Milford city council addresses Springboard Village

By Elle Wood
Posted 3/1/24

MILFORD—Residents in Milford have expressed their concerns about the Springboard Village being developed within the city since it was discussed for the first time at the city council meeting …

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Milford city council addresses Springboard Village


MILFORD — Residents in the city have expressed their concerns about the Springboard Village being developed within the city since it was discussed for the first time at a city council meeting in January.

On Wednesday, council held a workshop to discuss updates on the pallet-style lodgings for the homeless population in the area.

Judson Malone, the executive director of the Springboard Collaborative in Wilmington, developers of the Springboard Village in Georgetown, is working to get another village in the Milford.

“The whole purpose of the program is to be an interim step between the woods and permanent housing,” said Mr. Malone. “And along the way, to get the wraparound services to get your life back together.”

However, at the first meeting Jan. 28 when the idea was announced, the opinion among residents was split. There were many who were for the village, but also many against the proposal.

The goal of the workshop was to let residents know that no decision has been made for the village. Many members of council explained they heard rumors about the decisions made and wanted to clear up any confusion.

“A decision has not been made,” said Mayor Arthur Campbell. “I don’t know why everyone is up in arms when they do not have the full story. And hopefully we can make it clear.”

One of the main reasons the city cannot move forward with the project is because of the funding. The Springboard Collaborative has insufficient operational money to keep the project alive once it were to begin.

“At this stage in the game, there is still no operational funding that has become available,” said Milford City Manager Mark Whitfield. “So, this is a project that may not happen at all because there is no operational funding.

“Until the funding becomes available, that is the only time the project can move forward.”

Many residents raised concerns about taxpayers’ dollars being used to help pay for the village.

“This council will not do it if it’s going to cost the citizens taxpayers’ dollars,” said Councilman Andrew Fulton. “Everyone has a big heart, but we don’t all have giant wallets.”

Councilwoman Katrina Wilson addressed the need to figure out how to help the homeless in the city.

“For 20 years, probably more than that, we have been facing the homeless problem,” said Councilwoman Wilson. “At that particular time, things were able to be hidden a bit better. But now they are unable to hide it because they are out in the streets where we can see them.

“We still need to address what we are going to do with the less fortunate, how are we going to accommodate them in some way.”

Councilman Jason James proposed the idea of a task force made up of residents to help develop ideas and recommendations for the village.

Councilman Fulton also added an idea for a city vote to get input on the proposed village. He felt that having those numbers would give even more input on the matter.

“We are representatives of the public,” said Councilman James. “We are not decision-makers for the public.”

“We are to act on behalf of the wishes and desires of what the citizens of Milford want for their city.”

A possible location for the village has not been chosen and no further meeting was set on the matter.

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