Tired of being ignored by a local business owner, the Selbyville Town Council didn’t hesitate to revoke the business license of Andrew Principe, owner of the site maintenance company SMI Services.
Principe did not attend the Nov. 3 council meeting to defend his business practices.
Town Hall has sent cease-and-desist letters to Principe regarding the storage of concrete debris at the business at 20 Railroad Avenue, which is not a permitted use there.
“Recycling concrete in a little town is not what we want,” Councilmember Jay Murray had said in October as the council discussed its next moves.
“The concrete has been hauled in. We have had many communications to cease and desist, issued fines. … There’s been no response,” said Town Administrator Bob Dickerson.
Principe does not own the property. He also has not cleared away the concrete, despite the Town’s demands that he do so, Dickerson said.
“Somebody won’t deal with you, won’t even talk to you. … It’s frustrating,” said Mayor Clifton Murray. “It’s been going on for some time.”
Council members said they still see the concrete being dumped.
Although Dickerson said several certified letters were returned, unclaimed, to Town Hall, he is confident Principe knows the situation is an issue because the dumping continues and Principe visited Town Hall before a recent town council meeting.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a case like this. Nobody ever just ignores you,” Mayor Murray said. “People are typically unaware of the violation, or they’re prepared to amend it.”
The Town of Selbyville may not get the backup it expected from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources, since concrete is considered “clean fill,” like soil, rocks, gravel or broken glass. (The concrete must be from a non-industrial source and be free of steel, metal and paint, according to the Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances’ website.)
Nonetheless, the non-permitted use has been noted by the Town, and not addressing the issue has cost Principe the business license for SMI Services to operate in Selbyville.
A quick floodplain vote
Selbyville only needed one vote to approve a new floodplain ordinance. FEMA has mandated new standards for towns wishing to gain or continue coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program. That includes new definitions and naming a flood plain administrator (Selbyville’s town administrator).
The requirement doesn’t have the same impact as it does in beach towns, where larger chunks of land fall in the flood plain. Dickerson said Selbyville’s lowest elevation is along Polly Branch, near Food Lion, Mountaire and the Southern Delaware School of the Arts.
Most of the areas are already built, and the ordinance only applies to new construction.
“We reviewed it, did extensive editing of the proposed model to make sure we weren’t going overboard with it,” Dickerson said.
The edits were approved by the Town building inspector, engineering firm and attorney.
Dickerson said Selbyville’s Town Code only requires one vote to approve the change, rather than multiple readings or a public hearing.
By replacing its existing Flood Damage Reduction Ordinance, Selbyville has met the March 2015 deadline from FEMA.
Realtor Steve Morgan has clients building a house on Bixler Road in Selbyville, and he told the council this week that they were stunned when a sewer estimate doubled from $18,000 to $35,000. The original engineering study had estimated the house was about 150 feet from a sewer connection, but that jumped to about 400 feet in a later study.
He asked what they could do.
The council recommended against a grinder pump, because the owner would have to maintain the individual unit that breaks waste down to exit the property through a tiny pipe.
Although it’s more expensive to connect to gravity sewer now, the property owner will have no cost in the long term, they emphasized.
Because another nearby property also wants to hook up to sewer, Council suggested Morgan contact that person for a cost-share project.
“We’ll work out a way to get him sewer and water there,” Dickerson said later.
In other Selbyville Town Council news:
• Gently used coats for all ages can be donated in Selbyville. Town hall will have a collection for Delaware veterans. The police department will collect coats for Selbyville schoolchildren ages 5 to 13.
• Residents should report streetlight outages to town hall or the police. For September, the police had 201 calls, issuing 116 tickets and collecting $5,735 in fines.
• Due to the clarity of the new town well water, hydro-flushing only took about half of the usual two weeks, officials reported.
• The Selbyville Public Library and Selbyville Community Club are partnering to begin a new reading group. This year, the library is also collecting brand new toys for Toys for Tots.
• The council approved purchase of a $120 ad for the Indian River High School Band Boosters.
“Anyone who came to the Halloween parade saw they put on a really good show,” Dickerson said.
The next regular Town Council meeting is Monday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. Planning & Zoning meets Thursday, Nov. 13, at 4 p.m. to discuss a business on Route 113.