WILTON— The number of Wilton residents who filed for unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic is “sobering” according to First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice.

A total of 647 new umployment claims by Wilton residents were filed from Feb. 24 to April 12, acccording to a preliminary report by the Connecticut Department of Labor, she said in a message on the town’s website.

There were 378 claims made between Feb. 24 and March 22, and 269 additional claims were filed from March 23 to April 12, totaling 647 claims.

“This represents 7.7 percent of February’s labor force, of which, 3.6 percent was unemployed. If those residents remained unemployed, the total incomplete unemployment rate for Wilton as of April 12 was 11.3 percent,” Vanderslice said.

The unemployment information was based on approximately 226,000 statewide cases, and is preliminary, she said, because initial claims reported after March 22 are incomplete and do not include ongoing claims.

The unemployment data was provided by the state, she said, in response to requests by municipal officials to inform decision making for FY2021 budgets.

The selectmen are meeting Monday, May 4, to revise their initial FY2021 budget request in light of recent Board of Finance guidance. The Board of Education is meeting tonight, April 30.

The finance board has asked the Board of Selectmen and Board of Education to provide four budget proposals:

 Flat to the FY2020 budget.

 2 percent less than the FY2020 budget.

 5 percent less than the FY2020 budget.

 10 percent less than the FY2020 budget.

The 10-percent reduction reflects concerns about the ability to finance any significant shortfall in tax receipts due to nonpayment.

Coronavirus count up, food pantry re-opens

The coronavirus count in Wilton has reached 150. Statewide, there are 26,767 laboratory-confirmed cases, with 10,985 or 41 percent in Fairfield County. Those not yet assigned to a municipality number 507.

The Wilton Food Pantry reopened in the lower portion of the Comstock Community Center on Monday, April 27, Vanderslice said.

“The outpouring of support from the community has been amazing,” she said. “As the numbers of individuals needing assistance from Social Services and the food pantry goes up, Social Services appreciates the support of the community during these difficult times.”

Residents with questions or needing assistance are encouraged to email Social Services Director Sarah Heath at sarah.heath@wiltonct.org.

pgay@wiltonbulletin.com