Milton town council met Tuesday, Feb. 13, with all members present including council president Phillip Edwards, members Dwight Smith, Hugh Payne, Segdrick Satterfield and new member Jeanette Hensley, who was appointed to replace Larry Harris. Town clerk Amy Smith, deputy clerk Heather Reece and a number of guests were also present.

Old business

  • Town has received the bill for repairs to the sewer line and cleanout from Culy Contracting at $66,621.43. Town of Milton has the option to pay the invoice in six monthly installments of $11,621.43, with no interest. Town hopes to use approximately $44,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds from the county toward the repair costs, but the money was originally intended for other sewer upgrades and the county commissioners will need to authorize the difference in use. Clerk has since learned the $44,000 can be used toward the sewer repair bill.
    Residents were again reminded that so-called flushable wipes are NOT flushable. Wipes, diapers and other such products cause damage to the sewer pumps because they are engineered to be stronger than toilet paper and are therefore tougher on sewer systems. 
  • Old snowplow was sold for $100.
  • Fire department has received the title to the old fire truck; town can now advertise for bids to sell the truck.
  • New alarm system should be completed by the end of the week.
  • Park board meetings are held every other Wednesday at 2 p.m. and will be moved to the municipal building to allow for public input and attendance. Next meeting is Wednesday, Feb. 28, with a schedule expected to be released soon.

New business

Bicentennial celebration

Council member Dwight Smith brought a sample coffee mug with the town’s mill logo and verbiage celebrating Milton’s bicentennial. He also found a Milton Sharpshooter logo (without a gun) that can be considered for use.

Cost for 288 mugs is approximately $1,138.

Council authorized postal employee Teri Blair to pursue a special Milton bicentennial postmark, if possible.

Discussion followed regarding the best date for a bicentennial celebration, including the actual date, July 5, sometime in August like previous Milton Days in years’ past, and/or October when the weather is usually cooler.

Ideas for a celebration included a parade, picnic, live bands, fireworks and more.

Opinions differed as to whether or not there was time to get vendors on board or even plan a Milton Days this year.

The ball diamond was suggested as an alternative location if the Milton school property was still being used as a staging area for the water project or if work is underway for the new park project.

It appears Milton’s bicentennial will likely be celebrated on or near the July 5 date, to include the annual Fourth of July fireworks.

Planning for Milton Days 2025 will need to begin soon in order to book vendors, etc.

Fire dept.

Council authorized purchase of a gate valve and breakaway nozzles for the fire dept. as the township had already approved their portion of the cost.

Police dept.

  • Town marshal Tom Geiselman was happy to report the Fortmans had donated two fully stocked EMS bags, one for each police vehicle.
  • Council agreed to offer the Crown Vic for sale by sealed bid.
  • Geiselman asked the town to officially approve a reserve officer program. He would like to see the town budget a clothing allowance next year along with a regular budget for the police dept. Council approved the reserve program.
  • January metrics: Calls for service — 12; Traffic stops — 29; Traffic citations — 4; Traffic warnings — 25, Town ordinance violations — 4; Town ordinance violation warnings — 3. 
  • Geiselman reminded residents to report questionable and/or suspicious activity and other concerns to him as he may not be aware of an issue.

Downtown revitalization

County Commissioner Jeff Plasterer provided council members with an update regarding the HELP plan. 

The county has pledged $1 million in funding for downtown revitalization projects and participating communities need to designate a downtown (area with the most businesses) and identify a person to serve as the scoring committee to review applications for downtown revitalization from businesses within the designated downtown area.

State Road 1, also known as Central Avenue through town, was designated as the downtown area, from edge to edge. It was noted that the Post Office and churches do not qualify as businesses.

Scoring committee can be named later as long as it is not a business owner residing in the designated area.

Resident concerns

  • Ronnie Russell attended regarding receipt of two ordinance violations. He had cleaned off the sidewalk as requested in a timely fashion so the first violation was abated and he learned the second violation had been rescinded as it was issued in error.
    He also suggested white lines be painted on the streets in conjunction with the stop signs. Council agreed the white lines were needed but will likely wait till the water project is finished and the streets are repaired.
  • Donna Smith Powell noted the water crew is doing a great job, but she asked about the mess left behind. Once the project is finished, workers will put everything back the way it was — such as sidewalks, grass, gravel and paving repairs.
    Powell also questioned the sale of the former clerk’s office and why it was not advertised for bids in the usual way.
    Powell also asked about possible/previous exemptions regarding sewer and/or water bills. Clerk Amy Smith said she is working on charges and trying to find all exemptions. 
  • Joy May also questioned the process behind the sale of the former town clerk building and she expressed concern over the amount of money being spent by the police department as well as the need for a budget.

Other Council Business

  • Future town workshops will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the Thursday before each council meeting. (Date has not changed, only the time length.) 
  • Dwight Smith suggested obtaining freshwater warning signs from IDEM for the wellhead protection areas. 
  • Mobile home park ordinance was discussed, including size of park, distance between trailers and need for a cement slab.
  • It was noted that multiple campers are being used as living quarters in town, in violation of current ordinances. 


  • Next heavy trash pickup is Wednesday, March 6.
  • Next council workshop is Thursday, March 7, from 6 — 7:30 p.m.
  • Clerk’s office will offer extended hours March 13-14. Open 8 a.m. — 6 p.m.
  • Next regular council meeting is Tuesday, March 12 at 6 p.m. Public is invited and welcome to attend. Contact the clerk in advance if you wish to have your name added to the agenda.

Struck gas line prompts brief evacuation

Contractors working on the water project in Milton struck a gas line on Wednesday morning Feb. 14 at approximately 10:30, in the 200 block of West Main Street.

Contractors for a Milton water project struck a gas line Feb. 14, causing a temporary evacuation from Cherry to Izor streets. Photo by Jeff Pugh

Workers and volunteer firefighters went door to door to inform residents on West Main to evacuate their homes from Cherry to Izor streets, as a precaution since they were downwind of the leak. 

At approximately 1:44 p.m., Town Clerk Amy Smith alerted residents via Reach Alert the evacuation had been lifted and employees of CenterPoint Energy would be going door to door to restore gas service, relight pilot lights and check for any problems.

A service call tag was left on the front door of those residents not home during the incident, informing them of the issue and providing a phone number to call to have their gas service reconnected once they returned home.

It is not known at this time how many residents were affected by the gas leak, but work on the water project is expected to be delayed according to Smith, while the incident is investigated internally.

Share this:

A version of this article appeared in the February 21 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Jenny Pugh is a columnist and business manager at the Western Wayne News.