With town covering emergency costs, Wilton fireworks go on; selectmen ask for better communication

WILTON – Summerfest, to be held on Saturday, will end with a fireworks display on Carnival Hill as planned, and the town will cover the costs of emergency services required by the Main Street Association event.

The Board of Selectmen held a special meeting Monday to discuss concerns about the event expressed by Police Chief Brent Hautanen.

At the close of the almost hour-long discussion, selectmen voted to support the effort in any way possible and said town departments were to provide needed services with the expectation that any overages in their budgets would be handled by the selectmen at the end of the year.

After hearing the projected costs for added police officers and having an ambulance at the site, Main Street Association President David McBee said the group did not have the necessary funds and questioned whether the display should be postponed until next year.

Selectman Chairman Bill Condra noted that the town’s contribution to the Main Street Association had been cut by $5,000 this year, which would have covered the costs.

Hautanen said to cover the perhaps 700 people that could attend, he would need at least five officers, at a cost of $2,000.

Ambulance Director Gary Zirpolo said it would be $450 for the on-call people who would staff the ambulance.

Fire Chief Ray Dick said, “We’re all volunteers and will be there anyway,” adding there would be two fire trucks, one at the top of the hill and one in the parking lot.

The other major concern was parking and Hautanen said he would post “no parking” signs along Whiting Hill Road in order to keep the narrow road open for emergencies.

Use of Carnival Hill is complicated by the fact that it is located in three towns, almost half of it in Milford and the eastern part in Lyndeborough. Hautanen said he spoke with the Milford chief and it will be handled under mutual aid. He will also talk with Lyndeborough about their portion of Whiting Hill Road.

All three selectmen expressed support for the Main Street Association and said they fully appreciated all that they are doing. However, they hoped there would be better communication with town services in the future.

Condra said, “I look forward to more events.”