Board of Selectmen round-up November 4

The following article will only appear online due to space restraints in The Wilton Bulletin. 

The agenda was light at the Monday, Nov. 4, Board of Selectmen meeting, but three members of the public stood to address concerns to the board, and a number of off-agenda items were discussed.

On School Road

Three members of the public were in attendance to address the On School Road program with the board.

Claire Renown, of Deer Run Road, told the board that “as an architect” she understands that the state of the Comstock Community Center poses a challenge to the On School Road program’s renewal.

But as a representative of On School Road parents, she said, “we would like to try and get Sharon [Cowley] reinstated in town as soon as possible. The school filled a niche in Wilton because it was affordable for working parents and offered flexibility and a safe and caring environment.”

Sharon Cowley was the popular teacher who ran the On School Road program.

Sheila Krawitz of 176 Cannon Road told the board there were rumors that town hall would soon be remodeled, and she felt this would be an affront to the now defunct On School Road project.

“This program is essential to the town” and Comstock is already half-empty, she claimed. “Why do we have to end a program?”

Mr. Brennan said the rumors were incorrect, and told Ms. Krawitz and her husband, Joel, that the plan to evaluate town property usage — including town hall — had no effect on the On School Road program’s future.

“A state-licensed pre-K program could not operate or open in Comstock Community Center at this time,” he said, because of hazard abatement needs, among other problems. “We don’t have the capital to do the improvements necessary” at this time, he said.

He added that the board considers Comstock a priority and hopes to have the On School Road program re-opened as soon as possible.

“We’re trying to do the best we can” at addressing problems at Comstock, he said. “I know you are disappointed, but we’re not ready to go through the construction process now.”

When Ms. Krawitz continually questioned whether the On School Road program would open once Comstock had been renovated, he said it would not be prudent to offer her a “yes-or-no” answer, as the construction process has not yet begun.

Septic tank signature

Before public comment, the board voted to allow Sandy Dennies, chief financial officer, to sign electronic Department of Energy and Environmental Protection documents regarding underground storage tanks and storm water on behalf of the town of Wilton.

This vote was a formality required by town charter.

Capital projects

The board also discussed capital projects prior to public comment.

According to statements made on Monday, the Comstock roof is completed and is awaiting warranty inspection. The Middlebrook roof project has encountered some delays, and requires additional masonry work. The project should be completed before the beginning of winter, Mr. Brennan said.

The Miller-Driscoll building committee has received three architectural drafts from its selected company, Tai Soo Kim, and has narrowed those down to two possibilities, Selectman Dick Dubow said. They expect to have cost estimates for those drafts soon. The committee also expects to finalize the architectural contract soon, Mr. Brennan said.

According to Mr. Brennan, the Yankee Gas project looks ready to get “into the ground” by spring of 2014.

New lights at train station

After residents first complained to the board regarding the lack of lighting at the Wilton train station, Mr. Brennan, with the help of state Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143rd District), petitioned the state Department of Transportation to install new lighting at the facility.

The petition was successful, and the state plans on installing nine new light posts at the facility.

“It’s great, because the state pays for the whole thing,” Mr. Brennan said.

Hazardous waste collection

The first selectman was happy to note that more than 450 cars were at the recent hazardous materials collection in Wilton. Wilton residents, he said, made up 75% of those cars.

“It’s popular and people really respect the dates and save up their waste,” he said.

Call for resignation

Milton Pohl, a longtime resident of Hurlbutt Street, stood before the board and said he was disappointed to hear one of the town’s elected officials had been “indicted” for using drugs.

Mr. Pohl was referencing Selectman Ted Hoffstatter’s recent civil citation for possession of marijuana. Since 2011, possession of marijuana is no longer a misdemeanor crime in Connecticut and carries only a $150 fine per charge — similar to a traffic violation.

The Hurlbutt Street resident took time to personally call for Mr. Hoffstatter’s resignation, saying it was an “unpleasant topic,” but one he felt someone should raise before the public.