Business owners: Must life be so hard?

| 06 Aug 2015 | 01:24

By Frances Ruth Harris
— Amy Eisenberg of the Milford Craft Show Boutique said she's stopped offering musical events at her store — which she sees as "a way of giving back" — when she found she lacked the proper permit.

This shows “how unfriendly Milford is to business," she told the borough council.

Nancy Simonet of The Waterwheel Café said the borough's dumpster requirements are robbing her business of parking spaces.

"There are no complaints about our garbage," she said.

Adriane Wendell of the Harrington House and Rebecca Corliss of the Flying Pig Tea Room asked why doing business in Milford is so convoluted.

The long meeting was filled with tension, as Milford's proprietors objected to the difficulty of doing business in the borough, and expressed a sense that nonprofits don't have to follow the same rules they do.

Concerts need permitsCouncil President James Price told Eisenberg that her concerts could also be seen as benefitting her own business.

Bob DiLorenzo, the borough's zoning and sewage officer, said that when he told Eisenberg she would need a permit for her planned July 18 concert, she canceled the event, DiLorenzo said.

The nonprofit farmers market still lacks a permit for its new location at the Grotto, and did not have one at its former location. Council Vice President Joseph Casmus said their incomplete application was returned to them to finish.

But the market continues to operate, with outdoor music, and without a permit, Eisenberg said, while she held off.

Borough Solicitor John Klemeyer said DiLorenzo was incorrect when he told Jolie DeFeis of the farmers market that she had verbal approval to run the 2015 market with outdoor music. A public hearing on the market will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 17.

David Weinberg asked for code amendments related to outdoor events “because I’ve witnessed the farce this year of the bureaucratic hoops.”

Weinberg said only non-profits sponsored events. But Price countered with, "There is nothing in the ordinance that requires a non-profit to sponsor an event.”

Old dumpster law newly enforced

Simonet of the Waterwheel said a requirement that she enclose the restaurant's dumpster will take up valuable parking spots and make plowing more difficult because enclosure will have to be locked and unlocked whenever it snows. A wall or fence will make no difference, she said, because people will just throw stuff over the wall. She said she removes all the garbage tossed near her dumpster, and cleans up after the mess-making bears that come up from the creek. She's sure the bears would destroy any structure made of plastic or wood.

Simonet asked why “food people are being told it’s just for them.” She suggested the borough give citations to any business owner or resident who doesn't keep their property clean.

Denise Fretta of Fretta’s Restaurant said she now has five parking spaces, and a dumpster enclosure would leave her with only three. Her only other alternative would be to move out of the way a large planter that's also an electrical hookup.

Price said the dumpster enclosure ordinance has been on the books since the '90s but never enforced. Businesses were given a year to come into compliance, he said.

And for some good news...In some good news for local businesses, Jim Pedranti of Route 6 Heritage Highway sought the council's blessing on being included as one of 19 heritage towns in a program to boost tourism across northern Pennsylvania. Milford would be featured in a brochure promoting antiques shops, hotels, restaurants, and historic sites like Grey Towers, said Pedantri.

He said connecting the borough to the river was critical to stirring greater activity and commerce.

The board tabled their endorsement until its members had a chance to read the 120-page Heritage Highway proposal, online at

Another proposal would install a color-coded map of the borough to help visitors find local businesses. Casmus said a standard aluminum sign would cost $8,740.

But everyone in the room said the cost was too high. Casmus became irritated, telling those in attendance they could address the issue as they saw fit.

Eisenberg of the Milford Craft Show Boutique asked why the business community hadn't been consulted about the sign.

Casmus agreed to attend a business focus group meeting.