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Fiber Optic Plan Taken Off the Ballot in Wilton

WILTON, Conn. – Lawyers talking to lawyers last week resulted in a unanimous vote Monday night by the Board of Selectmen to take the fiber optic cable plan off the Annual Town Meeting ballot.

Yankee Gas and the Town Council need an additional four to six months to fine-tune the installation of natural gas pipes in Wilton. The fiber optic cables were to be buried as part of the pipeline project.

“This will allow time to conduct a full review of the project, consider various citizens' suggestions and involve our consulting firm BBH and obtain valued input from some of our knowledgeable citizens during the review process,” said Wilton First Selectman Bill Brennan.

The fiber optic capital project has been in the works since early last year. The goal would be to connect the town’s major centers — Town Hall, the school system and the Wilton Library — via underground cables to prevent the loss of power seen during the two storms last fall.

Brennan described it as “a vital project to fully integrate a townwide communications system and to improve public safety in emergency situations.”

Although every selectman supports the fiber optic plan, some residents do not like it, including Marilyn Gould. The price tag of $1.675 million “was partially redundant and very over-priced,” she said. Gould also opposes including the Wilton Library because it is a private organization and said the library was the reason it was costing so much.

The Board of Finance also stated its disapproval of the project in a letter to The Daily Wilton.

“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,” says the letter to the editor.

The additional four to six months gives residents and the town government time to delve further into project. “I think it’s the right thing to do,” Selectman Hal Clark said, adding that the extra time may provide a cheaper solution.

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