MILFORD - Among the highlights of the December 3, 2018 meeting of the Milford Borough Council included passage of the 2019 budget and acceptance of a renewed contract with Blue Ridge Cable Company.
The public hearing on the proposed 2019 budget had no public comment. The 2019 budget will not require a raise in taxes for borough residents and line items will remain mostly the same as last year with a few minor adjustments made possible by the reduction in the Police Chief’s hours going from a full-time position to a part-time one. Some of the re-allocated funds will be applied to a 3% raise to borough employees.
A $2,500 expenditure has been allowed for the borough’s move into the former Pike County Sheriff’s Office building on Broad Street. In the event such move requires additional funds, the money would come from the Capitol Reserve Fund. A motion from Council Vice President Meagen Kameen carried and the budget was accepted.
Councilman Luke Turano was the liaison in the negotiations with Blue Ridge Cable Company on the franchise contract with the borough. Historically, the contract was for a 10-year period, having expired on Dec. 31, 2017. Turano was able to negotiate additional free hookups in the borough for non-profits including the Library, the Historical Society, Safe Haven and the Community House. 107, 109, 111 West Catharine Street addresses (Milford business office, Borough Hall, Milford Fire Dept.) have received no charge cable services in the past and these will continue as well.
Because of the changing market with cable services the contract was shortened to two years. Historically the payment to the borough from the franchise has been at 2%, and although most municipalities are collecting 5%, the borough decided to ask for only 3%.
This increase will add about 52 cents per month to every Blue Ridge subscriber’s bill dependent on their level of subscription service. Turano’s motion to execute the contract was carried and adopted.
Special Events approved
Pike County Hands of Hope with host a Candlelight Vigil on December 21, to remember homeless victims to be held on the Courthouse Steps incorporating a walk to the Presbyterian Church.
Pocono Fox Trot 5K for Parkinson’s Research will be held on Saturday, June 15 at 8am initiating from Ann Street Park and through the borough. Over the past 4 years the event has raised over $157,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
Committee Chairman Luke Turano expressed his and the borough’s thanks to Police Chief McCormack and Officer John Troyan for their work in gathering funds and actual hands-on help with getting the building on Broad Street ready for occupancy. Move date is anticipated to be sometime in February.
Streets & Lights
Rob Ciervo reported that it will cost $68 per light fixture to convert them to LED. It is not known exactly how many fixtures there are and discussion followed on developing a system of replacement so the cost can be spread out. Leaf cleanup after Dec.14 will only be by picking up debris that is put in containers and put at curbside following established guidelines.
Mayor Sean Strub also gave kudos to Chief McCormack and Officer Troyan for the work in the new office. An old patrol car will be transferred to Wallenpaupack School District. Three new part time police officers have been hired at a rate of $16.50 per hour: Mike Repecki, Jeremiah Johnson, and Mario D’Ambrosio. The police Standard Operating Procedures will be presented at the next meeting.
The borough is looking to establish an electronic recycling day possibly in coordination with another municipality to be held in the coming year. Also, curbside recycling is being researched and a report will be presented at the next meeting.
River Access Project was addressed by Council President Frank Tarquinio recognizing concerns from borough residents including the ecology and environment be preserved, the neighborhoods stay preserved and parking concerns. There will be discussion at the Dec. workshop meeting concerning the direction, if any, that the borough may want to pursue with the project and in what stages.
Commonwealth Ambulance has plans to place an Advanced Life Support unit in Shohola to be housed at the vacant Firehouse near Twin Lakes.
The Milford Borough Council meets on the first Monday of each month at Borough Hall, 109 West Catharine Street, Milford. Please visit the borough’s website at www.milfordboro.org for detailed information. The Council also holds Workshop meetings on the third Tuesday of every month from 7 - 9 p.m. The public is welcome to attend and observe these meetings and workshops.
[Editor’s note: Discussion about entering into a multi-jurisdictional feasibility study for central sewage service to expand from Westfall Township into Milford Township, and Milford Borough was reported in Part 1 of this report.]