Two new ordinances were enacted during Milford Town Council on Monday night and one of those means a water rate increase for residents.
A long-standing issue of a potential water rate increase was resolved with the council’s vote. After final adjustments to the Umbaugh and Associates’ rate study were completed, it was determined that a rate increase was needed to sustain water usage in the town of Milford.
Previously, the town had been dipping into funds from other sources to pay for water usage. Water rates have not increased for nearly 10 years and will increase in a three-step process, as mandated by the ordinance, over the next 3 years.
Starting in February, the minimum bi-monthly bill will increase to $32.80 for residents inside town limits, and $37.75 for residents outside town limits.
The second ordinance stated that it is a property owner’s responsibility to take care of damaged or rotting trees to prevent personal injuries. The ordinance also stated that in any case where an individual chooses not to take care of the property, the town may resolve such an issue at the expense of the property owner. The ordinance is a response to a recent rotting tree on property inside Milford town limits.
In other business, the council agreed to allow two employees of the Milford Utility Department to travel to Fort Wayne this month to participate in a one-day class through the Indiana Rural Water Association. The class will teach lab basics, chemical safety and equipment usage.
A recent Americans with Disabilities Association Act has caused Milford to take a look at crosswalks in town. During the town council meeting, Randy Veach, superintendent of the Milford Utility Department, announced that work will begin on ramps to make crosswalks handicapped accessible near the intersection of Henry and Fourth streets, and also near the intersection of Main and Emeline streets beginning this summer. The cost for construction to make the areas compliant with accessibility guidelines will be around $3,000 per location.
A recent salt water softener problem caused Milford Town Council to examine another water bill this month. Water bill overcharges have become a trend over the past few months, and the council has gotten into a pattern of granting a 50 percent credit for the overage portion of abnormally high bills. However, the council insists on examining cases on an individual basis and this solution will not become the standard for water bill overcharge situations in Milford.
The town of Milford confirmed town council members for the 2013 year during town council. Douglas Ruch will remain president, Cockburn will be vice president and Dan Cochran will represent as a councilman.
Also, Milford Fire Department will retain Todd Haines as fire chief, Rob Brooks and Brian Haines will continue as assistant chiefs, Steve Farber will serve as secretary, Rodney Bray will be the treasurer and Sam Baumgartner is the training officer. Charlotte Siegfried was elected to the board of zoning appeals. All other town employees were reappointed to the same positions as last year.