Wilton’s $634K budget increase fueled mostly by three new roles

WILTON — The Board of Selectmen is asking for a $634,398, or 1.89%, budget increase, most of which would fund three new municipal positions.

First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice unveiled the proposed 2022-23 budget, totaling $34,119,884, on Monday night.

According to Vanderslice’s presentation, the majority of the budget increase comes from the addition of three full-time municipal positions — a town adminstrator, a town engineer working in the Public Works Department and an additional Parks and Grounds crew member.

About $259,000 of the increase is slated to be compensation for the town administrator role.

The role has been discussed by Vanderslice and the board for a number of weeks. She has said that bringing in a town administrator would take extra responsibilities away from the duties of the first selectperson role, as well as fit a growing expectation in town to respond to “residents increasingly expecting a 24/7 government.”

Residents, she said, are also expecting an “equally responsive first selectperson” to lead the town and answer questions. The first selectwoman has noted she often responds to dozens of emails daily and even receives requests on various social media sites while simultaneously overseeing a town workforce of over 150 employees, currently with 12 of those as paid, full-time department heads that report to her directly.

Vanderslice also holds leadership in the Western Connecticut Council of Governments, the Western Connecticut Economic Development District and a metropolitan planning organization based in Fairfield County. Each group has recently asked her to continue in her leadership role, which she said she was “happy to do.”

An additional $130,000 in the proposed increase will be slated for the town engineer salary.

The engineer will help “support significant increases in grant awards, including over $20 million in newly awarded (funds) for bridges, ARPA and applications for Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act,” according to the proposal.

The town is also expected to undergo a formal flood mitigation strategy, including new upgrades to drainage capabilities, near and around the Wilton High School athletic complex.

The last full-time position budgeted was the Parks and Grounds crew member, a position the town once employed but was “elimated post-recession,” Vanderslice said. The person will help meet the needs and resident demand for improved fields.

The proposal also accounts for a $172,000 increase in the Wilton Library grant, as well as any other town operating expenses anticipated. Last year’s library grant was lower due to PPP funds the library received from the federal government, Vanderslice said. In addition, the 2023 budget is proposing a $290,682 decrease in operating capital from 2022.


“I think, again, this is a really good budget,” Vanderslice said. “Town departments did what they normally do — they only asked for what they know they need.”