County Council kicks off election scholarship contest

The Sussex County Council this week kicked off their biennial Election Year Scholarship Contest for local students.

Children 18 or younger who are residents of Sussex County and attend school (locally or elsewhere) in grades K through 12 are being encouraged to make predictions about the winners of upcoming elections for 24 national, statewide and county elective offices, including president, U.S. senator, congressman, governor, lieutenant governor, insurance commissioner, various General Assembly seats, county council seats and Clerk of the Peace.

The online contest was started in 2000 and last year had nearly 500 youth participants. Students can make their predictions online at Prizes will go to the top six entries: $200 to the winner, to be paid upon enrollment in a college or other qualified post-high school program. Five runners-up will each earn $100 scholarships.

Council members on Sept. 25 also voted to adopt an amendment to Chapter 115 of the county code by amending Article XXV 115-181, relating to yards and open spaces. The amendment allows property owners to appeal directly to Planning & Zoning Director Lawrence Lank for variances under a certain number of inches, so long as there is no opposition to the application.

In March 2011, Lank read the proposed ordinance amendment relating to yards and open spaces and stated that the amendment provides for an administrative variance procedure. He said the ordinance is not intended to relate to setbacks and separation distances within manufactured home parks but instead relates to single-family lots, business/commercial parcels and multi-family building separations.

Under the ordinance, if there is any opposition, the case is to be referred to the Board of Adjustment. Several council members cited efficiency in time and less cost to residents as reasons for supporting the amendment. For more background on the amendment, readers can view this week’s council packet online. It details the timeline of the ordinance amendment.

The council this week also awarded a bid for the Greenwood Public Library to Richard Y. Johnson & Son of Lincoln, for $2.72 million. County Administrator Todd Lawson announced that the library’s temporary home in the “Hill Top” location of the town is open a week earlier than expected. Patrons will use the temporary location while the new library is being constructed.