WILTON — Residents at the annual town meeting Monday night adopted a resolution asking the Franklin County Commissioners to restore funding for nonprofit organizations.

About 70 residents attended the meeting at the Academy Hill School.

The discussion about funding for nonprofits, such as Western Maine Community Action, Community Concepts and Western Maine Transportation Services, moved between specifics of how some nonprofits use their funding and which is the appropriate governmental agency to consider requests for the funding.

State Sen. Russell Black, R-Wilton, said when he was a selectman about 15 years ago, “five or six towns were supporting these organizations, but everyone got the services. A lot of towns weren’t paying for them.”

That was when Wilton turned to the county commissioners to deal with the funding.

Resident Mike Wells said the nonprofits do not use their funding efficiently. He said the executive director of Community Concepts is paid more than $140,000 a year and the training director about $138,000. He cited spending at other agencies, as well.

While much of the funding for these agencies comes from grants and donations, Wells said, “95% of nonprofits’ funding comes through government.”

The resolution passed handily. Moderator Ron Aseltine asked for a show of hands on the issue and said about six people voted no.

The meeting voted against rezoning on Weld Road (Route 156) between Main Street and Woodland Avenue. The rezoning would have allowed more types of home businesses, including an antiques store that sought permission to set up. The Select Board had proposed rezoning to Residential II from Residential I to allow the business.

The Planning Board, however, said it preferred changing the zoning regulations to permit antiques businesses. Residents at the town meeting agreed with the Planning Board in a voice vote and rejected the rezoning.

Voters also amended the town’s marijuana ordinance to allow new medical marijuana businesses. This vote conformed with a state law requiring communities to opt in on marijuana growing, production and sales.

Wilton’s one marijuana store was grandfathered, but no other businesses could operate without the amendment.


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