On Monday, March 23, 2015, Milford City Council approved the date for the 2015 Milford Community Parade. This year’s parade will be held on Wednesday, October 21, 2015, keeping the tradition of holding the parade on the third Wednesday in October.
“This is a special year for those of us who have worked on this since the beginning,” said Charles Gray, Chairman of the Milford Community Parade committee. “This will be our 30th year and we have chosen ‘Back to the Future’ as our theme for this year.” Mr. Gray said that they hoped to see many scenes from the “Back to the Future” movie series depicted on floats throughout the parade.
In addition to approving the date of the parade, City Council approved a request from the parade committee to insert a fund raising flyer in city utility bills in an effort to encourage citizens to donate to the parade. Mr. Gray said that they will again offer yard signs like they did in 2014 for those who donate to place in their yards, not only recognizing them as a supporter of the parade but also to remind citizens that the parade is coming.
“The success of this parade is completely due to the efforts of city staff and our committee,” Mr. Gray said. “Last year, as you know, we had a bit of a water problem which most of us know as rain. Social media is part of everything now, and we got some fairly negative feedback for not having a raindate for the parade last year. Our supporters and many of the parade entrants came to the defense of the parade, offering those who were complaining tips for staying dry whether they were spectators or participants.” Mr. Gray said that every participant he spoke to during the parade commented on the dedication of the spectators who were standing in the rain to watch as the parade went by, demonstrating how important the parade is to the city and its residents.
In other council business, Mayor Bryan Shupe announced vacancies on both the Board of Adjustments and the Planning Commission. Frank Gramling of the Board of Adjustments has resigned his position on the three-member board. Planning Commission Chairman, Jamie Burk, was recently elected to City Council, creating a vacancy.
“Jamie is from Ward 2 and, historically, we have tried to have representation on the Planning Commission from each ward,” said Mayor Bryan Shupe. “Although his replacement is not required to come from Ward 2, we should attempt to find a replacement from that ward.” Councilman Skip Pikus asked if the replacement would automatically become chairman and Mr. Burk explained that the commission would choose the chairman themselves. Mayor Shupe asked all councilpersons to let him know of anyone they thought would be a good fit for either the Board of Adjustments or the Planning Commission.
City Manager, Hans Medlarz, reported that the developer of the Wickersham property, located at the corner of Johnson Road and Coastal Highway (SR 1) had offered to sponsor the water storage tank logo for the Southeast Milford water tank that would be located on the subdivision property. The developer had requested that instead of the logo approved by council which was a similar design to the North Walnut Street water tower, the word “Wickersham” be placed on the tower.
“In order to approve this, we would require the developer to place $20,000 in escrow toward the cost of the logo,” Mr. Medlarz explained. “Over the next ten years, this would save the city $20,000.” Councilman Garrett Grier expressed concern over the request.
Councilman Grier said that if we granted this request for Wickersham, we would be opening the door for advertising on water towers every time a new one was installed. Mayor Bryan Shupe said that he would prefer that the water tower near Route 1 display the town’s branding – “Art Town, River Town, Home Town.”
“We want to draw visitors into Milford from Route 1,” Mayor Shupe said. “The Milford Buccaneer logo on the Walnut Street water tower makes sense since it is right next to the school, but I think we really need to take advantage of our branding.” Councilman Owen Brooks said that he liked the idea of having Milford Buccaneers on the water tower as support for the school mascot.
Mr. Medlarz said that he was afraid that the city would be unable to put the logo on both sides of the tower so council would need to decide which side they wanted the logo to face. Discussion ensued regarding the placement of the logo and whether “Milford Buccaneers” could remain on one side of the tower. Mr. Medlarz said that changing to the branding may reduce the cost of the logo design on the tower. Mr. Medlarz agreed to bring designs back to council for approval that would incorporate both Milford Buccaneers and the town’s branding. No vote was taken regarding the request by the developer of the Wickersham development.