Town Hall access ramp plans modified

Selectmen discuss Wilton municipal building entrance

WILTON – Redesigning the Main Street entrance to the town offices was again discussed by select­men on Monday, Sept. 12.

Architect Alison Melt­zer presented some mod­ifications to an earlier plan. Since the improve­ments are expected to cost more than the $9,000 ap­proved by voters at Town Meeting, another warrant article will be proposed for the next meeting in March when a plan has been prepared.

An alternate idea was also proposed by Public Works Director Steve El­liott. It might be cheaper and easier, he said, to modify the back entrance to the Town Hall Theatre on Maple Street and in­stall some type of eleva­tor. Town Administrator Scott Butcher said he would check on costs and feasibility.

The original plan last spring called for creating a level landing at the en­trance on Main Street and extending the ramp along the front of the building. Concerns were raised about ice sliding from the roof, which could require a roofed walkway.

Currently, the area in front of the door slopes to the street to facilitate wheelchair access to the interior ramp, but it does not meet ADA codes. The warrant article included a needed automatic door opener. Since the hall is on the National Register of Historic Places, some accommodations can be made.

The new plan would in­clude the level landing, moving the crosswalk to the east, changing curb cuts and constructing the access ramp into the first parking spaces, with the lowest of the Town Hall steps incorporated into the plan. An island between the parking area and the steps would be removed.

With the realignment of the crosswalk and reduc­ing each parking space from 22-20 feet, Meltzer said the number of park­ing spaces shouldn’t be reduced.

Selectman Dan Dono­van said he wondered if the wording of the warrant article, which removes $5,000 from the Town Hall Renovation Fund, could be used for the plan, since it was originally intended for the new door. Select­men will consult with town counsel.

If the use is approved, Meltzer will move ahead with planning the modi­fied renovations.