Wilton discusses infrastructure uses for American Rescue Plan funds

  • Wilton Town Hall Staff photo by Ashley Saari

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/9/2021 2:37:39 PM

The Wilton Select Board accepted the first installment of the American Rescue Act Funds Tuesday and discussed several water and sewer line projects the funds could be used for.

During a public hearing Tuesday, the board accepted the $198,334, the first installment of COVID-19 relief funds, with a similar amount expected to be coming to the community next year.

Select Board Chair Kellie-Sue Boissonnault said the board hasn’t decided how the funds will be used. 

During the hearing, representatives from the town’s water and sewer commissions outlined several ongoing or needed projects, and asked the board to consider using the relief funds, as water and sewer infrastructure are two of the uses the funds are allowed to be used for.

Selectman Kermit Williams noted that some of the other uses the funds could be used for – impacts to businesses or the town revenues, or additional pay for first responders, are not a current need for the town.

“I think the only logical place to spend it is on infrastructure,” said Williams, who also serves on the Water and Sewer Commission.

Tom Schultz, a member of the town’s water commission, outlined several projects upcoming for the Water Department, asking the board to consider using the Rescue Act funds to supplement them.

Currently, Schultz said, the Water Department is looking to replace a water line under Route 101. There is a current estimated cost of $53,000 to engineer the water line.

He also suggested the funds could be used to survey for a second wellhead district.

Chris Carter, of the Wilton Sewer Commission, also suggested several projects, including replacing clay pipes on Maple Street and Pine Valley Street, and replacing the Main Street manholes.

Selectman Matt Fish said he would support using the funds for infrastructure projects, and said he would most support projects that affected the “greatest common denominator.” He noted that projects such as the line replacement on Route 101 or the Main Street manhole replacements would effect a large portion of town, but the replacements of clay pipes in a single neighborhood would effect a relatively smaller number.

The board encouraged both the Water and Sewer Commission to present the board with quotes for potential projects by their next meeting for further discussion.

D.J. Garcia, owner of the Wilton House of Pizza also encouraged the town to consider using a portion of funds for local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 virus. Boissonnault encouraged Garcia or other business owners in Wilton who have been impacted by the virus, to present possible uses of the funding prior to the board’s next meeting on Sept. 20.


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