Wilton board signs warrant for RSU 9 budget, sending the spending plan to voters

WILTON — The Select Board voted unanimously Tuesday to sign the warrant for the Regional School Unit 9 budget.

The vote sends the 2021-22 spending plan to voters June 8.

The budget is $38.9 million, with an additional $477,406 for adult education in a separate article.

The district towns of Chesterville, Farmington, Industry, New Sharon, New Vineyard, Starks, Temple, Vienna, Weld and Wilton will be asked to raise $13.5 million as the local share “in accordance with the Regional School Unit’s cost sharing formula and state law.”

Town Manager Rhonda Irish said “new protocols” regarding face masks and social distancing in Wilton will go into effect Monday. They come after the Center for Disease Control changed its COVID-19 guidelines to allow fully vaccinated individuals to “go without masks or physical distancing in most cases.”

“We have been working on all the new protocols with the new recommendations,” Irish said.

Irish also announced that the town meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Monday, June 14, at Kineowatha Park in front of the recreation building.

In other business, the board discussed the cancellation of the 38th annual Wilton Blueberry Festival, which was announced on Thursday. The festival directors canceled due to concerns about their ability to “manage the restrictions (of CDC COVID-19 guidelines) within a public setting.”

Selectperson Tiffany Maiuri said she was “disappointed that we will not be able to have a blueberry festival this year” but emphasized she was not “second-guessing” the festival board’s decision.

In response, Selectperson Tom Saviello raised the idea that “there’s still some flexibility for us to have some kind of blueberry festival, if we so desire” depending on what happens this summer.

The cancellation by the board, he said, “doesn’t stop the congregational church from doing their chicken feed and their blueberry cakes. It doesn’t stop a vendor from arranging with the town to come and set up. It doesn’t stop if by August we get told ‘we don’t need to worry about masks and gatherings,’ that if some of us want to organize a parade, we can do it,” Saviello said.

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