By Terry Rogers
On Tuesday, August 14, United States Senator Tom Carper spent the day visiting businesses, talking with residents and discussing with public officials what Congress can do to help the city. His visits included Studio 14, Betty Lou’s Restaurant, and several downtown Milford businesses.
Senator Carper began his visit with the ribbon cutting ceremony for Studio 14, located on Milford-Harrington Highway. The salon, managed by Alex Loffieda and owned by his father, Cosmo, opened in October. Senator Carper spoke to those present at the ribbon cutting about what he felt were the most important issues facing the country today, job creation and healthcare.
“Congressmen don’t make jobs. Governors don’t make jobs. Mayors don’t make jobs. What we do is to create a nurturing environment that enables people to create jobs,” Senator Carper said in his remarks. He also discussed tax advantages available to employers of 25 people or less who provide healthcare to employees and other healthcare reforms that may make health insurance more affordable for both employees and employers.
Following the ribbon cutting, Senator Carper enjoyed lunch at Betty Lou’s Restaurant on Rehoboth Boulevard. During lunch, Senator Carper and his staff discussed the needs of Milford with the city’s new Economic Development Director, Steve Masten. Steve explained that the city is undergoing significant growth, with several companies considering opening in the city. A proposed medical complex south of the city and a proposed sports complex north of the city could bring a significant amount of growth to Milford as well. In order for the city to accommodate such growth, there is a need for improved infrastructure, such as water, sewer and electric service that will sustain long-range growth.
“We can’t bring in a large manufacturing company if we can’t provide them with water and sewer services they will need to operate their business,” Economic Director Steve Masten told the Senator.
After lunch, Senator Carper began his tour of downtown Milford with a visit to Lou’s Bootery, which has been in business since 1948. Skip Pikus, a city councilman, explained that Milford is proud that they are able to provide quality services to residents and businesses while keeping a balanced budget.
Senator Carper’s next stop was at Dolce, where he discussed the needs of businesses with owner, Chuck Stanko and his business partner, George Carroll. A visit to Bike’s Etc. where he met owner, Jack Schaefer as well as unscheduled stops at Good News Natural Foods and Fur-Baby Boutique wrapped up the Senator’s tour of the town.
“While Congress is not in session, I like to conduct what I call customer visits. I consider my constituents my customers and I like to visit businesses and talk to owners, employees and customers about what we can do to help them,” Senator Carper said.
Senator Carper’s visit came just one week after Senator Coons visited manufacturing plants in the city.