During its regular monthly meeting Monday evening, Milford Town Council decided to table any decision to adjust the 2015 pay rates of town employees until their end-of-year meeting, scheduled for 8 a.m. Dec. 30.
Council member Doug Ruch made a motion to freeze pay increases at the current levels following Town Clerk Joellen Free’s estimate health care costs for town employees will increase by 11 percent next year. All but one of the town’s nine full-time employees is covered under the town’s plan, which pays for nearly all of premiums.
Speaking on behalf of the town’s police department, Marshal Rich Miotto argued some pay increase is warranted for employees to keep up with other cost-of-living increases. He offered to forgo his own pay raise as long as other department members were offered additional pay.
Lacking a second, Ruch withdrew his motion and the council agreed to table the issue until later in the month, pending further review of the town’s budget for 2015.
The council also instructed Town Attorney Jay Rigdon to draft an ordinance that would make the length of term of any town council member elected in the November 2015 municipal election a one year position. This would allow the town to move its municipal elections to coincide with the already existing election scheduled in 2016, eliminating the need for “off-year” municipal elections, thus reducing costs and potentially increasing voter participation percentages for the local positions. The ordinance is non-binding until approved by the council, possibly in the end-of-year meeting.
The council approved a one-year fire protection agreement with the Milford Fire Department and Van Buren Township, as well as a three-year contract with Sweetheimer Trash Removal of Pierceton for the town’s solid waste disposal.
Miotto noted there has not been a strong response to advertisements seeking volunteer reserve police officers and requested additional advertisements be placed in local papers and the deadline be extended until Jan. 2, which was approved by the council.
Speaking on behalf of Utilities Commissioner Randy Veach, Ruch read a request Veach be reimbursed $15 for a clothing over expenditure by one of his department’s employees, which was paid by Veach. The request was denied by lack of motion. Also proposed by proxy was a request to purchase a Topcat utility vehicle at a cost of $37,220.75, to be paid using money from the 2014 and 2015 budgets. The request also was denied by lack of motion.
In a motion proposed by council member Dan Cochran, the council approved $2,500 to be spent for a road salt spreader that can be mounted on a pickup truck, as well as $1,330 for parts needed to repair the already-owned leaf machine.
Ruch also noted Veach reported the repaired generator at the town’s main well is up and running well. He added the generator’s performance is being tested weekly.