Milford Center to purchase machine to make hot patch

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The Village of Milford Center approved the purchase of an asphalt recycling machine for $20,400 at its meeting Monday night.

Councilman Howard Van Dyke had been researching asphalt mixers since March, stating the advantage of the mixer would involve creating its own hot patch mix to fill in potholes without waiting for an outside company to do it. He said other advantages to the machine include it being diesel-powered, military-grade and will only require two operators to handle.

“This is the best fit I can find,” he said. “The next option would be we don’t buy this and you become best friends with someone who has hot mix and would want to come on in.”

Van Dyke said he is purchasing the mixer used, as a new mixer would cost around $60,000 to $80,000 and would require five people to operate it.

Councilperson Jeff Parren expressed concern for the purchase, and said the costs of chemicals and labor for the machine would be too much. He also said the people required to operate the machine could potentially be irresponsible with the maintenance of the machine.

“You have a piece of machinery that has to be maintained, and (potentially) run by people who seem to notoriously run machinery, when it’s not theirs, to abuse it,” he said. “It’s like the least (important) piece of equipment to a village employee because they aren’t caring about what the end result is in three years.”

Parren asked if the village could instead import hot patch mix from outside sources, but councilperson Chris Kise said it wouldn’t be efficient to do that because the mix wouldn’t stay hot by the time it would be used.

Kise said he approved of the purchase, as “that thing would pay for itself.”

“When is the town going to disappear?” Kise said. “When are you going to stop driving your car? I’m not, and I know all the people who live around here would want to get those potholes fixed.”

Van Dyke later announced an update on the Reed Street project, where the village “isn’t doing anything there.” Instead, there will be pothole maintenance on Reed Street, and funding will instead be used to pave over East and West State St.

The State Street project has been estimated to cost nearly $177,000 to fix, but there are multiple sources contributing to that cost, such as the county. He said paving will start as soon as this year.

He said there is currently a master plan being developed that would involve paving over “the rest of the town.” He said, if the plan was approved, there wouldn’t be any paving done until 2019.

Also at the meeting, councilperson Don Jones asked the council to review the village’s new exterior maintenance codes. However, the council didn’t have a chance to read it yet, and voted to table its reading until November’s meeting.

Jones said the codes would ensure that the maintenance codes would be enforced by the zoning board, with extra observance of properties with its features in disrepair. He said there would be assistance to those who wouldn’t be able to do the labor themselves, as there “will be help available.”

“It’s not that we’re not going to be lenient, and we understand a lot of people are on fixed incomes,” he said. “That’s why we need to put this in place so that the future (residents) have something to look at.”

Audience member Kaye Phelps expressed concern over the current lack of codes being enforced today, noting there are still properties in obvious disrepair.

Also at the meeting, the third reading of a motion for the mayor to enter into an agreement with the Union County Land Bank to reutilize properties in disrepair by a vote of 4-2.

In addition, after a contentious discussion, the council approved of hosting its trick-or-treating times to take place Oct. 31, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The date was formerly planned for Oct. 28 to accommodate for families who work long hours, but the tradition of hosting it on the 31st was a stronger sentiment to keep.



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