By Terry Rogers
On Monday, February 8, Milford City Council recognized two officers for going above and beyond the call of duty during a recent snowstorm. Chief Kenneth Brown said that the two officers demonstrated his vision for the police department, which is to build an even stronger sense of community involvement.
“Officer Dodd and Kozorski were on patrol in Hearthstone Manor right after the recent blizzard,” Chief Brown said. “They saw an elderly woman out shoveling her walk. The woman clearly should not have been performing such a strenuous activity. The two officers stopped and asked her why she was shoveling the snow and she informed them that she had a doctor’s appointment the next day that she could not miss. The two officers got out of their car and shoveled the woman’s walk and cleared her car for her so she could make her doctor’s appointment.”
Chief Brown presented the two officers with a commendation for their actions, saying that it demonstrated a commitment to the community that he was striving to achieve. Mayor Bryan Shupe said that he had been receiving comments from the public that they were pleased to see officers more visible throughout the city.
“We had an issue at our store recently that required us to reach out to the police force,” Mayor Shupe said. “The officer came into the store and explained everything to us, discussed the issue with us and we felt as if they truly understood our issue. I think this is a way we are taking our police force forward in a positive manner.”
At the council meeting Ben Muldrow of Arnette Muldrow & Associates also presented what his company called the Strategy Board that outlined where the city should start to implement the Riverwalk Rebirth plan. The board provided three areas where the city could begin working to improve the downtown area. The plan called for the city to engage the river, make Milford a destination and enhance connections in order to move the downtown area in the right direction.
“The Mispillion River is your greatest asset,” Mr. Muldrow said. “We have come up with some ideas that will allow you to engage the river and make Milford a destination that people want to visit. The first is Vineyard Village, these are retail microspaces that can be placed in what is now the parking lot across from the skating center. In addition, we need to attract one new restaurant and three new businesses. We also need to work with DMI about encouraging business owners to extend their hours in downtown locations.” Mr. Muldrow said that extending business hours could be done gradually with stores remaining open later one night per month for the first year and adding more hours over the next few years.
Mr. Muldrow also suggested developing more events that focus on the river. He said that events like the 2nd Annual River Race scheduled for April 23 during the Bug & Bud Festival were the perfect example of events that tie the river into the downtown area.
Another simple change that could begin improving areas of downtown were façade changes for Milford Skating Rink and Lou’s Bootery that would make the downtown area more attractive. Mr. Muldrow said that a canopy of lights over Park Ave would hide overhead wires and add a softer ambience. He also said that the addition of a public restroom and ATM were important features.
“I suggest that the city create a downtown development corporation made up of volunteers from the city, business owners, landlords and DMI,” Mr. Muldrow said. “This would be a 501(c)3 corporation that could make the decisions on how to proceed in the downtown area. This would allow the city to step away from certain decisions and have the projects decided by a volunteer board instead.”
Mr. Muldrow said that, every few months, the group would review the strategy board and grade what projects were progressing. An “A” would be given for the projects that were completed, a “C” for those that were in progress but not done and an “F” if no progress has been made at all.