WILTON — The Select Board met last Tuesday and approved a warrant calling for a special town meeting to vote on a moratorium to stop applications for utility projects.

Select Board member Tom Saviello stated that two sections of the zoning ordinance (5.7 and 5.11) do not address current utility project trends and need review and revision. His motion for the moratorium was not seconded until he revised it to exclude two proposals already before the Planning Board. Central Maine Power is planning to replace an outdated substation on Temple Street with a new one on Main Street, and Dirigo Solar, LLC is proposing a 17-acre solar farm that would be located on a Weld Road property owned by Western Maine Development Group.

The motion didn’t pass without some lead–up posturing between Code Enforcement Officer Charlie Lavin and Saviello. Lavin opposed the moratorium and requested that the Board not consider it.

“I’d be glad to work with you on these,” he said of the ordinances. “If you do a moratorium I’ll be happy to resign.”

Salviello reiterated that he felt it necessary to call for a moratorium, and if the Board did not agree that he would solicit signatures for a citizen’s initiative and force one. He pointed out that the ordinance pertaining to public service corporations in Section 5.7 was unclear in the current development environment and needs to be defined.

Lavin countered that he saw the moratorium as a political statement against CMP’s New England Clean Energy Connect that he did not wish to be associated with. He said that there are currently no rules regarding solar projects and it would be useful to address that topic, but that the town had already spent ample time developing its wind power rules in Section 5-11.

The Board voted 3–2 to approve the move towards a moratorium on Section 5.7 to allow the town to review and update the ordinance. The special town meeting is scheduled for Sept. 3.

There were several other items on the meeting agenda. The Board reconsidered its previous position on the sale of a foreclosed Cemetery Road property to allow it to proceed. Town manager Rhonda Irish updated board members about terms and conditions of water department customer contracts, Wilton’s contract with the North Jay Water Department, and about the ongoing demolition of the Forster Mill.

At Irish’s suggestion, Board members met last Thursday with the consultant overseeing Forster Mill to see the progress and start considering the site’s future plans.


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