Selbyville gets update on Mediacom digital switchover

Mediacom’s Glenn Bisogno continued the company’s recent outreach to local town councils with a visit with Selbyville Town Council members at their Feb. 3 meeting, again explaining the changes that will be involved in the company’s digital changeover and elimination of most analog channels.

Those with older televisions not equipped with digital receivers who do not have a digital cable box will need a special adapter starting in April if they want to continue to receive channels above 17 on those sets. The elimination of analog signal for channels 18 and higher is designed to make room for additional digital offerings, he has noted previously.

“We think this is good for the customers,” said Bisogno, because it offers more.

Channel numbers may change, but Mediacom should send a new channel guide and publish it online. Customers should receive three notices in the mail about the change, and Bisogno encouraged people to call early to get their adapters.

“We expect more activity in April, when we start turning off channels,” he said, admitting that even he “waited until I lost channels” before switching.

“It’s no more complicated than a VCR or DVD player,” but Mediacom staff can make house calls to help, he said. Mediacom has recently expanded their Dagsboro call center, so customers can dial the same help line, and they’re more likely to get a Dagsboro-based employee (although calls may be transferred to another call center if the local wait time is too long).

“If you have a problem, just go down a generation or two!” joked Mayor Clifton Murray.

The Feb. 3 Selbyville Town Council meeting also included discussion of a number of other issues.

Town officials announced that the Old Timer’s Day festival will not occur this year, so as not to overburden the key organizers. Various personal issues don’t “make it conducive for us to do it this year and make it as successful as last year,” said Town Manager Bob Dickerson.

It was noted that Mountaire traffic has remained a concern in the town, especially where heavy equipment is concerned.

Residents have seen “forklifts, tractor trailers and everything else, but there’s no flagger,” Councilman Clarence Tingle Jr. said.

That creates a concern that the Mountaire drivers can’t fully see the road or other cars when entering the roadway.

“There used to be a man in a [neon] vest,” who Police Chief W. Scott Collins called “very visual … very considerate of traffic.”

Residents can call Town Hall with concerns or incidents, officials noted. Collins said that, if the company safety office knows about incidents, they can write up the employees who aren’t following safety protocols.

Also on Feb. 3, the council approved continuing the existing property tax rate of $1.85 per $100 of assessed property value for another year.

The council voted to annex land on Route 54. Dickerson explained that the land was originally adjacent to, but owned by someone other than, an incoming 300-home residential planned community. The 22,045 square feet of land on the southerly right-of-way line of Route 54, owned by Joseph Vincent Papiri, was annexed into the R-4 Residential District. There were no comments from citizens on the annexation. The vote was 4-0 to approve it, with Jay Murray abstaining.

Officials announced that, as the active insect season approaches, Selbyville will again partner with Delaware Mosquito Control, which does aerial and neighborhood spraying as needed in summer.

Collins reported that, in January, Selbyville police had 224 calls for service, issued 114 tickets and made 10 arrests on 31 charges. Collins said one suspect was arrested in connection with a rash of burglaries that lasted more than two weeks, with warrants issued for another suspect.

Completing his tenure as chairperson of Delaware Law Enforcement for Special Olympics, Collins reported that the group’s Polar Bear Plunge was fun and cold and raised more than $275,000.

The new superintendent at the wastewater treatment plant has invited other experts to discuss plant operations.

“She’s just confirming her knowledge with people in the fields,” Dickerson said.

All of the employees are now officially licensed as wastewater treatment plant operators, he added.

Two businesses will join the Industrial Park, unanimously approved by the council.

United Food & Commercial Workers applied for office space at 3 Mason Drive for six employees, with the possibility of adding two more.

Coastal Tile & Stone had already moved into 137 Dixon Street around the holidays, but later realized they need council approval for their office and showroom. Three full-time employees, plus around 25 exclusive subcontractors, could bring lots of traffic to town. There would be deliveries, but no manufacturing.

The next regular town council meeting is Monday, March 10, at 7 p.m.