WILTON – Selectmen on Tuesday voted to discuss creating a new firetruck committee at their next meeting.
Town officials, members of the Fire Department and committee members agreed more than a year ago that the town needs a new firetruck, and they’ve been trying to decide what kind to purchase since. At the last meeting, selectmen voted to take an article asking residents to approve the purchase of a new truck, cost not to exceed $250,000, off the town warrant, and to table the issue until after June’s town meeting.
Tuesday night, Chairman Russell Black and resident and state Rep. Tom Saviello suggested creating a new committee. The issue was not on the agenda. They suggested that rather than being asked to recommend what kind of truck the town should purchase, the new committee should only be charged with coming up with a list of protocols a hired expert could use to make a recommendation. The town should then hire an expert to make a recommendation, Saviello said.
The reason selectmen tabled the issue at the last meeting was because no one can agree on what kind of truck to buy, Selectman Paul Gooch asserted, and the amount of bias toward different options has made it difficult for selectmen and the Finance Committee to come to a consensus.
Saviello and selectmen agreed that making a decision quickly is important. “I don’t think any of us in this room want a tragedy to happen while we sit here to discuss it,” Saviello said.
Selectmen voted unanimously to discuss the issue further at their next meeting, and said they hope Fire Chief Sonny Dunham and other interested people attend.
Selectmen also voted to continue discussion of possibly discontinuing some town roads, and stopping plowing private roads. Terry Brann brought the issue before selectmen in April when he contended it is illegal for towns to plow private roads and driveways with public money. He suggested coming up with a list of private roads and driveways now plowed by the town, as well as roads with only one or two houses that should be discontinued by the town.
Selectmen Terry Brann and Paul Gooch met with Town Manager Peter Nielsen, Highway Foreman John Welch and Wilton resident Norm Gould on April 27 to review the roads in question and found that 12 met the criteria for further study. Roads that “would likely require formal discontinuance” include Gould Road, Gordon Road, Milkman Road, Kingsbury Way, and Hathaway Road beyond the first bend. Roads with only one or two houses that are being plowed and maintained by the town as a courtesy but that have not been formally accepted by the town include Jeff Adams’ off Pond Road, Greenleaf Road, Tilton Road, Sanford McCrillis Road, Melcher Road, Parsons Road and Packard Street.