Wilton seeks volunteers to research new highway facility possibilities

  • Wilton Town Hall Ashley Saari

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/12/2022 12:29:21 PM
Modified: 1/12/2022 12:28:35 PM

Wilton is seeking volunteers for a new advisory committee to address the need for a new highway facility.

During its Dec. 27 meeting, the Wilton Select Board voted to establish the committee, with the purpose of investigating and advising the board on the creation of a new highway facility, including where it should be located and the building’s needs. Selectman Kermit Williams said Tuesday that the current cinderblock building on Whiting Hill Road was built in the 1950s, and has several limitations. It has only a small amount of office space, which is heated by a wood stove and space heaters, as the building has little insulation and no heating system. 

“On a day like today, when it gets below zero, it gets very cold,” Williams said.

Also, Williams said the garage bays are undersized for modern highway vehicles.

“The size of the bays limits the kinds of equipment you can get in, and some of it has to stay outside full-time,” Williams said. “Which is not good for the long-term viability of the vehicles and can lead to rust and other issues.”

Williams said a new highway garage has been a talking point for a number of years, and the committee is a way to come up with some concrete plans for a replacement, but there is no expectation that a plan would be put before voters before 2023, and perhaps not even then.

“This is likely a number of years down the road,” Williams said. “People have thrown out ideas, but we’re nowhere close to a firm concept.”

The town has been contributing to a capital reserve fund for a replacement highway garage for a number of years, Williams said. It currently has a starting fund of about $225,000, which could pay for architectural designs or the purchase of land for a new garage, but Wilton would likely take out a bond for the majority of the cost of constructing a new building. 

The committee is expected to consist of seven members, including town staff and a representative of the Select Board. The committee is expected to meet at least once a month, and will include visiting potential sites for a new facility. 

Anyone interested in joining the committee can contact Town Administrator Nick Germain by calling Town Hall or contacting wiltonta@wiltonnh.gov or adminassist@wiltonnh.gov by Jan. 31.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.


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