HEADLINES

Wilton First Selectwoman’s Update: BOS Budget, Crisis Response, Traffic, Cell Tower, and Lots of Holiday Events!

FY2022 Actual Board of Selectmen (BOS) Operating and Revenue Results.  Subject to the completion of the FY2022 audit, the BOS results were approximately $760,000 favorable to budget.  Wage and benefit savings from non-budgeted retirements and vacancies contributed to the amount.  More details are available here. The BOS voted to assign the savings to the Infrastructure Improvement Fund.

FY2022 revenues exceeded budget by approximately $950,000, $652,000 of which was used by the BOF to reduce the FY2023 mill rate.  The remaining balance is available to the BOF to reduce the FY2024 mill rate.   

Municipal Crisis Response and Mental Health Resources.  At the November 21st BOS meeting, Police Captain Rob Cipolla and Social Services Director Sarah Heath provided an informative presentation and discussion about crisis response, municipal provided mental health resources and area resources.  

Highlights included:

  • 34 of Wilton’s police officers are certified in crisis response, with training planned for the remaining newer officers. 
  • 3 members of the Wilton Social Services department are certified counselors, including a certified professional counselor. 
  • Wilton Social Services provides a personalized referral service for Wilton residents of all ages. Staff works to match a client’s specific needs with the right service provider. Although the presentation listed many available resources, Sarah Heath encouraged residents to contact her office to understand which option is the best fit for them.
  • Wilton Social Services provides financial assistance to qualified residents for counseling.  Please contact Social Services to learn more.

Traffic Speed and Enforcement.  In response to resident requests for greater focus on enforcement and following discussions and a recommendation from the Wilton Police Commission and Chief Lynch, the BOS authorized an increase in the size of the department from 44 to 45 officers.  The department expects to fill the vacant 44th position soon and will begin the process to hire a 45th.  In the meantime, the department acquired additional mobile speed units, which are being deployed throughout the community and are shown to be effective in reducing motorist speed. 

Traffic Volume.  The return to pre-pandemic commuter traffic and patterns has resulted in resident concern, particularly that of new residents, about traffic volume on roads used as alternates to Danbury Road (RT 7).  More than a dozen years ago, the State completed an expansion of Danbury Road.  The expansion improved safety, but was never expected to be adequate to accommodate the daily commuting volume.  Compounding the problem, the adult population in Wilton and communities to the north has continued to increase, meaning more vehicles.

Through the years, CT DOT and/or the Town have made or attempted to make improvements to the alternate routes to improve traffic flow and safety.   For example, the intersection of Belden Hill and Wolfpit Roads is a source of multiple complaints. In 2018, CT DOT recommended a roundabout and previously had recommended a traffic light.  Both recommendations were strongly opposed by residents.  This past spring, the State installed center line rumble strips on Belden Hill Road leading to the intersection. Wilton’s Police Department previously experimented with officers at the intersection during peak periods.  That effort didn’t improve the situation and created new problems further south.  

For those interested, CT DOT publishes traffic count data, including counts for Wilton from 2008 to 2020.  Counts are viewable here.  

FY2024 Budget/Bonding Discussions:

  • At their November 15th meeting, the BOF reviewed and discussed a preliminary FY2024 mill rate projection prepared by member Matt Raimondi. Amounts, other than debt service, were projected as trends and do not reflect actual proposals.  The projection is available here.
  • At their November 3rd meeting, the BOE reviewed and discussed FY2024enrollment projections, which reflected a 71-student decrease for grades K-12. Nationwide, annual birth rates have declined since the 2007 recession. Wilton’s 2020 Census reflected a 618-person decrease in residents under age 18 compared to the 2010 Census. 
  • Last year, a lack of knowledge of the budget process and its timing left a number of residents confused and frustrated. Residents are encouraged to read Annual Budget Process-Clearing Up Confusion found here on the town website. The document includes the process, timing, corrections to often repeated “budget myths” and answers to FAQs.  

January Elderly and Disabled Property Tax Credits.  On November 21st, the BOS approved an additional tax credit for qualified residents who participated in this year’s tax credit program.  Impacted residents should look for a letter from the Assessor’s Office with their new credit amount during the second half of December. 

Cell Tower Update. Verizon will hold a second red balloon float this Friday from two locations at the Bus Barn. The crane and balloon will be up from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Photos will be taken during both periods from private properties as requested by the owners.  Following a review of the photos, Verizon expects to be able to provide the Town with a timeframe for their application to the CT Siting Council.

Major Development Activity:

  • 12 Godfrey Place- owner/developer application submitted to P&Z for a proposed 34-unit multi-family building, previously discussed in pre-application.  
  • 241 Danbury Road/23 Cricket Lane- owner application submitted to P&Z for a proposed religious meetinghouse, previously discussed in pre-application with the ARB.
  • One Cannondale Way-iPark’s continued pre-application discussions with the ARB for a possible hotel.
  • 19 Cannon Road-Water Pollution Control Authority’s continued consideration of an application for, among others, an extension of the sewer for a possible 70-unit apartment building.

Mark Your Calendar:

  • December 2nd:  Senior Holiday Lunch sponsored by Parks and Recreation and Social Services.  Call Social Services at 203-834-6238 to register.  
  • December 2nd:  Town Green Christmas Tree Lighting, Holiday Stroll and Visit from Santa with Special Delivery by the Wilton Fire Department.
  • December 3rd:  Wilton Rocks for Food, benefits the Wilton Food Pantry at Social Services. 
  • December 3rd to 18thLetters to Santa sponsored by Social Services and the Police Department.
  • December 9th:  Parks and Recreation Hayride with Santa.  Call or email for reservations.
  • December 19th:  Town Green Menorah Lighting.

As always, please contact me at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  with questions.  Please, no questions on Facebook. 

 

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