Milford May Need Water Rate Hike

The town’s wastewater fund is healthy but a water rate hike might be needed, Milford Town Council heard Monday.
John Julien, with Umbaugh and Associates, told the council the wastewater fund should see a positive cash flow this year thanks to stronger-than-anticipated revenue from a 35-percent wastewater rate increase phased in over the past three years. To avoid another large hike, he encouraged them to enact smaller rate increases whenever they see the fund eating into its cash reserves.
But the water utility fund is $5,000 to $7,000 below where it should be, he noted, and may need a rate increase greater than 10 percent to strengthen it.
“The water utility can’t live paycheck to paycheck,” Julien told the council, urging them to take action this spring. “And it doesn’t have the same cash cushion, so it will be harder to phase the rates in.”
Council voted to allow up to $6,500 for a rate study by Umbaugh to determine the necessary rate increase.
Also Monday, Town Marshal Rich Miotto said with the resignation last month of reserve officer Ryan Reed, he thinks it might be time to hire another full-time officer. The police force wants to stay ahead of town growth, he said, and reserve officers don’t stay long enough for that to be a reliable option.
“We’re a feeder department, unfortunately,” Miotto said. “We bring people in, we give them the training, we give them the tools, and they move on.”
He added he plans to retire sometime next year, and would like to see an officer from within the department take over as police chief. He agreed to bring figures next month showing what another fulltime officer would cost.

(Story By The Times Union)