Wilton reacts to MACC situation; officials to examine needs

WILTON – On Jan. 14, the Select Board signed a three-year extension of their current contract with Milford Area Communications Center. However, recent events in Milford prompted them to authorize Town Administrator Paul Branscombe to “begin contacting communications providers and to determine our needs.”

The Board was joined by Fire Chief Jim Cutler, Police Chief Eric Olesen, Ambulance Director Steve Desrosiers, and Emergency Management Director David Boissonnault. They agreed something needed to be done soon.

Select Board Chair Kellie-Sue Boissonnault reported on her recent visit with the MACC board of directors.

“Milford intends to go it alone,” she said, adding that they have proposed a warrant article to buy new equipment. “We and Mont Vernon and Lyndeborough need to look forward.”

Wilton and Mont Vernon have seats on the board of directors. Lyndeborough has “client” status and recently signed a one-year contract.

She said the Milford members had assured her they were not taking this step, and then went ahead.

“It was like a slap in the face,” she said.

Cutler agreed, and said Branscombe “should start the ball rolling, find out what the town needs, where we will go.”

Since Milford has continually refused to upgrade the system’s equipment, he said, “eventually it’ll die. You have to do something.”

Olesen said, “This had been going on for as long as I can remember. This needs to be addressed yesterday, not tomorrow. They (Milford) need to stop playing politics. If there is an emergency and we can’t get there because we can’t communicate” there will be lot bigger problems. “Somebody has to hear us and answer.”

It was agreed that there were “dead spots” where radios don’t work, “There always have been.” But MACC has not recently addressed those spots, although suggestions have been made as to how to solve them.

Desrosiers added, “It is important to talk to somebody today.” He said the problems existed when he worked in Milford.

David Boissonnault said, “We are here as a group because of our concerns.”

They agreed that Milford would have many problems “going it alone” in addition to the several million dollars needed for new equipment, even if the warrant article is approved by the voters in March.

The Board agreed unanimously for Branscombe to begin the process of finding a new communications carrier.