Ownership of Wilton ambulance building comes into question

  • Membership towns of the Wilton Ambulance discussed the ownership of the building during a joint meeting Monday night. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/18/2019 2:50:54 PM
Modified: 9/18/2019 2:50:44 PM

Wilton Selectmen brought into question the ownership of the building that houses the ambulance shared between Wilton, Lyndeborough, Temple and Greenfield Monday night. 

Select Boards of the membership towns met Monday night to discuss how they would move forward, after officially paying off the mortgage on the ambulance building, which is located in Wilton.

The building is owned by the Wilton Ambulance Association – or so it was believed until the Wilton Select Board brought that into question on Monday night. The ambulance association has proposed a lease agreement for continued use of the building, which the Wilton Ambulance would pay starting in January of 2020, at the start of the new budget cycle. The ambulance association proposed the first payment would also include six months of back lease payments, to cover the Wilton Ambulance’s use of the building from June, when the mortgage was paid off, to December.

However, Wilton argued that for the last several years at least, mortgage payments weren’t being made by the Association, but through the town of Wilton’s Ambulance budget, which all member towns contribute to. 

Further, Wilton produced research to suggest the original ambulance association was dissolved by the Secretary of State’s office in 2011, after failing to file reports with the state for five years in a row. The association was re-recognized by the state under a new name in 2015, but Wilton Select Board Chairman Kermit Williams argued the current association was a completely new entity.

Even during the period the organization wasn’t recognized as an entity by the state, it continued to operate, making the issue murkier. Temple Selectman Ken Caisse said the ambulance association attempted to revive under its old name and simply re-activate but was advised by the Secretary of State’s office at the time to start fresh.

The association which was dissolved in 2011, under its articles of agreement, should have triggered all of its assets being split by the member towns – at that time, Wilton, Temple and Lyndeborough – based on population, Williams argued. That would have included the ambulance building. 

“The building should now belong to the three towns based on population,” Williams said, arguing that if the Association doesn’t own the building how can it ask the towns pay rent to use it. “I would be very hard-pressed for the towns to pay rent on the building because I don’t believe you own it anymore.”

The boards discussed whether there were other assets owned by the association that also needed to be clarified. Caisse said the Association had bought pieces of equipment to benefit the ambulance but had donated them to the department. 

Williams said even if the building does not belong to the Ambulance Association, the Association would still have a purpose in supporting the department and could continue to operate. 

Who actually owns the building needs to be clarified, members of all the Select Boards said, and agreed to send the matter to legal counsel for advice. 


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