On Monday, September 14, Lisa Ingram Peel, who won a special election on September 1 to fill the seat on City Council left vacant after the death of Skip Pikus, was sworn in as Councilwoman for Ward 2. Surrounded by her family, Councilwoman Peel took the oath of office and was sworn in by Mayor Bryan Shupe.
“We are looking forward to you coming on,” Mayor Shupe said after Councilwoman Peel took her seat. “The 2nd Ward is historically important and we all look forward to working with you.” Councilwoman Peel defeated Stephen C. Ward with just over 60 percent of the votes.
“We are going to have informal meetings and have planned a public input meeting for Tuesday, September 15 at Arena’s at 6 PM,” Mayor Shupe said. “The final presentation of the plan will be at Abbott’s Grill on Thursday, September 17 at 6 PM. I am looking forward to having an in-depth conversation about what we can do in downtown Milford for the long-term.” Mayor Shupe said that there was also a town hall meeting scheduled at Carlisle Fire Company at 5 PM on September 15 to discuss the new Bayhealth Campus.
According to Mayor Shupe, the hospital has planned several input meetings in order to get assistance from the public as they design the new campus. Groundbreaking for the new hospital is still planned for the first quarter of 2016 with completion planned for 2018. In addition, the city is planning several meetings over the next few months regarding repurposing in the Clarke Avenue facility.
In other city business, council unanimously approved borrowing $1.6 million based on the passage of a sewer referendum on September 1. The referendum passed by a margin of 78 percent allowing the city to borrow $1.6 million from USDA. The city will also receive $2 million in grant money from USDA and will contribute $400,000 from sewer reserves in order to complete $4 million in construction projects, yet will only have to repay $1.6 million.
City Council also resolved that Trick-or-Treat would be held in Milford on Saturday, October 31 between the hours of 6 and 8 PM. Children must be 12 or under and acts of vandalism or destruction are not permitted. The city asked that motorists traveling in the city that evening be mindful that young children will be crossing streets in costumes that may not be bright or easily seen. Parents are encouraged to use reflective tape or other measures to make children easier to see while trick-or-treating.
Council also voted unanimously to transfer $25,000 from real estate transfer taxes to cover additional legal expenses incurred by the police department. It was determined that the initial $25,000 budgeted for the year would not cover expenses due to ongoing litigation.
An ordinance that would amend Appendix B in the City Code was introduced that would allow police to charge individuals for Theft of Electric Services. City Solicitor, David Rutt, suggested that the city include ordinances that would cover other city services such as trash, sewer and water as all of those services could be tampered with or misused.