In her nightly update on the town’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice answered some questions she’s been hearing recently from residents during the crisis.

There were several questions about the executive order she implemented Wednesday, as forewarned, titled “Enforcement of Closed Playing Fields and Recreational Facilities.” According to the town website, the order “calls for the enforcement of closed town-owned playing fields and recreational facilities by the issuance of a trespassing ticket, with a fine of $92, to any individual found using those playing fields and recreational facilities.”

  • Are the school parking lots still open and available for biking? Yes, the parking lots are open for biking and walking.
  • Is walking around the perimeter of the playing fields allowed? No, though the public can walk on the trails through Allen’s Meadow.
  • Where can the list of closed fields and facilities be found? The list is in the executive order, which can be found (in addition to the links in this article) in two places on the town website:  a link on the Parks & Recreation Department page and under News & Announcements.

    GOOD Morning Wilton is also including the list of fields and facilities (which includes but is not limited to) here:  Wilton High School and Middlebrook tennis courts; Basketball courts at Wilton schools and Comstock Community CenterAllen’s Meadows playing fields; Lilly Turf FieldWHS North FieldGuy Whitten FieldWHS Stadium Track and Turf FieldMiddlebrook fields; Hurlbutt Street fields; WHS and other Town-owned baseball and softball fields; Merwin Meadows playground; Comstock playground; and all school playgrounds.

    Vanderslice said that enforcement and notification efforts will be in effect over this coming weekend. “Three members of the Parks and Recreation staff will be monitoring the playing fields and other recreational facilities. The electronic signs are being moved to the area.”

  • Residents have also had questions about Wilton’s dog leashing laws Vanderslice wrote:  “Dogs are allowed off-leash, but under the direct control of the owner on all town-owned trails, except for Cherry Park, Town Forest and Schenck’s Island. They are also allowed off-leash on these Wilton Land Trust Preserves:  Gregg, Harrison Smith and Marble/Van Haelwyn. Dogs must be on leash on the NRVT, which is on state-owned land.
  • Others have asked about the status of Town employees: 
    • Police and fire personnel:   Wilton’s first responders are working their normal schedules.
    • Town Employees:  “All Town employees are being paid. Other than police and fire personnel, employees are working reduced on-site hours and/or working from home.”
    • Board of Education:  “Wilton school district employees are being paid. All, with the exception of the custodial staff, are working from home. The school custodians are being redeployed as needed by the Town. The school nurses are employees of the Visiting Nurse [and Hospice] Association and contracted by the Town. Those nurses are being redeployed by the Town to supplement Health Department and public health nursing needs. The school bus drivers are employees of the bus company. As per the Governor’s Executive Order, the BOE is working with the bus company to reimburse wage and health benefit costs for those drivers.

Vanderslice acknowledged the difficulty for residents with the ongoing closures, adding, “It has been four weeks since we closed the schools, Comstock [Community Center] and Trackside [Teen Center], and the Wilton Library and the Wilton Y voluntarily closed on our recommendation. Wilton parents, hang in there, we feel your pain. There has been tremendous uncertainty for those three non-profits and other Wilton non-profits and businesses.”

She offered other encouragement:  “Tonight is the first night of Passover. Whether or not you observe, the holiday is a reminder of historical triumphs over adversity, which should give us all hope as we work through this crisis.”

Other Notifications

Vanderslice included other key points of information:

  • [Thursday, April 9 at 6 p.m.], the Boards of Selectmen, Education and Finance will collectively meet to begin discussions about the impact on the FY2021 budget and taxpayers. They will review the modified process and schedule for how the budget will be set for 2020-2021, as well as discuss the impact that the COVID-19 crisis has had financially on the town. The meeting will be live-streamed on the Town’s website.
  • Story Time:  The Wilton Library Association and Wilton Firefighters are teaming up to present Firefighter Story Time on Friday at 11 a.m. This Friday features Captain Jim Blanchfield and firefighter John Krozer. Details and registration are available on the Library’s Website.
  • Wilton Police:  Wilton Police continue their storybook reading on the Wilton Police Department Facebook page. If families haven’t yet met the new school resource officer, Elise Ackerman, you can watch her reading from yesterday here.

Vanderslice provided data from the CT Department of Public Health:

  • 8,781 laboratory-confirmed statewide cases with
  • 4,417 cases or 50% in Fairfield County; Today saw a drop in Fairfield County’s share of cases, as the virus spreads north.
  • 86 cases in Wilton.
  • 335:  Deaths
  • 1,418 cases requiring hospitalization; 665 in Fairfield County.

2 replies on “Wilton COVID-19 Update–April 8: FAQs on Closed Fields, Dogs, Town Budget & Storytime”

  1. Heather. Happy Passover. Again. You are tireless ! What a fantastic job you are doing for Wilton. Kudos for all your efforts.
    Peter Finnie

    1. Thanks, Peter! I have a great team that’s all part of the effort, and Wilton has been great with providing information and tips too. So many people devoted to making our community strong and united, especially in the face of involuntary separation. We all get through this together!
      Happy Passover to you and your family, as well!

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