Millville discusses Vols' manual, additional budget at workshop

The Millville Town Council will head into April’s regular meeting with a full plate to vote on after discussing several items at a workshop this week.

The council went through a draft of a policy manual for the Millville Volunteer Group. They discussed the town paying for background checks for all volunteers, as well as changing many references to the group having to report or answer to the mayor to having them instead reporting the town manager, council liaison or the volunteer chair.

The original draft of the manual had come from the now-defunct Citizens Auxiliary Patrol group that resigned en masse from its service to Ocean View, so many items were simply changed to better fit Millville.

Town Manager Debbie Botchie said the volunteers will have to sign the document, as well as a confidentiality agreement. The council also discussed a section pertaining to the group refraining from releasing items that were not public information and not speaking on behalf of the Town.

“I am thinking about subjective commentary,” questioned councilperson Joan Bennett. “While not purposefully negative or damaging, off-color or incorrect, what if something comes out that might be embarrassing for the Town or not paint the Town in a great light?”

“Well, that could also come from the council,” joked Councilman Robert Gordon.

They decided that all media/spokesperson-type duties would be channeled through the council liaison “or designee” first.

In addition, they discussed getting picture ID badges made in-house and a uniform for the volunteers so they are easily recognizable.

In other news from this week’s council workshop, Gordon reported that they are waiting to get a copy of the plans for the building from the architect so they can forward the information on to the fire marshal’s office so the Town will know what size water tank they need to price out for a sprinkler system.

Three things they have discussed in recent months – the water tank, sprinkler system and wheelchair lift – are all blank line items in the current operating budget, but the council decided that an estimate of $250,000 for all three items would be a conservative number to plug in.

Bennett asked that the items not be left blank, so they could be shown as some type of expense. Botchie said she “personally didn’t like getting numbers out of nowhere,” but, after thinking through what each might cost, agreed that the $250,000 figure would work, with an explanation of about $25,000 for the wheelchair lift, $120,000 for a sprinkler system (a number that has been discussed in the past) and the remaining amount for a water tank.

The policy manual, the water tank discussion and the budget are all scheduled to be put on the April 10 meeting agenda.

The council also discussed the draft language of an ordinance amendment that would allow for a “temporary sales center” at Bishop’s Landing. Because the Town’s current conditional-use application doesn’t mention trailers as temporary sales centers, they were approached about the proposal by the developers at the council’s last workshop. Because of the public hearing process, however, that cannot be voted on until the May council meeting.

“I don’t know why you are doing this trailer thing,” commented resident Richard Shoebridge. “This could turn bad if the developer goes belly-up, and I don’t think it’s right. But that’s just my opinion.”