WILTON — The Board of Selectmen agreed Tuesday to ask the Maine Department of Transportation for a preliminary public hearing on plans to improve the intersection of Route 156 and Routes 2 and 4.

The hearing, which will likely be in October, will allow residents to look at the plans and get updates on them. Construction is expected to begin in 2015, Town Manager Rhonda Irish told selectmen Tuesday.

“I recommend we do this,” Irish said about requesting the hearing. “It’s a major intersection” and the site of several fatalities and accidents. “There are no huge changes but people will want to know what it is,” she said.

In other business, the board decided to look into a forest management plan for Kineowatha Park. Irish agreed to look for any deed restrictions on the property, start the budget process and consider a forester.

Some trees are not growing properly and there’s been no trimming done for years, she told the board.

Irish had no update on the former Forster Manufacturing mill at 516 Depot St. and the former Wilton Tannery cleanup in East Wilton.

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Selectman Tom Saviello suggested the board consider what assets are available if the town “needs to step up” and finish razing the old Forster mill.

The building was partially taken down when asbestos was discovered, then the owner, Adam Mack, ran out of money to complete the work. Mack is in federal prison in New York.

“We may have to look at a bond,” Saviello said. “We need our own plan if we have to do something. I hope I’m wrong.”

The board agreed.

Irish also told the board she is still trying to establish ownership of spaces within the three downtown parking lots. She plans to bring the issue and any potential parking and traffic ordinance changes to the next board meeting. 

Selectman Terry Brann asked for an explanation of the Wilton Police Department’s use of its newest cruiser, a Ford Police Interceptor, as a front-line vehicle. 

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Several residents have said police Chief Heidi Wilcox’s request was for a four-wheel-drive vehicle as a backup, he said. An explanation was not given at the last meeting as requested, he said.

Irish said when Wilcox started as chief two years ago, she requested a used four-wheel-drive truck to use in inclement weather and as a backup. When Irish, Wilcox and Road Foreman John Welch started looking at replacing a cruiser last fall they proposed buying a Dodge SUV, but the board decided on the Ford Police Interceptor.

Letters of recommendation from Irish and Wilcox sent at that time to board members said it would be used for regular patrol, Irish said.

She said Tuesday that last December’s meeting minutes show there was little discussion of its use. The board mostly compared vehicles and prices and made what has proved to be a good decision in purchasing the Ford Police Interceptor, she said.

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