Milton begins renderings for new public works facility

Town gets state money for water planning
April 19, 2022

The Town of Milton has begun assembling site renderings for a new public works facility planned for 10 acres of town-owned land on Sam Lucas Road.

Town Manager Kristy Rogers said renderings have just begun and are not yet complete, but the idea would be to have a main building with meeting space and two additional buildings, one for equipment and one for materials. Rogers said the town is at least a year away from seriously planning.

The town acquired the land in 2018, when Loblolly LLC gave it 10 acres on an 80-acre tract of farmland. The original deal was that five of those 10 acres would be used for a new wastewater treatment plant, with the other five for an unspecified use. 

Since then, Artesian Wastewater has purchased Tidewater Utilities, the town’s wastewater provider since 2007, and is planning to build a new plant at its Sussex Regional Recharge Facility on Route 30. Artesian has expressed its intent to pump Milton’s wastewater to that plant. As part of a negotiated settlement with Artesian related to that Tidewater purchase, the land originally slated for Tidewater’s plant will revert back to the town, and Artesian will provide sewer service to the new public works building free of charge.

The town’s existing public works facility is on Front Street across from the wastewater treatment plant. Rogers said it is not known what will happen with that land. Verizon has proposed and had preliminary site-plans approved to build a 140-foot cellphone tower, but Rogers said the tower would be outside the fenced-in area used by public works.

She said the town will likely wait until the wastewater plant is demolished before making decisions on what to do with the public works land. That plant will not come down until Artesian’s new plant is online. Rogers said once that happens, and plans for a new public works facility are more developed, the town will make a decision on what to do. 

The town’s comprehensive plan discusses turning the area between Federal and Collins streets into a waterfront district with the Broadkill River as its centerpiece. Rogers said some ideas for the public works parcel on Front Street are to convert it to a recreation facility or community center. 

Milton gets state funding for water planning

In March, the town received $11,000 in state funding to update its water facilities plan.

Rogers said this is an update of the town’s original 2012 plan that served as a review and guide to future improvements to the town’s drinking water system. The funding came from the state Water Infrastructure Advisory Council and was a 50/50 matching grant, with the town chipping in $11,000 for a total cost of $22,000.

The town spent significant resources in recent years to update its water infrastructure, including a new water main near Wagamon’s West Shores, a new well and treatment plant at Shipbuilder’s Village and water main improvements at Atlantic Street, Atlantic Avenue and Chestnut Street. The town’s next large water project is a new well and treatment plant on town-owned land on Federal Street, which the town will fund with federal money received through the American Rescue Plan Act.


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