The newly created Economic Development Committee of Milford’s City Council has been moving forward in their effort to develop a strategy for the future of Milford. Councilmen Garrett Grier, Doug Marrow, and James Starling manage this committee as it begins to define an economic development strategy for the entire town. The first step in this process was to retain the services of John Rhodes, a Senior Principal of Moran, Stahl & Boyer Economic Development Consultants. John, who has 35 years of experience in private consulting, has worked with Kent County and the city of Dover in the past and is familiar with the area. The economic strategy plan that Rhodes will be presenting to the city will take in to account all aspects of the community including downtown Milford, the industrial park, manufacturing, and residential and commercial real estate.
Councilman Garret Grier acknowledges that “The city of Milford is no different than a business. We are competing against surrounding municipalities and we must make ourselves marketable.” This plan aims to encompass all of Milford and make sure that all parts of the city are working together towards a shared success. This week, Rhodes and the Economic Development Committee have been meeting with members of the community to search out their thoughts and expectations for the future of Milford. This visit from Rhodes has stimulated the conversation among residents about Milford’s economic future and has brought leadership from multiple industries together at the same table.
The recommendations from the plan will aim to answer the level of expected growth, define what types of development should be encouraged and in what locations, and establish a vision for the future of the economy. The emerging influx of new residents and the relocation of many younger individuals to surrounding areas will be an integral part of understanding the current demographic profile. The plan will define a strategy and action plan for achieving future success for the city of Milford.
Working to stimulate economic growth, Milford City Council has already been encouraging new businesses to incorporate in Milford by waiving impact fee; electric, sewer, and water. To date, a total amount of just over $101,000 has been waived. In return, the City of Milford has generated $5.7 million in building permit values. These incentives are set to expire at the end of this year, December 31, 2010. The council is expected to take a vote on whether or not to extend the waiver to June 30, 2011 at the next council meeting on November 8.
The new Economic Development Committee is preparing the city of Milford for the investment opportunities that the future is expected to bring. “The city of Milford has a lot to offer. When the economy turns around and people begin to invest again we will be ready,” commented Councilman Garret Grier.