By David Hazledine
MILFORD — The Monday, July 11, monthly meeting of Milford Town Council opened with a public hearing on the proposed annexation of the east section of North Park subdivision plus an additional 20 acres of undeveloped land into the town of Milford.
There was no public comment made at the hearing.
Town Clerk Tricia Gall announced Meet Milford Food Truck Friday, which will include a touch-a-truck event with various emergency and municipal vehicles. The event will run from 5-8 p.m. Friday, July 15, at the Community Building.
To accommodate the event, the council approved the closure of Main Street from the Community Building parking lot north to Catherine Street from 2-9 p.m. The council also voted to pick up the cost of a portable restroom for remaining Meet Milford events through October at a cost of roughly $200 per event.
Wastewater Superintendent Mark Brubaker apprised the council of a sewer main pipe collapse at West and Catherine Streets, which was discovered during work on a manhole when a town employee noticed a small sinkhole. Beer and Slabaugh was called in and found a 10-inch pipe had collapsed. According to councilman Ken Long, crews had to dig 60 feet from the manhole before they were able to find usable pipe and ran 8-inch plastic line to keep it from falling apart. “We’ll have to get prints marked up and come up with a game plan,” he added.
Dating the line has proven difficult. Street Superintendent Steven Marquart noted the line does not show up on plans prior to 1955. Gall added the town’s master plan, which will include a photographic analysis of sewer lines, should help with repair plans.
Town Marshal Derek Kreider announced the hiring of Tyler Schmucker to the Milford Police Department as a full-time deputy marshal, and Schmucker was sworn in. Later, the council approved an ordinance setting his pay at $43,000.
During Marquart’s street, water and park reports, the council approved a $1,072 repair on the street sweeper by Brown Equipment, Fort Wayne.
Marquart said it was “hard to stay in the discretionary amount for basic service work … it’s so tight we can’t get anything done,” adding even a set of truck tires was over the amount.
Long responded the discretionary limits were “there for a good reason,” and added the council does not say “no” very often. He also noted the departments usually ask for permission “after the fact.” He summed up by saying the limit “gives us an opportunity to understand it more.”
Long also voiced objection to Brown Equipment’s billing $800 for the drive and queried if there was “somebody closer to work on that machine.” It was suggested Marquart seek to enter into a service contract to prevent such exorbitant charges in the future.
The following matters were also taken up by the council:
- A quote of $4,800 from Phend and Brown for asphalt at the site of the sewer collapse was approved. Marquart said the company would also be milling around Shafer Street on July 12.
- A motion to pay Peerless Midwest $6,865 for valve replacement in the well house was approved. Well No. 3 is also on schedule for iron bacteria treatment to keep iron levels down.
- Hydrant flushing will occur July 13-14, so residents may notice water discoloration, which should clear up, according to Marquart.
- Bathrooms at Waubee Lake Park beach will be closed to the public after vandals clogged the plumbing; however, pavilion renters will receive a key for their use, said Gall.
- The council confirmed the use of $200,000 in K-21 grant funds for a bike trail to Waubee Lake. USI Consulting was also approved as the contractor for the project.
- Council President Doug Ruch was approved as the point person representing the council on the Office of Community and Rural Affairs’ H.E.L.P. grant.
- A motion was approved to deem the police department’s Crown Victoria as excess and sell it. Sealed bids will be accepted by the clerk’s office.
- A resident was credited $193.38 on past water bills as a result of a malfunctioning meter.
- Responding to a request by Gall, Town Attorney Jay Rigdon noted there was no change to rules prohibiting firearms in publicly owned buildings in Milford.
- Rigdon also reported he expects a decision on Milford properties owned by Ron Davidhizar to be handed down by a Kosciusko County judge before the August 8 council meeting.
- $1,007 was approved for Middlebury Electric to replace an LED light at the wastewater plant.