Newly elected town council member Larry Harris has resigned his position, after being sworn in during the Dec. 12 meeting.
Wayne County Clerk Debbie Berry confirmed receiving a letter of resignation from Harris on Dec. 30.
Harris told the WWN he gave the matter a lot of thought before making the decision based on his health. He said it was an honor to be elected and he appreciates everyone who voted for him.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t fulfill what I started out to do. This is not what I wanted or expected, but I didn’t want to start my term and have to stop after a few months,” Harris said.
Harris feels council members need to be able to attend the meetings to keep up with everything going on and do what they were elected to do.
“I wanted to do the right thing for the town — there are so many projects in progress — and I just wanted to be there for the town. I love this town,” Harris said.
Harris also told incoming Clerk-Treasurer Amy Smith of his resignation.
Berry notified Wayne County Democratic Party chair Maggie Thomas, who will follow state statute to fill the vacancy. Berry said instead of having a caucus, Thomas will appoint someone, since there is only one precinct in Milton. Thomas may ask for letters of interest. She has 30 days to fill the seat, otherwise the council can appoint someone, but it must be a Democrat.
In other news
Milton council members Dwight Smith and Phillip Edwards met with clerk Amy Smith for the town council workshop on Thursday, Jan. 4.
Guests included former clerk Terry Craig, and two residents.
Dwight Smith and Edwards reviewed the bills that will be presented for payment at the regular meeting on Jan. 9.
Members learned that $40,000 had been spent on new air packs for the fire dept., with the amount to be split with the township.
Amy Smith is learning more and more about her duties as town clerk, meeting new people and doing lots of paperwork.
The town received an email from Whitney Weidenbenner of RQAW regarding the current water project. Boring for the new water lines on Main Street will need to detour around the stoplights at the intersection of Indiana 1 for an additional 40 feet at a cost of $15,500. The cost will be covered by the project’s contingency fund.
Pamela Bliss has contacted the town for ideas regarding a building location for the HELP mural contest and festival that is planned for later this summer. The old town clerk building has been or is in the process of being sold and is no longer a viable location. The mural does not cost the town, but the building owner has to be willing to prime and seal the wall.
Dwight Smith provided a flyer detailing the recent sewer problems; flyer is also posted in the Milton Post Office lobby. See details below.
Bills for repairing the sewer line between Milton and Connersville and pumping out the sewer during the repair process have not yet been received, but the cost may reach six figures.
Town employee Bruce Price has discovered a third manhole/sewer pit in need of repair in addition to the two discussed at the Dec. 12 meeting.
The town of Milton is responsible for maintenance and repair of the sewer line from Milton to Connersville.
Next council meeting is Tuesday, Jan. 9, at 6 p.m.
Public is invited and welcome to attend both meetings. Contact the clerk if you wish to have your name added to the agenda. Look for coverage of the meeting in an upcoming issue.
Notice of Milton sewer system issue
This notice was provided “to maintain transparency of the problem to citizens of Milton.”
The sewer system went down and was unable to pump the wastewater to Connersville due to a blockage of debris in the sewer line. To prevent the backflow of waste, the wastewater was trucked out numerous times day and night. The root cause was found to be cloth wipes and sanitary material being flushed down toilets.
Suppliers of wipes and sanitary products state on the packaging that their products are flushable. This is false.
Please refrain from flushing wipes and sanitary products as they can cause blockages and unwanted sewage backing up into people’s homes. A homeowner notified town officials that water remained high in the toilet which wasn’t normal.
There’s a cost to cleaning out the debris and replacement of pumps which is very expensive. Failure to discontinue flushing these types of products could be passed on to every Milton homeowner. A contractor was hired to remove the blockage since Milton doesn’t have the equipment to do it.
A version of this article appeared in the January 10 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.