WILTON — The Wilton Select Board, along with members of their finance committee, finalized their budget on Monday, May 22, with the town only seeing a four percent increase to the previous year’s budget.

The grand total is $2,817,462 with the budget items coming in at $4,667,462 with $1,850,000 estimated in revenue. The budget items, along with their percentile increase or decrease from the previous year, are as follows:

• Selectboard’s compensation: $9,000 [0%]

• Planning & Code Enforcement: $78,340 [-4.70%]

• General government administration: $443,338 [+37.64%]

• Town office building: $30,000 [+30.43%]


• Revaluation/equalization: $10,000 [0%]

• Assessing services: $43,875 [+10.73%]

• Contingent & legal: $20,000 [+5.26%]

• Insurance: $139,000 [+36.95%]

• Pension & benefits reserve: $19,000 [-53.09%]

• Police Department: $778,916 [+13.15%]


• Fire Department: $238,600 [+3.99%]

• Public safety building: $45,100 [-1.37%]

• NorthStar ambulance: $26,189 [+22.34%

• Streetlights: $29,100 [+3.56%]

• Public fire protection: $206,725 [+18.13%]

• Wilson Lake dam: $10,000 [0%]


• Highway Department: $1,184,650 [+9.01%]

• Capital paving budget: $629,000

• Public Works building: $24,300 [+31.07%]

• Recycling/transfer station: $319,201 [+8.58%]

• Cemeteries: $74,300 [+5.76%]

• Town infrastructure: $2,000 [-50.00%]


• General assistance: $8000 [+25.00%

• Animal control: $19,604 [+9.01%]

• Health officer: $300 [0%]

• Social services & provider agencies: $18,579 [+37.45%]

• Recreation program: $66,550 [-52.26%]

• Parks & facilities: $51,480 [17.07%]


• Wilton Conservation Commission: 365 [0%]

• Wilton Free Public Library: $126,950 [0%]

Notable outliers in the budget are the capital paving budget and the Blueberry Festival. $250,000 will be drawn from undesignated funds to help offset the cost of paving. According to Town Manager Perry Ellsworth, this will be the only item on the budget that will have money drawn from undesignated funds.

As for the Blueberry Festival, the Select Board and the Finance Committee voted to take $15,000 from the TIF account, with the intent from the board being that revenue generated from this year’s Blueberry Festival will go towards next year’s festival.

Other notable changes are in recreation program, which saw a decrease in 52.26% from the previous year due to Parks and Recreation Director Frank Donald stepping down to a part time position, which not only reduces employee compensation, but also employer contributions towards benefits.

General government administration saw a sizeable increase in employee compensation and employer contributions to account for an additional part time staff worker for the town office as well as an increase in pay for the town manager.


Evret Greer of the finance committee took issue with the increase.

“My concern is that we don’t exactly have the revenue to be able to support a raise for the town manager,” he commented.

Greer’s concern stemmed from the size of the town and not having a populous that is big enough to support a raise for the manager.

“From what I can tell that our private sectors are dealing with their personal and private increase, everything we’re facing in increases, I don’t feel as though this is the time to approach that,” he added.

“I’m not staying,” Ellsworth stated. Ellsworth followed this by saying he would go on per diem after the town meeting next month. Ellsworth indicated his departure at their meeting on Monday, May 8, and he suggested the amount for the budget to find a viable replacement while also staying competitive with other towns.

“I’m telling you that if you hire a town manager for less than $85,000 to $90,000, you are making a mistake,” Ellsworth commented. “Your manager will save you money if they know what they’re doing, and it costs money to get someone who knows what they’re doing.”

At the end of the meeting, Ellsworth stated that he would immediately begin writing out the articles and town warrants.

It was indicated, but not confirmed, at their meeting on Monday, May 15, that there was a possibility that the town meeting date would be moved. Selectperson Mike Wells asked at the end of the meeting on May 22 when they will know if the town meeting date will need to be moved.

“By the end of the week,” Ellsworth stated.

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