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2014 In Review: Wilton Gets Gas Pipeline, OKs School Repairs

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, second from left, jokes with Wilton First Selectman Bill Brennan, center, after they and other officials signed an 8-inch polyethylene pipe during a press conference Aug. 4 announcing the expansion of Yankee Gas into the town.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, second from left, jokes with Wilton First Selectman Bill Brennan, center, after they and other officials signed an 8-inch polyethylene pipe during a press conference Aug. 4 announcing the expansion of Yankee Gas into the town. Photo Credit: File photo

WILTON, Conn., -- It was a year of accomplishments in Wilton as the town saw the construction of a natural gas pipeline and the approval by town voters a $50 million construction and renovation project for Miller-Driscoll School.

The Yankee Gas project was formally announced during an Aug. 4 ceremony at Wilton Town Hall, with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Yankee Gas executives and town of Wilton officials participating.

“This project started over three years ago and had many challenges to overcome,” Wilton First Selectman Bill Brennan said of the partnership between the utility and the town. “It has evolved into a strong relationship with Yankee Gas -- one that I believe will directly benefit the Town of Wilton, its residents and our business organizations.”

Wilton is the first community in the state to partner with Yankee Gas through Connecticut’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy, which was approved by state regulators last year. The strategy calls for an expansion of the state’s natural gas distribution system to provide more residents and businesses with the opportunity to switch to natural gas.

Brennan said the town will save about $400,000 to $450,000 per year in fuel by switching from oil to natural gas.

The 3.5-mile-long underground pipeline was finished weeks ahead of schedule, with work wrapping up in early November.

Also in 2014, Wilton voters approved a $50 million construction and renovation project for Miller-Driscoll School -- but only by a narrow 27-vote margin -- in a referendum vote on Sept. 27.

Of the 1,931 voters who cast ballots, 979 voted yes while 952 voted no. The town's turnout was only 17 percent of the 11,242 eligible voters in Wilton.

Brennan strongly backed the yes vote and said all of the school's issues would be resolved in one project.

"This proposal is one of the most important projects for Wilton in the last 25 years and was unanimously approved by a highly qualified building committee composed of citizen volunteers," Brennan said.

In a pair of electoral accomplishments, Wilton strongly backed two town residents in their successful re-election campaigns in November.

State Sen. Toni Boucher, R-26th District, and state Rep. Gail Lavielle, R-143rd District, cruised to victory as Republicans once again showed their dominance at the local level.

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