Dalton Plante, left, shares his expanse report and proposed budget for the next fiscal year at the Wilton Board of Selectperson’s meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

WILTON — Wilton Water and Wastewater Superintendent Dalton Plante presented his 2023 expense report and proposed 2024 budget for both sewer and water departments to the Select Board on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Selectperson David Leavitt moved to approve both budgets as presented with a unanimous vote in favor of the budgets.

For this year, Plante is budgeting approximately $711,580 for the water department and $987,374 for the sewer department. For contrast, the previous year saw $649,100 budgeted for water and $1,055,134 for sewer.

For the water department, notable changes in the budget came under materials, supplies and other contractual obligations. Plante increased the budget line for chemicals from $15,000 to $21,215, stating the recent storms forced the department to go over budget in 2023 due to needing more coagulants and bleach for plant operations.

Plante also reduced the budget line for district maintenance by $75,000, telling the Select Board that any proposed work the department had planned for this year is sidelined to keep with an alternating schedule with the Public Works Department.

“The reason being is we tried to keep our major district maintenance schedule roughly one year behind the highway department,” Plante told the Select Board. He went on to state the funds were reallocated to their transportation budget line to purchase two new work vehicles.

Wilton Public Works Foreman John Masse told the Select Board at a meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 23, that road work that was originally scheduled during the summer months of last year was delayed as a result of the storms that hit in May and July.


Masse stated that the delayed work would be completed during the spring, weather permitting.

Plante also increased the budget line for administration, stating that he wishes to introduce GIS [Geographic Information System] software to the department.

“The department currently, if we need to respond to a call, depending on the call, we need to reference four different pieces of paper,” Plante stated, adding that GIS software will increase response time in the event of an emergency.

“In addition to that, it’ll also save our personnel time because right now we have timecard boxes,” Plante explained. “We have essentially a wooden box with index cards and it has every single account that we have our service to and that tells us where the current stop is in the yard.”

Plante called the system valuable, but antiquated and an investment in GIS software would vastly improve both sewer and water departments’ work flow. He added the software they are currently looking at is called Ziptility.

For the sewer budget, Plante increased contracted labor for the treatment plant by $6,000, telling the Select Board they had contracted with Vortex in Livermore to do hydro jetting for the plant.

Plante told the Select Board the sewer department had a deficit of approximately $62,000, which he accredited to wage increases and a $15,000 deficit in the sludge removal budget line. As a result, Plante estimated an eight percent rate increase.

Vice-chair Mike Wells commended Plante for keeping the rate increase to eight percent, when previously it was anticipated to be a 15% rate increase.

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