City Discusses Event to Promote Volunteerism

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11By Terry Rogers

On Monday, December 14, Milford City Council discussed promoting volunteerism throughout the city. Mayor Bryan Shupe said that he and Councilman Jamie Burk had been in discussions with Volunteer Delaware in an effort to create a partnership event in Milford that would provide citizens with information on organizations who were looking for volunteers.

“This would be a job-fair type event,” said Mayor Shupe. “Volunteer organizations would be able to set up tables that would allow them to explain the volunteer opportunities they have available. We are also planning on reaching out to food trucks for the event and the tentative name for the event is “Hungry to Help.” Mayor Shupe said that they were considering using the old Armory building on North Walnut Street as the location in order to allow the public an opportunity to view the inside of the building.

Currently, the event is still in the planning stages, but Mayor Shupe said they were hoping to hold it in late February or early March in an effort to avoid inclement weather. Councilman Burk said that he already had interest from several food trucks and that he felt there would be significant interest from non-profit agencies in the area. Councilman Lisa Ingram Peel said that she could provide information on non-profit organizations for the event and Mayor Shupe suggested that the list the city currently had could be shared with all council members in order to bring it up-to-date.

In other city business, Councilman Owen Brooks asked council to consider adding four more police officers to the Milford Police Department. Mr. Brooks felt that the department could use one more officer on each shift.

“We want people to come downtown and walk around,” Councilman Brooks said. “They will feel safer if the see police walking through the downtown area. We need them to be able to patrol the parks better and to have a better presence down there.”

Council also received a copy of proposed code changes related to employees of the city. The code would provide written Emergency Closing, Travel Reimbursement and Safety Boot Purchase policies for city employees. Previously, there were no written policies related to these matters, leading to confusion among staff members about what they were to do. The codes were only presented for review and will be voted on at a future council meeting.

Mayor Shupe announced that the organizers of the Milford Aquarium had raised the $24,000 necessary toward the creation of their business plan. Earlier this year, council agreed to provide $24,000 toward the business plan if the organization could raise the other $24,000 that was needed to pay for the plan. Milford Aquarium organizers were given two years to raise the funds.

“Council has agreed to pay for half of the business plan,” Mayor Shupe said. “Because the group has met their requirement, we must now pay our half. However, there is question as to who should receive the funds. Should the check be written to the company that does the business plan?” Councilwoman Katrina Wilson asked for input from David Rutt, City Solictor, as to what the requirements were under the law. Mr. Rutt said that he felt that the $24,000 should be paid directly to the consultants who were writing the business plan. Council agreed and Mayor Shupe said that he would ask Jeff Portmann, Acting City Manager, to reach out to the company and issue payment when the business plan was complete.

Council also approved transfer of $15,000 from electric reserves to be used to replace some of the holiday decorations for the 2016 holiday season. In addition, council approved the annual audit for the City as required under code.