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Abatement OK’d for Local Shares

WILTON – At their regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 2, the Board of Selectmen agreed to abate the school portion of the town property tax bill for Local Shares. The store/coffee shop on Main Street is owned by Plowshare Farm in Greenfield, a residence for developmentally impaired adults. It is a registered non-profit with 501( c) 3 standing.

The business occupies 2/3 of the building which was long known as The Color Shop. The store offers items and crafts made by the residents at Plowshare Farm as well as coffee and cookies.

Executive Director Kimberley Dorn presented the request. “We provide work for people, what they can do,” she said.

Selectman Chair Kermit Williams said, “It is a great place for giving people a chance to work. It is more than symbolic; it is a sense of making a difference.”

“We try to be part of the neighborhood,” Dorn said. They take part in Main Street events such as Summerfest.

The board agreed to abate about $1500. “We will need a written agreement,” Williams said.

They will work with the town office to complete the paperwork.

In other business on Monday, the board received a request from TDS to release at least part of their stormwater bond created in 2020.

Town Administrator Nick Germain said he had visited the site, “Their rain garden (between their new building and Stony Brook) is working well.”

Selectman Matt Fish said, “They did a great job.”

Williams, however, asked for a complete report, more detailed information, “get some sort of closure. Then we can release the whole bond.”

The board received “a whole stack of proposals” for updating the town’s telephone service. The board will review them and talk with staff members to determine what is needed. Williams will do a technical analysis. A decision may be made at the next meeting.

Germain said the committee studying a new facility for the Public Works Department “has been looking at potential site,” town owned properties as well as suitable sites currently for sale.

Fish said, “All the sites have issues. The committee is doing the required leg work for us.”

Williams said, “We need to decide what we want. Do we continue to use the current facility? We need a consultant to do an analysis. I can’t see us just picking one.”

When, or if, a site and design are chosen, it would be a bond, Williams said, with projected costs “in the millions” if a property has to be purchased. Nothing will be done until next town meeting.

Committee Member Deb Mortvedt said, “We need citizen education, why we need this facility.” Selectman DJ Garcia said, “They’ve been made aware of how poor the present (facility) is.”

Germain reported work is proceeding on both King Brook and Old County Farm Bridges. It was agreed that federal money would be used on Old County Farm for engineering costs.

Fire Chief Don Nourse was authorized to purchase new reporting software.

Thanks was extended to members of the Highway Department for “working through all of that heat last week.”

The next regular meeting of the board was set for Monday, Aug. 15, 6 p.m., in the Town Hall Courtroom.

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