Millville council proceeds to bids on wheelchair lift for town hall addition

The Millville Town Council voted 3-1 on Tuesday to send out a draft bid packet for a wheelchair stair lift for the town hall building. After receiving proposals, Town Manager Debbie Botchie said the two rough estimates she received were both around $20,000, prompting the need for a vote on a draft bid packet, because they are more than the $10,000 she can approve by herself under town code.

Councilman Jon Subity was the lone dissenter in the vote, saying he could appreciate the research going into a possible sprinkler system and the wheelchair lift for the upstairs of town hall, but “we are beyond where I ever thought we would be for that addition.”

“We really need to look at what the current need is,” he continued. “We need to look at existing facilities that are doing the exact same thing before spending this kind of money.”

The town council has discussed the second floor of town hall possibly being used as some sort of emergency operations command center or a place for residents to stay in an emergency, but without sprinkler system, they are limited to 10 people being up there at one time. Even with a sprinkler system and wheelchair lift, if they chose to go that route, the maximum number of people allowed is between 40 and 50 — not enough for the facility to act as a shelter in an emergency.

Subity also said agencies such as the American Red Cross or DEMA or FEMA, which would be possibly using the building, could be asked to contribute to any expenses incurred. “If they are that interested, they should be contributing to getting it up to standards … [that’s the problem] with talking before we really understand the requirements.”

Mayor Gerry Hocker said he would be “very interested” in getting quotes on the wheelchair lift and said the lack of a sprinkler system limits what the addition can be used for. “I do want to take a vote — it simply allows us to have a packet. Once we get the quotes back, we can look at them and decide if it is cost-effective.”

Pumpkin festival deemed a success

Also on Oct. 10, Botchie reported that the Great Pumpkin Festival was a big success and came out in the black this year. She also reported that she is still talking with several commercial establishments who might be interested in setting up shop in Millville.

She said McDonald’s Group was talking about locating a restaurant between Banks Wines and Spirits and the Millville Volunteer Fire Company, but that would require a change of zoning for the parcel, from C1 to C2. Dollar General, she said, is interested in the land across from the Millville Pet Stop that currently has two ranch homes on it. No change of zone would be needed for that, but she emphasized that both possibilities were in the beginning stages of their negotiations.

In other news:

• The council formally welcomed Greyson Subity, newborn son of Subity and his wife, Carrie, who is the executive director of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce.

• There will be a council workshop on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m.