Wilton held its annual Town Meeting outside on Monday, August 17, following the state’s CDC guidelines by spacing chairs six feet apart, requiring face coverings and providing audio for residents who preferred to vote from their vehicles. Andrea Swiedom/Franklin Journal

WILTON — Fifty-one Wilton residents participated in Monday evening’s annual Town Meeting which was held outside in LEAP’s parking lot at 128 Weld Road.

Residents voted on and passed the warrant’s 59 articles which included an ordinance amendment, two new ordinances, zoning changes and budget items for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

Article 2 asked the Town to amend the Wilton Zoning Ordinance to include Section 5.27 Energy/Transportation Conduits (ETC) which places restrictions on conduit lines to further protect private properties, ecosystems and the Varnum Pond Watershed Overlay district.

During the discussion of Article 2, an attorney representing Central Maine Power Company tried to speak, but residents opposed her contribution.

Residents discussed the Ordinance to Regulate Use of Exploding Targets, before approving the article.

Wilton resident Bill Bennett who opposed the ordinance said, “These binary explosives are relatively safe and there are strict rules for their use.”

Jan Collins added to the discussion by saying that the noise from explosive targets often detonated on Route 2, reaches her property on 83 McLaughlin Road.

“It’s a huge noise issue, it echoes all over the place,” Collins said.

All 59 warrant articles were passed by voters on Monday, August 17, at Wilton’s annual Town Meeting. Voters had the option to either remain in their cars and wave their pink voting cards out their windows, or sit in socially distanced rows with face coverings.  Andrea Swiedom/Franklin Journal

Voters approved the planning board’s Adult Use and Medical Marijuana Stores, Cultivation Facilities, Manufacturing Facilities, and Testing Facilities Ordinance.

Resident Nancy Allen asked if the ordinance addressed the smell of marijuana operations. Code Enforcement Officer Charlie Lavin read through the ordinance’s section that gave the planning board the authority to refer a marijuana operation to the select board if the smell is not mitigated.

All budget articles were approved by voters.

A resident asked why the police department budget increased by over $4,000. Wilton police Chief Heidi Wilcox informed voters that the budget increased due to the cost of employee benefits going up, software updates and that the department is now paying for its own internet.

Article 22 listed two different recommended amounts by the select board and by the finance committee for the highway department.  Voters approved the finance committee’s greater amount of $963,750.

Voters also approved the higher amounts recommended by the finance committee for Article 31, the recreation program and Article 32, parks and facilities.

Maggy Wyckoff who has been a Wilton resident since 1993, was particularly interested in supporting the library budget and motioned for the higher proposed amount of $122,250, which voters approved.

Article 35 was amended before voters approved it so that the proposed funding for the Franklin Chamber of Commerce decreased by $1,000. The funding was lessened to reflect Wilton’s canceled Blueberry Festival due to COVID-19. Voters approved $1,500 to be raised and appropriated for the Chamber of Commerce.

Wilton’s budget included new funding for the Greater Franklin Development Council, Western Maine Transportation, Seniors Plus and New Beginnings. Selectpersons Tom Saviello and Tiffany Maiuri informed residents that these organizations are typically supported by the Franklin County budget, which did not appropriate any funding for them this year.

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