September Update-Good News on the Stadium Track/Turf Fields & Expanded Fiber to Premise, Plus Frequently Asked About Topics

Stadium Track/Turf Fields Update

  • Turf cleaning: Shaw completed their cleaning of the stadium turf.  On Friday, the Wilton Fire Department will saturate the field to wash the remaining silt through the system. 
  • Infiltration testing.  Firefly completed the testing.  All areas drained to standards.  One area of the field had to be pulled back to adjust a couple of pieces of shock pad that had shifted. While doing so, they tested the sub-base which also showed no signs of silt affecting the system. 
  • Track and channel drains: Cape and Island are on site clearing the channel drains around the track and cleaning the major debris off the track prior to power washing.
  • Additional infill for Lilly has cleared customs and will be shipped to us asap. 
  • Mitigation plan:  Stantec was on site on Friday, they will be making recommendations for a mitigation plan.
  • Special thanks to Steve Pierce and Doug Katz of Wilton Parks and Recreation Department.  

Townwide Fiber to Premises Rollout by Frontier Communications

Frontier Communications previously announced a nationwide expansion of their fiber optic capabilities.  I’m happy to share that Wilton is part of their initial rollout and contractors are already in town performing required work.  Details include:

  • By the end of 2021,100% fiber to premises will be available to approximately 5,000 single family homes and small business with no more than 4 individual addresses within the building.  Availability to larger multi-family and multi-business buildings will be at a later date.  
  • Frontier Fiber Optics will offer synchronous speeds of up to 1 gigabit, meaning the upload and downloads speeds will be the same.
  • Fiber is being installed consistent with Frontier’s current equipment, either aerially on poles or underground.  Work is being performed by their construction vendor, Squan Construction.  They will be working on multiple roads at a time.
  • Once an area has been completed, Frontier marketing representatives will be reaching out to residents within the area. 
  • Underground work will generally occur in the utility easement within the Town’s right-of way. If work needs to be done on private property, Frontier will contact the property owner to obtain an easement.  Please remember, most private property owners do not own up to the road.
  • If underground work is required adjacent to your property, you will receive notice from Frontier.  Frontier will mark the path and then contact you.  You will have a 10 day-period to discuss the path with Frontier’s representatives.  Wilton’s Town Engineer will also be examining the path.  Please engage with Frontier when they reach out. 
  • Up to 20 cabinets will need to be installed throughout the Town at either ground level or on poles.  Cabinets will range in size from  30 to 36 inches high, 18 to 20 inches wide and 13 inches deep.  Abutting property owners and owners on the other side of the street will be noticed, as required by CT’s Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA).

When the work is completed in early November, the majority of Wilton residents will have another option for internet services. 

Political and Other Lawn Signs

Political Signs

  • Political signs are protected by federal free speech laws.  The Town can’t ban political signs on town-owned and managed property because we allow other signs on town-owned and managed property.  Nor can the Town limit the amount of time political signs remain on town-owned and managed property.  
  • The Town Green, Trackside and other leased town-owned properties are not town-managed.  The permission of the lessee is required before placing a sign on leased properties. 
  • The State can and does ban political signs, as unlike the Town, the State doesn’t allow any signs on state-owned property.

Temporary signs:

  • Lawn signs advertising a temporary event or sold as a fundraiser require a temporary sign permit.  The number of signs per permit and the length of time they can be displayed is specified in the Town’s zoning regulations. The permit application and instructions are available on the Town’s website. Permitted signs will have a small attached yellow tag.

Non-Political Signs-town property:

  • Permission must be obtained to put a non-political sign on town-owned and managed property. Please contact Jackie Rochester in the First Selectwoman’s Office to request permission.  This requirement applies to the town-owned right-of-way adjacent to town-owned roads.  Please place any personal signs on your property, outside the right-of-way.  
  • If a sign is placed on town-owned property in violation of the rules, it is generally removed.  The Zoning Enforcement Officer will contact the name on the sign to retrieve the sign, assuming contact information is available.

School Properties:

  • Please contact the school administration before placing any type of sign on school-managed property. 

Noise Regulations

The Town of Wilton does not have a noise ordinance.  The Town’s Zoning Regulations address noise.  Please see page 191, Section 29-9 (H) 7.  A zoning regulation is not the same as an ordinance.  A zoning regulation is enforced by the Zoning Enforcement Officer through a cease-and-desist process.   The zoning regulation allows the Planning & Zoning Commission or the Town Planner to set restrictions on the volume being emitted from stationary items such as an outdoor generator or  HVAC units, but doesn’t necessarily prohibit residents from using a leaf blower or having an outdoor party, within reasonable hours. 

There are no plans to consider a noise ordinance.  Generally, when notified of a reasonable request by their neighbors to reduce the noise coming from their property, nine out of ten residents have complied. 

60% to 100% Tax Credits for Businesses that Donate

If you own a business and donate to local Wilton organizations, please consider donating to an approved Wilton project through the State of Connecticut Neighborhood Assistance Act (NAA) Tax Credit Program. Businesses that do so can receive a credit of 60% of their approved contribution to certain approved programs or 100% in the case of certain energy conservation programs.  The list of approved projects by town is available here.

Click for more information and the electronic application form. The form can be submitted beginning today October 1, 2021.  

Road Maintenance

During the months of April through October, the Town’s highway employees perform a number of maintenance functions on town-owned roads, including the clearing of overgrowth, clearing of trees and branches from the town right-of-way, sweeping debris off the road, replacing of signs, cleaning of drains, and filling of potholes.  With 125 miles over 309 town-owned roadsnot all roads receive annual maintenance.  Work is performed on a cycle or in response to requests submitted through SeeClickFix.  To help residents understand what to expect, the following are examples of some of the maintenance work performed during the 109 workdays from April through September 3rd of this year:

  • Road Clearing:  95 roads.  Generally both sides of the road.
  • Road Sweeping:  65 roads.  Both sides of the road.
  • Drains Cleaned:  154 drains.  Please note, if you look into a catch basin you may see debris or water.  That doesn’t necessarily mean it needs cleaning. Catch basins have a sump at the bottom that is intended to collect debris and silt and stop it from going down the drain pipe.
  • SeeClickFix Requests for Road Maintenance:  136 requests completed.

Unlike road paving, the Town doesn’t publish a list of scheduled road maintenance.  This is because priorities can frequently change based on weather and the volume of requests submitted through SeeClickFix.  Because road clearing occurs on town-owned property, the town isn’t required to obtain permission of the abutting property owner.  

When clearing, the Town generally clears at least 2 feet beyond the paved road.  The Town does not allow an abutting property owner to plant anything other than grass on the town-owned right-of-way.  If a property owner or a prior property owner has planted shrubs or trees in the right-of-way, the Town will generally only clear to the edge of the road, though residents should understand that anything they plant on town-owned property is at risk of being cleared.  Residents who have planted shrubs or trees might want to prune those plantings themselves to ensure they don’t encroach onto the road, as the Town doesn’t perform pruning.  

Carry-In Carry-Out Policy

Several years ago, the Town adopted the State’s Carry-In Carry-Out policy for trash and recyclables.  The policy requires individuals to carry out what they bring into town-owned property.  The only exceptions are locations where food is sold or frequently consumed.  In those locations, the Town has placed a regular trash can and a recyclables trash can. 

Why did the Town adopt the policy and why has the Town continued the policy?  Originally the Town adopted the policy because the Legislature passed a law requiring municipalities to provide a recycle-only trash can wherever the Town provided a regular trash can.  Wilton had already experimented with providing both.  The result was not positive as residents generally didn’t respect the recycling-only trash cans.  Town employees were required to sort the trash deposited in the recycling cans.  Not only did the cans contain regular waste, but also dog waste.  

In addition, residents illegally disposed their household waste in the regular trash cans, rather than taking their trash to the Transfer Station for disposal and paying the fees required of every other resident.  

The Town has continued with the policy because since adoption:

  • The amount of litter on the Town’s fields and parks has decreased. 
  • The amount of household waste illegally dumped has decreased. 
  • The Town’s policy compliments and reinforces the Zero Waste program at the schools. A program which has resulted in our students’ being more conscious of their own waste.
  • Instead of spending time cleaning up the mess caused by a small segment of the community, Town employees are addressing matters that benefit the entire community.    

Recycling Glass at the Transfer Station

Broken glass is one of the biggest sources of contamination of mixed recycling materials.  The broken glass gets onto paper and other recyclable materials making them no longer recyclable. Thanks to the Town’s membership in Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority (HRRA), beginning this month, residents are able to separately recycle glass at the Transfer Station or through their trash hauler if the hauler disposes at the Wilton Transfer Station or the transfer station of HRRA member municipalities.  Learn more about segregated glass recycling here.  

Isn’t calling faster than using SeeClickFix?

No. SeeClickFix is the most efficient means for the Town to address your issue.  Once the issue is submitted, it is automatically routed to the proper person/department.  In addition to the public facing aspect of the software, there is an internal work order and internal messaging system.  Therefore, an issue is placed into the work schedule more quickly than if you call or email the DPW office.   Please make sure to include the specific location.  Photos are always helpful. 

Questions?  Please contact me at lynne.vanderslice@wiltonct.org

Lynne Vanderslice

First Selectwoman