Wilton votes overwhelmingly for new police station

Renderings for the proposed new Wilton Police Department headquarters. More than 76 percent of Wilton’s voters approved the bond item in last week’s town meeting.

Renderings for the proposed new Wilton Police Department headquarters. More than 76 percent of Wilton’s voters approved the bond item in last week’s town meeting.

Contributed Photo /

WILTON — After 48 years, the Wilton Police Department will get a new station that town residents overwhelmingly approved last week.

The $16.4 million structure was one of the several bond requests approved in the town’s annual meeting Tuesday. Voting immediately followed the meeting and also took place on Saturday.

About 1,100 people of the town’s 12,127 registered voters voted — a 9 percent turnout rate.

The new police station received 76.8 percent of the vote with 836 people voting for the new structure, and 252 voting against, according to the town’s records.

“We are very pleased with the strong support for the new police headquarters project,” First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice said.

She noted that the town’s previous building bond proposals — renovations at the Comstock Community Center and the Miller Driscoll School — passed with just over 50 percent approval.

“The results speak to the confidence residents had in the need for the project, the decision making by the Building Committee and the Board of Selectmen and the proposal itself and equally important the public's respect for the Wilton Police Department and its leadership,” she added.

There are many steps to still be completed before the police department can move into the new station. The building needs to get approved by the Planning and Zoning Department and the Architectural Review Board. There will also be a bidding process for the contracts.

The town anticipates construction to start in the spring of 2023 and last up to 20 months, not including potential materials and supply chain issues. If all goes well, the police department will be able to use its new station in 2024, according to the town.

Other items on the ballot, which were all approved, included the budget for fiscal year 2023 and bond projects for road restoration, the bridge replacement program, a vacuum truck for the Department of Public Works, the school district roof replacement program and the study and design of a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system replacement for Middlebrook and Cider Mill schools.

The current police station was built in 1974 for 24 officers. It contains four small cells and a tinier, temporary holding cell to process inmates, according to previous reports.

The building hasn’t had an upgrade since, despite the department now having 44 officers. The lack of renovation also prevents the department from abiding by state regulations to process juveniles and adults in separate parts of the building. The current conditions also make it difficult for officers to separate men and women.

The new building is expected to have new features, such as improved locker rooms and address the issues with detention.