As of Monday morning, July 14, a new sign welcomes people to Wilton Center at the corner of Rt. 33/Ridgefield Rd. and Old Ridgefield Rd.. The sign was installed yesterday, and according to Wilton’s first selectman Bill Brennan, it’s part of his overall plan to raise the profile of the town.
“For some time I’ve been anxious to get more sign identification for the town of Wilton. If you travel around the state, you’ll find most towns have a ‘Welcome to their Town’ sign, and I think Wilton has been somewhat short of that. We’re trying to continue to upgrade the community, to make improvements to the town to attract shoppers and visitors. It adds to the ambiance and also provides identification and direction,” Brennan said.
The sign, he says, fits in with some of the other cosmetic improvements he has overseen during his tenure as first selectman.
“We put lampposts in to give an identity to the town, to have an architectural element that pulls the town together. We put flower baskets on the lampposts to make it more attractive and have a nice shopping environment. We’ve added benches, we’ve formed a tree committee to add more trees, and make the town greener, particularly where we lost trees. We added curbing along the road, which provides safety as well.”
He added that this is part of his agenda to spur economic development. “When you have companies that come in and are talking development [and relocating here], they notice it. One thing people notice immediately are flowers. It’s a key element to the town, so we’ve been promoting to merchants to put flower boxes in front of their stores. It makes it attractive not only for our own residents, but also to attract shoppers to our area, so hopefully it will pay off. It’s just one addition, it’s an incremental steady process to make the town better.”
A project that was on the Board of Selectmen’s agenda for what he said was “some time,” the sign came out of this fiscal year’s budget.
Brennan noted that previous town signage, which used to exist on Rt. 7, disappeared during the construction to widen the road. There’s an existing sign on the corner of Center St. and Rt. 33, another entryway into the Town Center, but Brennan said it’s somewhat smaller.
“We did that intentionally [keeping the sign small]. I had always planned to put a larger sign at that very specific intersection where people come down at Old Ridgefield Rd. and enter the village,” he explained, referring to the newer spot where the sign was erected yesterday.
He said he’s got another entry location on his wish list for a sign on the other side of Wilton Center, at Horseshoe Pond Rd. “Before I’m out of office, I’m going to get one down there. It allows us to welcome shoppers at every entry point to the town.”