Millville to correct flooding issues at town hall property

After some ongoing drainage issues, Millville Town Councilman Harry Kent said this week that he had contacted and subsequently received a proposal from Concierge regarding the area in front of town hall.

“Anytime it rains — it can be a very small rain — we experience flooding,” said Town Manager Debbie Botchie.

The proposal stated that it would cost $2,800, including labor and materials, to help combat those issues. Botchie said that the Town has $3,000 budgeted for building maintenance, which will cover the cost of the work.

Kent said the drainage issue is caused by a number of things, including planting and the property’s current grading. He said that, in addition to what the town is already contending with, the Delaware Department of Transportation has said that they plan to elevate Route 26 in front of town hall.

“[The contractor] is going to have some grading work done — a small amount. This corner, they’re going to cut away underneath the ramp area and put away a containment unit where the water will drain into, to get the water to go down, which will then be piped into the back of the property, tying into a drainage system that already exists… There will be several drain units plopped in the ground, as well.”

Kent said that the current system has an issue with debris. He said that, with the new system, water would naturally settle down through gravel and other drain points that will filter out the debris, eliminating any chance for a mechanical issue to arise.

He added that the containment device has a lid on top of it and is placed behind latticework, which will make it easily accessible to town staff and maintenance workers.

Councilman Robert Gordon asked if anyone has asked DelDOT if they’re going to put in a drain management system during the Route 26 project.

Botchie said she is in the process of drafting a letter to DelDOT regarding how they plan to handle the drainage and where they expect it to run off.

Councilwoman Joan Bennett said she would be concerned if DelDOT stated there was a plan to swale the runoff water and send it to the drainage ditch behind town hall.

“Our building sits so close to the back of that ditch that, in the event of an uber-storm, that could be a prescription for a disaster.”

Kent said that the proposal also covered conduit work, for replacing the wiring to illuminate the flagpole.

The council went on to unanimously approved Resolution 14-02 “to authorize the town manager to enter into contracts and authorize payments to purchase materials or obtain services which are ordinary and necessary to the continued daily function of the Town.”

“What this resolution does is put a number cap, in terms of what Debbie can authorize,” explained Town Solicitor Seth Thompson. “And then also she needs to account for the money.”

The resolution stated that the town manager would be able to authorize the spending of up to $5,000, based on half of the Town’s competitive bid limit of $10,000.

“This would be something that would seemingly be an ordinary expense. Not something that the town anticipated,” Thompson said. “Debbie needs to feel comfortable that, if something comes up that needs immediate attention, she’s authorized to order whatever is necessary to get it fixed.”

Bennett said that, although Botchie would absolutely present such spending to the council in her monthly administrative report, she would like to add a line in the resolution stating that the town manager would advise the council of such spending.

Thompson said that he could add to the resolution: “Be it further resolved that any such expense in the excess of $1,000 shall be included in the town manager’s subsequent administrative report to town council.”

The council approved the resolution unanimously with a vote of 5-0.

In other town news:

• Farmers market Master Linda Kent said the Millville Farmers Market has been going very well and will continue to be open on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Sept. 12. She added that she hopes to extend an invitation to the vendors to participate in the town’s Great Pumpkin Festival, as well as the December holiday market.

• The Town did not receive any bids for the installation of the fire and security alarm system for town hall. Botchie said they would have to look into doing some advertising outside of the local area.

• The town council will hold its monthly workshop on Tuesday, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m. in town hall.