Board of Selectmen briefs: Paving, prescriptions, name recognition, blight

The following items were discussed at the Oct. 22 Board of Selectmen special meeting.

Paving donation

First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice announced the town has received a donation from Deluxe Paving for the materials and labor to pave the transfer station and police shooting range, pending approval by town counsel. The paving would have cost the town $5,000 she said.

Vanderslice and selectmen Lori Bufano, Deborah McFadden, and Joshua Cole voted to accept the donation subject to town counsel’s approval of the terms and conditions. Selectman David Clune recused himself from the vote.

Prescription program

The board received a memo from Social Services Director Sarah Heath about a prescription discount card program. Vanderslice said the program is something the town would like to offer its residents.

The program has been arranged by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) and is being offered at no cost to the towns. Vanderslice said the program is geared towards residents who do not have health insurance or an affordable discount prescription plan with their insurance.

She said people who utilize social services could benefit from the program as well as others who may find cheaper prescriptions on the plan.

The program was reviewed by town counsel and there is no obligation to participate in the program. Vanderslice said other towns have implemented the program successfully.

The board unanimously approved a motion to authorize the town to move forward and offer the prescription discount card program to residents.

Name recognition inquiry

The board received an inquiry from the Wilton High School Boosters about the possibility of naming the stadium press box in honor of an individual. There was also an alternate suggestion to recognize this individual through stadium signage.

Vanderslice said she did not know of any town policy about naming, however, she said the Board of Education has a policy that discourages name recognition on signage.

There was a clarification made that this inquiry was not necessarily about putting a name across the entire press box, but was more about putting up just a sign or plaque in someone’s name who has been of service to the football program. The board unanimously approved the sign request.

Blight foreclosure actions

The board received legal advice about blight cases and a recommendation from the blight team to adopt a policy as to when the town wants to take foreclosure actions following the issuance of a judgment lien on blighted property.

Vanderslice said the town has taken blight cases to court where judgment liens have been issued. She said the question is for how long should the town let a judgment lien sit on a property before starting a foreclosure action.

“I don’t think any of us want to own a property because of blight, we want the owners to cure it,” she said, adding that the town puts liens on blighted properties hoping to get residents to comply and clean them up.

The town has an anti-blight ordinance that sets fines for those who let their property fall into disrepair. A property is considered blighted if it poses a “serious threat” to the health and safety of residents.

The blight ordinance allows residents 60 days to correct the problem after being served notice by a blight prevention officer. If property owners do not fix the problems within that time, they are assessed fines.

The board voted unanimously to set a timeframe of one year from the filing of a judgement lien on blighted property to institute foreclosure actions and to authorize the first selectwoman to have town counsel put together the procedures for the foreclosures.