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Milton supervisor candidates meet in debate

Olenik said that business development has been long overdue in the town, and said that development of the town center is a pillar of his 10-year plan.

"It will bring in jobs, it will bring in increased sales tax revenue and it will bring people to our town," said Olenik, who worked for the insurance industry before retiring in 2006. He is a regular presence at Town Board meetings.

Frolish said that the town's R-2 zones could encourage the development of agribusiness in Milton, which would expand the tax base while preserving its rural characteristics.

Stevens said that it is important to develop jobs and services in Milton, not just so residents can get what they need in town, but to stop the "brain drain" of young people leaving the area for employment elsewhere.

Olenik and Stevens both specifically called for a review of the town's master plan in light of coming changes.

"If all the lots are built on that are allowed to be built on, we will lose out rural character and will lose our farmland," said Stevens.

On the issue of water and sewer service in town, the candidates were tentatively split. Milton is served by private providers, and there has been a call from some corners for the town or county to take over.

Frolish noted that while hooking into the county's sewer system may be possible, buying water from the upcoming county water system would require the town to form a water department.

"Moving private water systems to the county would be difficult, if not impossible," he said. "If it is not cheaper to the residents of Miltonthen it shouldn't be done."

Olenik and Stevens said that the idea of making these systems public should be studied.

Though the candidates said they would be dedicated to improving communication and efficiency at Town Hall, some residents seemed skeptical they could achieve such goals. All said they were willing to keep open an open door and mind if elected, though. That included Stevens, who would lead an all-Republican board if elected.

"I get along very well with people from the other party," she said. "In fact, I'm married to one."

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