Millville Town Manager Debbie Botchie reported this week that Dollar General has plans to be open by the end of November, to a collective statement of “impressive” that could be heard from several town council members at their Nov. 19 meeting, should that actually be the case.
Dollar General received their final site plan approval from the Town in August of this year and, as of early this week, passersby could see that the asphalt parking area has already been poured, electricity is on inside the brick-fronted building and displays were being put in place.
The town council this week also approved a resolution allowing the town manager to sign on behalf of the Town for certain matters relating to developments, such as public works agreements, landscape agreements and stormwater maintenance agreements. The agreements are also studied and signed by the town land-use consultants, URS, and the town attorney.
“Before, it was the mayor,” explained the town solicitor of prior signing approvals. “But as it is more of an administrative duty…”
Town council treasurer Jan Bennett reported on Monday that the Town, as of Oct. 3, had about $97,846 in revenue and about $28,923 in expenses. In restricted revenue, she reported that they received $44,211 and had restricted expenses of $1,245.
“Wow,” she said, “on an editorial note,” about the restricted revenue, mainly coming from transfer tax on homes in town, “we are very fortunate [with that high a number].”
Botchie also reported that the Great Pumpkin Festival the town hosts each October went well this year. She said she had been leery because they did not get the number of sponsorships that they have received in the past but, all in all, reported that they put on quite a festival for little money.
She noted that they hired the Black Pearl, a small bus that usually caters to the bar and restaurant crowd, and reported that its driver had transported more than 396 people from either Lord Baltimore Elementary School, the town hall parking lot or Millville United Methodist Church’s parking lot to the grounds of the festival, which was held at the Millville fire hall.
“We also gave away 355 Halloween treat bags,” she said, adding that many of the older children didn’t take them, so that number didn’t truly reflect the total number of children who attended.
In the resident/property owner comment portion of the meeting, resident Richard Shoebridge asked the town for assistance with Charles Ellison, developer of Millville by the Sea. He expressed disappointed in how trash and trash collection communication was handled during Hurricane Sandy and overall dissatisfaction with communication with Ellison in general.
“He got the final plan. When is he going to start the lake?” he asked. “We have been waiting for years for things, and he won’t answer my emails. He is not a good man. He keeps telling us about things that will happen, and nothing is happening,” said Shoebridge.
Botchie said that, unfortunately, there is not a lot the town can do short of enforcing the “sunset rule” for approvals in the development, which wouldn’t come into play for three years.
“There is nothing we can do — at least until three years, when the sunset provision on the site plan comes into play. We can’t force him to communicate with you.”
Shoebridge then asked how many lots and homes had been sold in the development, and Botchie said she had those numbers and could provide them to Shoebridge.