tents or similar structures would need to be place for in order to qualify for residential structure requirements: increasing from 120 days to more than 180 days per year to trigger those requirements. Article 7 would amend the section on recreational vehicles and campers, requiring that such vehicles be inhabited for no more than 180 days per year, up from the old 90-day requirement, in order to qualify for a permit.

Article 8 would correct minor mistakes in three different sections of the ordinance.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Academy Hill School cafeteria on Monday, June 18.

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