Milford replaces stop signs, introduces Lights-On campaign

From left, Milford Mayor Archie Campbell, Rep. Charlie Postles, Sen. Dave Wilson and Rep. Bryan Shupe stand in front of a new stop sign in Milford while city manager Eric Norenberg shows off an older, faded sign and Public Works employee William Hughes, back, works on installing the new signs. (Delaware State News/Jennifer Antonik)

MILFORD — Travelers will soon see a brighter Milford thanks to new safety initiatives funded by several local legislators.

Sen. David Wilson, R-Lincoln, and Reps. Charles Postles, R-Milford, and Bryan Shupe, R-Milford, joined city officials earlier this month to announce the purchase of 400 new stop signs to be installed within the city limits of Milford. The new signs meet DelDOT’s reflectivity standards, unlike the older signs that were previously found throughout the city.

The initiative began when a neighborhood representative contacted city manager Eric Norenberg stating their stop signs had faded. City officials took this opportunity to analyze the situation throughout town and decided it was time for a major upgrade.

“We needed to make sure drivers could see them. We’re glad no one was hurt by our faded signs. It’s a great community effort,” Mr. Norenberg said. “We are trying to be proactive and anticipate the needs of the community.”

In total, the new signs cost $12,000 paid for by the legislators through transportation funding, according to city leaders.

“I’d like to thank legislators for helping the city of Milford. You did a great job,” Mayor Archie Campbell said. “Safety is number one. The [older] signs were so faded people could see right through them.”

In an effort to continue improving on safety in the area, local leaders are also planning a “Lights-On Milford Strong” campaign by helping supply energy-efficient outdoor lighting for homes in pre-identified areas.

The LED lights will be placed on the front porches of homes in areas which have demonstrated higher crime levels; these homes will also receive solar-powered LED motion flood lights for their back yards, according to the HELP Initiative, Inc.

“The HELP Initiative, Inc. will administer and program manage a collaborative effort and matching funds campaign between the city of Milford, in partnership with the Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation, Milford Police Department and the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility to reduce concentrated areas of criminal activity and improve public safety by utilizing energy-efficient lighting measures,” a press release from the organization stated.

Energy-use awareness and education will also be highlighted through the campaign.

“Lighting is one of the most important things and is definitely a crime prevention tool,” said Sgt. Robert Masten of the Milford Police Department. “It all ties in together. The stop signs, in addition to the porch lights, will make Milford much more attractive.”

The Lights-On campaign started in Dover in 2017 and has helped decrease criminal activity in areas where the lights were installed. The program also increased 911 calls, highlighting that awareness was achieved during the outreach.

Mayor Campbell said initiatives like Lights-On and improving signage are welcome changes for the growing town.

“Milford is up and coming. It’s a booming town, especially in lower Delaware. For us, it’s like sliced bread,” he said.

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