Milltown prepares to adopt ’23 budget
By Chris Adams, Contributing Writer
The Milltown Town Council prepared to adopt its 2023 budget next week by conducting a public hearing on the budget ordinance prior to its regular monthly meeting on Sept. 12.
The proposed budget includes an estimated civil maximum levy of $167,445 and an estimated property tax cap credit of $50,740.
Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Lutz said the proposed budget includes a few small increases.
“We kind of did the increases based on where everything looks like it’s falling at the end of the year and then just a few extra little dollars with the way everything is increasing,” she said.
Lutz, however, said the council would be able to adjust the budget prior to the adoption meeting, which will be Monday at 7 p.m. at the town hall. At her recommendation, the council agreed to meet last Friday morning to review any possible changes.
Before closing the public hearing and moving into the regular meeting, the council, following a motion by Jean Melton that was seconded by Justin Barnes, voted 3-0 to move forward with the budget process.
After opening the regular meeting, the council voted 3-0 to pay an invoice of $139,959.44 submitted by E&B Paving of Jeffersonville for paving work done through the state’s Community Crossing Matching Grant program.
Barnes, who made the motion to pay the invoice, said he had a few questions regarding work done on Harrison Avenue, including paving over manholes and an issue regarding a curb, but overall was pleased with the project.
“I was very happy with what they did,” he said.
The council then voted 3-0 to allow Jerry Mackey, as the board’s president, to sign the paperwork to close out the grant.
In another matter, the council voted 3-0 to accept a bid of $4,000 from Cave Country Canoes to purchase the old railroad berm property from the town.
In July, the council agreed to solicit bids for the property. Minimum bids needed to be the average of two appraisals of the property — $1,750 — and reimburse the town for the cost of the appraisals and anticipated legal fees, meaning bids needed to begin at $2,450. In addition, since the property has economic development potential, bidders needed to state their intended use for the property.
Cave Country Canoes, which had expressed interested in the property for some time, was the only bidder. Its goals include building or purchasing small cabins or tents with decks overlooking Blue River, with the expectation that each unit will have water and sewer, allowing for a longer annual season, and renovating the old church on the property into a multi-use venue.
In other business, the council:
•Gave its blessing for the Milltown Events Committee to host a Boo-Fest on Oct. 29. The event will include a Zombie Walk and Skeleton Run, chili cook-off, pumpkin chuckin’, ghost walk and trunk or treat. In addition, winners of a scarecrow contest that will begin Sept. 29 will be announced that evening.
Proceeds from the Boo-Fest will be split between the Milltown Economic Development Committee and next year’s Milltown Community Festival.
•Gave permission to the Economic Development Committee to move forward with plans to install 12 48-inch LED light bars on the side of the downtown bridge.
Erin Henry said the lights, including installation, will cost $16,579. She said the project is eligible for a CreatINg Places place-based crowdfunding grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. She said the committee is confident it can raise the required 50% match with a single fundraiser.