Wilton Select Board modifies Duty Policy

WILTON – In their ongoing effort to improve their relationship with Town Treasurer William Chalmers, members of the Select Board on Dec. 10 adopted a modified version of the town’s Financial Duty Policy. The new wording is based on the state RSAs description of the duties of the Treasurer and the Board of Selectmen relating to banking and transfers of funds.

Chalmers objected to the board holding a discussion of changes and left the meeting. Earlier in the meeting, he had accepted full responsibility for a transfer of funds that had not been processed in a timely fashion by the bank.

Chairman Kellie-Sue Boissonnault said the matter had to be settled because “all we are getting is drama, drama, drama.” She added, “The accounts are not owned by the treasurer.”

Town Administrator Paul Branscome will prepare a letter to Chalmers.

The board decided changes to the Investment Policy required more work on wording.

In other business, Boissonnault said the owner of Nelson’s Candies has a potential buyer for the building and Nelson wanted clarification on the repair of the basement wall, the extension of a former bowling alley under the sidewalk, which dates to 1913.

The wall was apparently damaged by reconstruction of Main Street about 10 years ago and water is seeping into the cellar. It was examined by the town earlier this year, several options were presented, but no action was taken.

“We need a final fix, so it won’t keep coming back,” Boissonnault said.

Selectman Kermit Williams said the ownership has to be determined, who actually owns the sidewalks and the space under it.

The question will be discussed with town counsel, repair options looked at, and then an offer made to Nelson.

Filling the post of Director of Public Works was discussed, with Williams suggesting they return to a Road Agent and a separate manager of the Recycling Center.

Branscombe said he had a person in mind for the transfer station whom he would bring forward next week. Interim DPW Director Brian Adams, who previously served as Road Agent, might be willing to assume that post, but did not want the director’s position.

Selectman Matt Fish again raised the issue of commercial and industrial development along the two state highways, Routes 31 and 101, and the need to lower the tax rate. “We need a committee to review the commercial and industrial buildings and kick-start growth. In the 18 years I’ve been on the Planning Board, there have been no new commercial buildings.”

Williams agreed the zoning restrictions on the industrial-zoned section of Route 101 was “aggressive,” discourages development, and has been for sale for 20 years.

Fish said, “We need to be more pro-business.”

Williams agreed but said most people “don’t want another 101A out there.” Changes to the zoning are a Planning Board function, he added. “Wilton has chosen a high level of service, and that costs money.”