Milford City Council is slated to vote next week on separate measures that could result in good news for the town police department and local cat owners.
New impact fee would benefit police department
One of the proposed ordinances expected to receive a final vote by city council on Monday would impose an impact fee on new construction with the proceeds designated exclusively for new police facilities and equipment.
If approved, the ordinance would require the developers of new buildings to pay the city a fee equal to 0.5 percent of the construction cost recorded on their building permit.
Those funds then would be deposited in an interest-bearing account that could be used by city council to fund the "acquisition, construction and reconstruction of facilities and equipment and other capital purchases needed for the police department in providing police protection services."
The Police Facilities Development Impact Fee would mirror an existing impact fee that collects 0.25 percent of construction costs on new buildings for use by the Carlisle Fire Company.
City Councilman Allen "Skip" Pikus, who serves on council's police committee with Councilmembers Douglas Morrow and Katrina Wilson, said the impact fee would help the town expand police services as the city's population grows.
"The current police station is way too small," he said. "We had been looking to build a new facility, but those plans are on hold right now because of the economy. Somewhere along the line, we will be confronted with that decision again, especially if we continue to add residents."
Pikus said the impact fee also could help the city fund the purchase of police equipment during leaner fiscal years.
"The police department has a $4.3 million budget and we've had to draw on our reserves and funds generated by our transfer tax to pay for that," he said. "This would give us another tool to provide the police protection the residents of Milford want and deserve."
Pikus noted, however, that the proposed impact fee is not expected to generate much funding in the short term.
"There's not a lot of building going on right now, so there probably won't be a lot of money raised by the fee at first," he said. "But if the economy turns around, it could result in a nice little nest egg."
If approved, the proposed impact fee would take effect Oct. 10.
Council to vote on nixing leash law for cats
Milford City Council also is expected to vote Monday on a measure that would eliminate the town's current leash law for cats, among other changes.
Milford's existing animal control law requires both dogs and cats to be on leashes when present on public streets, sidewalks, alleys or parks. The proposed amendment would exempt cats from the leash law.
Page 2 of 2 - "I think when this was put in place, the town was having a problem with cats running wild, and the idea was that cat owners wouldn't let their pets out if they had to put them on leashes," City Manager Richard Carmean said. "Recently, we've received quite a few complaints that the leash law for cats isn't being enforced, and we decided that maybe we should look at changing that requirement."
The proposed amendments up for a vote Monday also would eliminate the city's current age requirements for pet identification tags.
The current rules require dog and cat owners to acquire identification tags for their pets within 15 days of the animal reaching the age of six months, or within 15 days of any animal older than six months being acquired or brought into Milford.
The proposed changes would require dog owners to obtain a license for their canine, regardless of age, and affix the associated identification tag on their pet. Cats would be excluded from that requirement as well.