Energy audit report accepted

WILTON – The Board of Selectmen have accepted the draft report of an energy audit done of the Town Hall and the Town Hall Theater.

The report, dated Dec. 7, was prepared by Margaret Dillon of Sustainable Energy Education Demonstration Services and presented to the board on Monday, Dec. 15.

The audit, requested by the town’s Energy Committee last fall, was mostly paid for by a grant.

The board decided to “do the first part” of the suggested upgrades and prepare a warrant article for other work. They voted to “support the proposal as presented,” although no dollar amounts are included.

The board said they will look into whatever funds and rebates are available for such projects including a program offered by Public Service Company of New Hampshire.

The 45-page report is filled with pictures, charts and graphs covering every aspect of the Town Hall from cellar to attic.

The purpose of the study was to “identify energy conservation measures to reduce next consumption, while considering occupant comfort and building performance consistent with its uses.”

The report will be used to develop energy saving measures for the future building improvements, to include energy efficient means into any renovations. All of the suggestions are estimates, with the notation: “energy models are always wrong, but some can be useful.”

Suggestions include minor things like adding weather stripping to major projects such as changing the heating system to a pellet burner, installing carbon monoxide alarms, sealing basement windows and re-installing a downspout on the west side of the building.

The study looked at heating and cooling systems and heat loss; lights and appliance use and the electrical system; and moisture management.

The town hall was built between 1883 and 1885, set into the bank, and is mostly of brick and granite. The slate roof is supported by 12-inch thick brick walls.

The lower level, which is accessible from Main Street, originally had a dining room and kitchen. The end now occupied by the selectmen’s office was a bay for the fire truck, later the ambulance. The meeting room is still referred to as “The Court Room” because the municipal court met there for many years.

Several times prior to 1951 and the construction of the new part of the elementary school, classes were held in what is now the smaller theater.

The Police Department, formerly in one end, left a concrete block cell in the northeast corner.

The upper level, opening on Maple Street, was the town meeting place from 1883 until the 1950s, but was always used as a theater and for live performances of many kinds.