WILTON — An outdoor town meeting on Aug. 10 would allow more than 50 people to attend, according to Gov. Janet Mills’ COVID-19 gathering guidelines for town meetings and elections, Town Manager Rhonda Irish told the Board of Selectpersons on Tuesday evening.

“If we want to go forward and hold our Town Meeting, holding it outside in a parking lot next door, we are possibly able to have over 50 people,” Irish said during the online Zoom meeting. “But outdoors with people in vehicles, if they want to be in vehicles, if they’re not comfortable being outside or those that are comfortable being outside, we’ll make sure that everyone is socially distanced.”

Irish will present a warrant of the proposed Aug. 10 Town Meeting date by the next board meeting on July 21.

Irish also reviewed the process for the upcoming July 14 election day, during which the Wilton Town Office will be closed for all other business. Voting will take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and voters are requested to wear face masks and practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet apart while in line.

“We’ll have the election clerks and our social distancing attendants, which would be the rest of us working in the Town Office, to make sure everyone is spaced out, to assist with parking, assist with outside, so on and so forth,” Irish said.

The Wilton town office has received a record amount of absentee ballot requests this year, but Town Clerk Diane Dunham still expects the wait for casting a ballot to take longer than usual.

“Right now, it is close to 370 (absentee ballot requests), which in big-city terms isn’t much, but for us, again, that’s an addition of 300 over other years,” Irish said.

In other business

During the meeting, the board approved the changes that water superintendent Heinz Gossman made to the Public Utilities Commission terms and conditions. Gossman reevaluated the terms to better reflect Wilton’s water department cost services.

“The original costs were more of a Southern Maine type of cost structure, so we actually dropped them down from $90-an-hour to $65,” Gossman said.

The board approved the audit service firm RHR Smith and Co. for a three-year contract with the town to evaluate the cost of municipal services. The board had also been considering Barry Talbot and Royer accounting firm.

“In the end, the recommendation being put forth to the board was to go with the RHR Smith and Co.,” Irish said. “Their fees were lower actually, even lower than what we’re paying right now.”

Board member Tom Saviello recused himself during discussions of proposed legal firms to represent the town due to a conflict of interest. Board members Tiffany Maiuri and Phil Hilton will be reviewing firm possibilities and presenting the board with their proposed preferences. 

The public works union contract was approved by the board. The police, and water and wastewater union contracts are still undergoing revisions before the board can approve them.

The board approved Salt & Pepper and Sugar Too’s on-premise liquor license renewal.

Michelle Mosher’s appointment as an election clerk was also approved by the board.

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