Selbyville council puts fire company agreement in writing

The Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company is aiming to add a new ladder truck to its fleet, and the Selbyville Town Council offered their full approval at their June 3 meeting.

To borrow up to $700,000 at a low-interest rate, the fire company needed a written agreement, officially stating the relationship between the Town and SVFC’s emergency services.

It was the first official agreement between the two entities but basically states what is already in practice: the VFC will serve Selbyville, and the Town will rely solely on the company for its emergency services.

With that agreement in place, the Town of Selbyville opened a very quiet public hearing for the VFC to request permission to borrow up to $700,000 toward a $1.3 million ladder truck.

“If it saves one life, it’s worth it,” said resident Lucille Creel.

The 2013 Rosenbauer T-Rex 115-foot aerial truck includes an articulated boom, so the ladder can rise high over a ledge, then drop a bucket containing firefighters. Fire company officials said the boom is helpful to get above Mountaire’s facility or false storefronts.

“It’s good for the town to get the equipment you need,” said Mayor Clifton Murray.

Approval was unanimous for the company to borrow the funds. The new ladder truck should arrive by August and enter service in September. It is expected to last 30 years. The old ladder truck will remain in service for as long as possible.

In other Selbyville news:

• Selbyville police reported 179 calls for service, 134 tickets, 13 arrests and $3,997 in fines in May. Police Chief Scott Collins said tickets were down, but fines were up — possibly because the State of Delaware was holding onto income tax refunds until outstanding fines were paid.

Police had just finished a distracted driving campaign, but Collins said they were to begin another crackdown June 7 to 17. Collins reminded people that, if you’re holding a phone, even on speaker, it’s not considered “hands-free.” Drivers in Delaware can only legally pick up their phones to dial or end a call.

Collins also reported that Selbyville police were involved in a high-speed chase after a robbery, but the pursuit ended in Frankford, when officers forced the car to stop with stop sticks.

Additionally, he said, the theft, in the middle of the day, of a motorized wheelchair valued at $6,000 was reported from by elderly couple.

“That’s low,” said Councilmember Jay Murray.

Collins also reminded people that a pawn-shop database has helped recover a considerable amount of jewelry, so people are being encouraged to record serial numbers to improve the chances of stolen items being recovered.

• Councilmember Rick Duncan reported that water usage was up to 9.3 million gallons, a 1 million gallon increase. He asked residents to “be conservative,” especially as Selbyville’s water system is still operating with only one well.

Erik Retzlaff, town engineer, said they’re waiting for the delivery of electrical and motor control equipment for the new well. He said he still hoped to see the new well online by late August.

• Councilmember Frank Smith III read a letter from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, received after a recent compliance inspection at the town’s wastewater treatment plant. Housekeeping operations were “very good,” data was “acceptable,” methods were “in compliance,” and there was “no observable deficiency,” according to the letter. The DNREC representative commended the staff for a “fantastic tour” and their own dedication and compliance in wastewater treatment.

• Dickerson reminded people that Old Timer’s Day is scheduled for Saturday, June 15. Registration for cars, vendors and the yard sale are under way. He invited town dignitaries to make a speech at the auto awards. Due to a slight mishap with the awards, the customary pistons will be replaced with plaques this year, but they will return in the future.

• The council approved a 15-year franchise agreement with Mediacom, noting that prices are comparable to the other cable service with which the Town might have an agreement. They noted that satellite providers do not need to enter into franchise agreements with municipalities because they are wireless and don’t use municipal road space for lines. Dickerson said the only concern a resident had about the agreement had been answered.

• A house on 2nd Street that had been deemed unlivable was officially sold to a mortgage company in May, although the resident who had been living in the home was believed to still be residing there, town officials said. Dickerson said the company must now issue a vacate order.

• The council unanimously agreed on updates to the employee handbook, regarding motor vehicle record checks, cell phone usage at work and random drug testing. Dickerson said it provides for a safe working environment and helps the Town’s liability insurance to have good policies in place.

The next Selbyville Town Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 1, at 7 p.m.