By David Hazledine
MILFORD — Milford Town Council voted to move ahead with a feasibility study of a bike trail connecting downtown and Waubee Lake Park at a public meeting held Monday evening, Aug. 10, in Milford’s community building.
Also in attendance was Ben Beer of USI Consultants, who explained the cost of the study was reduced after a single route was agreed upon, which would run south along the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks before moving east to Camp Mack Road. The cost of the study will be $6,000.
According to Beer, the study will look at the projected scope and cost of the trail. It will also better position Milford for grant funding, including federal aid to include a possible 80-20 matching grant.
During clerk reports, Clerk/Treasurer Tricia Gall reminded attendees the moratorium on utilities bills ends Aug. 14. However, Gall said, “As long as people are communicating with us, we will work with them.”
Police Chief Derek Kreider reported Milford police would begin following school buses to enforce stop-arm laws. He called for residents to “be vigilant and keep and eye out for kids.”
Kreider also noted an upcoming gun raffle to be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 7 at the Syracuse Eagles Aerie 3760 in Syracuse. Raffle tickets are not yet available.
Gall informed the council of an estimate from Wildman Business Group for 300 bottles of hand sanitizer at a cost of $556. The council approved the purchase, and the bottles will be made available to “local businesses and citizens of the town.” Gall hopes the cost will be reimbursed by the federal CARES Act.
The council also approved the payment of $300 for Gall to represent Milford with the Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce. “They have a lot to add to the Milford community,” said Gall, who took notice of the “open for business” signs the chamber provided during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another motion was passed allowing the purchase of a pump by the wastewater plant to be paid for by county economic development income tax funds at a cost of $1,331.
A quote from MicroBYTE Enterprise to install security cameras at the wastewater plant was accepted at a cost not to exceed $4,055. Also during wastewater reports, the council voted to replace a backflow preventer valve at the well at a cost of $2,100.
Streets Superintendent Steven Marquart received council permission to post no parking signs for 590 feet on the north side of Emeline Street east of West Street. Marquart described a “pinch point” created by parking there, which he expects to worsen when school resumes.
The council voted to remain with its Anthem Insurance health plan for town employees. A feared 13% increase turned out to be the result of a computer glitch at Anthem, according to Lisa Frazzetta-Manning of Frazzetta Financial Strategies.
The council also chose to renew its general liability and cyber insurance through WR Hall.
During public input, the council heard from Lynne Raines about her proposal to purchase the property formerly occupied by Lakeland Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center.
Raines of Rest In Peace Inc., hopes to bring a “funeral home-themed” bed-and-breakfast to one wing, while the other end of the building would house a wedding chapel and “small shops,” creating a “destination place as opposed to another hotel.” This would require a change in the agriculture/residential zoning designation. She responded “not at this time,” to council member Ken Long’s query if she planned to serve alcohol.
However, Raines said the property would require more than $140,000 in roof repairs and other renovations and is not as “well-maintained” as advertised. “Hopefully I’m not wasting anyone’s time,” she commented.
President Doug Ruch also informed Raines vandals had entered the building and set off its fire suppression system.