City council approves savings, height increases

MILFORD — It was a packed house in the Joseph Ronnie Rogers Council Chambers Monday, Oct. 24.

“I’m sure all of you are here to hear about our bonds,” Milford Mayor Bryan Shupe joked with the crowd.

The Milford City Council indeed began with a public hearing and passed a resolution to allow for a bond not exceeding $9,800,000 with a maximum rate of five percent to help refinance existing electric and sewer bond related debt.

“In order to influence the 2016 bonds, the city needs a resolution tonight,” the city’s Bond Counsel Tim Anderson said during the meeting.

He went on to add that the estimated savings based on the most re cent estimate was up to $568,000 for the city of Milford.

City Manager Eric Norenberg said officials plan to take the savings upfront to put into smart meter projects.

With Council members Katrina Wilson and James Burk absent for the evening, the rest of council unanimously voted in favor of the resolution.

Rezoning requests

The next of three public hearings for the evening had some of the crowd confused.

The request sought approval from council members to allow for a building height increase based on conditional uses in C-3, or highway commercially zoned parcels in the city of Milford.

According to Planning & Economic Activities Coordinator Rob Pierce, the height increase would include buildings over three stories high, but not over five stories and could not exceed 60 feet in height.

Conditional uses for the higher buildings would include hotels, motels and the “potential aquarium,” he added.

Lucius Webb, who was not originally planning on speaking during this public hearing, suggested that council members should be allowed to have judicial thought over things such as conditional uses, citing light pollution and other possible problems.

Mr. Pierce said the process to approve site plans and other necessities as laid out by the city will still be in effect, including public hearings. City Solicitor David Rutt backed up Mr. Pierce’s claim.

Pat Wagner of Milford, already expressing distaste for the next agenda item, said, “What it is is the way for that to happen for any other C-3 properties in the future. So we’re not just talking about just these three proposals.”

Continuing, she said to the crowd, “Got that? Okay. Show hands.”

“I wouldn’t bother,” Mr. Rutt could be heard whispering to Mayor Shupe.

Vice Mayor Doug Morrow made the motion to accept the ordinance as written. His motion was followed by a unanimous vote of all council members present.

Jennifer Antonik can be reached at mc@newszap.com

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