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.

small welcome to wilton sign center st.

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.”

9 replies on “Wilton Gets New Sign, Part of Brennan’s Push for More Town Visibility”

  1. Hang on – Our First Selectman now sees the advantage of sign identification ?? Yet our local town stores have to live under archaic rules and outdated decrees when it comes to utilizing signs for their own businesses ?? What is good for the Gander ought to be good for our entrepreneurs too ! Let’s start that discussion Mr. Selectman !

    1. Completely agree, new businesses have to deal with the most difficult inane rules on signage… with the local government more focused on the dimensions of signage than the economic health of the business community, it’s no wonder businesses in Wilton are closing left and right.

    2. I hear you, Jonathan. I put out my American flags, planted flower beds, and put potted flowers on my porch. Can I get a sign in return? Sandwich board signs are allowed 3 x per year for 2 weeks at a time with 30 days between each occasion. Realtors with vacancies, port-o-potties with advertising on the side, and vehicles with all sorts of advertising seem to be acceptable. Mr. Selectman, PLEASE consider allowing each retail business to have one tasteful sandwichboard sign to let people know we are here. You can even charge a fee and approve the design. The impact from these is instant and can truly be the difference between a business surviving or closing.

      1. I agree with you, with one caveat. When some of these signs go up, it makes it impossible to see to pull out onto the road. As long as they do not present a safety hazard, I think you should be allowed more signage during the year.

        1. I agree. Signs should not impede visibility, should come down during snow plowing, and should be sturdy enough not to blow into traffic. Better to create safe regulations than to ban them altogether though.

  2. While the sign looks great and is trying to “raise the profile of the town”, the local businesses are part of the town’s profile too. Thriving businesses bring more people into town and the Route 7 businesses. Allowing the retailers to have a sign out only 3 times a year for a 2-week period with 30 days in between without a sign, really makes it hard for sales throughout the year and especially during the holidays. I would think if the town is looking to bring in larger corporations, they would like to see the storefronts full with thriving businesses instead of vacant ones.

  3. I think the new signs referenced in this article are attractive enough and at least consistent with our town ‘colors’ and the ‘colonial’ look that I guess is desired by The Powers That Be. I do not understand, however, how the sign on the corner of rt 7 and 33 by the bridge ever got approved. It is a horrendous example of graphic design and the maroon and gold colors, as far as I know, have no relevance to our town (why is it not navy blue and white?). It is in such a prominent location as people drive through our town and I, personally, am embarrassed that it is the chosen sign to welcome people to the town of Wilton. We are so lucky to have many very talented design professionals living right here in Wilton, how is it that we ended up with a sign like that?? I would strongly support that sign being replaced to make it more consistent with the other signage we now have around town.

  4. That we actually have a Town Employee counting the number of days a sandwich board sign is up is amazing … And I understand the businesses receive a letter – when/if their sign alerting passing drivers and potential shoppers of their existence – is up longer than the defined 2 weeks – that they are in violation, fines will accrue and they won’t be permitted to use signs in the future ! … Business friendly ?

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