Board of Selectmen Roundup: Preschool program won't open in 'foreseeable future'

The On School Road preschool program will not continue in the “foreseeable future” said First Selectman Bill Brennan at the Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday, Oct. 21. 

Citing “safety and other reasons associated with the ongoing renovation process” at Comstock Community Center, Mr. Brennan said the program, which had been ordered closed by the state Department of Public Health, would not reopen.

A petition written by Wiltonian Kim West had garnered 64 e-signatures as of 11 a.m. on Oct. 22, asking the first selectman to “provide approval and support to get the On School Road Toddler program back up and running as quickly as possible with Parks and Rec.”

Old Town Hall

The Wilton Garden Club stood before the Board of Selectmen on Monday and requested changes to the letter of understanding between the two entities regarding the Old Town Hall building.

The club has existed since 1921, and has been the primary caretaker of the Old Town Hall building across from Wilton Congregational Church since 1934, when the site was sitting “empty and deteriorating,” said President Nan Merolla.

With financial reserves nearly depleted, and a five-year annual average deficit of $5,000, club members feel they can no longer properly support the Old Town Hall without amendments to their agreement with the town.

They requested that the board reduce the term of the understanding from five to two years, so planning can be undertaken on a smaller scale, and that responsibility for paying for utilities be shifted from the Garden Club to the town. The selectmen took no action pending further discussion.

Road restoration

Department of Public Works Director Tom Thurkettle updated the Board of Selectmen on the progress of the road restoration project on Monday.

According to his counts, the town has successfully paved 17.01 miles of road since the project was started, and spent $2.65 million to do so.

He expects to complete an additional 2.47 miles before the end of the year, leaving him with “a little over $250,000” remaining in the budget to roll over for next spring.

The town is currently in the process of paving Catalpa, Heather and Bossy roads, at an average price of $157,000 per mile, he said.

Norwalk River Valley Trail

A motion to enable the first selectman to sign an agreement between the Friends of the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) and the Wilton Board of Selectmen passed on Monday. The agreement gives the town’s blessing for the construction of trails through Wilton to be used as part of the NRVT from Danbury Road to Raymond Lane.

The trail runs from Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk to Rogers Park in Danbury.

“This is good not only for the young but for the elderly,” Selectman Hal Clark said, because the trail is ADA-compliant.

New trucks

A nonbinding letter of intent was issued by the Board of Selectmen on Monday regarding the purchase of two new town trucks from a Ford dealership.

The total cost will be around $96,000 for the trucks. The cost will be covered by Federal Emergency Management Administration funds that are meant to cover capital costs of town equipment. The funds were awarded after Superstorm Sandy to help Wilton replace aging emergency equipment affected by the storm.

Both the DPW and the Parks and Recreation Department have trucks that are non-functional. Both were used as snow-removal and general-use trucks.

The use of FEMA funds must now be approved by the Board of Finance. The letter of intent allows the DPW to prevent the trucks from being sold off the lot while the town waits for the next Board of Finance meeting for approval.