Facing High Costs, Milford May Explore Combining Services

After approving police and utility vehicle purchases and discussing building needs, town council raised the specter Monday of jointly housing police and fire services.
Councilman Dan Cochran suggested that incorporating police and fire into one building might be “the smart buck,” and might be warranted by Milford’s growth as a community. He made the suggestion following council’s approval of a 2015 Ford Explorer for $26,946 – a hair under the budgeted cost of the replacement police vehicle – and a replacement front-end loader for $35,124, as well as members’ agreement to seek bids for a new or remodeled building to keep police vehicles indoors.
The other council members and Police Chief Rich Miotto agreed the combination might be worth looking into, though councilman Doug Ruch observed that past discussion on it proved unpopular.
“It pretty much caused as much of an uproar as the ethanol building,” he said, referring to plans for an ethanol refinery in 2006 that the company pulled after enough residents dug their heels in.
The front-end loader also was budgeted for, though Utilities Superintendent Randy Veach noted it cost $500 more than it would have last year. It will eat up most of the $40,000 budget for equipment for the year, but he said he doesn’t foresee any other major equipment purchases this year. He added he would like to replace a dump truck next year.
“If we purchase this, and another vehicle breaks, it stays broke ’til next year,” Cochran remarked ahead of the vote. “Are we all in agreement? OK.”
Other purchases approved Monday include $1,304 for the last batch of replacement street signs; a tarp for the salt supply for $1,000; and at least 10 dewatering bags for the wastewater treatment plant at about $420 each. Council also set a max yearly salary of $22,000 for a part-time worker to maintain parks in lieu of a town parks director.
Also discussed were several expenses the town may face in the future, such as $30,000 to replace the 45-year-old roof on the community building and $42,000 for two generators for emergency purposes.

(Story By The Times Union)