WILTON — The Select Board has agreed to include a food sovereignty ordinance on the 2022 Wilton town warrant.

A food sovereignty ordinance, made possible by the 2017 Maine Food Sovereignty Act, allows town residents to legally sell food products on their property, such as home-grown vegetables, dairies and baked goods — though it excludes meat and poultry products.

Chair David Leavitt raised the idea and Selectperson Tiffany Maiuri said she is “fully in support of moving forward.”

The board was previously under the impression that a food sovereignty ordinance could not be passed until voters decided in November on a constitutional amendment giving all Mainers “the right to food.”

The board also approved ATV access in Wilton that will connect the Temple trail system to the Whistle Stop Trail. The access would follow Temple Road to Main Street, where ATVers would be able to enter the Whistle Stop Trail next to Shelly’s Hometown Market.

Full approval for this ATV access path is pending a decision from the Department of Transportation for a portion on Main Street that requires ATVers to cross the street.

The ATV club, Temple Trail Riders will be covering the expenses for signage, in charge of ensuring area is policed.

Leavitt advocated for approving access because it’s a “step toward” Wilton becoming a “recreational destination,” which he says has been his goal since joining the board four years ago.

“Where we’re not a manufacturing community we need to build ourselves back as a recreational community,” Leavitt said.

Martha Eastman, who presented the application on behalf of Temple Trail Riders, said ATVers have been looking for trails that provide access to food and gas. Whereas the trails through Temple are lacking in those things, “in Wilton there’s more to offer.”

It will bring business to Wilton during the day since ATV use is becoming a “family sport,” Eastman added.

In other business, Town Manager Rhonda Irish updated the board on the replacement of a faulty septic tank at 6 Gilbert Street which has “hit a snag.”

The septic tank has been at the center of some contention in town since the summer, for a variety of reasons.

Residents in town and neighbors on abutting property brought concerns to the town that the septic tank was leaking raw sewage into Wilson Lake. Testing conducted by Water and Wastewater Superintendent Heinz Grossman and an independent contractor found that this was not the case.

Still, the septic tank needs to be replaced and Code Enforcement Officer Charlie Lavin has been working with Western Maine Community Action and the property owner to replace the tank. However, they have now hit a roadblock due to a dispute with the owners of the neighboring property who initially brought concerns about the tank to the board.

There are wooden posts on an easement on the abutting neighbor’s property that makes it impossible for trucks carrying gravel and equipment to access the septic tank.

The abutting property owner is refusing to remove the posts. They also “don’t want anything to do with” tree cutting that would cause the trees to land on their property, though the town would promptly remove them, Irish said.

“They would have been able to start (working on the septic tank) already except for running into those glitches and they’re trying to push along quickly because they’re coming into winter,” Irish said. “It’s causing some issues so we’re trying to work that out.”

Lavin had initially told the board the tank would be replaced by October.

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