MILFORD — Milford Town Council eased into 2019 with an introductory meeting Monday evening, Jan. 14, spent swearing-in and electing new officers. New clerk/treasurer Tricia Gall performed the ceremonies, followed by votes approving Doug Ruch as president and Joellen Free vice-president.
Milford’s 2019 budget was not received by the state until seven days after the deadline, according to council member Free, who was clerk/treasurer at the time. Therefore, taxpayers will receive a notice of additional appropriations in excess of the 2018 budget year to be considered at the Feb. 11 town council meeting.
The appropriations, which make up the difference between the 2018 and 2019 budgets are as follows: General fund, $56,600; MVH, $69,000; riverboat fund, $30.000.
Matt Sandy, assistant planner with the Kosciusko County Area Planning Commission, was on hand during public input to present the council with a plaque for its participation in the county’s flood insurance program. Milford’s participation, “keeps the town in good standing,” said Sandy, and helps residents obtain flood insurance.
Also present was Joe Graff, owner of a home at 112 N. West St. destroyed in a fire Nov. 28. Graff informed the council the house will be demolished before the end of January and presented plans for a new house on the property. Graff thanked the council for its patience.
During departmental reports, Fire Chief Todd Haines informed the council Milford’s fire station underwent a recent risk management assessment finding two problems: The station’s electricity still uses older screw-in fuses and the service panels need to be updated to breakers; also, the radio tower outside the station is insufficiently guarded from collision by a vehicle or being climbed upon.
The council will review quotes for electrical work at the February meeting. The radio tower, said Haines, is located on property owned by The Papers Inc., which he plans to contact about the assessment.
The council also passed a motion agreeing to reenter an interlocal fire protection agreement with Van Buren Township.
During police reports, the council voted to approve Milford’s participation in the Kosciusko County Multi-hazard Mitigation Plan, allowing the town to participate in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds for the next five years.
A new full-time officer, RJ Nicholas Plummer, is “ready to go,” said Milford Police Chief Travis Marsh following Plummer’s swearing-in ceremony. Plummer is a former Silver Lake reserve officer.
During utilities reports, Steven Marquart, street superintendent and water operator, said he is researching new leaf machines. So far, the favorite is similar to the American Roads Leaf Machine Co. model the town has used for 30 years. It will cost $59,000 and take five months to build.
The council agreed Marquart should continue his research in the hopes there may be an option with remote control, which could be operated by one person, saving the town money in labor costs. The matter was tabled for February.
The town’s street sweeper will be serviced for the first time in three years at a cost of $3,895.
The council voted to sign an interlocal contract with Van Buren Township and Kosciusko County overseeing Waubee Lake Park at a cost of $750.
A new back-up pistol for the police department was approved at a cost not to exceed $450.