Lynne Vanderslice Wilton Community Update: Grant, Dog License Renewals, Permit Fee for Transfer Station and More!

Senators Murphy and Blumenthal Recommend Wilton for a $938,000 Congressional Directed Spending Grant (CDSG).  

We are thrilled and grateful Senators Murphy and Blumenthal chose to recommend our application for a grant for the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which would mean a reduction in required bonding for the new Police Headquarters.  The EOC will also serve as a multi-purpose/training area.  Once a federal budget is adopted, we’ll learn whether the award was included in the budget.  

If the grant is awarded, it would be our third CDSG award in three years. In 2021, Senators Murphy and Blumenthal recommended an award of $983,000 for the public safety emergency communication system.  In 2022, Congressman Himes recommended an award of $1.425 million for enhancements to the stormwater system at the WHS Sports Complex. 

New Permit Fee to Use the Transfer Station, Effective July 1, 2023.  

Despite implementing a number of cost saving initiatives, transfer station operational losses continue to increase due to rising disposal costs. Included in the recently adopted FY2024 budget was a permit fee for the use of the Transfer Station for any purpose. Permits fees are $40 for the first vehicle and $20 for an additional vehicle.  The fee for citizens age 65 and above is $20 for each vehicle.   Information about obtaining permits, including online payment is available here.

Dog License Renewals.  

Dog licenses must be renewed in June.  Renewals fees may be paid online, in person or by mail. The license application and additional information are available here.  Reminder letters are being mailed to all owners of dogs currently licensed in Wilton.  Please remember, if your dog requires a rabies shot, they cannot be licensed without proof. 

Aquarion New Canaan Road Project.  

Yesterday, Aquarion released a new schedule for completion of Phase 1 up to Old Boston Road and for Phase 2 from Old Boston Road to the New Canaan Line.  The completion of Phase 1, which includes water main testing on the new line and road restoration, is expected to be completed by end of July/early August.  The work associated with the water main test is sporadic because when a problem is found, a different crew must be brought in to perform repairs. 

Phase 2 was originally scheduled to start immediately after completion of Phase 1. Instead, Aquarion began new pipe work in New Canaan.  As such, it is likely once Phase 1 is complete, no additional work will be performed in Wilton during 2023.  Phase 2 will likely begin in 2024.  

Information received from Aquarion is here.  Note, their link to additional information does not include Wilton.  We are working with our Aquarion representative to achieve better communication by Aquarion. Watch for further information.  

CT DOT Nighttime Milling and Paving of Danbury Road (RT 7) from Wolfpit to the North Entrance of WHS.  Work begins on June 5th.  Read more here.

Town-Owned Road Paving.  Regular updates on the status of road paving are available on the DPW page of the town website here.  The report as of May 30th is here.

Housing Legislation.  All housing bills were combined into one omnibus House of Representatives bill that was released late Tuesday.  A revised bill was released this afternoon, which among other changes, excludes municipalities without rail or bus service from the lawsuits enabled by the bill.  We are concerned this was done to secure additional yes votes needed to pass the bill.  A vote by the House of Representatives could occur at any time. 

The bill is described by the CT Conference of Municipalities as “one of the largest unfunded mandates that would override zoning, expose municipalities to endless lawsuits, and have a detrimental fiscal impact on municipalities.”  Unlike the Governor’s bill that included incentives for adopting certain zoning, this bill takes away existing funding from municipalities that don’t adopt certain zoning.  Wilton’ State Representative Keith Denning indicated he would vote no on Tuesday’s bill.  Today, he expressed to me he had concerns with the revised bill.

Development Activity.  No significant applications were received in May.  Planning & Zoning Commission discussions continued on applications for a 42-unit apartment building on Hubbard Road filed under CT statute 8-30-g and a120-bed hotel at I-Park on Cannondale Way.

Annual Budget Process-Clearing Up Confusion.  There seemed to be more confusion this year than usual.  Hopefully, the following is helpful: 

     The Board of Finance reduced the Board of Education requested increase in 11 of the last 14 years since the 2008 financial crisis.  The amount of the reduction was generally reflective of the requested increase. Thus, this year’s reduction of the requested increase was typical.  

  • The 2008 financial crisis had a significant impact on Wilton residents and property values.  The impact is still being felt for some.
  • 40% of current voters were also registered to vote in Wilton in 2008.
  • Wilton’s 2020 aggregate adjusted gross income (AGI) as reported on federal income tax returns was 91% of 2007’s aggregate AGI.  (Source: IRS statistical data by zip code. 2020 is the most recent year available. Actual amounts, not inflation adjusted.)    

     Debate over Board of Education and Board of Selectmen budgets and bonded projects isn’t new.  Here are some examples from the last 27 years:

  • In 1996, the ATM defeated the budget due in part to the “Common Sense Coalition”, a resident advocacy group.
  • In 2002, 25.3% of voters turned out, with 55% voting against a $600,000 bond referendum for enhancements to Schenck’s Island.
  • In 2004, 21.4% turned out, with 54% voting against a $260,000 bond referendum for design plans for a Town Campus expansion, including a Police Headquarters expansion.
  • In 2010, it was standing room only as over 600 residents attended the Tuesday night Annual Town Meeting.  Many angry with the Board of Finance’s reduction to the BOE requested increase. Others supported the reduction, but were upset the teachers were the only union unwilling to forego a wage increase in response to the financial crisis.
  • In 2015, 53% of the voters voted against the budget. 
  • These four bonding referendums passed by less than 100 votes: $250,000 for the renovation of the white house at Ambler Farm, $50 million for the renovation of Miller Driscoll, $9.9 million for the renovation of Comstock and $1.2 million for the initial planning and design of the subsequently approved new Police Headquarters. 

     Changing the Town Charter isn’t easy, nor is the outcome guaranteed.  State statutes provide the framework for which changes may be considered.  The process generally requires 12 to18 months and a town meeting vote. Norwalk is reportedly spending approximately $180,000 in legal fees for their current charter revision effort. 

Mark Your Calendar

Hazardous Household Waste Event-June 2nd in Bethel.  Details here

Parks and Recreation Summer Events Schedule here.

Please email me at with any questions.  Please, no questions via Facebook.


Submitted by Wilton, CT

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