On Monday, April 27, Milford City Council voted for a new design for the Southeast Milford water tower. The decision was made in an effort to attract more visitors into the town using the city’s branding.
Originally, council approved a design similar to the one found on the Northeast Tenth Street water tower, displaying the name of the high school mascot, as it reads Milford Buccaneers. At a recent council meeting, City Manager Hans Medlarz presented an offer from the developers of the Wickersham subdivision, which will be located near the water tower, to place the word “Wickersham” on the tower at the expense of the developer. Mr. Medlarz explained that this could save the city $20,000 by allowing the word “Wickersham” to be added to the tower. At the time, council members decided that this could present problems in the future, suggesting that they did not want to offer water towers for sale as advertising.
In further discussion, Mayor Bryan Shupe suggested that the town’s branding “River Town. Art Town. Home Town.” be used on the tower instead. There was no vote regarding the Wickersham request, but Mr. Medlarz told council he would bring a new design to them for review using the town’s branding, which he did at the April 27 meeting.
“There were two options presented,” Mr. Medlarz explained. “One has the wording stacked while the other has it banded. For either of these to be added to the tower, the cost is $3,070 in addition to the $10,000 estimated for the Buccaneer logo on one side of the tower. In other words, for both sides to have the logo, it will cost just over $26,000.” In further discussion, it was noted that only one side of the tower faced the road with the other side facing woods.
Mayor Shupe said that with the water tower on Route 1, the City should take advantage of all the traffic that travels that road each day, especially during the summer.“I love the Buccaneers, I think it is the perfect choice for the tower near the school,” Mayor Shupe said. “But people traveling on Route 1 do not know what a Milford Buccaneer is. By adding the logo, we could generate interest in our town and bring them to see what we are about.”
Councilwoman Katrina Wilson agreed with the mayor. She said that the City worked hard to promote their brand, especially the fact that Milford is a river town. She thought that it was important to use the branding that had been developed to promote the town.
Councilman Christopher Mergner disagreed that the water tower logo would attract attention.“I am all about using the branding,” Councilman Mergner said. “But I think it is going to be hard to read and I can’t see spending the additional money to change what we have already approved.”
A roll call vote was taken with Councilman Mergner, along with Councilmen Skip Pikus and Garrett Grier voting no. Councilwoman Wilson along with Councilmen Dirk Gleysteen, Owen Brooks, Doug Morrow and James Starling voting yes so that the measure passed 5-3.
In addition to the logo for the water tower, Mr. Medlarz discussed the gateway signs that had been designed for placement on Route 1. The signs also used Milford’s branding, but, according to Mr. Medlarz, the signs exceed the limits placed by DelDOT for signs of that type unless the signage also had a directional component. Mr. Medlarz explained that current “Welcome to Milford” signs would need to come down along with the non-profit agency designations located at the bottom of those signs. Mr. Medlarz suggested that the words “Historic Downtown” be added to the sign in order to better meet DelDOT requirements.
“We can also add the non-profit organizations to the bottom of this sign,” Mr. Medlarz said. “However, even with this change, there is no guarantee that DelDOT will approve it. However, this does give it a better chance of meeting DelDOT’s needs.” Council agreed to add the wording to the design for Mr. Medlarz to present to DelDOT.
In other city business, Andrew Fulton was appointed to the Planning Commission and Ron Baker was appointed to the Board of Adjustment.