By Keith Knepp
MILFORD — During Monday evening’s monthly meeting of the Milford Town Council, a petition to annex the remaining portion of the North Park subdivision was accepted. The town’s attorney, Jay Rigdon, was not present at the meeting but promised to have a proposed ordinance written up for consideration at next month’s meeting. A public hearing to consider the ordinance will take place at a later date following formal notice of the ordinance.
In other business, Milford Town Clerk Tricia Gall, speaking on behalf of Karena Wilkinson, announced that the annual Harvest Coffee Block Party will take place from 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25. The event will happen at Harvest Coffee’s new location, 207 N. Higbee St., Milford.
Gall also provided an update to the council on the Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG) study that has been taking place recently, including the door-to-door survey in the community. She noted that the OCRA planning grant requirements have been met and that the town would be applying for a grant, which had its deadline pushed back to Friday, Nov. 12. Grant recipients would be announced Tuesday, Dec. 7.
Gall also noted that the town is considering applying for Indiana Main Street designation through OCRA. Receiving the designation could help with downtown redevelopment projects and make available certain grant applications.
She added that the town is considering applying for economic development administrative grants which would potentially allow the town to fund projects such as extending water lines to help businesses. She is researching whether the town would qualify for such grants before actually putting the extensive work in to apply.
Kristin Billet, director of New Beginnings Childcare and Preschool, along with board member Stephanie Lees presented to the council a proposal to expand the day care’s building, located at 706 W. Syracuse St., Milford. They reported that New Beginnings was the recipient of a “Come Back Stronger Fund” grant, part of a $12 million effort to sustain Indiana’s supply of high-quality early care and learning opportunities through Lilly Endowment Inc. following the effects of COVID on the child care chain.
Because the town owns the building, approval from the council is necessary to implement the changes being requested, including expanding the vestibule to allow more room for drop-offs and pick-ups, including installation of automatic doors. Lees added they would like to add two additional classrooms, which would allow for additional children and staff members to be added to the roster and perhaps open it up for before- and after-school care.
Currently New Beginnings caters to 40 children and is the only not-for-profit preschool in the area. It is seeking to increase its ability to seek grants for expansion.
In departmental reports, the fire department announced it will hold its chicken barbecue at 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 3, at the fire station. It will be a drive-thru, carry-out service only.
Town Marshal Derek Kreider announced that Officer Travis Bays has started the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. He is in his third week and is doing well. Bays is set to graduate Friday, Dec. 10.
The department has registered officers RJ Plummer and Brian Bradley for the the next LEA session, which will begin on Jan. 3 with graduation set for April 15, 2022.
Kreider noted that the new interview room at the police station is almost completed. Kosciusko County Prosecutor Dan Hampton has agreed to assist the department to acquire a state-of-the-art video system. Several quotes have been obtained for the IRecord system, which currently is being used by several agencies in the county and state. The department is working with the prosecutor’s office to meet the goal.
Mark Brubaker delivered the wastewater department report, noting that he has received a quote for repairs on the north clarifier. The council approved the costs of the repair, not to exceed $14,000.
He also noted that a backup pump was purchased for the lift station at the Turkey Creek trailer park. He has received quotes for a fence installation at the wastewater treatment plant, which would separate the plant from BioWaste.
In his report on the street department, Steven Marquart noted that fall cleanup is scheduled for Sept. 23-25. Additionally, the street department has free leaf mulch available for pick up by residents.
Marquart said that he is researching prices for a new dump truck to replace the 2011 truck currently in use. The new truck would be used to pull the leaf machine and salt spreader used by the department.
Marquart requested and received approval to spend $6,470 on bi-annual treatment for iron bacteria at lift station three, as well as $1,000 for maintenance on lift station one and $1,415.27 for the annual inspection of the chemical feed system.
He also noted that the park department has begun shutting town Milford Town Park for the season.