WILTON — Town officials are considering adding an amendment to Wilton’s property ordinance that would aim to address issues related to abandoned property.

The matter was brought before the Wilton Selectboard at its meeting last week, and selectmen approved sending the issue to the ordinance committee to begin drafting an abandoned-property amendment to the town’s existing property ordinance.

Resident Mark Shibles told the board in February that he is concerned that abandoned property in Wilton discourages business because it gives the town a negative look. He returned to the board last week with a Searsport ordinance he thought Wilton could draw from. It would seek to have property owners notify the town when the property becomes abandoned and provide contact information so the code enforcement officer can reach the owner if any problems with the property arise.

Winslow passed a similar ordinance in September. According to the Winslow ordinance, owners of vacant and abandoned buildings are required to register with the town, pay a $250 fee and provide the property manager’s contact information. Since the ordinance was enacted only two property owners have registered with the town as of February.

Town Manager Rhonda Irish said Wilton does not have any ordinances about abandoned properties.

Any form of an amendment would not be put before residents for approval until the 2017 Town Meeting, Irish said, because the town’s 2016 warrant is set to be signed in May and a draft amendment to the property ordinance would not be completed by then.


However, a related issue about the town’s code enforcement officer position will come before residents at this year’s Town Meeting on June 20.

According to meeting minutes, selectmen last week said the town’s existing ordinances already are difficult to enforce because the code enforcement officer doesn’t have the time.

With the town’s current and only part-time code enforcement officer retiring June 31, residents at Town Meeting this year will be asked to approve increasing the hours for the position from a range of eight to 12 hours per week to 20 hours per week.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate


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