After a long wait, state aid coming to Wilton

WILTON — The state Office of Policy and Management has prepared a bond package of municipal aid for the legislature to approve that includes $307,058 for Wilton.

According to the proposed bill, the proceeds of the bond package, which totals $60 million, is to be used for municipal grants for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020.

In a letter to legislative leaders sent last week, OPM Secretary Melissa N. McCaw said, “While we have been attempting to negotiate a long-term transportation plan for this state that would include a mix of General Obligation and Special Tax Obligation bonds, the other projects included in the bond bill have been forced to wait.”

As such, she said, it is “imperative” the municipal grants be separated from the larger bond bill. The monies will help towns and cities avoid year-end deficits and help offset other local expenses.

“Towns have waited long enough for municipal aid and therefore new authorizations are required,” she said.

When asked about the state aid, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice said in an email, “The $307,058 is included in the FY2020 budget within the Finance Department. It was previously called the Municipal Revenue Sharing Assistance Grant. They are now calling it the Grant for Municipal Projects.”

She added that “the Municipal Revenue Sharing Assistance Grant came about 8 to 9 years ago, after the state canceled reimbursements to towns for state-mandated property tax exemptions for manufacturing equipment.”

The town has not received its anticipated $316,011 for road aid. Last year, it came in two parts, Vanderslice said, half in August and half in April.

The legislature is being asked to act on the bonding package by March 6, and assuming passage and the governor’s signature, the state Bond Commission will meet by March 18, as required by law.