WILTON — The process to replace one of the water and sewer department’s transmission lines, a multiyear project, is underway after the Select Board on Tuesday night, Jan. 19, approved Superintendent Heinz Gossman’s request to seek engineering proposals.

The town will apply for grants to cover costs of some of the engineering and construction, which will take place in segments.

It’s going to have to be done in sections because it’s the main transmission line so we have to continue supplying water to both communities, to North Jay, so just in technical feasibility we’d only be able to do 1,000 to 2,000 feet at a time,” Gossman said.

The board also reviewed three contractor bids that Gossman gathered for replacing the water plant roof. The estimated cost exceeds $20,000 so the board informed Gossman he would have to initiate a sealed-bid auction.

During Gossman’s report, he informed the board that the department’s budget will increase this year due to the amount of polyaluminum chloride (PAC) the town is using to meet the federal phosphorous removal standards. The department is using 12 to 17 gallons of PAC a day to treat town water, according to Gossman.

The McGillicudy Park was approved again by the board as the location for this year’s farmers’ market.

The market was very successful this past year,” Lisa Small of the Wilton Farmers’ Market said. “We did better in Wilton downtown rather than out on the highway where we were the previous two years.”

COVID may have slowed things down a little bit, but with masks, we had ropes up and sanitizers everywhere and I think we did well,” she said.

The board also approved a topographical survey of the area along Lake Road near Bass Park to support the engineering design for the Wilson Lake retaining wall replacement. Sevee & Maher Engineers will conduct the two-day survey and has estimated the cost at between $1,000 and $2,000.

Town Manager Rhonda Irish informed the board that while the engineering firm still advocates for the Wilson Lake retaining wall concept that includes parallel parking, resident feedback indicates a preference for the design that includes vertical parking. 

During Irish’s report, she notified the board that the town’s first budget meetings with department heads will take place at the end of March.

Nomination papers for the Select Board and Regional School Unit 9 board of directors will be available beginning Feb. 26 and are due back by April 12. Contested seats include Selectperson Phil Hilton and RSU 9 board Chairwoman Angela LeClair.  

Irish said elections will take place June 8 and the town meeting will be held June 14.

The board discussed the possibility of the Western Maine ATV Club developing a snowmobile trail that would go from downtown Wilton to Steve’s Family Market on Depot Street.

If the trail was approved, the town would pay the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) to erect signs in the spring when the DOT typically works on road signs.

Irish said that she hasn’t received an estimate yet from Bob Dalot, president of the Western Maine ATV Club, but a similar project in Greenville cost $8,000.

Chairperson Keith Swett inquired about the amount left in the town’s account for infrastructure projects that would cover the expense of new signs. Irish said there is $2,400 left.

The board deliberated who had the authority to approve the ATV trail, the Select Board or the town through a public hearing and vote.

“I believe it’s up to us, but I think the proper way to do it is for us to open it up to a public hearing of some kind,” Selectperson Tom Saviello said.

In regards to the budget, Irish informed the board that all budget lines are on track except for the $5,000 general assistance fund which has been depleted.

“There were a number of funerals that we just never see like this. We usually just see zero to one a year and we’ve already seen four in the last couple of months,” Irish said. “So that’s what’s put us over even though they were all cremations.” 

The town receives a 75% return of its spent general assistance fund from the state every year which is recorded as revenue, Irish said.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.