Selectmen plan September hearing on litter

The Board of Selectmen arrived to its Monday, July 15, meeting having taken the town’s pulse on a new littering ordinance. After brief deliberation, all members agreed to hold a public hearing on the issue tentatively scheduled for September.

Selectman Ted Hoffstatter said that he had spoken to many people in town.

For those residents, a new littering ordinance was not a problem, as they believed the town should simply enforce the state statute.

On the other hand, upon hearing the stories of commercial dumping on Wilton property, residents were shocked to hear that dumpers only faced simple littering charges.

“For most people it wasn’t so much the litter, it was people who read that the dumping had fallen to the state, and that dumping doesn’t have its own fine. A lot of people had personal stories about dumping on their yard or someone else’s. It was favorable to change the dumping fines,” he said.

First Selectman Bill Brennan said that he wasn’t sure if a basic fine would really cause a change in behavior.

“If we create another litter ordinance,” he said, “will it actually change our town’s behavior? It’s not just the littering from our residents, it’s littering from people driving through our town. We need to make sure we’re doing something that is necessary.”

The entire board was in favor of an increased fine for dumping, even if they chose not to increase the fine for basic littering.

“It’s a disgrace. Here’s somebody else’s property, and somebody backs up a truck and dumps their waste into a yard,” Mr. Brennan said.

Public hearings on both a change in town ordinances to levy littering, and dumping fines will be scheduled for September, Mr. Brennan said. The next Board of Selectmen meeting will take place on Monday, Aug. 19.