WILTON — The Wilton Select board voted unanimously on Tuesday, Nov. 15, to approve water rate increases for 2023 and 2024. Prior to the vote, the board held a public hearing to discuss any concerns or comments about the increases.

A public hearing was scheduled and held previously on Oct. 18 but was postponed due to a missed deadline.

During the hearing, Town Manager Perry Ellsworth made a comment to the public about what the increase would look like broken down by day. “The actual increase in 2023 is $2.05 a month, or 7 cents a day,” he stated. “The increase for 2024 increases it by another 9 cents a day. So, 16 cents a day is what the increase is over two years.”

For 2023, Wilton’s water rates will increase by 10%, which estimates to roughly $59,609 in increased revenue. In 2024, the revenue is estimated to be $64,656 following an increase of 9.86%.

According to Water and Wastewater Superintendent Heinz Grossman, the water rate increases are necessary to draw in state and federal funding for Wilton to replace its water transmission line.

“We’re trying to get as much money as we can from the feds and they don’t like giving us any money because our rates weren’t high enough,” Grossman said, “And that’s what it boils down to. For us to get money from them, we have to raise the rates.”


The select board also voted to discontinue the police recruitment bonus that was approved Dec. 1, 2020. Officers recruited to the Wilton Police Department would receive an $8,000 bonus. Half of that bonus would be given at the start of employment and the other half after one year of service.

Ellsworth reached out to other town managers in Jay, Carrabassett Valley, Rangeley and Farmington to ask about their police recruitment bonus programs. Off all of them, Rangeley is the only one with a bonus program of $10,000 staggered over four years.

Furthermore, Ellsworth has been negotiating with an undisclosed Wilton resident with five years of law enforcement experience. According to Ellsworth, the individual has a contract with a buyout price of $6,000. “[Interim police chief Ethan Kyes] is pretty strong on him. And I think that he might be a good fit for us,” he said.

Ellsworth asked the board to allow him to pursue the candidate and discontinue the $8,000 recruitment bonus starting Dec. 1. The board voted unanimously.

Vice-President of Friends of Wilson Lake (F.O.W.L.) board of directors Robert Lively Jr. spoke to the select board about F.O.W.L.’s efforts to maintain the integrity of Wilson Lake.

The report included updates on programs, such as water quality testing, courtesy boat inspections to find any invasive plants, and the LakeSmart program which, according to Lively, works to prevent phosphorus from soil entering the lake.


“Phosphorus is what feeds algae and the more algae you have, eventually if it gets really bad then you have what are called algae blooms,” Lively added.

Lively also highlighted several awards and recognitions F.O.W.L has received, including an Environmental Achievement Award from the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments in May 2021 and the 2022 Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award in October.

Lively concluded his presentation by thanking the select board and the Town of Wilton.

“Thanks to you all for all your good work for this, for your help and especially the Town of Wilton,” Lively stated.

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