WILTON — Wilton resident Michael Hoehne of Temple Road approached the Wilton Select Board on Tuesday, Dec. 6, to discuss his issues with the ATV access road that was approved in April of this year.

The ATV access route connects the Whistle Stop Trail to the Temple trail systems. Starting at Whistle Stop Trail Head on Depot Street, the trail runs down Main Street to Temple Road with additional access to the boat launch via Canal Street.

“On weekends, traffic is easily doubled,” Hoehne said. “And the ATVs contribute quite a lot more noise than the regular cars. This is disturbing to residents who are trying to enjoy the summer and possibly have visitors outdoors and [are] unable to carry on a long-term conversation because of the interruptions, which is pretty much every few minutes.”

The access road first appeared as an agenda item in Nov. 2020. The Western Maine ATV Club submitted a request to the state in Feb. 2021 to approve the access road.

By Mar. 2021, support for the access road had increased with then-Sergeant Ethan Kyes providing a report on the proposed access trail that included feedback from residents, business owners and nearby towns that also have ATV access.

“A lot of people were for the idea of the access route. Overwhelmingly, about 75% was for the access route,” Kyes stated regarding a Facebook post with over 240 comments.


The access road was approved on Apr. 5.

Hoehne specially addressed Vice Chairmen David Leavitt, who is also a resident on Temple Road, and asked him his feeling on the topic.

“I hear them,” Leavitt said. “And for me personally, I would get to a point where I could see, just out of curiosity, how many people are using them. It wasn’t an annoyance.”

Leavitt went on to elaborate on the impact it’s had on local businesses. “But I actually did check in with [Shelly’s Hometown Market] in East Wilton,” He stated. “She said it’s been wonderful.”

Selectperson Tiffany Maiuri added that other businesses felt the same way. “I’ve got a lot of feedback from businesses in town that have been very, very supportive of it,” she commented.

“My main concern here is that this is an accommodation of a private club that inconveniences other neighbors,” Hoenhe stated. “And there are a lot of occasions where private activities get restricted in favor of the greater society.


Also on the agenda for the board was a motion to approve Town Manager Perry Ellsworth as project manager for the upcoming Water Main project. The board voted unanimously to give Ellsworth signatory authority over any documents relating to the project.

Zach Gosselin, Environmental and Resiliency Coordinator AVCOG [Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments], appeared before the board to present the next steps towards applying for Community Action Grants from the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future [GOPIF].

AVCOG announced on Wednesday, Nov. 23, via Facebook their partnership with five towns to assist in their enrollment in the Community Resilience Partnership program. Wilton was listed among those five towns.

“So, my role is to help those five towns enroll in the Community Resilience Partnership, so they are eligible for $50,000, no match grants,” Gosselin stated to the board.

“There are 72 actions that are defined as no match grants for this program,” Gosselin elaborated. “It’s not a climate change focused program, it’s more of a resiliency program building environmental socially economical resilience.”

Gosselin explained there are three steps to enrollment for the program. The first step was Gosselin’s informational meeting, followed by the passing of a resolution.

The third part of the process would be a self-evaluation of town ordinances and reports. A community engagement workshop would also take place, which would allow members of the community to provide feedback and input.

The board voted unanimously in favor of the resolution.

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