WILTON — Representatives from Summit Natural Gas of Maine will meet with selectmen and residents for an informational meeting on natural gas possibilities for Wilton.
The meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, at the town office, Selectman Tom Saviello told the board Tuesday.
Saviello, a state senator, was involved with discussions in Augusta over a proposed gas line to the Augusta area. Summit, one of four companies proposing a plan, intended to extend the line to several smaller towns north of Augusta, he said.
The company tends to bring natural gas into rural areas and representatives were willing to come talk with Wilton selectmen, Saviello said. It's just for information, but a better decision on whether gas is a possibility for the area can be made with more information, he said.
While Saviello was talking with Summit in Augusta, state Rep. Lance Harvell, R-Farmington, called a meeting in Farmington in October to discuss energy alternatives, including the potential of extending the gas line from Verso Paper in Jay across the river and along the recreational railroad bed trail through Wilton to Farmington.
For a company to bring natural gas into the area, they would need an anchor, a big user such as Franklin Memorial Hospital or the University of Maine at Farmington, Saviello said. Like a tree, they would then branch out to smaller businesses and residences.
The anchor “makes it worth it to them,” he said.
Since discussions on natural gas started locally, a survey on interest has been sent to about 50 Wilton property owners, Town Manager Rhonda Irish told the board. The town has received several back and there is some interest, she added.
In other business, a construction contract for the wastewater treatment plant upgrade is ready for signing at 10 a.m. Dec. 11, Superintendent Clayton Putnam said.
The contract with Jordan Excavation of Kingfield is for $2,057,400, he said.
The company needs time to purchase equipment so no digging is expected until March or April.
The board also unanimously denied a request from a homeowner on Masterman Avenue for payment of the homeowner's deductible of $500 for a sewer line blockage.
Showing the board numerous photos of the blockage and where the homeowner and town's line connect, Putnam said the block was clearly on the homeowner's line.
While the department takes responsibility for things on their end of the line, the evidence is clear, he said.
Tree roots, which had started the plug, were an act of nature, he said. The department has already spent more than $1,000 fixing the plug and he raised concerns about setting a precedent. The board agreed and denied the payment.
The board will open bids on a new vehicle for the Police Department at their next meeting Dec. 18. Starting with a tour of Sykes and Barclays at 4 p.m., the board will start their meeting at 6 p.m. at the town office.
The board commended the Wilton Events Committee for a successful Winter Wonderland event this past Friday. A few hundred people attended the tree lighting, carol sing and made visits with Santa at the monument downtown.