Wilton has cold-weather problems

WILTON – The extended spell of cold weather is causing problems at the town hall.

“There are some issues,” Town Administrator Scott Butcher told the Board of Selectmen on Jan. 2. “There is no heat in the men’s and ladies’ rooms,” although a portable electric heater has been installed.

The heat pumps used to heat the newly renovated north end do not function well in extreme cold, he said. “Some kind of supplemental heat is required.” That area where new offices are located, “gets cold.”

The front lobby, the Main Street entrance with the stairs to the theater, does not have direct heat, and temperatures there are sometimes in the 40s.

The thermostat in the theater needs to be kept at a higher setting, he said, and will discuss this with theater operator Dennis Markaverich.

Butcher also discussed the current steam heat system, a system that is failing and has been under discussion for some years. Voters last year rejected the installation of a pellet furnace for want of more information.

“I’m looking at options and grants,” Butcher said, including discussions with Eversource.

An energy audit resulted in changes in insulation and lighting, but the heating system itself has not been addressed.

The system will be discussed again.

Butcher also said the Public Works Department is coping with the cold and diesel motors that won’t start due partly to an unheated garage.

The department is still without a director and “offered kudus” to temporary director Brian Adams and Water Department Supervisor Michael Bergeron, who is assisting with plowing.

“They are doing a good job,” he said.

Selectmen said they may have to revise the criteria for a director. Currently, a person with an engineering degree is being sought, but that appears to be impractical.