Petition Circulated Against Milton Fences - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Petition Circulated Against Milton Fences

MILTON, De. - As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 100 people had signed a petition being circulated in Milton. These citizens, lead by Ed Harris, a former town councilman, are calling for the town to reverse a decision to construct seven foot tall chain-link fences around key facilities. Harris is calling for more decorative fences that will boost the town's image. 

The $37 thousand investment would build fences around three main locations in town; The Shipbuilders Tower, the Chandler Water Tower, and the town maintenance yard. In order to fund the project, the town will be using a $30 thousand grant from the Department of Homeland Security, which is meant to keep key locations safe from terrorism.

"You need to d
o it right or don't do it all," Harris said.

He said the chain link fences would make the city look like a prison, and says better fences would be a worthwhile investment. 

"This doesn't help our image," he said pointing at a chain link fence. "It doesn't sell our town as a positive. It's actually does just the opposite. It's an unfriendly fence. And it looks like a prison."  

But town clerk Kristy Rogers told WBOC that the town is doing the best with the resources they have available. She said the council members didn't want to raise taxes on their constituents more than they had to. She said the move from chain link fences to decorative ones would have cost the town thousands of dollars above what is currently being spent. 

"The grant was only $30,000 through homeland security," she said. "We wanted to definitely address all three areas for security for safety around these facilities."

Rogers said that the concerns about the chain link fences were also exaggerated. She said the town avoided the barbed wire option like some towns do, and said the chain link fences would not be a problem aesthetically. 

Howard Hartley of Milton said that he would pay higher taxes for a more secure fence, but not for mere appearances. 

"I'd say put up one as secure as you can," he said. "I wouldn't work about the aesthetics about it. I mean it's a fence. It's supposed to keep people out. Especially if someone is trying to get in there to do some damage." 

Milton has to use the grant money by June or they will lose it all. Although the contract has been voted on and finalized, Harris said he will continue to gather signatures, with the hope that the contract will be altered. 
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