Selectmen talk common interests

WILTON – The Board of Selectmen met jointly with their counterparts in Lyndeborough on July 13 to discuss departments and programs they have in common. During the three hours of friendly discussion, the main topic was the recycling center, but they also covered Goss Park and the ambulance service. Wilton Public Works Director Steve Elliott, Ambulance Director Gary Zirpolo and Goss Park Directors Lisa Davidson and Mike McGonigal were also present.

The two boards agreed to implement a sticker system for the recycling center in an effort to cut down on unauthorized use. The plan will be effective Jan. 1. They also agreed to reactivate a citizen advisory committee made up of residents of the five towns that use the center – Wilton, Lyndeborough, Greenville, Mason and Temple. Since Greenville has indicated it may leave the program, Lyndeborough selectmen wondered how that would affect the operation, and whether Wilton had a long-range plan. Selectman Dan Donovan said most of the center’s costs are fixed and won’t go down, but with "less use, there is less material to truck away." Wilton also pays for ongoing environmental tests, the monitoring wells around the old landfill. So far, there has been no problem. But if it should ever need to be capped, it will cost a great deal of money and would probably have to bonded. Money that various towns had put toward a possible cap has been used at the center, reducing assessments.

Selectmen told Zirpolo that they were "very satisfied with the ambulance service." Support for the service, which is a Wilton department for insurance reasons, is 55 percent from Wilton, 25 percent from Lyndeborough and 20 percent from Temple. Lyndeborough Selectman Lee Mayhew asked Zirpolo about future plans for the service and the ambulance building, which is owned by the ambulance association, and whether any capital items were coming up. He added, "We are great supporters of the service." Zirpolo said building repairs have been completed except for a firewall between the garage and the main building. All alarms have been upgraded. Most of the work is done by volunteers.

Lyndeborough Selectman Fred Douglas suggested that Zirpolo "prioritize what needs to be done," and Mayhew added, "and present a budget for what you need." Mayhew asked Davidson and McGonigle, "What would happen if we didn’t give you $10,000 per year?" "That would double our prices" for people who come to the park, Davidson said, "and we try to keep our costs down." She said last year there were 103 family subscribers, 28 from Wilton, as well as about 700 daily guests. Residents pay $85 per year, out-of-town residents $100. A day visit costs $3. There is an additional charge for swimming lessons.

Their biggest concerns right now are insurance – they’re high because the facility is private, not townowned – and the need for someone to mow the ballfields. The Wilton Junior Athletic Association has been doing it, but it no longer uses the field. The selectmen agreed to see that the fields are mowed. The two boards also agreed they should get together more often.