MILFORD — At its monthly meeting Monday evening, Nov. 13, the Milford Town Council voted to study the feasibility of providing sanitary service to Camp Alexander Mack at Waubee Lake.
Ryan Brauen, an engineer with Wessler Engineering, the company overseeing Milford’s sewer plant upgrades, informed the council he would need data on Milford’s collection system — pump capacities and pipe sizes — before being able to make a technical evaluation. “I know a lot about the plant and not a lot about the collection system,” he commented. The study, which will cost $8,500, is expected to be completed in the next 60 days.
According to Brauen, roughly 40 houses along the lake are within 300 feet of the likely route and would be able to tie-in to the system. When asked by council member Bob Cockburn whether those residents would be “obligated” to tie-in, Brauen said it would be up to the county.
Council member Doug Ruch inquired as to whether or not the Camp Mack board would reimburse the town for the study, to which Joellen Free responded in the negative; however, she did indicate Camp Mack was prepared to pay for a sizeable portion of the project itself, though an exact amount was unknown.
Brauen also reported Wessler had reviewed the bids on the wastewater plant renovation and deemed Mason Engineering and Construction, a Fort Wayne company, “capable to perform the work required.” Mason’s was the lowest bid at $606,000, 1.5 percent below Wessler’s estimate. The council voted to award the bid to Mason.
Other issues addressed at the Nov. 13 meeting are as follows:
Jay Rigdon, town attorney, reported Tom Bulger, Milford building inspector, met with an attorney representing Ron Davidhizar, the owner of five properties currently facing heavy fines and possible foreclosure. Rigdon and Bulger again assured the council there would be no discussion of fines until they are paid or the properties have been fixed. Bulger said he reminded Davidhizar’s attorney, “This has been a two-year process.”
During fire department reports, Todd Haines informed the council he would be stepping down as chief to fill the secretary position. Former chief Brian Haines will resume his leadership role.
The council also voted to allow the fire department to build a 14’ by 24’ lofted garage on the southeast corner of the fire station property at First and Main streets. “Space is at a premium at the fire station,” said Haines.
During police reports, the council voted to extend health coverage for reserve officers at a cost of $138 per month each in response to what Milford Police Chief Travis Marsh called an “unfunded mandate” from the state.
Marsh also informed the council “Milford stood up to the plate” on the all hazards mitigation plan survey. If the plan is approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Milford participation makes it eligible for FEMA money in the future.
Milford residents can expect to soon receive 96 gallon carts, one per house, which will be required for trash removal.
The council renewed Sweetheimer’s contract with Milford for garbage pick-up at a cost of $4,280 per month. The council also chose to accept Sweetheimer’s offer of providing the carts in an effort to minimize the mess resulting from pests and broken bags. Garbage not placed in the carts will not be picked up.
Water Operator and Street Superintendent Steven Marquart said he expects Phend and Brown to begin paving streets Wednesday, Nov. 15. The council also voted to approve $5,000 to be spent on a road assessment by USI Consultants in the hopes of receiving another Community Crossings grant, which earned the town $120,000 in 2016.
Marquart also wanted to remind Milford residents of the new ordinance requiring meters be placed in a heated area or a proper pit or face a penalty of $125.
The council tabled a decision on providing a Milford resident with a letter of support to the Kosciusko County Board of Zoning Appeals for a variance to house horses. The vote will be made in December when Dan Cochran, council president, returns from vacation.