Corrected-April 2022-First Selectwoman’s Update-Annual Town Meeting and a Whole Lot More

Annual Town Meeting

The Annual Town Meeting (ATM) is Tuesday, May 3rd beginning at 7:00pm.  Attendees must check in, either as an eligible voter or a guest. Doors open at 6:30pm.  The purpose of the meeting is to recommend a budget and move bonding questions to the adjourned town meeting vote. The FY2023 Annual Budget and Town Meeting page of the Town’s website has a comprehensive set of information, including procedures, budgets and bonding questions.  Click here.


Who is eligible to attend and who may participate? The meeting is open to any member of the public.  Those eligible to participate and vote are 1-registered voters in Wilton and 2-any U.S. citizen, aged 18 or older, who is liable or would be liable, if not for an exemption, for taxes on an assessed value of $1,000 or more on the October 1, 2021 grand list.  

Those not eligible to vote are physically segregated from those eligible to vote.  If you are eligible, please ensure you are seated in the correct section anytime there is a vote on a motion. 

What is the agenda order? The detailed agenda is available here, but in summary: Administrative Matters, Presentation of Bonding Resolutions, Public Comments, Presentation of Board of Finance Recommended Budget and Boards of Selectmen and Education Individual Budgets.  Public Comments. 

What types of motions can be made from the floor?  Motions can be made as to the meeting’s process, to reduce a line item in the Board of Selectmen budget, to reduce the total Board of Education budget or reduce other line items in the budget, but not to the extent that legal obligations can’t be met.  See rules.  Motions can’t be made to change the bonding questions.  

Proposed New Police Headquarters

The most significant of the six bonding proposals is $16.4 million for a new Police Headquarters to be located on the Town Campus between the current Headquarters and Town Hall.  Almost 20 years ago, the then Board of Selectmen recognized that the Headquarters was overcrowded, outdated and in need of infrastructure upgrades.  No improvements were made.  Almost 20 years later, the building is almost 50 years old, with original failing infrastructure, severe overcrowding and non compliance with many current building codes, including ADA, fire suppression and electrical. 

Last week, the Town applied for a $1.2 million federal grant for the proposed building.  If awarded, the grant would reduce the amount required to be borrowed.  

A video of the recent detailed project presentation made to the Board of Finance is available here.  The PowerPoint presentation, itself, is available here, beginning with the 4th side.   The Board of Finance voted to support this project and the five other bonding proposals. 

All information and documents related to the project are available here, including a quick guide.  Large size scale drawings are on display at the Wilton Library. 

A building committee comprised of Wilton residents, with assistance from consultants and town employees, recommended the proposal to the Board of Selectmen. The members, all with relevant professional qualifications and experience, are co-chairs Patti Temple and Dave Waters, Matt Bezanson, Keith Fordsman, David Johnson, Kathy Poirier and Jack Suchy.   The community can be proud and grateful for the work of the Committee. 

If approved, Chris Burney, who served as the town employee responsible for the highly successful Miller Driscoll renovation project, which was delivered under budget and ahead of schedule, will again be responsible for this project.

If you haven’t toured the current headquarters, you can do so this Saturday between 10:00am and 1:00pm.

Question can be asked at the ATM or emailed to me at

Lastly, Chief John Lynch’s PowerPoint presentation on police staffing is available here and can be watched here

DPW and Planning & Zoning Proposals for ARPA and Infrastructure Fund Funding

This month the Board of Selectmen heard proposals from DPW Director Frank Smeriglio for funding for the Department’s three engineering priorities: 1-new drainage for the Wilton High School Complex, 2-dredging of the pond between Cider Mill and the Complex and 3- draining repairs and maintenance between lower School Road and Catalpa.  Frank’s presentation is available here or can be watched here beginning at 48 minutes. 

Although no final decisions have been made, last week the Town applied for a federal grant to fund the recommended drainage proposal for the Wilton High School Complex.

The Board also heard a proposal from Planning and Zoning Chair Rick Tomasetti and Land Use Management Director Michael Wrinn for grant funding for Amenities Master Planning.  The proposed master planning would begin immediately following the Commission’s current Wilton Center master planning.  The presentation can be watched here beginning at 8:15 minutes. 

In May, Chris Burney will present proposals for municipal-owned buildings, not previously discussed.  After which, the Board of Selectmen will prioritize spending of the federal ARPA grant and the Board of Selectman’s Infrastructure Fund. This methodical approach, although time consuming, will allow informed and thoughtful decision making. 

2022 Road and Sidewalk Paving Plan

2022 road paving is underway.  The full plan for the calendar year is subject to the approval of the related bonding question.  The paving status as of today is available here.  The status is regularly updated and available on the DPW page of the town’s website or sign up for e-alerts from the Department.  The condition of all town-owned roads is available either by road name or by road condition ranking.    

Later this summer, the Town is scheduled to pave the sidewalk in Wilton Center adjacent to Schenck’s Island. 

Increasing Importance of Grant Awards

The Town’s focus over the last three years to seek grants as a means of reducing the burden on taxpayers has been highly successful with over $20 million of grants, exclusive of ARPA, awarded for bridges, trails and public safety.  In addition to those awarded grants, Save the Sound, the manager of the project to remove the Dana Dam near Merwin Meadows, was awarded a Congressional Directed Spending grant of over $400,000 for that project.  Thank you to Congressmen Himes and his office for their support of the grant. 

As noted above, we recently applied for two new federal grants.  We have identified a number of other grants to seek.  The grant identification, application and management process is time consuming and requires a certain level of expertise and knowledge.  The proposed FY2023 Board of Selectmen budget provides the required resources to support the grants already awarded and a continued expansion of grant sourcing.

No Fee Programming at the Wilton Senior Center

At our last meeting and upon the recommendation of the Director of Social Services Sarah Heath, the Board of Selectmen voted to suspend fees for programs offered to Wilton seniors at the Senior Center at Comstock.  With seniors particularly burdened by inflation, this was one way the Wilton community could help. Sarah, Stephanie and the team look forward to welcoming more seniors back to the Center. 

Project Updates

-The Middlebrook tennis court replacement project is complete. 

-We continue to work with Verizon as they finish up their application to the CT Siting Council for the installation of a new cell tower behind the Bus Barn.  This winter’s cell service survey confirmed the need for a new tower at this location to allow for service or improved service. 

-Frontier Communications has rolled out new fiber service for most town and state-owned roads.  Check with Frontier for availability on your street. 

-The relatively new glass recycling project at the Transfer Station continues to experience increased participation by residents.  Learn more about glass recycling here.

-If you missed the announcement of the Aquarion and Eversource project involving state-owned New Canaan Road, please read here.   The public comment deadline is May 1st

Updates- State Legislative Session and Wilton’s Affordable Housing Plan

Yesterday, the State Legislature made permanent the public’s ability to participate remotely in public meetings.  The Governor will sign the bill. 

Today, the House passed a bill to allow Wilton and nine other municipalities to defer our October 1, 2022 revaluation for one year. We strongly believe valuations will be more meaningful and accurate if we have another year of data.  In the final days of the session, bills can be lost or forgotten, but fortunately Wilton has a bi-partisan effort to ensure the bill is passed before the end of the session.  That effort is led by Democrat Senator Will Haskell of our district and Republican Senator Tony Hwang, who represents Fairfield and Newtown, but who has stepped up to help Wilton. Thank you to both Senators. 

Several WestCOG communities, including Wilton, worked collaboratively with WestCOG staff to develop a draft state-mandated Affordable Housing Plan.  Wilton officials, including Board of Selectmen members, applauded the quality of the plan.  The public comment period for the Plan ended on April 20th.   Unfortunately, during the comment period, Wilton, fellow WestCOG communities and the draft Plan were the target of an organized, negative campaign, which included media articles, Desegregate CT and other organizations who have championed state-mandated high density for communities across Connecticut.  The draft Plan is available here.  A final plan will be released in June.  

Household Hazardous Waste Events

Wilton residents are eligible to participate in household hazardous waste events sponsored by HRRA, of which we are a member. The next event is on May 7th from 9am to 2pm in Newtown.  See event details here.  Additional events, including a September 10th Wilton/Weston joint event, are available here.   

Earth Day Billboard Contest Student Winners

Earlier this evening, HRRA held a Zoom award ceremony for our 2022 Billboard Contest.  This year’s theme was Recycle Your Food Scraps! Compost!.  As such, it was only fitting that six students from Wilton were winners.  The Wilton billboards displayed impressive art talent, amazing penmanship (kudos WPS), great knowledge of composting, bright colors and humor.  Over 1,300 students from the HRRA communities participated.  The following are the winners from Wilton:

Emie Ferguson - Regional Honorable Mention-Kindergarten

Rafferty Smith - Regional 1st Place-First Grade

Disha Avadhani - Regional 2nd Place-Second Grade

Julia Zubarev - Regional 2nd Place-Fourth Grade

Alyssa Bi - Regional 1st Place-Sixth Grade

Shruti Kothandaraman - Regional 3rd Place

The artwork will be featured in local media and then displayed in Town Hall.  Congratulations  to the winners and thank you to Wilton Go Green’s Tammy Thornton for her assistance with this program. 

Neighborhood Assistance Applications Being Accepted from Wilton Tax-Exempt Organizations

The Town is pleased to once again offer this state-funded program for Wilton tax-exempt organizations and Wilton and area businesses.  The program is a big win for participating organizations, including the Town of Wilton, and also for businesses, which receive CT state income tax credits equal to 60% or 100% of their monetary donation to approved programs.  Last year, nine Wilton tax-exempt organizations received over $118,000 through the program.  The deadline for Wilton organizations to apply is May 20th.  Approved programs are published by the State in September and business applications are accepted from September 15th through October 1st.  Information is available here.  Businesses who are already donating to Wilton tax-exempt organizations outside of this program are encouraged to consider participation in order to take advantage of the tax credits.  A fiscally stronger business community means a stronger Wilton. Questions should be addressed to Sarah Gioffre in my office at

Mark Your Calendar

Saturday, April 30th:  Police Headquarters Tour, 10:00am to 1:00pm

Tuesday, May 3rd:  Annual Town Meeting, 7:00pm

Saturday, May 7th:  Annual Town Meeting Adjourned Vote, 8:00am to 6:00pm

Saturday, May 21st:  Townwide Clean Up,  9:00am to 12:00pm

Friday through Sunday, July 29th- July 31st:  The return of Hideaway Circus.  Look for details closer to the event. 

As always, please contact me with questions at

Lynne A Vanderslice

First Selectwoman