WILTON — Town Manager Rhonda Irish proposed to selectpersons Tuesday, Sept. 21, that the town hire an events coordinator to run the Wilton Blueberry Festival.

Irish offered multiple options for the coordinator: bringing them on just for the Blueberry Festival, having them run Halloween and Christmas events, or going beyond that and coordinating new events in town.

Irish based the idea off a similar situation in Lisbon, where the town hired a coordinator to report to the Recreation Department and run The Moxie Festival.

Irish initially proposed the coordinator work 500 to 800 hours a year at $18 an hour.

Chairperson David Leavitt wondered if hiring someone full time might be more appealing and bring in “better candidates.” In that case, the coordinator could also work part time for the Recreation Department.

Irish said funding for the new position would need to be approved at a special town meeting.


The board directed her to come to a future meeting once the proposal is fine-tuned and a sample job posting is created.

The board also discussed the possibility of starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit for the Wilton Blueberry Festival so they can directly accept donations.

Irish said creating a 501(c)(3) requires a “special purpose” and the Blueberry Festival might not fit the bill.

However, Leavitt posed that they could “swing it as (creating) economic development for the town.”

In other business, Irish updated the board on the failed septic tank at 6 Gilbert St. that townspeople claimed was leaking sewage into Wilson Lake.

After running E. coli, coliform and bacteroid tests, Irish said the Maine Department of Environmental Protections has told Water and Wastewater Superintendent Heinz Grossman that no other tests are needed.


At the Sept. 7 Select Board meeting, Grossman said an independent company conducted testing and found no human fecal matter in the samples, only animal fecal matter, thus disproving accusations that sewage from a septic tank was leaking into the lake.

Environmental consultant Ransom Consulting Inc. told Irish that the orange mass found in a nearby culvert flowing into Wilson Lake typically “happens in summertime to fall.” Irish said she also found “pictures of other culverts with the same type of orange discharge.”

Barry Hathaway, Friends of Wilson Lake board member, has claimed that orange mass is “raw sewage,” according to tests of samples he took and sent to a lab in Augusta.

The failed septic tank should be replaced sometime in October.

The board also discussed the new property tax rates for Wilton, which has been set by an assessor at $19.40 per $1,000 assessed valuation, “down from the 20 it’s been at for the past three years,” Irish said.

Leavitt said this decrease in tax rates is a result of “everybody working hard.”


In other business, the board will also be hosting a public hearing to discuss the proposed memorial at Lakeview Cemetery. The memorial was initially proposed a year ago, and plans moved forward in May.

The purpose of the memorial is to recognize “those that have served the community, those that are EMS and police and those that are veterans in the area,” Saviello said at the May meeting.

Saviello said he wants to host a public hearing “so people can come in and express their opinion because I don’t want to go down this path and find out the only people who want this is Bill Rice and Tom Saviello.”

The board has not yet set a date for the hearing.

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