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Milford town leaders discuss ways to fund struggling utilities dept.

MILFORD, Ind. -

Keeping the water safe and maintaining an efficient sewage system are top priorities for the small Michiana town of Milford.

But the town’s utilities fund is sinking.

Utility crews in the town of Milford spent most of Thursday afternoon fixing a water main break.

The department is also charged with keeping this community’s water safe and sewage system efficient.

It is a challenge only increased by the department’s lack of funding.

“For the last several years our budget has been cut so we have had to look at all possible ways to balance the budget, cut spending, and look for revenue,” explained Clerk Treasurer Joellen Free.

The utilities department is now using money from other funds to maintain daily operations.

“Tax base is pretty limited. We’re not a growing community. We’re a very small rural community,” Free said.

Free said the town already raised the sewer fund rates three years ago. And ideally, she hopes it won’t happen again. But it could. If that’s what it takes to ensure the quality of drinking water and sewer system.

There is also discussion to apply for several grants.

 “We’re going to have to make upgrades to our sewer plant in the future. Possibly make upgrades to our water tower,” said Free.

The utilities director in Milford said the sewer plant is around 12 years old.

He said the average life of a pump is about seven years, which is why he hopes the town figures out a new source of revenue.

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