WILTON — Town Manager Perry Ellsworth raised concerns at the Wilton Select Board’s Tuesday, Sept. 20, meeting about a request from the Franklin County Commissioners.

The county is asking that Wilton send in advance how much money they want from interlocal agreements with Washington and Perkins townships.

Sept. 6, the Select Board approved two agreements that provide Washington and Perkins townships with fire and solid-waste disposal services from the town of Wilton.

In exchange, the county is giving the town $1,875 for the former agreement and $4,055 for the latter.

Ellsworth had previously raised concerns about the solid-waste agreement amid rising costs of fuel and hauling the waste.

“We’re not making any money on this,” Ellsworth had told the board Sept. 6. “But I think you need to sign it, it’s the best we can do because it’s the best that we asked for.”


Now, the county commissioners are requesting the board for the numbers for next year’s agreement by Oct. 13 or 14.

In an interview, Ellsworth said this is a difficult ask because it’s hard to anticipate what costs will be in the future amid rising inflation, fuel surcharges, etc.

“We haven’t had an increase I don’t think for a period of time. Inflation has taken place especially in the last couple of years,” Ellsworth told the board Sept. 20. “We definitely need to put something is a placeholder but I don’t know how I substantiate what it is.

“We don’t know what the cost is going to be for getting rid of solid waste, which is the bigger contract of the two.”

Ellsworth told the board this year’s agreement is already not substantial enough to cover the town’s budget.

“We’re going to be short of money this year just to meet that budget, again,” Ellsworth said.


In an interview, Ellsworth said the unpredictable future of the economy makes it “way, way too soon to be coming up with numbers.”

“Is inflation going to curb or we’re going to be in a recession? God only knows,” Ellsworth said.

During the meeting, Selectperson Keith Swett asked “if we can’t come up with numbers that we’re not losing money, is there a possibility we can say we don’t want to take either contract and they can figure out something else at the county level?”

Ellsworth said there is a way, “but that would be biting our nose off to spite our face, in a fashion.”

“I did find out that … if we gave a number that if things changed that we could have before and can now go back and ask for more money out of their contingency fund. We would just have to substantiate it as to why,” Ellsworth explained.

Ellsworth also told the board that a recent meeting with Franklin County Administrator Amy Bernard has “sparked some interest in change.”


At that meeting, Ellsworth and other town managers raised concerns about the allocation of county services.

At the Select Board’s Sept. 6 meeting, selectpersons discussed concerns about how the Franklin County Commissioners are dividing up the county budget between the towns and unorganized territories, as well as how services are being allocated across the county.

For example, Ellsworth said currently Wilton, Farmington, Carrabassett Valley, Jay and Rangeley pay 55% of the county budget and the unorganized territories account for 6% of the budget which is funded by the state.

But, he had said, Wilton is not always seeing the services the town is funding.

Ellsworth said Wilton does not see much patrolling or services from the Franklin County Sheriff’s department.

Selectperson Tiffany Maiuri had added there were certain discrepancies in the valuation of unorganized territories versus municipalities.


What a town owes to the county budget is based on its valuation.

“It’s time the county stepped up to the plate because we provide all of the services [for unorganized territories],” Ellsworth told the board Sept. 6. “I fought this battle a little bit before when I was in Rangeley [as town manager] and I’m ready to fight it again.”

At the most recent meeting, Ellsworth said he’s hopeful Wilton can see some change in its relationship with the county.

He explained town managers will be meeting with the Franklin County Sheriff in the future.

“I think there’s gonna be some real good coming out of this,” Ellsworth said. “They’re going hear more this year on the [county] budget committee probably than they have in the past.”

And soon enough, Ellsworth said, there will be five county commissioners in Franklin County.

“There’s a chance to start molding stuff here for in the future to make it better for all the towns and not not take a lot away from the unorganized territories at the same time,” Ellsworth said. “So there’s some working partnerships that are already starting to gel a little bit.”

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