MILFORD — Milford Town Council passed a $1.6 million budget for 2018 at its monthly public meeting Monday evening, Sept. 11.
The budget is down from 2017 when extra funds were needed to repaint the water tower, according to Treasurer Joellen Free. Free also mentioned a representative of the Department of Local Government Finance said Milford is “looking good” financially. “We’re keeping our fund balances up,” she added.
Council President Dan Cochran commented Milford’s finances have come in under budget “two years in a row.”
Town Marshal Travis Marsh reported the first data dump from the new radar sign yielded surprising findings.
The radar sign was placed on the northbound lane of SR 15, where it tallied 19,665 vehicles passing through in its first week of operation. Of those, approximately 600 were traveling in excess of 50 mph, nearly 20 mph over the speed limit.
The sign also indicates what times the most speeding occurs, helping the department plan their locations. The sign will be moved to the southbound lane of SR 15 at the flashing light of the school zone crossing with Emeline Street.
In a humorous aside, Marsh mentioned a number of people have tried talking to the dummy placed in a traffic decoy vehicle. “It’s a friendly dummy,” he quipped.
Marsh informed the council Milford is taking part in a county wide hazard mitigation plan for which it will receive grant money. He encouraged Milford residents to visit the town’s website, www.milford-in.org, and complete a public opinion survey. If 25 to 30 people do so, he said, it will help “generate the info we need.”
During police reports, the town also voted to appropriate $3,000 for an additional part-time, academy-trained officer, Adam Amsden, at $20 per hour for 150 hours.
The council passed a fireworks ordinance, aligning it with the state’s fireworks code. Fireworks are allowed from June 29 to July 9, Dec. 31 and state holidays. Fines may be as much as $500 per infraction, with a warning generally issued for first offenses.
Street Superintendent Steven Marquart suggested the council approve the town’s share of the upcoming roads project, $64,513.37, pending grant approval, so work can begin as soon as possible.
Milford received a Community Crossing grant, which will go toward the milling and resurfacing of three streets. The project will include handicapped accessible sidewalks. The streets include Old SR 15, North Main Street and Syracuse-Milford Road — CR 1300N.
The total cost of the project will be $258,000, 75 percent of which will be covered by the grant. The motion also allows the project to go out for bidding.
Another motion passed to approve $3,600 for help during leaf season, from the first week in October to the end of November. The job will pay $15 per hour and is being advertised.
Karena Wilkinson of Harvest Coffee was on hand to thank the council for the go-ahead to hold a block party at the community building parking lot Sept. 30. Wilkinson added organizers are looking for music and worship teams from local churches to take part. “Pray for good weather,” she commented.
Another resident, Ted Wilson, of 611 S. Main St., asked for the town’s help cleaning up the “cesspool of garbage” on the adjacent property. Unfortunately, the lot is privately owned; however, Cochran suggested they reach out to the landowner about cleaning up the area, near the SR 15 bridge and is a “gateway” into the town.
The council passed two motions dealing with infrastructure issues. The first appropriated $4,500 to tear down the old bathhouse at Waubee Lake Park. Sawyer Excavating will do the work. And $5,650 was approved to allow Preferred Roofing Inc. of Fort Wayne to fix the 30 year-old roof on the wellhouse, which has been leaking.
There was much discussion about the wastewater plant, including the use of ponds for disposal of brush and future land application of sludge; however, these items have been tabled pending Indiana Department of Environmental Management inspection and further research.
The council also discussed Marquart’s request for new safety equipment used in confined spaces and when climbing the water tower.
Cochran was of the opinion this work should be performed by others with the expertise and equipment. “We shouldn’t be taking on the liability,” he stated.
No action was taken by the council.