WILTON — The Wilton Select Board will write a letter to the Department of Transportation (DOT) offering support for the Western Maine ATV Club to develop an ATV route from Steve’s Family Market on Depot Street to Main Street.

Sergeant Ethan Kyes provided the board with a report on the potential access trail that included feedback from residents, business owners and nearby towns that also have ATV access.

“A lot of people were for the idea of the access route. Overwhelmingly about 75% was for the access route. The ones that weren’t for it were the ones most vocal,” Kyes said in regards to the 240 Facebook comments from residents.

He also reported that from 2018 to present, the town has received approximately 16 ATV/snowmobile complaints which he said was not a high volume.

Selectpersons discussed developing ordinance stipulations that would limit hours on the ATV access route through town. Town Manager Rhonda Irish said that signage along the route would have to be purchased by either the town or the ATV club and would amount to approximately $3,000.

Board members voted to allow the carbon cash back resolution to appear on the town’s upcoming warrant. The resolution will give town voters the opportunity to ask their state and federal officials to address the risks of climate change using cash-back carbon pricing.

Wilton residents Peter Campion and Nancy Walters presented information on the resolution.

“It means that a fee would be placed on fossil fuels including fuel, oil, gas and coal where the fuel first enters the economy and that is at the well head or the port or the mine mouth,” Campion said. “And at the first year, the fee would be $15 per ton of carbon that is to be emitted by burning the fuel. The fee is placed into a fund and all of the fees are returned to American households monthly as a cash dividend.”

Walters said that regardless, some form of a carbon tax is coming and the goal of this particular resolution is to incentivize industry and consumers to make manageable changes.  

The board also approved adding funding in the town’s proposed budget for a street light to be installed at the corner of Bryant Road and Route 4. Police Chief Heidi Wilcox said that the intersection has been identified as one of the top seven most dangerous intersections in town.

“There have been an increase in crashes there and predominantly vehicles coming from Farmington turning left to Tractor Supply getting rear ended at that intersection,” Wilcox said. “So a light right at the end of Bryant Road or in that area may help those crashes.” 

Irish said the street light would cost the town $200 a year.

In other business, the board approved Anita Spencer to Wilton’s Finance Committee.

Selectperson Tiffany Maiuri, will serve as municipal officer on the Franklin County Budget Committee. File Photo

The Select Board also approved Tiffany Maiuri for a fourth consecutive year to serve as municipal officer on the Franklin County Budget Committee.

“I really would ask you, those part of the board, if you would come to vote on that day in caucus. I’d appreciate that,” Maiuri said to fellow board members.

The county budget caucus will take place on April 25 at 5 p.m. in the superior courtroom at Franklin County Courthouse in Farmington.

Wilcox provided selectpersons with a police department report, announcing that Benjamin Moscley, a police officer in George’s County, Maryland, has been extended a conditional offer of hire. His employment with the Wilton Police Department is expected to begin by May.

Officer Ethan Kyes was promoted to sergeant and noted for his many felony investigations and outstanding leadership skills.

Maiuri asked about future plans to replace one of the three police cruisers, noting that the 2018 Ford has 106,500 miles. 

“We’re in line to get another cruiser,” Wilcox said. “We haven’t been putting as many miles on the cruisers at this time so I’m gong to make that go for as long as we can.”

Wilcox also informed the board that the hybrid cruiser purchased last year has had some mechanical issues and the department has not utilized that vehicle as frequently.

Parks and Recreation Director Frank Donald also provided the board with a report that showed a significant increase this year of winter recreationists using Kineowatha Park for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

While Donald said that he was not able to secure access to the Academy Hill gymnasium for sport programming this spring, there will most likely be opportunities for youth to participate in tennis, baseball and softball.

“It looks like traditional spring sports will be a go, they just may be tweaked a little bit,” he said.

Schools and recreational programs are waiting to hear from the Maine Principal’s Association for spring sports guidelines.

In regards to the Wilson Lake retaining wall, Irish shared that concept plan B was recommended by Sevee & Maher Engineers (SME) and Terrence J. DeWan & Associates Landscape Architects and Planners (TJDA) which includes parallel parking along the waterfront.

Wilton Town Manager Rhonda Irish presents to selectpersons over Zoom on March 16, a design example of Wilson Lake’s waterfront railing. The waterfront design is part of the replacement plan for the lake’s 20-year-old retaining wall. Screenshot

The plan was recommended for increasing parking spaces, improving pedestrian safety and traffic flow. The concept also eliminates the need for a handrail along the waterfront since the walking path will be setback 12 feet from the water’s edge.

Selectpersons iterated residents’ preference for concept plan A which includes linear parking and would require a handrail along the waterfront.

Irish also updated the board on the town using the third-party insurance billing company Central Maine Cost Recovery for fire services in regards to vehicle accidents and debris clean-up. The fire department will need to present a fee schedule to the board in order to proceed.

Irish announced that Wednesday transfer station hours are now 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., following the board’s decision last year to increase hours with daylight savings time.

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