WILTON — The first Wilton Select Board meeting of 2024 began with a brief follow up on Water and Wastewater Superintendent Dalton Plante’s request to move funds into the Water and Sewer Department’s undesignated net principal. During public comment on Tuesday, Jan. 2, Wilton resident Nick Santora asked for clarification on how the previously allocated funds were spent.

At the previous Select Board meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 19, Plante had requested the remaining funds from the budgetary line designated for proper disposal of sludge that is potentially contaminated with harmful forever chemicals, or PFAS, be moved to the undesignated net principal.

The amount that remained was estimated to be $78,000, with the original budgetary line set at $200,000. In a follow up phone interview with the Livermore Falls Advertiser, Plante clarified the funds that were re-allocated in the undesignated net principal were drawn from the department’s own contribution to the budgetary line.

Of the $200,000 that was budgeted for disposal of sludge and compost to a landfill in Madison, half came from the Water and Sewer Department. According to Plante, this was done to soften the blow of a potentially steep rate increase to offset the increased costs of sludge disposal due to PFAS legislation.

That regulation was the topic of some discussion at the previous Select Board meeting, which was followed up in this meeting with Chairperson Tiffany Maiuri answering Santora’s question by stating the matter discussed by the Select Board surrounded the need for an exemption for towns that do not meet the threshold of concern.

“[State Legislature] did not make an exemption for those towns that were non-detectable,” Maiuri stated. “It’s a oversight, in my opinion, and we’ve been trying to address it with our legislators.”


Selectperson Mike Wells followed up by saying he had researched the matter and felt that Wilton and other towns just be exempt of their testing for long-lasting per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals.

“Most of the PFAS comes from places like Fairfield that have mills that feed into the municipal sewer system,” he stated. “Ours doesn’t and so many other towns don’t, so we pay.”

He followed his comments by referencing an amendment during the drafting of LD 1911 to allow sludge derivatives and compost to be used if testing of PFAS chemicals was non-detectable that was added only to be stricken from the draft.

“So what you see is millions and millions of Maine state dollars from communities being sent to waste management or landfill sites unnecessarily,” Wells said. “We’re sending our money to a landfill.”

Wells stated that he would reach out to Maine Municipal Association [MMA] to look into getting a coalition together to fight the legislation.

In other business, Selectperson David Leavitt asked about the follow-up on the tabled application for The HoneyComb Farm. The application was tabled from the previous Select Board meeting over questions if the application fell within the legal boundaries of Wilton’s active moratorium on cannabis applications.

Maiuri stated that it was intended to be followed up at this meeting, but was delayed pending a response from the firm that helped draft the moratorium. According to Wells, they need to speak with the attorney in order to see if the application is allowed.

Town Manager Maria Greeley stated that she had reached out to the attorney, but has not heard back. Maiuri attributed the delayed response to the storm that knocked out power to more than 400,000 in the state mid-December.

Selectperson Keith Swett added that he also asked the attorney about the regular ordinance regarding use permits that may be extended to more than one year if requested. “I asked her to also have that reviewed to see how that falls into play with us,” he stated.

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