MILFORD — Milford Town Council President Doug Ruch commended “all parties involved” in the effort to ensure Milford volunteer firefighters receive new air packs at the March 9 meeting of the council. The total cost for the new packs was $132,214, and will bring the department into compliance with state code.
Jefferson Township, Kosciusko County Community Foundation and Van Buren Township contributed $10,000 each and were joined by three individuals who donated a total of $3,000 to the cause. The remaining $99,214 was paid for by Milford Town Council after a unanimous vote from which Ruch, a volunteer firefighter, abstained.
Van Buren Township Trustee Becky Alles expressed her appreciation for the council’s contribution, as it enabled Van Buren to go through with its planned purchase of a new pumper truck for the department, which was also needed. “We didn’t want to put the pumper truck off,” she said.
“It’s been a long time since all parties worked together this well,” expressed Ruch, who also thanked Milford Town Clerk Tricia Gall for her collaboration with Alles to prepare the proposal.
Several Milford firefighters packed the meeting room to express their appreciation as well. “We appreciate what you have done for us,” said Todd Haines, fire chief.
In other fire department news, Haines reported he would be attending a meeting at Kosciusko Community Hospital March 18 with other emergency responders to discuss the novel coronavirus outbreak.
There will also be a test of the severe weather siren around 10:15 a.m. March 18, said Haines. In the event of severe weather, the test will be held on the 19th.
During police reports, Gall swore-in two new reserve officers: Matthew Carter and Travis Base. “Both have ties to the community and expressed interest in serving the town of Milford,” stated Police Chief Derek Kreider.
Kreider also reported the department has received its new G-Tech body cameras and will soon be receiving training in their use. Additionally, Kreider said the new digital 800 radios recently implemented have “helped immensely.”
Kreider also encouraged Milford residents to call the department whenever they see anything suspicious, “no matter how minor.” He cited a recent report of people going through parked cars. “The police department is here for you,” Kreider emphasized.
In utilities reports, Superintendent Steven Marquart once again informed the council of problems replacing water meter registers due to slow warranty work. There are currently 30 out for warranty work, leaving no replacements. There are 69 registers out of order.
The council voted to cross order 30 registers rather than the 70 Marquart requested due to the town possibly being on the hook for them if they are not returned within 30 days. The next meter reading is March 23.
Street paving is expected to begin in April, said Marquart, who also requested an additional alley at Fourth and Williams streets be paved at a cost of $15,165. The motion passed. All paving will be performed by Phend and Brown.
Three residents have requested sidewalks, for which the town splits the bill. The total cost, plus an added ramp for disabled pedestrians at the southeast corner of Catherine and Maple streets will be $14,052.50, which was approved by the council.
The following items were also considered at the March 9 meeting of Milford Town Council:
The council voted to allow the town to use the state’s Tax Refund Exchange and Compliance System to collect bad debts, which Gall commented has been used by the county with success.
Wastewater plant operator Mark Brubaker reported interest expressed by some area farmers to land apply some solid waste from the plant, which could save wastewater as much as $40,000 per year or more in disposal fees and equipment. Brubaker also hopes to fill the now-unused retention ponds on plant property and is collecting quotes.
$7,739.25 was approved to purchase 75 tons of Mortons salt to refill Milford’s salt bin.
$1,499.29 was approved for a battery conversion kit from Evapar to repair a faulty battery at Milford’s well. Another $3,645 for Evapar was approved for maintenance on all seven town generators, twice per year.
$1,347.65 was approved to purchase a new computer from MicroByte of Leesburg.
A $6,790 payment to Keystone Software for electronic billing systems was approved.
Milford will hold its State Board of Accounts audit exit meeting March 18.