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Milford Beacon
  • New development brings water tower to southeast Milford

  • It may be a few years before the Wickersham townhouse development is ready for new residents, but a final approval of the major subdivision will allow the city to move forward with a new water tower system for the southeast quadrant of Milford.
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  • It may be a few years before the Wickersham townhouse development is ready for new residents, but a final approval of the major subdivision will allow the city to move forward with a new water tower system for the southeast quadrant of Milford.
    The owners of the Wickersham property have agreed to allow the city to use 3.5 acres to house a water tower, which will service not only the new development, but also enhance the water services to existing developments in the southeast area of Milford.
    The proposed 205-unit Wickersham development expects its entryway to be located on Johnson Road, about a quarter of a mile southwest of Del. Route 1. The proposed development has been in the works since the property’s annexation in 2006, facing several setbacks due to a poor economy and declining real estate market. DelDOT’s construction of the Del. Route 30/Wilkins Road overpass as well as the city’s need to get water and sewer to the area have also caused delays in the project.
    Construction on the townhomes now depends on the establishment of the city’s 750,000-gallon water tower and installation of water lines, which must be installed prior to building the housing units.
    The construction of the water treatment plant, distribution and elevated storage will cost approximately $4 million, said Allen S. “Skip” Pikus, Milford City Councilman and chair of Finance for the council. The water treatment plant will be funded through a previous bond awarded to the city by the USDA in 2008.
    The water lines will tie into the Wickersham development and be looped into the city’s current water lines, servicing areas along Wilkins Road, including developments like Hearthstone and Meadows at Shawnee. Looping the water lines will be beneficial to the entire city by providing better water pressure and an emergency back-up adding this third water tower, Pikus said.
    Wickersham co-owner Stephen Deaton of Deaton McCue and Company said that if the water tower and available water lines are constructed in a timely manner, CCM-Koelig LLC and Deaton McCue and Company may start looking for national builders to construct homes as early as spring 2014. However, he expects that it will be more than three years before the homes are move-in ready.
    “It’s been a long, arduous process,” Deaton said. “Everything depends on market conditions, although Sussex County seems to be heating up in real estate. We’re optimistic that the timing is right.”
    While specifics regarding the size and cost of the homes are still undetermined, Deaton says he expects them to be two- to three-bedroom townhomes with off-street parking. The townhouses are also intended for sale, not as rentals.
    Former Milford City Planner Gary Norris said he expects the new development’s proximity to Del. Route 1 will offer interested buyers the luxury of small town living while providing easy access to more metropolitan areas like Dover.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I think it’ll have a positive effect on the city,” Norris said. “Hopefully it’ll jump start the housing economy in terms of offering more choices.”

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