George Ciaccio, Chair of , stood proudly before a room packed with people.
“Is this really happening after 10 years?” he asked.
Ciaccio spoke these words before a room packed with Wiltonians who showed up at yesterday to celebrate the ceremonial beginning of Wilton Commons, the town’s first affordable housing development.
Wilton Commons has been a , taking about a decade of struggling for grants and public funding. Last year, Wilton Commons cleared approx. $220 million in private funds from 223 individual donations.
This Wednesday, it was time to reflect and celebrate.
Establishing an affordable housing community in Wilton was “not so easy to accomplish due to high ,” said First Selectman William Brennan.
“Patience and persistence paid off,” said Brennan, noting that the Wilton Commons project was “very needed” and “clearly the right thing to do.”
E. Bulkeley Griswold, member of the Wilton Commons’ Board of Directors, recounted when he had moved his elderly mother to Wilton for her golden years.
“My mother, at 89, was in Weatherfield; she was alone, going downhill…we made the decision to bring her to Wilton. For six years, from [age] 89-95, she flourished” in Wilton, he said. Griswold said that upon coming to town, she was imbued with new life, engaged herself in the surrounding community and made new friends. Griswold praised the “extraordinary strength in this town and its volunteerism” as well as an ongoing faith for seeing the project through.
“Over the course of those several years, George [Cicaccio] would always say that it would happen,” he said.
Calling the event something he “couldn’t miss,” Conn. Governor Dannel Malloy said that the new senior affordable housing would allow seniors to have an easier time staying them in Wilton, giving them the ability “to enjoy all that they have invested in.”
“The first 10 years wasn’t about getting the local government to listen to you—it was about getting the community behind it,” said Malloy.
The assembly ended with portions of the crowd following those on stage to ceremonially ‘break ground’ by digging into a portion of the Wilton Commons’ property, about 100 feet up the road from Trackside.
Wilton Commons is to be a 51-unit apartment complex situated on an allotted 4.8 acres of land. The first phase of the project - that which will build the complex- will cost over $10 million dollars, with about $8 million supplied by grants. Wilton Commons be taxed annually at only $1 as per an 85-year agreement made by the town.