WILTON — The Select Board voted on Tuesday, Feb. 2, to proceed with Maine Rural Water’s feasibility study to assess the possibility of combining the North Jay and Wilton water districts.

“That’s going to take two to four months and it’s going to be about $4,000 to $6,000 dollars,” Water and Sewer Department Superintendent Heinz Gossman said.

The town has secured a grant that will pay 50% of the study’s cost and the remainder will be split between North Jay and Wilton.

“So we’re looking at putting in $1,000 to $1,500 and that does not mandate that we have to go forward with this,” Gossman said. “It is just a feasibility study just to see how things can go.” 

Wilton may also consider a contract agreement with North Jay to monitor water meters since the town’s operator, Mark Wells is retiring in June.

The board also approved the water department’s budget and revenues at $566,630.

Code Enforcement Officer Charlie Lavin presented a year-end report of fees collected from issued permits. In 2020, 95 use and building permits were issued and $2,838.99 were collected in fees which compares to 100 permits issued in 2019 and $2,467.59 collected in fees.

Lavin said that single-family home permits saw an increase last year while the number of permits issued for mobile homes, garages, expansions and farms remained relatively the same as 2019’s issued permits.

The Select Board issued five medical marijuana cultivation licenses and one medical caregiver retail license in 2020 and the town collected a total of $2,500 from marijuana licenses.

Lavin said permit and licensing fees may need to be reevaluated in the future.

“All of the fees for building permits, for plumbing permits or the marijuana really don’t quite cover what you’re paying me so that’s maybe a justification for the marijuana fees that we have,” Lavin said. “If you wanted to rescale things, I suppose we could.” 

Lavin’s annual salary in 2019 was $12,705.

The board approved the Wilton Free Public Library year-end report presented by Director Jennifer Scott who said that the library is continuing with online story times and distributing take-home activities.

During the manager’s report, Rhonda Irish informed the board that in order to move forward with developing an ATV route through Wilton, the ATV club must initiate the request with the Department of Transportation (DOT). The request would need to be accompanied by a letter of support from the select board.

Several board members expressed their preference to hold a public hearing prior to submitting a letter of support.

Irish said that the broadband committee is collecting surveys from residents to assess their current internet accessibility, what they would like to see improved and what they would be willing to pay for upgrades.

Responses will be forwarded to the Greater Franklin Development Council which is spearheading a county-wide broadband initiative.

The link to the survey is available on the town’s website and Facebook page, or residents can fill out a physical survey at the town office.

Irish announced that the budget committee needs to fill two of its ten seats. Those interested should contact the town office by calling 645-4961.

 

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