Referendum Vote on Saturday, May 15
With the FY2022 proposed budget appearing to be sailing through, you might be thinking you don’t need to bother voting on Saturday or by absentee ballot. Please remember there are also five bonding referendums on the ballots. Unlike the budget, which automatically passes if less than a 15% turnout, the referendums are decided based on the actual vote counts.
The referendums are:
- $1.5 million for Road Paving
- $1.450 million for and Aerial (Ladder) Fire Truck
“Does Wilton really need a ladder truck?” was a question recently asked of me by my husband. The answer was yes. The Insurance Services Offices, the company that rates the fire safety of communities, sets standards for the requirement of an aerial truck. Standards include when there are five or more buildings 32 feet high within the fire district. Wilton has many more than five buildings at 32 or more feet. The maximum building height currently allowed in Wilton is 54 feet. Many of you remember the 2012 fire at the Wilton Crest condominium complex. The fire broke out in the center of a group of buildings making it difficult to reach the fire. The ladder on the aerial truck was raised above the building and water was pumped down into the fire. On the top of the aerial that day was Wilton’s now Fire Chief Jim Blanchfield. As Jim often says, the outcome that day would have been very different had Wilton not had an aerial truck. Chief Blanchfield is working with purchasing consortiums in states much larger than Connecticut to allow us to leverage their greater purchasing power.
- $600,000 for Cider Mill Roof Replacement
- $538,000 for the Bridge Replacement Program
- $350,000 for the Replacement of the Middlebrook Tennis Courts
You can learn more about these proposals and the Board of Selectmen's proposed budget by watching the presentation here. You can watch the Board of Education budget video presentation and read the Board of Finance presentation here.
Voting is this Saturday at the Clune Center from 9:00am to 6:00pm. A sample ballot is available here. Absentee ballots are available from the Town Clerk. Information on absentee ballots is available here.
Inland Wetland Fee Reductions
Currently, the Town charges both an activity fee and a disturbance fee for permitted regulated activities within 100 feet of wetlands or a watercourse. During recent Board of Selectmen meetings, we discussed whether the high level of fees, particularly the disturbance fees, act as a deterrent to seeking the required permit and working within the regulations. Last Monday, the Board of Selectmen, upon the recommendation of Environmental Affairs Director Mike Conklin, voted to repeal the additional disturbance fees as of June 1, 2021. Any application received on June 1 or after will not be subject to an additional disturbance fee.
Road Paving Status
This year’s paving is well underway. The following is the status of the 14 miles scheduled for calendar year 2021 as of last Thursday:
- 2.72 miles – Paved
- 0.92 miles – Drainage prep work completed –ready to pave
- 2.16 miles – Drainage prep work in progress by Highway Dept
- 1.19 miles – Drainage prep work in progress by Drainage Subcontractor
- 7.01 miles – Not prepped yet
Click here for a list of scheduled roads.
The Connecticut Legislature extended the Governor’s Emergency powers to July 20th and expanded their own oversight powers. As the Governor previously announced, business restrictions will end on May 19th, except possibly the requirement to wear a mask while indoors. Look for more information next week.
Today, the Governor announced residents aged 12 to 15 are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine at all Connecticut locations administering the vaccine. This group is 170,000 in size. Vaccines are reported as readily available. Appointments are no longer needed at many locations. You can search the list here.
The number of new weekly COVID cases in Wilton continues to decline. During the last two weeks of April, the 14-day average daily new cases per 100,000 residents was 12.8. That 14-day average in now less than 10. Surrounding communities are also declining.
Based on CT DPH data, as of last Monday, approximately 85% of residents aged 16 and above had received a first dose. Of those approximately 75% were fully vaccinated.