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Letter: Wilton Finance Board Opposes Fiber Optic

WILTON, Conn. — The following is a letter written by the Wilton Board of Finance in response to First Selectman Bill Brennan's letter about the town's fiber optic cable project.

At the May 1 annual Town Meeting and the May 5 adjourned Town Meeting, Wilton residents will be asked to vote not only on the town’s 2012-13 operating budget and mill rate, but also on six proposals for the issuance of bonds. We would like to clarify the position of the Board of Finance regarding these projects.

According to the Town Charter, only the Board of Selectmen may propose the issuance of bonds to the Town Meeting. It must, however, refer proposals to the Board of Finance for review at least 15 days before they are due to be considered by the Town Meeting. If the Board of Finance has any objection to a proposal, it must report its reasons to the Town Meeting.

At its April 17 meeting, the Board of Finance voted to endorse five of the proposed projects. These projects involve appropriations and bond issuance for road restoration; acquisition of an engine-tanker fire truck; roof repairs and installation of a generator at the Comstock Community Center; planning, design and construction of renovations and improvements at Ambler Farm; and the planning, design and construction of renovations and improvements to various schools.

The Board of Finance did not, however, endorse the sixth project, which involves the construction of the Wilton shared data link. Instead, it unanimously approved a resolution stating that members did not have sufficient information to endorse the proposed bonding of $1.675 million for the project. Members felt, and continue to feel, that they were lacking information about the tangible benefits of the project, its potential financial impact on the town and the cost/benefit of potential alternatives.

Again, the Board of Finance’s powers are limited to review of bonding proposals. We wanted to be sure that residents who cannot attend the May 1 Town Meeting were informed of the results of our review, and hope this is helpful. As always, we welcome any questions or comments.


The Board of Finance

Al Alper

Gail Lavielle

Jim Meinhold

Andy Pforzheimer

Lynne Vanderslice

Warren Serenbetz

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