WILTON — The town has been selected to receive a $1,000 matching grant by participating in the community development program Making Headway in Your Community.

The program is a joint effort of GrowSmart Maine and the Maine Downtown Center at the Maine Development Foundation.

The selection recognizes the town’s efforts to develop and improve the downtown area.

Rumford was also chosen to participate in the program.

The program includes three public meetings over a period of eight months to encourage residents to identify what they value about their town and choose small projects to complete with the grant.

The program begins with the showing of the 30-minute film “Reviving Freedom Mill,” a depiction of Tony Grassi’s rehabilitation of an abandoned gristmill into a community center, featuring a restaurant and school.


The film reflects a project undertaken elsewhere but also shows how what they did led to other things, Susan Atwood of Wilton said. Atwood is one of about a half-dozen residents who met with representatives from GrowSmart Maine and the Maine Downtown Center.

The film is followed by a second community conversation public meeting in each town.

A Wilton Downtown Movie Night is planned from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 27. This is followed by the community conversation from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, May 16. Both meetings take place at Calzolaio Pasta Co.

A Rumford Movie Night takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 9. The community conversation will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 23. Both meetings take place at American Legion Post 24.

Input from the entire town is needed and wanted, she said. The town has this grant, and may receive more through donations — and now it needs to decide what to do with the money.

“We want people’s ideas on what to focus on,” she said. “People have great ideas and it is better for more people to be involved rather than just a few people making the decision.”


It could be as simple as signs posted on Route 2 or landscaping an area located across from the former hardware store, she said.

For Atwood and others who have worked to develop Wilton’s downtown, the goal is to draw people into town.

The public is welcome to attend the movie night and public conversation.

“We really want people to come see what’s been done and have a conversation about what we can do,” Atwood said.


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