Wilton hires firm for $130K to create master plan

WILTON — The town will take the next step toward achieving its master plan, as the Board of Selectmen unanimously agreed Tuesday to enter into a $130,000 contract with a consulting firm.

The architectural company BFJ Planning will be tasked with planning the specifics of Wilton Center’s Master Plan, one that has been discussed by the local Planning and Zoning Commission for many months. The company is expected to begin on-site in the spring, according to Town Planner Michael Wrinn.

Wrinn said he and the zoning board are “very happy” with the contract that was reviewed by attorney Doug LaMonte, who often helps the municipal government review binding contracts. BFJ was the recommended candidate by zoning commission members, two of which are architects by trade.

Selectwoman Deborah McFadden said she liked that BFJ has experience working along rivers, as a portion of the town-owned property that the architectural firm will be looking at is considered waterfront and abuts the Norwalk River. Wilton also has a significant amount of town-owned land that is affected by wetlands.

The town planner said Wilton has a number of “good potential properties along the river” that could be redeveloped.

McFadden said she hoped the landscaping subcontractor hired by BFJ would be careful not to introduce invasive species to the area, to which Wrinn assured that they would be well-informed.

Wrinn said BFJ will work with a town subcommittee that will show them around Wilton Center and guide them through any inquiries they might have.

Then, after collecting data to put toward an eventual proposal, the firm and the subcommittee will come together next year to hold a public meeting where residents can ask questions about the master plan. While Wrinn said BFJ already intends to host one of these sessions, Selectman Ross Tartell suggested a second meeting be held to ensure the town residents felt that “they were heard.”

The selectmen also expressed the desire for a pedestrian foot bridge to bolster the walking connectivity of Wilton Center.

Wrinn said he anticipates that project could be started as early as spring and would “have a quick turnaround time.”

“They are a good firm,” Wrinn said. “They have a good reputation.”