Coronavirus Update-New Cases, Delay-Large Gatherings & Phase 3, Tax Questions, Schenck’s Island Meadow, Winners-July 4th & Case Data

July 6th - CT DPH reported 2 new cases in Wilton as of 8:30 pm on July 5th.  There have been 16 new cases in Wilton over the past two weeks.  

Please,

  • Watch your distance
  • Wear a mask/face covering
  • Wash your hands

Today the Governor announced a delay in a planned increase to outdoor gatherings.  Outdoor gatherings, other than graduations, remain at no more than 100 individuals.  The Governor also indefinitely delayed Phase 3. 

The following are recent taxpayer questions about July 1 tax bills:

  • My tax bill is lower than last year.  Is that right? Yes, that is correct.  The FY2021 mill rate is 3.77% lower than the FY2020 mill rate.  The reasons for the lower mill rate include a reduction in debt service, a reduction in the Board of Selectmen budget, FY2020 budget savings used to reduce the tax levy, growth in the taxable grand list and no increase in the Board of Education budget.
  • I disagree with my motor vehicle assessment. Can I appeal the assessment and the tax bill?  The Board of Assessment Appeals conducts motor vehicle assessment appeal hearings in September.  Filing an assessment appeal does not waive the requirement to pay the motor vehicle tax on time in order to avoid the statutory interest fee on late tax payments. Any reduction in motor vehicle tax as a result of a reduction in the assessment is refunded to the taxpayer.   
  • If the due date of property taxes is July 1st, why does the Town wait until June 30th to mail the tax bill and why can’t the bill be accessed online prior to July 1st?  The Town does not have statutory authority to collect the July 1 property tax bill before the start of the fiscal year. 

The following are recent questions about the meadow at Schenck’s Island:

  • Why did the Town mow the meadow at Schenck’s Island this past week rather than in late April or early May as in the past?  The delay was due to the Coronavirus.  In a normal year, the meadow is mowed in the spring once the ground is dry enough to accommodate mowing and in late fall. 
  • Why does the Town mow the meadow?  Mowing is performed to promote a healthier meadow in the long term. Mowing helps control invasive species, specifically Mugwort & Buckthorn.  Without intervention, the meadow would transform to a shrub/scrub habitat within a couple of years and into a forested habitat within 5-10 years.  The Town consults meadow experts and manages the meadow consistent with the Wilton Land Conservation Trust, which owns the abutting property.  The ongoing project to remove invasive species along the Norwalk River abutting the property also helps to control the invasive species within the meadow. 
  • Will the meadow grow back?  Yes, as occurs every spring, the meadow will grow back.  Those interested in a meadow trail are encouraged to discover the Nick Parisot Memorial Trail which passes through the Slaughter Fields meadow, off of Pipers Hill Road.   

Congratulations to the following winners of the July 4th House Decorating Contest: 1st place: The Pickel Family, 2ndplace: The Brady Family, 3rd place: The Rumilly Family.  Thank you to all who participated and our judges.  My office will be in touch this week with prize information.

The CT Data Center reported the following for Wilton as of 8:30 pm on July 5th and versus the dates prior to the start of Phase 1 and Phase 2:

  • 223 cases, 16 additional since June 16th and 23 since May 19th
  • 1,835 residents tested, 685 since June 16th and 1085 since May 19th
  • 2,333 tests performed, 881 since June 16th
  • 41 deaths, no change since June 16th and 4 additional since May 19th

The State does not provide detailed data on antibody testing. 

CT DPH reported the following for Fairfield County and Statewide as of July 5th:

  • 16,823 cases, 442 additional since 6/16         46,976 cases, 1,547 additional since 6/16
  • 1,377 deaths, 25 additional since 6/16           4,338 deaths, 119 additional since 6/16
  • 25 hospitalized, 43 less than 6/16                   69 hospitalized, 117 less than 6/16

Out of respect for each other, as Americans that care for each other, we need to be wearing masks in public when we cannot social distance.”  Dr. Deborah Birx, Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force.     

As always, if you have any questions, please email the appropriate town department or me at [email protected].  

Thank you,

Lynne Vanderslice

First Selectwoman