Garwin Falls parking issue continues; meeting scheduled

WILTON – There will be new rules for parking at all the town’s four cemeteries. The “No Parking” signs along Isaac Frye and adjoining roads will read “No Parking Between Signs” and add more distance. The Horseshoe area will be included in the higher fines and the parking restrictions.

But all of that will require another public hearing once the new ordinances are written. But maybe what is needed is an overall plan, officials said.

About 35 residents attended an hour-long public hearing held by the Select Board on Monday to discuss the on-going parking problems at Garwins Falls plus people parking at Vale End Cemetery, and, in some cases, in the cemetery disrupting those who were legitimately visiting there.

But, Tom Schultz suggested, “maybe it needs a management plan.” He is not directly affected – yet, he said, and as a Water Commissioner sort of involved. “This has been an open area for people for over 100 years and has always attracted people. Thanks to the Internet, more will come, and all the ordinances won’t stop them. We have to view this as a thing to manage. It’s not a good idea to park in the cemetery.”

Sara Spittel called the trash “appalling. I go there regularly and pick up trash. Dirty diapers are gross.” She called it a safety issue and asked if “we have the authority to call Mac Base.” (The police communications center.

She was assured that she did.

Felice Fullam asked, “Isn’t a cemetery a sacred place? There is no respect.”

Several residents said people were parking in their driveways, but few asked permission.

Police Chief Eric Olesen said he could do little about the cemetery “because it isn’t posted.” Putting the “No Parking Between Signs” up would help since many of the No Parking signs have been removed.

Several said conditions at The Horseshoe, located off Burns Hill road and also a private area, have improved since “police began cracking down.” There is still a parking problem, however.

Asked why cars weren’t being towed as approved, Olesen said his officers were “already being accosted over tickets. I’m trying to do this as diplomatically as possible.”

Some said towing would “give Wilton a bad name.”

Others said they didn’t care if these “people never came back.”

Wording for the proposed new ordinances will be crafted and another hearing held at the next board meeting on Aug. 27. The regulations, many said, need to be “more broad based.”