MILFORD — Milford Town Council passed several motions at its monthly meeting, April 9, some in preparation for the 2018 Milford Fest, May 26-27.
Tricia Gall of the 2018 Milford Fest planning committee asked the garage sale ordinance be waived for the event, exempting residents from a fee and the sale counting toward their yearly limit. The motion passed.
Other motions related to Milford Fest included waiving the fee for the Milford Lions and Kiwanis Clubs to utilize the community building. Also, $860 was approved to pay for portable restrooms.
The following street closings were also approved for the 2018 Milford Fest:
Main Street from Catherine to Emeline streets will be closed from 6 p.m. Thursday, May 24, to 10 a.m. Sunday, May 27.
Main Street from Catherine to First streets will be closed from 5 p.m. Friday, May 25, to 11 p.m. Saturday, May 26.
Emeline Street from the alley at Phoenix Tax Service to the east side of Main Street will be also be closed for the time listed above.
Emeline Street from the east side of Main Street to the alley by the railroad tracks will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday, May 25, to 11 p.m. Saturday, May 26.
Main Street will be closed from Fourth to Catherine streets from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 26. Fourth Street will also be closed from Henry Street to the railroad track at that time.
Chore-Time Brock Vice-President Will Mabee was on hand to accept CTB’s tax phase-in for 2018, reporting the company’s “better than expected” performance in the past year.
A motion passed allowing a favorable recommendation to the county board of zoning appeals regarding a variance to add a garage at 211 S. Henry St.
During public comment a number of grievances were aired by Rich Rhodes against Doug Ruch, council president.
Ruch, who owns a service station, slid on the ice April 4 while test driving Rhodes’ vehicle near Chore Time Brock. At the meeting, Rhodes commented he was not told about the wreck until “hours after” and added the accident was investigated by Milford police though, he said, it was outside the department’s jurisdiction. He also stated the police report “left a lot to be desired.”
Rhodes went on to suggest Ruch was not held to the same standard as other properties in town, and said the vehicles parked around the service station were “an eyesore to the community.”
Ignoring Town Attorney Jay Rigdon’s attempts to respond, Rhodes repeatedly lifted Ruch’s name tag from the council table, saying, “This plaque doesn’t give a town hall member a pass.” He also suggested Ruch has been too long on the board and should be voted off.
Council member Dan Cochran urged Rhodes to “go to the right place to make your complaints,” such as the editorial section of a newspaper, and Rigdon explained he believed Rhodes complaints about Ruch’s property were an “Area Planning Commission item” and not a safety issue like those the town is working to clean up.
Chief Marsh added later his department has authority “statewide” and on the day in question the county would have taken up to two hours to respond due to the volume of accidents related to ice April 4. He also explained there were no irregularities in Lt. Tim Miller’s handling of the accident.
Ruch chose not to comment on Rhodes’ grievances.
In police reports, Marsh commented on the department’s difficulties finding a reserve officer, with no resumes submitted in spite of more than a dozen inquiries.
Marsh also commented on the acquisition of a two terabyte external hard drives to be used for backing up police videos and other files. He recommended other departments invest in external hard drives as well.
Marsh’s department has also taken possession of a 1993 Humvee at no cost through a law enforcement support office program. It will be made available to all town departments, “for anybody who needs to get in the mud,” he commented.
During utilities reports, Steven Marquart warned Milford residents to “watch out” for workers painting and patching town roads this month. He also said there will be extensive railroad work starting in June as Norfolk Southern prepares to replace long stretches of track. The work, said Marquart, was reported to be “the most extensive in our lifetimes” to be done on the railroad.
The council also approved $805 for a new pump to service the wastewater facility. Mark Brubaker reported Mason Construction has begun its work upgrading the facility to meet IDEM specifications.
Town Clerk Joellen Free reminded residents next month’s town council meeting will take place at 7 p.m. May 14 at Camp Alexander Mack.
Residents at Waubee Lake are invited, and there will be a presentation on the proposed extension of Milford sewer service by Ryan Brauen of Wessler Engineering. Bob Weaver of the county health department will also be in attendance.
“It will be a good, informational meeting,” Free stated.