WILTON — The Wilton Select Board discussed how the town will spend its share of American Rescue Plan Act funds as the 2024 spending deadline approaches at the Tuesday, April 5, meeting.

Town Manager Rhonda Irish suggested the board should solidify ways to spend the town’s share of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The town has so far received $209,000 – half of the total $418,000.

So far, the board has approved directing funds toward an upgrade for orthoimagery mapping and hazard pay for town employees via one-time bonuses. The board has $143,000 remaining to spend while the town awaits the second installation of funds, Irish said.

Irish asked that the board “start taking a more in-depth look” at how to spend the funds.

The Town of Wilton will soon post on Facebook to get suggestions from townspeople on spending, she said. Townspeople can submit ideas in the comments section of a Facebook post or via email, as opposed to a survey.

During discussion, Selectperson Keith Swett suggested improving sidewalks in town (specifically on Lake Road), due to many complaints.


Selectperson Tom Saviello suggested directing money toward the Wilson Lake retaining wall project.

The board approved plans in April 2021 to replace the Wilson Lake retaining wall and improve the waterfront for pedestrians. The plan maintains the current diagonal parking configuration and will install a railing along the waterfront walkway.

The Town of Farmington is spending ARPA funds on replacing the roof of the town’s community center and the retaining wall is an equivalent project, need, he said.

Saviello also wants an electric sign at the town’s public safety building.

Selectperson Tiffany Maiuri stressed the importance of directing some funds to hazard premium pay for the police department.

The town needs to be “making sure that we retain our police department” and the hazard pay can help with that, she said.


Maiuri suggested taking $68,000 dollars from ARPA funds for 68 weeks of $1,000 payments.

“It’s not sustainable to not get together with the other towns to look at shared services, whether it’s the fire department or police department,” Maiuri said.

She suggested potentially adding a warrant article to approve a meeting with the other towns “to look at this more holistically.”

“I want to make sure that we don’t lose our officers right now … they’re being enticed away. And this would give us a stop gap between now and fiscal year [2024],” Maiuri said. “I really do think that we owe it to the town and our department to make sure that we retain our good officers and where we stay competitive as we go through the process of looking at what we can do for the long term.”

Saviello agreed. He said he also wants the town to form a committee to look into “consolidation within the towns around here in Franklin County.”

“In the meantime, I would support both concepts,” he said.


Select Board Chair David Leavitt said he heard what Maiuri was saying, but that they need to look at cost-benefit analyses and “how it affects everyone in town.”

Similar consideration was made in December when the board approved hazard pay via one-time bonuses for town employees, he said.

The board allocated $54,750 of the $418,000 to give as bonuses to town employees who worked on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The board decided to allocate the funds in a way that prioritizes specific departments that were especially exposed to the public, at risk of COVID-19 exposure and putting in a large amount of work.

Maiuri said she’ll come back to a future meeting with fleshed out details for the board to look at.

Though the town has until 2024 to spend the funds, Leavitt said there isn’t much more time to make decisions because the town also needs time to plan and execute contracts, bids.

Lakeview Cemetery memorial


The board approved adding an article to the 2022 town warrant to “have town discussion to decide next steps” for the proposed memorial at Lakeview Cemetery. The motion was raised by Saviello, who is overseeing plans for the memorial.

The memorial was first proposed in October 2020 to honor service members.

Saviello said the cost estimate for the memorial is $150,000 – beyond what he had anticipated. He posed the memorial could be paid for with moneys from the town’s cemetery fund.

Saviello suggested addressing the memorial on the town warrant because he’s “uncomfortable with that kind of money being spent without having real discussion” with townspeople.

Leavitt added residents might want a memorial with a place for urns.

The Share Shack reopens


Irish also announced the Share Shack at the transfer station has reopened.

The shack — which was initially closed in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions — is intended “to take usable items out of the waste stream for individuals who need them.” It closed again in November 2021 due to issues with its usage.

Public Works Foreman John Masse told the board at the Nov. 2, 2021, meeting the station has had issues with people dropping off “unacceptable items” and creating “pretty much a disaster” despite having “posters everywhere saying what you can and can’t put in.”

The recycling committee instituted rules for the Share Shack, shared at the meeting.

They are as follows:

• Share Shack items are for the use of Wilton residents.


• Acceptance of items will be at the individual’s risk. The Town of Wilton does not accept any liability for items taken from the Share Shack.

• Individuals must see attendants before leaving any items.

• Limit one visit per day per car/person.

• Acceptance of flea market items and yard sale items will be limited, discussed with an attendant.

• Items must be removed from boxes and newspaper.

• Items will be accepted no later than 30 minutes before the Share Shack closes.


Accepted items include wooden furniture, housewares, tools, building materials and children’s items. Prohibited items include air conditioners, grills, mattresses, upholstered furniture, clothing, etc.

Saviello, who also serves on the recycling committee said there have been no major issues, the shack “looks really good, nicely organized.”

One of the only issues thus far into the reopening was with an individual who donated a sword.

Saviello is hopeful that moving forward, the Share Shack “will be successfully open.”

He stressed that this is the last opportunity for a Share Shack following a new system with new rules.

Funding the water transmission line project

Irish informed the board a public hearing will need to be held before the town can submit a grant application with the United States Department of Agriculture to help fund reconstruction of the town’s water transmission line.

The town plans to replace the piping for its water transmission line because it is aging and currently made out of asbestos-cement, Jim Lord of Dirigo Engineering said in July 2021.

The hearing will be held at the beginning of the next Select Board meeting Tuesday, April 19.

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