Wilton Water and Wastewater Superintendent Dalton Plante answers some questions about the rate increase approved by the Select Board on Tuesday, March 19. Plante suggested an 8% sewer rate increase, which the board approved. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

Wilton — The Wilton Board of Selectpersons voted on Tuesday, March 19, to increase the sewer rates for the town by 8%. The rate increase came after Water and Wastewater Superintendent Dalton Plante presented the water and sewer budgets for the 2024 fiscal year, which showed the sewer department was at a deficit of $62,174.

Plante stated at the meeting the rate increase can be attributed to three factors; recent union contract negotiations, the allocation of an additional $15,000 to offset PFAS sludge removal costs, and inflation.

“We’re just fighting inflation,” Plante stated, adding that they are looking at an annual inflationary rate of 3.7% for 2023. “That hits all of our materials really hard.”

Plante estimated an increase of $15.83 per quarter would be the average rate for consumers at minimum use. “That is a little less than $64 a year extra,” he stated. “That would move the current minimum use rate from $197.93 to $213.76.”

The $15,000 needed to offset the cost of PFAS sludge removal comes after Plante submitted a request to the Select Board in December of last year to have leftover funds from the department’s budgetary line dedicated to removing sludge potentially contaminated with PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, to a waste management facility in Madison.

Plante referenced LD 1911 “An Act To Prevent the Further Contamination of the Soils and Waters of the State with So-called Forever Chemicals” as the driving force behind the rate increase over the last three years.


The bill prohibits “the spreading or composting of industrial or municipal sludge after farms where sludge had been spread through a state-licensed program – some dating as far back as the 1970s – began to test positive for high levels of harmful forever chemicals, or PFAS.”

The department originally had $200,000 budgeted for the sludge removal. Half of that budgetary line came from a 15% rate increase, while the other half was drawn from the sewer department’s undesignated funds.

Plante explained this was done to soften the impact of the rate increase, which was originally estimated at 30%.

According to Plante, from the time the bill was introduced in August of 2022 to the end of that year, he and former superintendent Heinz Grossman had roughly six months to collect data and come up with a budget estimate for disposal and trucking.

Plante added the sludge is shipped to the Anson-Madison Sanitary District, where it is pressed and sent to a landfill in Norridgewock.

At the end of 2023, Plante reported to the Select Board the department had spent roughly $122,000 on sludge removal, leaving $78,000 which he accredited to “careful management”.


The Select Board voted to have the funds returned to the department’s undesignated funds account.

In February, Plante presented his annual budget for the sewer and water department. For the 2024 fiscal 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.

Plante told the Select Board at this previous meeting the sewer department had a deficit of approximately $62,000, which he accredited to wage increases and the $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 low, when previously it was anticipated to be another 15% rate increase.

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