Domed sports complex vote likely delayed in Wilton

Plans for the proposed domed sports complex in Wilton, much like the Danbury Sports Dome pictured here, are not likely to be ready for a public vote in January, per Parks and Recreation Director Steve Pierce,

Plans for the proposed domed sports complex in Wilton, much like the Danbury Sports Dome pictured here, are not likely to be ready for a public vote in January, per Parks and Recreation Director Steve Pierce,

Cathy Zuraw

WILTON — Parks and Recreation Director Steve Pierce told parks commissioners Wednesday that he does not anticipate plans for a domed sports complex and fieldhouse to be voted on at a special town vote in late January, a possibility that he said was “previously discussed.”

Boston-based athletic vendor Stantec, who has also completed work on Wilton High School’s Veterans Memorial Stadium, recently finished its feasability study on the grounds slated for the project located near both the high school stadium and Cider Mill Elementary School.

Pierce said there will be another meeting with Stantec at the end of this week. A first try of a “concept plan” should be drafted by early next week, according to the Parks and Recreation director.

The special town vote in January is set to tackle a pair of heavily discussed town issues — the long anticipated new police headquarters project and how the town intends on creating legislation around the statewide legalization of adult-use recreational cannabis.

“My suggestion,” Pierce said, is that the commission puts this vote off until the group has enough time to collect the full scope of the data, come to a consensus and review the final estimated costs.

Then, Parks and Rec will have to come back to the Board of Selectmen and give a report and its final guidance. From there, the project will be taken to the public vote to allocate funds. The project will still have to be reviewed, critiqued and approved by various town boards, including the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Inland Wetlands Commission.

“The more time and effort we put into the front end of this,” Pierce said, the “more accurate” numbers and data it will collect.

One finding that Stantec reported to Pierce was related to the water retention in the area. The bedrock is located just 1.5 feet under the field, a reason why the field is “always wet,” Pierce said. “The water has nowhere to go.” He said the bedrock is deeper in other parts of the property.

He added that he is looking forward to a more complete report, including the results from a geotechnical boring study where the contractor drills into the ground to investigate subsurface materials.

Parks and Recreation Chair Anna Marie Billela said that Stantec, who is also currently developing an infill displacement mitigation strategy for the high school stadium following severe damages, will factor in the potential domed fieldhouse when drafting a future strategy.

“I’d hate to rush this and get it wrong,” Pierce said, noting there is still a “lot of work” before going in front of the selectmen.