WILTON — The Board of Selectpersons voted Tuesday to hire Ripa Stoneworks LLC of New Sharon to work on lake walls at Kineowatha Park and the foot of Wilson Lake.

The board voted 3-2 to hire owner John Ripa to do the work for $40 an hour. Selectpersons Tiffany Maiuri, Ruth Cushman and Jeffrey Adams voted for the motion and John Black and Jeffrey Rowe voted against it.

Black wanted to know more about the company’s work before making a decision.

The town was seeking someone to repair the retaining wall at the foot of Wilson Lake where it has worn and rocks have tumbled into the water in two or three areas due to constant wave action, Town Manager Rhonda Irish said.

A wall near the swimming area at Kineowatha Park also needs work. A committee formed to explore options for fixing it.

Other repair options are most costly. A long-term fix to the wall at the foot of the lake would cost around $500,000 and another $75,000 for the work at Kineowatha Park, she said.

This solution provides much-needed maintenance work before a long-term fix could be started, she said.

The town would supply its backhoe and one employee to operate it, she said. The cost would be about $17 an hour for the employee and the equipment, she said.

Ripa expects to begin work at the end of September or in early October, she said.

The plan is to start with the Kineowatha Park wall so that the work will be done before next summer’s swimming lessons. If the work on the wall at the foot of the lake is not finished this fall, that area can be roped off to keep people away, she said.

Black asked about a meeting with Ripa to discuss how he planned to work on the walls.  But, Selectperson Ruth Cushman said the town should just go forward.

Scheduling a meeting could delay the work.

“We should be working on it now,” Selectperson Jeff Rowe said. 

Low water conditions brought on by the summer drought has made it easy to see the need for maintenance work.

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