Tracking cities’ financial health, part 2

WILTON

Wilton may be the smallest town in the state’s wealthiest county, according to Town Clerk April Price, but due to its small-town structure, the town hasn’t suffered as much as the bigger cities in the past five years.

“Smaller cities are at an advantage in a time like this,” Price said. “We feel the pinch, and everyone feels it, but we’ve always been like this and adjust.”

The town’s tentative 2012 budget is $416,781.66, and the town “generally stays below budget,” Price said.

“We’ve operated in the black since I’ve been here,” she said.

The town contracts out law enforcement coverage with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department and garbage collection with Waste Management.

The town’s main income is from sales tax from the railroad companies, Edwards Diesel, Chevron gas station and locally owned businesses.

“We have the mom and pops,” Price said. “We don’t have the chains. In times like this, they can work with you. It takes you back to simpler times.”

Other sources of revenue include property tax, beer tax, business permits and licenses and building permits.

“You do what you have to do and wear different hats,” Price said. “I think this is one thing small towns get right.”

Christine Boatwright, Amy Jones, Nicole Loggins and Neal Wagner all contributed to this report.