By David Hazledine
MILFORD — Milford Town Council held a monthly public meeting Monday, Feb. 13, wherein Assistant Fire Chief Steve Farber reported a “busy year” for his department over the last year and requested residents check their smoke detectors to help stay safe.
“From last February to this February we’ve had 17 fires, structure fires. Only five of those were assists to other towns and townships. Twelve of those were in our territory. Seven of them were here in town, five in the township. That’s quite a few fires for our area,” said Farber. “It’s been a busy year.”
“We’d like to remind everybody to check their smoke detectors. If they don’t have smoke detectors, we have them. They can leave a message at the fire station and we’ll get back to them,” he added.
Farber also reported the station’s siren has not been working consistently and he is seeking quotes for maintenance. Second Assistant Chief Brian Haines added the installation date of the siren’s controller was 1957.
Maintenance is also needed on the town fire engine, which has a cracked screen on its remote throttle control, rendering it unreadable, said Farber. The town approved a quote from Dunning Pump Service to perform the repair for $3,157.52.
The fire department has applied for ARPA funds from the Kosciusko County Council to purchase more handheld radios.
Upcoming events for the department include a multi-agency active shooter training at Milford School in March. Farber also said flyers will soon be posted with details on the department’s picture fundraiser expected to take place in April. The fundraiser takes place every other year in conjunction with an area photography studio and allows donors to receive a free photo. Funds go to purchasing equipment.
During public input, Craig Blough of Bartel & Company Realtors and Auctioneers was on hand to discuss options for the Ron Davidhizar properties slated for demolition. However, Jay Rigdon, town attorney, noted Davidhizar had filed a request for appeal and recommended the council first schedule an executive session to consider information from Blough as well as “what I’ve heard directly from Mr. Davidhizar to see if there’s any response to make.” The meeting was scheduled for Monday, Feb. 20.
Ryan LaReau of Commonwealth Engineers reported Milford’s master utility study was 95% complete and a final report would be available to the council by the end of the week.
Town Marshal Derek Kreider said the department received a $4,000 grant from Kosciusko Community Foundation to purchase an ID printing system for both local children and town employees. The cost of the system is $5,121.50, and the council voted to pay the difference of $1,221.50, plus shipping and handling charges.
During police reports the council also approved maintenance of a steering gear on the 2015 Ford Explorer by Kerlin Motor Company at a cost not to exceed $2,053.
During wastewater reports, Mark Brubaker said the town could save around $230 per month by switching propane providers and received permission to pursue the matter.
Brubaker also received confirmation from Indiana Department of Environmental Management of the completion of the wastewater plant pond closure.
Streets, Park and Water Superintendent Steven Marquart reported he has uncovered files on Emeline, Catherine and Main streets during the process of digitizing maps related to the master utility study previously thought lost. At the March meeting of the council, he expects to provide a report on Milford’s storm water system.
The council approved an amount not to exceed $10,500 for Dan the Tree Man to trim trees throughout Milford this spring, focusing on areas around the Turkey Creek Bridge, North Main and First streets and SR 15.
The following motions were also approved:
• $2,140 for the replacement of grills at Waubee Lake Park pavilions by Kay Park Recreation.
• $499 for Clerk/Treasurer Tricia Gall to attend Association of Public Treasurers conference Aug. 14-16, and $450 for Gall to attend Indiana League of Municipal Clerk Treasurers conference, March 20-23.
• A $1,336 invoice for Reach Alerts and a $14,392 invoice for IPEP workers compensation insurance.
• Resolution 2023-2, allowing the clerk/treasurer to conduct financial transactions, including but not limited to the payment of payroll, bond payments, payment of monthly bills and subscriptions and receiving electronic payments of utility bills and/or fees.
• Resolution 2023-3, allowing prepayment of claims by the clerk/treasurer without council approval.
• Resolution 2023-6, approving $750 for the interlocal agreement with Van Buren Township overseeing Waubee Lake Park.