WILTON – The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a revised plan for the “Foot of Wilson Lake Beautification Project” presented during a well-attended public hearing Tuesday night.

The revised plan simplified the project into three main areas, including fixing an erosion problem around the present steps into the lake, landscaping an area before the steps and addressing the parking lot area.

Following an earlier board meeting this month when concerns were raised about parking spaces and whether any changes should be made, a small committee including Town Manager Rhonda Irish and Recreation Director Frank Donald and others created the revised version.

Selectman Terry Brann moved to accept the plan as a good compromise between the previous plans and doing nothing. Other selectmen agreed.

The new plan, estimated to cost approximately $7,000 by Irish, has secured funds from private donations. Plans include keeping 22 parking spaces with one handicapped space. Instead of paving the area, a stone dust/gravel mix will be used.

From the steps into the lake to the parking area, a grassed area with a 4-foot walkway made of “landscape pavers” will be set along the front of the wall and to the road and crosswalk.

Between the lake and parking spaces, a 4-foot walkway using stone dust/gravel will be marked off by 2- or 3-foot boulders placed 8 feet apart.

The plan also includes benches and picnic tables on grass located on either side of the parking space and two sets of steps into the lake. Whether these will be permanent or removable is still “up in the air,” Donald said.

Several among the 40-plus residents at the hearing commended the work done by the committee over the winter.

“This plan already fits what we have just makes it better,” said Tom Saviello.

Preserving the lake was a motivating factor for the committee as “we looked for ways to make the lake better and to continue enjoying the view for the next 200 years,” said member Betty Colley Shibles.

Responding to comments by Warren Rollins, who said he spoke for the silent majority who weren’t there but thought the area was beautiful as it is and should be left alone, Shibles mentioned erosion issues and the need for a buffer zone to keep the weight of vehicles from affecting the wall in order to preserve the lake, she said.

Concern over whether there was enough space to park with a 4-foot walkway and without vehicles going into the road was expressed by Rick Dorian.

Several people have measured and remeasured the spaces and there is adequate space, Paul Gooch responded.

When 13-year-old Silas Rogers asked the Board about whether the plan called for shrubs and flowers around the grassed areas, Shibles quickly responded that she would like to work with him and agreed more than grass was needed.


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