Milford Town Council wrapped up the year with a host of quick and decisive actions for the coming year Monday evening. Among the actions are new ordinances, insurance claims and salary raises for city employees.
The town council has decided to draft an ordinance regarding safe maintenance of trees in town. The ordinance, drafted by town attorney Jay Rigdon, will allow the town to repair or remove trees that are a hazard and charge the owner of the land for the service. The ordinance is expected to be voted on next month.
A squad car was recently damaged during an accident involving a skid loader outside of town. Milford Town Marshal Rich Miotto is currently working with the council and the insurance company to decide whether or not to charge the juvenile or parents of the juvenile who damaged the vehicle.
The police department also received a grant from the Kosciusko County Coalition on Drug Education for radar for its 2008 squad car at a cost of $1,940.
Milford Reserve Deputy A.J. Westerman, credited with putting out a small fire at Lakeland Rehabilitation and Healthcare on Dec. 1, was recognized with an Award of Valor by the Milford Police Department for his service during the incident.
The utilities department is in need of new tires. With $3,000 still available in the tire budget, the town council approved new tires for the backhoe at $1,855.80 from Monteith Tire, and six new tires on the dump truck at $960.01 from Price Auto.
Randy Veach, utilities superintendent, also mentioned during the town council meeting there are plans in the works for new ventilation in the community building. He hopes to begin the project next summer.
A salary raise discussed during last month’s town council meeting was drafted into ordinance and passed this month. City employees will receive an income increase of 3.5 percent starting in 2013. During last month’s meeting, the council chose to increase more than usual because of the low increases in previous years.
County board of zoning appeals representative Robert Beer indicated to town council he plans to take a medical leave. Town council has agreed clerk-treasurer Charlotte Siegfried will replace him as interim representative until further notice.
The Multi-Township EMS contract has been renewed for 2013. As discussed in earlier meetings, the charge for services increased from $18,000 for the year to $40,000. The increase was viewed as necessary for the medical group to continue services in the area.
The council also decided to draft the ordinance for a “worst case scenario” involving the water and sewer increase which will take place near the beginning of the year. During last month’s meeting, Umbaugh and Associates was informed of the 50 percent additional service charge given to those living outside city limits.
Umbaugh and Associates reworked its rate report with the new information and discovered the result was another 5 percent increase, making the maximum water and sewage rate increase for residents of Milford 35 percent. Dan Cochran expressed the concern many of the town council members felt.
“I understand that we do need money to maintain our services, but I need some time to absorb this,” he said. The issue will be open for public hearing during next month’s town council meeting Jan. 14. Umbaugh and Associates will come to the meeting with a finalized report, showing three equal installments of the rate increase so the town council and residents can see exactly how the increase may affect them.
The council also took time Monday to introduce TruPointe, the co-op grain processing company that will be open a factory north of Milford.
The next Milford Town Council meeting is schedule for 7 p.m. Jan. 14, at Milford Town Hall.