WILTON — Residents have approved using tax increment financing money to help make loan payments for a town ladder truck and the upgrading of the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Only a handful of residents turned out for a special town meeting Tuesday night before the regularly scheduled selectmen’s meeting. In total, residents appropriated $45,000 from the town’s Comfort Inn and Suites TIF account. The money will go toward a $30,000 payment on a ladder truck owned by the Wilton Fire Department and a $15,000 contribution to debt payments owed on a loan for phase one of the wastewater treatment plant upgrade.

The $15,000 in TIF funding approved Tuesday for wastewater treatment plant debt payments is on top of a $15,000 contribution approved by voters at Town Meeting in June. Town contribution to debt payments owed on the upgrade of the Davis Court treatment plant has been a topic of discussion among town officials since late last year, when selectmen were warned by the Water Department that sewer rates would increase steeply as debt payments on USDA loans used to fund part of the upgrade become due.

Money from the Comfort Inn and Suites TIF account can be used for a range of townwide projects and purposes. At a special town meeting last month, voters approved amending the procedure in which TIF money can be released. Previously, any use of the funding would have to be approved by residents at a special town meeting or the annual Town Meeting in June. Under the amended procedure, selectmen now have the authority to release money from the account at their meetings.

However, the TIF money appropriated Tuesday had to be brought to a special town meeting for approval because the money was going toward debt payments.

In other business, selectmen discussed preparing a plan of action if residents whose wells have dried up because of the current statewide drought come to the town seeking an alternate water source.

Town Manager Rhonda Irish said only one or two residents have approached the towns stating that their wells have dried out; however, selectmen agreed that since there does not seem to be a natural relief to the drought in site, a plan for where residents can get water if they need to should be established.

The board discussed the possibility of opening town-owned fire hydrants for use of their water. Irish said she will talk more with the town’s Water Department, its Fire Department and the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency before bringing options back to selectmen at their Nov. 1 meeting.

Selectmen also voted to accept a bid of $5,650 from Taylor Construction for the demolition of 30 Webb Ave., a home the board deemed a dangerous building in August. The owner of the home, which has been vacant since 2009, failed to meet a 45-day deadline for demolishing the home.

The town will add the cost of the demolition to the property owner’s tax bill. At a public hearing on the home in August, neighbors of the Webb Avenue home expressed frustration in dealing with the problems the vacant and crumbling building caused, such as a strong smell of mold.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate

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