Cindy DiFazio, Staff Writer
The Milan Town Council met in regular session on Monday, March
12. Council Members, Paul Hildebrand and Robert Branigan were
present. Matt Huffman was not in attendance. Town Marshal Gary
Skaggs, Town Clerk Gladys Moody, and Town Attorney Larry Eaton
were also present. Town Manager, John Ingram, was on vacation.
Ripley County Economic Development Director Brad Buening introduced
himself to the council. Buening was there with Milan property
owner, Covell Mills. He passed out aerial pictures of Milan,
noting that only two areas are currently zoned industrial. Mills
has property he would like to make available to the town and
is asking for support from the council for a rezone. Mills told
council members, I want to be pro-active, not reactive.
Buening told council members that site selection people employed
by industry wanting property in the area look for land that
is already zoned industrial and shovel-ready. They will
look at other places if its not ready to go. If its
already zoned general business or industrial, the property becomes
more marketable, Buening explained.
Council President, Paul Hildebrand told Buening and Mills that
the council will gladly get behind a rezoning push once they
have some idea of what the intended use of the property will
be. Buening asked, What are your projections for growth
for Milan? Hildebrand stated that the council is hesitant
to back any building of new businesses only to see them fail.
He also expressed doubt that the planning commission would rezone
without an idea of whats going to go in there. Mills stated
his opinion that, Planning will go along with Milans
wishes because it would be a pro-active move. Buening
rejoined, If he has support from the town, it gives credibility
to his zoning request. Larry Eaton agreed stating, It
needs to be zoned now.
Hildebrand asked, Will it be a Super Wal-Mart? Little
streets with storefronts? As a town weve been looking
at some type of industry. Mills responded, Theyll
do market studies to see what businesses are feasible.
Mills went on to say that he does not think that heavy industrial
would be right for the location, which is close to Ripley Crossing
Healthcare facilities. Hildebrand also reminded them, I
have a whole slew of buildings downtown that are unoccupied.
We dont have the population to support a mini-mall.
Council Members Robert Branigan asked, What if we blanket
approve this thing now, and then later when it doesnt
work, future councils are asked, 'Who approved that?
Buening admitted that its kind of the chicken-and-the-egg
situation, but cautioned, Batesville, Osgood, and Versailles
are beefing up their property holdings.
A few property use ideas that were received well were doctor
or dentist offices or possibly a drugstore. All agreed that
small industry would be a good fit. Both Hildebrand and Branigan
stated that while they had no objections to other businesses,
youve got to have people to support business.
Buening and Mills told the council that they would conceptualize
ideas and re-present to the Milan group. Buening assured, You
will get what youre looking for.
Marshal Skaggs reported the following for the month of February:
1 residential burglary
2 theft reports
2 theft arrests
1 public intoxication
2 traffic arrests
15 traffic warnings
2 traffic crashes with injury
2 traffic crashes with property damage
3 dog complaints
54 calls for service
10 assists to other agencies
3 assists to fire and EMS
82.5 reserve officer hours.
In other business, Park Board President Doug Price said that
the park board had met and set some priorities:
To get the ball fields in the back ready for baseball/softball
Clean up concrete at the back of the park.
Meet with the Osgood Beautification Committee.
Roselyn McKittrick asked if street signs could be straightened.
She also reported a deep pothole in the concrete on Carr Street.
In new business, a software contract with Keystone and the Rescue
30 emergency services contract was signed.