Wilton discusses plans for capital projects

A slew of major capital projects are moving ahead to Wilton’s annual town meeting May 7 at Middlebrook School, and First Selectman Bill Brennan recently discussed logistics and how best to raise funds at a joint meeting with the Board of Finance.

Among the projects Mr. Brennan proposed for bonding at the April 10 meeting, Comstock Community Center is set to have a new boiler and heating system, a project expected to cost roughly $570,000.

“We’re reaching the assessment where Turner (Real Estate), BVH (Integrated Services), and  everybody are saying you have to replace this now or you won’t get through the next winter,” Mr. Brennan said at the April 10 meeting. “That’s why we have to do it this summer.”

The Gilbert & Bennett boiler and heating redistribution system will need to be entirely replaced because of wear and corrosion.

“Not only is the boiler shot but the heat distribution system is going,” Mr. Brennan said. “It’s a steam system that provides steam to radiators and they’re corroding.”

Wilton High School, Cider Mill School, and Middlebrook School are also expected to have updated heating systems installed, but the costs cannot be determined until “we have a fully executed agreement with Yankee Gas,” Mr. Brennan said.

Another capital project is the refurbishment and structural, “forensic evaluation” of Comstock Community Center, expected to cost $332,000, covering an assortment of building renovations, such as the removal of a wall, the addition of another, and an enhanced sound barrier between the senior center and the indoor gym.

At the high school, two boilers need to be converted to gas, but will not need to be entirely replaced, although those at Cider Mill will.

“We got a surprise when we found out that the boilers (at Cider Mill) were 35-40 years old, and we had no idea that was a capital item coming down the line,” Mr. Brennan said.

“The last thing we want to do is get gas lines in and find out our boilers haven’t been converted.”

The Board of Finance unanimously passed a motion to approve that the proposed projects move ahead to the annual town meeting, which hosts a public vote on bonded capital projects, set for 7:30 p.m. on May 7, at the Middlebrook School auditorium. There will be an adjourned vote Saturday, May 11, at the Clune Center.