Wilton’s Board of Selectmen (BOS) had an unusually light agenda at last night’s (Oct. 18) meeting, tending to just two matters — one involving the equipment needs for the Town’s emergency communications system and one for a new DPW vehicle.

First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice was not in attendance, so Second Selectman Josh Cole led the meeting.

Emergency Communications System Upgrade

One order of business involved the contract for equipment for the Town’s emergency communications system overhaul.

Wilton Police Department Captain Tom Conlan appeared at the meeting to discuss potential changes to the agreed-upon contract between the Town and Motorola Solutions, Inc. for the necessary upgrade.

During the contract design review (CDR) phase of the project, there were changes to the long list of equipment the Town’s various public safety departments are seeking.

Specifically, the CDR process revealed a desire for some devices to have encryption capability which, Conlon explained, would be important in certain situations, such as domestic violence emergency calls or HIPAA-sensitive communications.

The review process also resulted in a change to the number and mix of mobile communications (hardwired in vehicles) and portable devices (which have lower range and battery life) for Wilton’s Department of Public Works (DPW).

The contract changes would also add uninterrupted power supply (UPS) units that would replace Wilton’s current supply nearing the end of their expected life.

The changes amounted to an increase of roughly $89,000 over the original contract price of just over $4 million. Conlon noted the increase would easily be covered by the project’s $240,000 contingency fund.

The four selectmen in attendance (Cole, Kim Healy, Bas Nabulsi and Ross Tartell) unanimously approved the use of the contingency fund for the proposed equipment changes and authorized Vanderslice to execute the change order to the contract.

The cost of the system upgrade is coming from federal monies, including the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) along with a Congressional Directed Spending Grant earmarked for the project.

The project’s estimated completion date remains unchanged, at December 31, 2024.

New Vehicle for DPW

Town Administrator Matt Knickerbocker briefed the selectmen on a plan to replace a DPW vehicle that has aged out.

The Town has located a new 2022 Ford Explorer equipped for municipal use and under state bid at a Ford dealer in Plainville, Connecticut, for $34,443.60. The specifications for the new vehicle can be found on the Town website.

Wilton’s Chief Financial Officer Dawn Norton informed the selectmen that the DPW had roughly $45,000 in FY2022 savings from funds approved for a dump truck purchase that could be reallocated to the new vehicle purchase.

Noting the difficulty the Police Department has had sourcing new vehicles due to supply issues, Knickerbocker said, “We felt it would be prudent to move ahead with this purchase and get this out of the way before winter sets in.”

Cole called it a “a great find, considering how difficult it is to find vehicles currently.”

The four selectmen unanimously approved the reallocation of the DPW savings for the new vehicle.

Upcoming Town Center Event

Cole took the opportunity to highlight the Wilton Chamber of Commerce‘s upcoming Pumpkin Parade, with trick-or-treating, family portraits and more, on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 2-4 p.m. in Wilton Town Center.

“Hopefully we get a lot of people turning out,” he said. “We have a lot of new families town looking forward to coming to one of the great events we have annually in Town.”

Tartell chimed in with enthusiasm.

“That [event] is so much fun for adults and young people,” he said. “Come one and all, because it’s just a great day.”

For more details and other seasonal activities in Wilton Town Center, see GOOD Morning Wilton’s recent story.