On Monday, June 9, Mayor Bryan Shupe requested that City Council members approve the development of a Mayoral Action Group that would determine the benefits and feasibility of the City purchasing the Vinyard Shipyard. Mayor Shupe said that he and City Manager, Richard Carmean, met with Sudler and Joan Lofland, who own the shipyard, and that the Lofland’s were interested in selling the historic location to the City.
“The Lofland’s want the shipyard preserved, and since it is the only one of seven in the city that is still in existence that represents Milford’s shipbuilding history, I see benefit in looking into this further,” Mayor Shupe said. “I think this would greatly benefit economic development in the city and be an important asset to the Riverwalk.”
Councilwoman Katrina Wilson pointed out that council had been told some years ago through the development of the Economic Development Strategy Plan that the shipyard would be a benefit to the city and to the Riverwalk. She said that appointing a group to review the pros and cons of the purchase would gather more data for the city and allow council to make an informed decision.
“I think the shipyard greatly enhances the Riverwalk area,” Councilwoman Wilson said. “But we need to be sure the group that reviews the offer also considers the upkeep of the location. It will be a lot of work for Parks and Recreation as well as other staff so we have to keep that in mind. It would be a major addition to what they have to do each day.”
The council agreed to allow the Mayor to appoint a task force made up of state and local officials, including experts in tourism, economic development, preservation and education, who could review the feasibility of purchasing the historic location.
DISCLAIMER: Bryan Shupe is the editor-in-chief of MilfordLIVE.com and the Milford Review.