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Town needs $75K for new stormwater plan

WILTON — The initial proposed budget for the Highway Department is up more than 24 percent for the coming year, up from $399,767 in 2013 to $497,184, an increase of $97,417.

The majority of the increase is due to a large jump in the town’s budget for stormwater runoff plans. In 2013, the budget for stormwater plans was $10,000: This year, it took a 650 percent jump, with a proposed budget of $75,000.

According to Dawn Tuormala of Monadnock Survey Inc. in Wilton, who is spearheading the plan, $75,000 will cover a lot of initial work to gain compliance with a federal mandate to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act. In February, the EPA revised its draft Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit, requiring 60 communities — including Wilton — to comply with updated stormwater management guidelines.

The $75,000 will pay for multiple plans and some of the paperwork processes to get a stormwater management plan in place for Wilton, said Tuormala, but will only start the process. Wilton will likely be asking for funds to continue developing the plan in years to come. “It will be ongoing for the foreseeable future,” said Tuormala.

The line item for part-time employees in the Highway Department budget also took a big jump, more than 175 percent, going from $9,000 in 2013 to a proposed $25,000 for the coming year. According to the Select Board’s Administrative Assistant Pam Atwood, the fund is intended to be a contingency if the town is required to remove snow. Several of the lots the town has used for snow removal in the past are no longer available, she said, and the town may have to contract services snow removal.

Resurfacing roads in town will continue this year. The budget for the coming year is proposed at $384,500, a 1.8 percent increase.

The cemeteries’ budget is down by 34 percent; it was $41,016 in 2013, but is now proposed at $27,016. The majority of the decrease is in the line items for contract services, proposed at $2,000, a 90 percent decrease, and new equipment, which dropped 80 percent to $500. Parks and Recreation is also down, from $17,141 to $16,850, a 1.7 percent decrease.

The Recycling Center budget is up 4.2 percent, from $510,429 in 2013 to a proposed $532,009, a $21,500 increase.

Following the Select Board’s review of these budgets, they were presented to the Budget Committee for review. The Budget Committee will hold a public hearing on the total proposed budget on Feb. 4.

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