WILTON – Franklin Grange 50 held an open house on April 23 at the hall. Special guest speakers were new Wilton Police Chief Wayne Gallant and Wilton Town Manager Peter Nielsen.

Other guests included Irving Faunce, alternate member of the Planning Board, Shannon Smith, head of the Finance Committee and Rep. Thomas Saviello.

The program started with a skit by Lincoln and Mike Flagg. Gallant then spoke about the changes that have been made. He passed out pamphlets and spoke on property crimes.

Franklin, Androscoggin and Oxford counties are members in the Property Crime Task Force. More than $3 million in property is stolen yearly. Gallant told the group about marking property and keeping track of identification numbers as once the stolen item is put into local agency computers, the information goes nationwide so chances of recovery are greater. Gallant has been a policeman for more than 25 years and has helped train many officers.

Another skit was performed by Hazel and Karen Flagg. Nielsen and Gallant said their jobs are like working on a jigsaw puzzles: it takes many small pieces to form the bigger picture.

Nielsen spoke of the $100,000 grant to revitalize Main Street, which ends in October. The town has received a $60,000 grant to extend public water to nine families in the Bennet Street area. The town is also working with a federal agency to create a new business loan fund.

Linwood Miller has been a member of Franklin Grange 50 for 80 years. Miller resides in Florida, so his congratulations from National Grange and legislative sentiments from the state will be sent to him. Saviello read the sentiments to all present.

Thelma Frost played a medley of songs on her keyboard. Tickets were drawn for handmade articles given as door prizes.

Norman Gould was escorted to the altar where he was presented this year’s Community Service Award from Franklin Grange 50 along with congratulatory sentiments from the state, presented by Saviello.

Gould was in the Army for three years and resides with his wife, Jeanne, in the same home that he grew up in. The Goulds will be married 37 years in June and are the parents of three and grandparents of five. Gould plants a huge garden every year and works in it along with helping his wife with her flower garden.

Gould has been on the Wilton Planning Board for 22 years, has been a selectman for 37 years and is running this year for another term.

He is retired from International Paper after 34 years on the job. He has served as a deacon at the East Dixfield Baptist Church and at the present time he is the president along with having taught Sunday School for 37 years.

Gould has been involved in many town projects, such as the sewer treatment plant, the underground reservoir and the water treatment plant.

When Gould got over his surprise, he thanked the grange for bestowing the award. He told members the world is a much better place for the efforts and programs of the grange. He also said he is proud to be part of a community that supports the Grange.

The group was encouraged to attend town meeting on June 13. A time for refreshments and fellowship followed.

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