Hire open space manager

Milford environmentalists have been arguing for years that the city needs to hire a manager to oversee Milford’s open space. The economy is bad, and it’s not the greatest time to be adding city employees.

However, since creating the job taps into funds set aside for just this type of expenditure, and since grants are expected to pay the salary of an open space manager going forward, city aldermen should finalize the plan when they meet next week and approve the creation of new city open space manager.

The Planning and Zoning Board unanimously agreed at its Aug. 21 meeting to a proposal from Mayor Benjamin G. Blake to spend $45,000 from its Open Space Funds account “for the purpose of retaining the service of an open space and natural resource agent to maintain, preserve, and monitor usage of the city’s open space.” The fund currently has $238,000.

Blake said this is intended as a one-time use of the open space funds, as he hopes the position would become self-supporting. The intent is for the open space agent to apply for grant funds that would continue to pay for the position.

Local environmentalists say the city’s natural areas have been damaged by vandals and by neglect. An open space manager is vital to protect the land, they argue.

The funding plan put forward, coupled with the voices of some very intelligent and dedicated environmentlists, make this is an easy choice: Hire the open space manager.

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