Town officials looking to crack down on salesmen

Town officials are looking to crack down on solicitors.

“The first selectman’s office has gotten numerous complaints about commercial pest control salesmen going door to door, and inquired about a change in the ordinance to a reduction in hours or days of the week,” said Second Selectman David Clune during a meeting of the Board of Selectmen June 4 at town hall.

Clune was leading the meeting for First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice, who was absent.

One of the problems is that the salesmen visit later in the evening, around 9:15 p.m., and that is regarded by the public and town officials as an inappropriate time to receive a knock at the door, said Police Chief John Lynch.

Town officials are looking into possibly changing the regulations on when salesmen can knock. They now have until dusk, which Lynch said is a half-hour after sunset. At this time of year, when days are long, that comes later in the evening.

Any change to the ordinance has to be approved at a town meeting, Clune said.

Salesmen must obtain individual permits for themselves from the Wilton Police Department at a cost of $25 per year. That does not include or cover other door-to-door visitors, such as campaigning politicians and scouts selling cookies and raffle tickets.

In the meantime, police have revoked 22 permits for Aptiva Environmental LLC of Norwalk, Lt. Robert Kluk said on June 6.

“We had gotten a few complaints from the community that they were very persistent in their sales pitches,” Kluk said.

Police found the company did not violate the soliciting ordinance in Wilton, but in checking with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection found that each individual salesman must be registered with DEEP in order to sell pest control services involving chemical application.  None of the solicitors that were permitted in Wilton were registered with DEEP, he said.

Company officials have been told that all the soliciting permits were revoked until further notice until they were compliant with DEEP.