Ambulance move still on hold

WILTON – The Select Boards in Lyndeborough and Greenfield are not in agreement with a proposed move of the ambulance service to the Wilton Fire Station. That leaves Wilton, owner of the service, with two options.

“We have two choices,” Board Chairman Kellie-Sue Boissonnault said at the board’s regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 4. “We have to put money (into repairs at the present building) or go ahead with the move.” The estimated $43,000 for upgrades to the present bay, she said, “would get us no return.”

But the other towns are more than customers, Selectman Kermit Williams said. “They need to be treated like partners.”

Service Director Sherry Miller said, “I want to work with them as partners,” and suggested a one-year contract while things are settled. “I have to consider the safety of my crew.”

Boissonnault suggested either moving the service to the fire station while the old bay is repaired, or “moving for a six months’ trial. Those are our options.” She added, “Lyndeborough feels they haven’t been treated as a partner.”

Lyndeborough selectmen have asked that the move be delayed until after town meeting so residents can have a say. Their stated objection to the move is added response time.

Selectman Matt Fish said, “They are concerned about response time, not the money (that would be saved by the move.)”

Town Administrator Paul Branscomb said waiting until town meeting “is the wrong thing to do” because the idea could be voted down, or funds for the service cut.

Boissonnault said, “If we wait for town meeting, we’ll have to fix the present building.”

Fire Chief Don Nourse said the current way of operating “is in the best interest of the towns. Both (Lyndeborough and Greenfield) have first responders. To me, this is a business decision.”

Miller said, “We’re making every effort to keep costs down.”

Williams argued, “We need a new budget before we can make the repairs.”

In the end, the board decided to contact Lyndeborough and Greenfield outlining the options and asking for a response before their next meeting. “We have to be proactive.”

In other business on Monday, the board said they could do nothing about the illegal excavation problem on Isaac Frye Highway until the ZBA makes a determination on Oct. 12. In the meantime, the cease-and-desist order remains in effect.

Fish said the present conditions “are a clear and present danger” and the condition of the driveway needs to be mitigated.

The owner of the property, Isaac Frye Holdings, will be notified of the life/safety issues.

The Economic Development Committee asked that the three properties that comprise One Riverside Drive be declared an Economic Development Zone, a state program that temporarily abates taxes on commercial developments if people are hired. The board agreed.

Resident Tom Schultz asked about the closed bridges in the Davisville section.

Branscomb said the wooden railings for the Stagecoach Road Bridge are on order and there will be a grand re-opening when they are installed.

The Route 31 end of Isaac Frye Highway is awaiting a new culvert, he said. Since it is larger than the standard culvert, the project required state approval.

A Department of Transportation project, upgrading the railroad crossing at the foot of Burns Hill “isn’t in this year’s budget,” Branscomb said. The repaving will involve “a few feet of Burns Hill Road.”

The “Haunting of Wilton” will return on Saturday, Oct. 23, with a variety of town-wide activities.

The premier showing of “Wilton and Lyndeborough – A Shared History” will also take place on Oct. 23 with 12:30 and 2 p.m. showings at the Town Hall Theater. The show is free, but the Heritage Commission will be accepting donations for a high school scholarship fund.

The film is a joint project between Wilton and Lyndeborough Heritage Commissions, originally designed for the fourth grade but was expanded.

Trick-or-Treat hours are as usual: Oct. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m.