The Board of Selectmen (BOS) has approved another collaboration between the Town of Wilton and the Friends of the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT), the nonprofit organization behind the beloved trail system in the heart of Wilton.

The BOS voted unanimously to partner with the nonprofit in seeking a CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT-DEEP) grant for $243,000 that would be used to construct another 1,000-foot section of the trail — a northern extension of the WilWalk trail from Chipmunk Ln. toward Kent Rd.

DPW Director and Town Engineer Frank Smeriglio attended the Tuesday, Feb. 21 BOS meeting to present the details of the agreement.

Smeriglio noted that the Town of Wilton has successfully worked in partnership with the NRVT before, most recently for securing a $3.1 million grant for extending the trail from Skunk Ln. to Pimpewaug Rd., as well as the previously completed work on the WilWalk section of the trail.

The NRVT has already completed the engineering plans for the new trail and obtained permits, and the group has committed to providing 20% ($60,750) of the total project cost through private fundraising.

Wilton DPW employees will take the lead on submitting the grant application, overseeing the construction bidding process, facilitating interaction with the state, and compliance.

Wilton will not pay any costs for the actual construction, but DPW staff time would be an administrative cost. Under the agreement, Wilton could pay up to $10,000 — if not covered by the grant — for time spent by the DPW director or staff member, during both the pre-construction and construction phases of the project. After that, the Friends of the NRVT would reimburse Wilton’s expenses. Wilton will also assume some costs for legal expenses.

First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice had previously explained to the BOS that when the NRVT was in the planning stages and first proposed to Town officials, the non-profit organization had anticipated paying for all costs, including consulting, legal and administrative fees. But, she added, acknowledging how important an asset the NRVT has become to the town, having the town pick up some of the costs could be appropriate.

“The idea was they were going to do the whole thing themselves. It was very much a source of pride — and hugely ambitious. Now this is a town asset. People understand it is a non-profit, but they also expect a certain amount of participation by the town. I think the view has changed,” Vanderslice told the BOS at the boards Feb. 6 meeting. “They would be very happy for the town to pick up some of these costs. We need to think if we’re going to do that, where this is an asset that’s used by the whole community.”