Select board eyes policies and bridge repair work

WILTON – The Select Board touched on a wide variety of topics at their lengthy – almost four hours – meeting on Aug. 5. Subjects ranged from bridge repair to adopting policies.

It wasn’t on the agenda, but during the Public Comment portion, resident Chris Balch read his opposition to a proposed asphalt processing plant into the record. Several dozen people had come to support him, and several others also spoke.

Board members didn’t comment. The question is currently before the Zoning Board. Quinn Brothers have requested a variance from the town’s building height requirement. Any other questions must go before the Planning Board if the variance is granted later this month.

The Board accepted the donation of a “Choking Device Trainer” from resident Stasia Millett; appointed Peter Howd to the Conservation Commission and will invite the Water Commissioners to meet with them on Aug. 26 to discuss an agreement with Quinn Brothers.

Engineer Kevin Anderson provided an update on work on Old County Farm Bridge. He presented several proposals for the repair of the collapsed retaining wall, and asked, “Is this the direction the town wants to go?”

He said he is willing “to get all the numbers and come back next month,” but said he “wants to be sure we are all on the same page.

Board Chairman Kermit Williams said, “Our goal is to make a safe and sturdy repair but not spend an inordinate amount of money.”

Anderson will obtain figures.

A hydrologic study of the New Reservoir Dam was presented. The state is concerned about damage downstream if the dam were breached, the effects on Mill Brook and Stoney Brook.

It was agreed that removing the dam “is not a good option” considering the aesthetics, its use for recreation, use as a fire pond, and the ecology. Draining the pond would leave “an ugly mud flat.”

The board will discuss the options further.

After some discussion, the board postponed a decision on a Special Events permit.

Williams said he was not in favor of the idea “as presented. I am wary of government interference. I’d like to see something a lot less complete.” He added, “I understand what we are trying to control, (block parties suggested the permit) but are we in a position to enforce the rules? We want to control Woodstock but not control picnics.”

Selectman Matt Fish said events such as Summerfest need a plan.

Williams said any use of town land must be approved.

The board will hold a joint session with Milford and Mont Vernon Selectmen on Aug. 12 to discuss communications. The next regular meeting of the board will be on Aug. 19, 6 p.m.