“Milford was recently named as the fastest growing city in the state by the News Journal,” Ms. Schmeiser said. “Last year, after the retirement of Mayor Ronnie Rogers, the city elected Bryan Shupe, who, at the age of 29 when elected, was one of the youngest mayors in the state. He is bringing new and exciting vision to the city.” Ms. Schmeiser says that she has been thrilled to see all the new businesses that opened in Milford in 2014 and the completion of many outdoor activity locations throughout the city.
During 2014, the nature trail at Goat Island was opened to the public and the city installed a new bocce ball court in Bicentennial Park. A dog park was also opened adjacent to the Goat Island Nature trail which is part of the Mispillion Riverwalk in the downtown area. Ms. Schmeiser says that all of these attractions will bring visitors as well as new businesses to the town.
David Burton, who was the first official president of CCGM, said that he is also excited to see the growth of the city. He said that it has changed significantly since he was the Chamber president. “It is different, but it is good different,” Mr. Burris said. “I hope that the city continues to buttress and support the businesses that are already here, such as Caulk and Baltimore Air Coil, while also looking at new businesses that could benefit citizens.” Mr. Burton said that Bayhealth’s decision to build a new, state-of-the-art health campus in Milford is a definite financial benefit to Milford.
Mr. Burton said that a hospital is part of a clean, green industry and that it employs a lot of people which will further increase economic development throughout the city. “With this new hospital, Milford could easily become a health hub,” Mr. Burton said. “I think the decision to build the new facility is marvelous and will be extremely beneficial to the economic growth of Milford.”
Ms. Schmesier said that there are many fun events planned for the upcoming year, but one of the most exciting developments is the creation of “Fusion,” a young professional group that meets twice per month. In addition, the Chamber is working on a business shadowing program with the Milford School District and developing a scholarship program for Milford students.
New events planned for 2015 include a “Forgotten Union Cemetery Lantern Tour” in September which the Chamber will co-sponsor with the Milford Museum and Delmarva Historic Haunts. In addition, the first Legislative Luncheon was held last week as residents were given the opportunity to talk with state and local political representatives. Events that have been successful in the past are also planned for the upcoming year, such as the Mixer-Expo in March, Girl’s Night Out featuring the Marvelous Men of Milford in May, the Golf Classic in May, the Holiday Auction and Tastes of Milford in November and a Holiday Gift Drive for Homeless Children in December.
“The event formerly known as the “Smile for Freedom” 5K will be held in June, but it is in the process of being renamed,” Ms. Schmeiser said. “And, of course, Milford’s largest annual outdoor event, the Milford Riverwalk Freedom Festival, will take place in September.”
In addition to supporting local businesses, Ms. Schmeiser said that CCGM gave more than $20,000 to local non-profits during 2014, and they are hoping to increase that amount in 2015. “We want people to know that although we are a business oriented organization, we support the quality of life in the city, not just business,” Ms. Schmeiser said.