Most of fence on Sand Hill Road near reservoir will be moved

WILTON – Most of the much discussed fence along Sand Hill Road by the New Reservoir will be moved to the Recycling Center, which needs a new fence along the river. Road Agent Brian Adams will decide the best way to make the move. Twenty feet of the fence, near the dam and dry hydrant will remain in place.

Before addressing the topic at their regular meeting on Monday, April 1, Select Board Chairman Kermit Williams listed “three facts.” First, based on the state RSAs, “swimming is allowed at the reservoir. Any pond over ten acres belongs to the state.”

Second, he said, the often-cited vote at last year’s town meeting “was to not spend $20,000 on proposed development plan. Therefore, we couldn’t spend any. We are now on a new budget.”

Third was the question of liability, would the town be liable if somebody should drown or get hurt. “The RSAs exclude landowners who allow people to use their property at no charge.” That was also checked with the town’s insurance carrier.

Selectman Matt Fish suggested leaving part of the fence, perhaps as a way to keep people off the dam. Selectwoman Kellie-Sue Boissonnault suggested cleaning an area that was recently cleared to use for parking, since that is an issue along Sand Hill Road.

No decisions were made except to move the fence.

Prior to the board discussion, several residents addressed the question during the “public comment” portion of the meeting.

Ralph Bushman suggested making the area “for Wilton residents only.” He also questioned “health issues – there are no bathrooms. Where do people go?”

Felice Fullam asked about trash cans, and mentioned Blandings turtles. “They are endangered,” she said, “and they have been spotted there.”

During public comments, the board does not respond, but takes note of them.

Adams said, “I have some one coming to determine the costs of moving the fence.” He was asked to determine costs.

Williams said Adams “could decide what could be done by the highway department and what the town would have to pay for.”