Council Evaluates Wastewater Facility and Green Energy Plan

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 On Monday, February 14 City Council held a meeting to discuss the development of a wastewater facilities plan and the discontinuation of the voluntary green energy subscription program. David Baird presented the City Manager’s Report to the Council . He commented on the success of the impact fee waivers that were implemented last June. Since then the City has waived $139,280 in fees. This waiver has allowed property owners in Milford to retain this money and has helped to support a total investment of $7,817,395 (based on building permit values) during the months of June through January. Mr. Baird gave City Council an electric rate comparison which illustrated residential utility rates for eleven surrounding area utilities. Milford was ranked second lowest out of the eleven selected.

 The City of Milford proposed an evaluation of its existing wastewater system. There are two main goals of the evaluation. The first is to determine the existing problems with the system to asses current needs and determine how to run the system most efficiently and effectively. “This is a proactive approach that is really a change from the past. The wastewater facility is an asset that needs to be managed,” commented Mr. Baird. The other goal of the evaluation is to determine the remaining capacities of the various components of the system. Cost estimates will be prepared for future upgrades or expansion. “This evaluation will ensure that future investments will be very targeted and minimize future costs,” stated Mr. Baird. A motion to apply for a grant from the State of Delaware that would cover 50% of the costs associated was voted on and approved unanimously by Council.

 An ordinance to amend the code of the City of Milford, Chapter 174, involving the definition and regulation of vegetable gardens in the City of Milford was introduced . The amendment would set the definition of vegetable gardens in the city and set regulations on locations of those gardens. This amendment will be voted on at a later date.

Council also voted on the discontinuation of the voluntary Green Energy Subscription Plan. The purpose of the plan is to allow municipal electric customers the opportunity to purchase blocks of green energy at competitive market rates. Recent changes in State legislation now require the City, through Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation (DEMEC), to invest 25% of their electric mix in green energy by 2025. This means that all of the City’s customers will be supporting and receiving renewable energy; not just those participating in the voluntary subscription block. Due to this change and extremely low customer participation in the voluntary program (less than 1%) DEMEC recommended discontinuation of the program and focusing resources on the new requirements.

The Council approved the discontinuation unanimously. City offices will be closed Monday, February 21, 2011 in observance of President’s Day.

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