WILTON — Selectpersons on Tuesday approved an application for Carrier Welding for a $240,000 grant to expand its welding and fabrication business on Depot Street.

Nathan Carrier sought the town’s help to apply for a Community Development Block Grant. The $240,000 would be combined with $270,000 in loans to purchase more equipment and provide operating capital, Darryl Sterling, a community and economic development consultant for the town, said.

There is potential for more business and jobs, he said. The work is not confined to this area or New England.  

Carrier said he has done work for customers across the country.

“I had to turn away $100,000 worth of work last fall because I didn’t have the equipment,” he said.

He also needs employees, he said.

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The grant requires creation of one job for every $30,000 provided or a total of eight within a year, Sterling said.

Selectperson John Black asked about the town’s responsibility.

There is no expense for the town, Sterling said. If the project should go flat, the grant would have to be paid back, but in his work with about a dozen CDBG grants he has never seen that happen, he said.

Betty Gensel of Coastal Enterprises Inc., a business adviser for Carrier, said Carrier is committed to making the project work.

In other business, the board accepted a bid for a new police cruiser from Quirk Auto for $22,100 with trade in.  

They also approved the purchase of a Kubota tractor from R.S. Osgood for $83,000 for the Public Works Department. Along with plowing sidewalks, the tractor can be used all summer, foreman Dale Roberts said.  The tractor will be paid for with department capital funds, he said.

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Town Manager Rhonda Irish asked the board to accept resident donations and work to improve recreation facilities.

A recent tournament held by residents in East Wilton raised $1,265 for upgrades to the basketball court there, she said.

A disc golf court is being set up at Kineowatha Park with the help of the Healthy Community Coalition, she said.  

Jeff Chaisson and Josh Michaud of Expenet have rebuilt a horseshoe pit. They donated the materials and work.

Summer entertainment at the new gazebo in Bass Park is being lined up. Musical groups have expressed interest in performing the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, Irish said. A $500 donation from Barclays will pay for two concerts in June.

A Facebook page, Bass Park Events, has been created to inform residents of events.

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