New Milford Council Advances Main Street Revamp and Seeks to Curb ‘Treasure Hunters’

In a recent New Milford Borough Council meeting, prominent strides were taken in local governance with a spotlight on infrastructure improvement and historic preservation. Discussions mainly centered around the Main Street Improvement Project and the introduction of new local ordinances, promising changes that are expected to enhance the overall community.

The ambitious Main Street Improvement Project is set to receive $505,000 in funding for upgrades including milling and paving, alongside the installation of accessible curb ramps and crosswalk markings. With the construction estimate coming in at $545,709, a proposal was made to allocate $90,750 from the discontinued Madison Avenue Improvement Project to cover the remaining costs. The council was keen on this idea, stressing the significance of Main Street to the community.

Beyond infrastructure, the council turned its attention to a bevy of new ordinances. Notably, Ordinance 2023-27 sought to restrict commercial vehicle parking on public streets, and Ordinance 2023-28 proposed changes to towing licensing and fee structures. However, the debate that piqued interest revolved around a proposed ordinance to limit metal detecting on public property. This initiative is aimed at protecting historic sites such as the French Huguenot Historic Cemetery from potential damage by treasure hunters.

In addition to civic improvements, the council also took steps towards artistic and environmental enhancement within the community. A collaboration with Arts Bourbon to decorate three benches in town was introduced, featuring work from local artists Emily Gilman Beasley, Fiona Chenkin, and Shanny. One bench, ‘The Spirit of New Milford,’ will allow residents to add personal touches, transforming it into a community art piece.

The meeting was also a forum for highlighting upcoming community events such as ‘Movies in the Park,’ ‘National Night Out,’ and the ‘New Milford Lantern Tour and Storytelling Event,’ among others. A lantern tour around the cemetery, described as a “spooky night” event under a full moon, was particularly emphasized by Councilwoman Seraki Hurley, garnering significant interest from those in attendance.

On an administrative note, a new logo for the Department of Public Works (DPW) was endorsed, and an update was provided on the transition of the borough’s domain to a .gov address. An update on the borough’s financial health was also shared, showing revenues and expenditures on track for the year.

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