Library, ambulance corps ask for small increases

The Wilton Library Association and the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps asked the Board of Selectmen for small increases Jan. 22 during a Board of Selectmen meeting at town hall.

The library association asked for a total $2,803,004, a 1.84% increase,or  $50,745 more.

“Our most significant line item is salaries and related expenses,” Kim Healy, treasurer of the library, told the selectmen.

The Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps, which gets most of its funding from service billings and fund raising, asked for $97,500, a $500 increase over last year. That’s half a percent.

“That’s a conservative revenue budget,” WVAC president John Miscioscia told the selectmen. He is boosting the fund raising. “We’re knocking on doors we’ve never knocked on,” he said.

Miscioscia also told the Board of Selectmen that the corps is running tight on space and has been looking at options for other spaces. WVAC is in a house on the town campus under a $1-a-year lease. First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice expressed the town’s support for the corps to remain on the campus, indicating that if renovations were performed at the same time as the town’s expected work on the campus, there would likely be cost efficiencies.  

Miscioscia also reviewed the budget for the town’s share of paramedic services, which is shared with Weston and overseen by the WVAC.  Wilton’s share of the requested budget is $211,921, a 6.3% increase, or $12,612. Approximately half of the increase is due to an estimated rent fee that would be charged by WVAC if the paramedics also moved along with the corps.  

The fire department budget review will be on Saturday, Feb. 3. Vanderslice indicated the selectmen’s budget has a lot of work left to do to fit within the 1.5% increase recommended by the Board of Finance. The Board of Selectmen budget is due March 2.

“The Board of Finance provided guidance to us of 1.5%, and we’re comfortable salaries and wages will be in that range, but unfortunately we’ve just received a first pass on the estimated increase in self-insurance medical payments we make, and that’s about 14%, approximately half a million dollars, which is the entire 1.5% increase the Board of Finance has recommended for our budget. So we have a lot of work ahead of us.”

It is the budget for fiscal year 2018-19. The current fiscal year is 2017-18. The new fiscal year begins July 1.

The departments making presentations Feb. 3 include police, fire, parks and recreation, land use, social services, and the Department of Public Works, plus energy and facilities.

Finance, information services, human resources, and Board of Education bonded items will be discussed during a Board of Selectmen meeting Feb. 5.

The Board of Finance has set aside April 3-5 to discuss bonded projects and the mill rate.

The Annual Town Meeting will be on May 1, and adjourned voting will take place Saturday, May 5.