Milford aldermen OK $20 million for school and sewer upgrades

Milford City Hall, Spring 2021

Milford City Hall, Spring 2021

Hearst Connecticut Media

MILFORD — Funding is in place for some $20 million worth of improvements citywide.

The Board of Aldermen, at its meeting Monday, approved some $20 million worth of bonds to cover improvements of sanitary sewers and wastewater facilities ($3 million) and various public and school upgrades ($16.2 million).

“The projects for which we are seeking bond authorization this evening will not be bonded this October. It will likely be bonded in a subsequent October bonding session,” Mayor Ben Blake told the aldermen. “For the first year or two, those projects are funded by the anticipation note and through cash advancements.”

Blake said the $3 million sewer improvement section will be used to upgrade Rogers Avenue Sanitary Pump Station, including replacement of pumps, removing a buried oil tank, and design materials and construction costs.

“There’s always a possibility of a leakage when you’re dealing with an underground storage tank, and it’s an active tank,” said Christopher Sealey, public works director. “The tank is still being used, but we are taking it out because, in the past, people weren’t as concerned in this area, but now with sea-level rising and other weather effects in that area, it is open to flooding.”

Improvements for the schools include partial roof replacement at Joseph A. Foran High School for $3.6 million, traffic flow and safety improvements at Orchard Hills Elementary School for $1.8 million, athletic facility improvements and upgrades at Foran and Jonathan Law High School for $4.2 million, and playgrounds and exterior play area improvements at various schools for $525,000.

“I’d like to thank the PTA members, parents from the schools that came out to advocate for the kids and for the improvements,” said Alderman Anthony Giannattasio. “I think that’s what makes Milford great. We have people that live here that have a stake and are very dedicated to the schools that their children attend.”

The various public improvements include citywide road, parking lot, sidewalk and curb repaving adding up to $3 million; various city building maintenance improvements adding up to $1.5 million; various erosion and flood control projects adding up to $525,000 and automated recycling and solid waste vehicles adding up to $756,000.

Director of Finance Peter Erodici said the city’s total bond principal stands at $170 million as of June 30, 2021, and it includes the clean water fund loans.

“So those low-interest loans are part of the bond principal because we had refunded them and gotten lower interest rate through bonds,” said Erodici in response to Alderman Raymond Vitali’s question about how many bonds the city has.

Erodici added they won’t know the interest rate of the new bonds before the board until October when they issue the bonds.