Council Meeting Includes First Report from Economic Development Panel

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On Monday, May 9, 2011 City Council held its monthly meeting in City Hall. The first order of business was the swearing in of Councilman James O. Starling by Judge William J Walls Jr. to serve another two-year term. Mr. Starling took an oath to abide by the charter of the City of Milford and to always remember that his power is derived from the people who elected him. The pledge he took was to “always place the public interest above any personal or private interest” and to “uphold the Constitution of [his] country and state.”

The Economic Development Advisory Panel gave their first presentation to the City Council. The panel is charged with bringing new ideas to the recently developed Economic Development Strategy for the future of Milford. The Advisory Board will make recommendations to the Economic Development Committee that will then be reviewed and taken to the Milford City Council. The purpose of the presentation was to provide City Council with an update on the progress of the Advisory Panel to date with respect to John Rhodes recommendations under Section 2, Action Plan for Achieving Economic Growth.

Sher Valenzuela, Chairwoman of the Panel, announced that Junior Achievement will be moving a southern campus to Milford in an effort to create a partnership with the business community and encourage young people to be more involved in the business community.  Junior Acheivment’s programs teach students “work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy” (http://www.ja.org).

Craig Crouch reported on the data gathering efforts of the Action Team addressing concerns that Milford needs to be more competitive with their commercial electric rates. To date, the team has gathered rates from four Cities in Delaware with similar demographics. The next step will be to solicit assistance from Richard Carmean in assessing and analyzing the opportunity for Milford to be more competitive.

Bob Connelly provided to the Council a business survey as the first initiative to reach out to the community for feedback. The plan for community involvement is a building block process and will be continued to be developed in a systematic process. The advisory panel has moved forward at a fast pace to recognize the economic needs of the city of Milford and will continue to report to City Council each month.

Proclamation 2011-5 recognized the Order of Elks and the designation of the month of May as “Youth Month” to honor America’s Junior citizens for their accomplishments and to give fitting recognition of their services to Community, State and Nation. To help achieve this objective the City of Milford created a partnership with the Order of the Elk by proclaiming the month of May 2011 as “Youth Month” in the City of Milford and urged all Departments of Government, Civic, Fraternal and Patriotic Groups  to participate wholeheartedly in its observance.

Proclamation 2011-6 recognized the Memorial and Milford Veternans Affairs Poppy Sale Days. The Milford VFW Post #6483 and its Ladies Auxiliary have promoted the sale of the Buddy Poppy through their hospital visits and activities at the Veterans Home and within the City of Milford. Those funds have been distributed to worthy individuals within the Community. Mayor Rogers and the City Council urged citizens to wear a Buddy Poppy as a mute evidence of “gratitude to the men and women of this country who have risked their lives in defense of the freedoms which we continue to enjoy as American Citizens” and proclaimed that May 2011 is Buddy Poppy Month in the City of Milford.

Under new business Council heard a request for a preliminary major subdivision approval extension from Shawnee Farms LLC. The Planning Commission approved this extension unanimously 6 to 0 and recommended approval by the City Council. City Council voted to approve the extension unanimously.

Council voted unanimously to approve Resolution 2011-2, Refunding ‘2002 Series’ Bonds and scheduled a public hearing at the next council meeting.

Adoption of Resolution 2011-3 approved a written request from the developer of Fork Landing Farm subdivision for the dedication of the water system, sanitary sewer system and associated easements and right of way to the City of Milford. 

Council unanimously authorized to submit an application to the Delaware Office of Drinking Water (ODW) for improvements totaling $2.7 million for improvements to the Washington Street Water Plant from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

The next City Council meeting with be held at City Hall on Monday, May 23 at 7 pm.  All meetings are open to the public.