Wilton Town Meeting is Tuesday

After months of debate, Wilton voters get to have their say. The opinions on the 2013-14 budget and three additional bonding questions will be heard at the annual Town Meeting on Tuesday, May 7, at 7:30. This year’s meeting will be held in the auditorium at Middlebrook School.

The ballot will show the mill rate has increased by 23.43%, up to 25.9896 from 21.055 in 2012. The large jump is due to a revaluation of all properties that resulted in a 17% decline in the most recent grand list.

The Board of Selectmen’s budget has increased to $30,947,323, up 1.977% from last year, when the budget was $30,347,323. The Board of Education budget is up 2.821%, to $76,140,105. Last year’s budget was $74,051,216.

A requirement for the vote is that 15% or more of registered voters must cast their ballot on the budget. If fewer than 15% of registered voters participate, the budget will automatically pass. However, bonding questions are resolved by a majority vote.

According to data provided by the registrars of voters, only 12% of registered voters visited the polls in 2012. Prior to that, the necessary voting requirement was reached at 15.2%, and 18.6% had their voices heard in 2011 and 2010. The threshold was not reached from 2005 to 2009.

The three bonding questions on the ballot are:

• Building renovations and replacement of the boiler and heating system at Comstock Community Center at a cost of $902,000.

• Replacement of the boiler at the Gilbert & Bennett Cultural Community Center. Cost: $220,000.

• Conversion of boilers to operate on natural gas at Wilton High School, Cider Mill School, and Middlebrook School. Cost: $1,400,400.

Voting, by paper ballot, will immediately follow the Tuesday meeting.

Voters who are unable to attend the Town Meeting may vote on Saturday, May 11, at the Clune Center at Wilton High School. Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

All registered voters in Wilton may vote, regardless of whether they own property in town. Additionally, all U.S. citizens liable to the town of Wilton for property or motor vehicle taxes with an assessment of at least $1,000 on the Oct. 1, 2012, grand list may take part in the vote. For more details, please see the column Nobody Told Me That! on page 5A.

Absentee ballots will be available in person from the town clerk at town hall from May 8 to May 10.

Those not registered to vote may register at town hall, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 to 4:30. A voter registration application may be found on the town website, wiltonct.org.

Information: 203-563-0111.