Peel Wins Ward 2 Election, Sewer Referendum Approved

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44By Terry Rogers

On Tuesday, September 1, voters went to the polls in Milford to elect a new city council member for Ward 2 to fill the seat left vacant by the late Skip Pikus who passed away in July. In addition, voters were asked to allow the city to borrow $1.6 million from the USDA in order to complete improvements to the city sewer system. The approval would allow the city to receive $2 million in grants that, combined with $400,000 from sewer reserves, would allow the city to complete $4 million in sewer projects.

Lisa Ingram Peel received 132 votes, garnering just over 60 % of the votes. Her challenger, Stephen C. Ward, received 87 votes, which was just under 40 % of the ballots cast in the election. Her term will be for the eight months remaining on Mr. Pikus’ term.

“I am very thankful for the support of the community,” Ms. Peel said. “Our hard work has paid off and I am honored to serve the citizens of Ward 2. This has been a humbling experience. I went door-to-door and listened to the concerns of those in Ward 2 and I am ready to get to work to address those concerns.” Ms. Peel said that the biggest concerns she heard were regarding vacant buildings in the ward. Bayhealth recently announced that it would build a new health campus in the SE region of Milford which would leave the old campus vacant while the Milford Middle School has been vacant for two years. Both buildings are located in Ward 2.

Ms. Peel said that she had big shoes to fill by stepping into the council seat previously held by Mr. Pikus. She said that his death was a loss to Milford and that she had known him personally, calling him a “true Milfordian.” She looked forward to working with all the members of council over the next eight months.

“Lisa will be a great addition to Ward 2,” Councilman Jamie Burk, who also represents Ward 2, said. “I look forward to working with her for the next eight months.”

There were 208 votes to approve the sewer referendum with only 57 votes against the measure, allowing it to pass by a margin of over 78 %. The passage of the referendum did not increase taxes, but allowed city council to borrow $1.6 million from the USDA. Passage will allow the city to improve monitoring, transmission and collection systems throughout the city.

“I am happy that the sewer referendum passed as it will fund projects that we need to get done,” Mayor Bryan Shupe said. “We will have $4 million at our disposal in loans and grants that will help us address things that need to be done. We have a lot of aging infrastructure in the city and we want to be ready for growth.”

Since a portion of the USDA funds are grants, they do not have to be paid back, which means the city will be able to complete $4 million in sewer projects but are only required to repay $1.6 million.