With 2018 now wrapped up, Milton officials took stock of where they have been and where they are going.
In her Feb. 4 State of the Town address, Town Manager Kristy Rogers said much of the town’s focus in 2018 was on infrastructure improvements.
The year prior, the town undertook a mapping project identifying water system improvements that needed to be made. In 2018, town officials held a referendum on the first of those improvements: a new well and treatment facility near Shipbuilder’s Village and a water main extension tying into Wagamon’s West Shores. That referendum was overwhelmingly approved, and town officials have begun soliciting bids for the Wagamon’s project with requests for bids on the well project still to come.
Rogers said other highlights of 2018 included passing the comprehensive development plan, which had been in the works for nearly four years, and beginning work on the Rails to Trails extension between Federal Street and Lavinia Street.
Town council lowered its annexation fees in 2018 and Rogers said she has already received three inquiries from developments seeking to join the town. She said 2018 featured investments in the town, such as the bulkhead repairs to the Milton library financed by Sussex County and the new H.O. Brittingham Elementary School build by the Cape Henlopen School District. Rogers said the school district is also planning renovations to Milton Elementary School as well.
On finances, Rogers said the town’s revenues were $500,000 over budget, while expenses were $70,000 under budget. She said the large surplus was due to increased home sales that led to the town taking in more in transfer taxes than was budgeted.
The town’s water fund revenue also came in over budget, at $6,700, although expenses were $31,000 over budget. Rogers said this was due to repainting of Shipbuilder’s Village water tower and cleaning up paint chips that may have contained lead.
Rogers said crime in Milton has dropped by 42 percent since 2016. She said Milton was ranked the second safest town in Delaware, before playfully telling Chief Robert Longo, “In 2019, I anticipate us being the No.1 safest city.”
Looking to the future, Rogers said: “Moving forward is what we’ll continue to do. We’ll continue to invest in our infrastructure. Continue to update our codes and policies and hope to see improved cell service in town.”