WILTON — Townspeople approved a building and property maintenance ordinance by a vote of 79-69 following a lengthy discussion at Monday’s annual town meeting at Academy Hill School.

Articles enacting a solid waste management/recycling ordinance, a disorderly property ordinance and a consumer fireworks ordinance passed quickly with little discussion.

Regarding the property maintenance ordinance, many found references to property appearance, including wording suggesting painting maintenance, in the article discriminatory to those who could not afford to maintain properties.

Some were also concerned that the ordinance did not cover all properties in town but instead focused on the downtown village, residential and commercial zones of town.

These are areas where the most complaints are received, Town Manager Rhonda Irish told residents.

Ordinance committee members and town officials expressed a need for the regulations for health and safety reasons, particularly getting property owners to clean up trash and junk from their yards.


The ordinance committee was concerned about health and safety, committee member James Black said.

It is not about telling someone when to paint, Selectman Paul Berkey said. It’s about trash left on front lawns.

Conrad Heeschen urged voters to turn this down and work on an ordinance that addressed that problem without including the references to appearance.

Voters moved quickly through most articles with little discussion, including raising $56,250 each year for four years to fund a townwide property revaluation.

They also unanimously approved a Police Department budget of $442,550 and a Fire Department budget of $102,406.

An article requesting $2,000 for the Wilton Area Food Pantry was amended to $2,300 and approved by voters.

Many of the approximately 150 voters stayed for an article to fund the Wilton Free Public Library. The discussion continued after 9 p.m.

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