Milford Council Names Loetz Deputy Clerk-Treasurer
By David Hazledine
MILFORD — Milford Town Council named a new deputy clerk-treasurer at its regular monthly meeting Monday, May 8. Renda Loetz will succeed Shanna Maust, who held the position for 35 years before retiring on May 4.
Street, Water and Park Superintendent Steven Marquart announced Milford will again benefit from the Community Crossing Matching Grant Program, which totals $205,176.16 for street work in 2023. The work will be advertised on May 17 and 31. Bids will be opened June 12.
Beth Johnson, business development representative for USI Consultants, which performs the street ratings used to obtain the Community Crossing grant, was also on hand. The council approved an amount not to exceed $8,500 for street ratings for 2023 and 2024.
Johnson also said USI will soon complete surveying for the trail project, connecting Milford with Waubee Lake Park.
The council voted to fine four homes $100 per day for noncompliance with Milford’s trash ordinance.
The town previously sent certified letters to seven homes warning of pending action. Three of those did make significant improvements to avoid fines, said Marquart, who added he has been tagging some of the noncompliant residences “for years,” even when he was working for past superintendents.
Marquart said the 2023 Spring Clean “broke the record” with 174 visitors filling nine dumpsters with rubbish and two with metal.
A storm sewer outfall near Milford Schools at Emeline Street and Turkey Creek recently collapsed. The council approved Beer and Slabaugh to perform the necessary clean-out and reinforcement for $14,100.
Marquart also received approval to upgrade security cameras and modems at the wastewater plant, wellhouse and Waubee Lake Park at a total cost of $11,118.66.
The council approved $15,371 for NIPSCO to install new light poles in North Park and on Sixth Street.
During Milford Fire Department reports, Brian Haines apprised the council of efforts to update the town’s decades-old tornado warning sirens. He said two quotes have been obtained, each in excess of $30,000; however, Haines and the council agreed not to move forward until a study is completed on where the sirens should be placed. Councilman Ken Long noted they are currently less than half a mile apart.
Haines also inquired where the council stood on the purchase of a new pumper truck, pointing out prices have risen as much as $300,000 with a three- to four-year wait time.
Long repeated his concerns that while both Van Buren Township and the Town of Milford are on a 20-year replacement schedule, they are only one year apart, with the township acquiring a new truck in 2022. The purchases should be “spaced evenly,” he said, for the sake of equipment longevity.
Clerk-Treasurer Tricia Gall added the council recently doubled the tax rate on the cumulative capital development fund, which is primarily used to fund fire and police. No further action was taken on the matter.
During police department reports, Town Marshal Derek Kreider said police would be “out in force” during the Milford Family Fun Festival on May 27.
The department will also have its new child identification kit on hand at Milford Fest from noon to 4 p.m. in front of Town Hall. The kit provides parents with photos and fingerprints for their children. The department will be able to provide up to 500 cards free of charge.
Kreider also received approval to seek a grant to purchase water-filled barricades to be deployed at road closures and for the protection of town employees and attendees during public events such as Milford Fest and Food Truck Fridays.
Ben Logan, director of Kosciusko County Habitat for Humanity, requested the council consider donating property it may “inherit.” Such donations, he said, could “raise the tax base” after Habitat’s construction. Council President Doug Ruch informed Logan of an upcoming auction where property will be available.
Milford Council also heard the following items and took the following actions:
• Approved $1,627.74 for air conditioning repair on the police department’s Dodge Durango by Jake’s Auto Care.
• Approved Chore-Time Brock’s annual report for renewal of tax phase-ins related to conference center renovation and other improvements.
• Approved a request by Tracey Burke of the Waubee Lake Homeowner’s Association to have live music at the Lion’s Club Pavilion in Waubee Lake Park Monday, July 3, during its kayak poker run and glow float.
• Approved $1,205 to renew Esri GIS mapping software.
• Approved $1,090 for a new computer for incoming deputy clerk-treasurer Renda Loetz.
• Milford Fire Department will serve rib-eye sandwiches, carry-out only, starting at 11 a.m., May 27, during Milford Fest. A goodwill donation will be accepted.
• Lineup for the Milford Memorial Day parade will begin at 9 a.m. Monday, May 29, said Marquart. Participants should enter on to Emeline Street off of SR 15. Signup is at Town Hall or at milford-indiana.org.
• Town Hall will be closed Memorial Day, Monday, May 29.
• Water capacity may be limited the week of June 19, when the water tower undergoes painting and a dry inspection, said Marquart.
• Piers will be installed at Waubee Lake Park the week of May 8.
• Waubee Lake Park is in need of lifeguards and concession workers. Applications are available at Town Hall.