WILTON — The Select Board reviewed final draft plans for a revitalization project aimed at sprucing up several street amenities within downtown Wilton.

The project, which began conceptually with the downtown plan completed in 2011, is slated to start in late summer and will be funded by a $400,000 grant from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, which the town received last year.

Board members reviewed the plans for the project at their meeting Tuesday night and were pleased with the improvements the plan included.

“All and all, I am very happy with the plan,” said chairwoman Tiffany Maiuri.

Travis Pryor, of Wright and Pierce Engineers, the firm that drafted the plans, presented renderings of the improvements to the board and explained how the changes would benefit the aesthetics and walkability of the downtown area.

The revitalization project will include upgrades to street amenities starting from the monument area at one end of Main Street and will span to the Wilton Free Public Library, located at the other end of downtown.

Included in the project plans are sidewalk improvements, new LED street lights, the rehabilitation of a parking lot on High Street, crosswalk improvements, and the addition of several bump outs on some of the sidewalk areas aimed at making it safer for pedestrianization to cross traffic.

The plans include extending the sidewalk near Bradley’s Pizza out closer to the monument, closing a 75-foot paved area to a 30-foot wide area. While selectmen were concerned the extended sidewalk would cause problems with plowing in the winter, they agreed that something needed to be done in that area to make it safer for pedestrians to cross from the sidewalk to the monument.

On the other end of Main Street, the sidewalk will be extended from the shops to the library to allow downtown pedestrians to safely walk to the library. A new crosswalk will also be added so pedestrians can cross from the Food City area of Main Street to the newly extended sidewalk by the library’s entrance.

New street amenities such as trash bins, benches and bike racks may also be added if funding allows.

Plans for the project will go out to bid in June for about three weeks, with the goal of having the project under contract by August so work can be started later that month. The project is slated to be completed by early November.

In addition to the town planned developments, the Wilton Free Public Library will also be seeing some outdoor improvements. Monday night the library was chosen to receive a $1,000 grant from Making Headway in Your Community, a community engagement and development program that works with rural towns to foster small improvement projects. The grant will go toward the first phase of improvements to the library’s outdoor space along the Wilson Stream.

The library will use the $1,000 to begin installing a fence along the stream side of the library’s property to make it a safer outdoor area for library patrons and the community to gather.

The grant was awarded by popular vote at a Making Headway in Your Community event at Calzolaio’s Pasta Company on Monday night. About 25 Wilton residents gathered for the event to choose a project that would receive the $1,000 grant. Among the other project pitches were improvements to a pocket park in downtown and the installation of signage directing U.S. Route 2 travelers to Wilson Lake.

The library fence will be completed over the summer. Once the project is finished, Making Headway in Your Community organizers will return for a celebration marking the completion of the community project.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate

 

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