Millville paints positive fiscal picture for town

Finances in the Town of Millville are “very impressive,” according to Herb Geary of the TGM Group, certified public accountants. Reporting on an audit report for the prior fiscal year at a town council workshop this week, Geary said he had “nothing but good news to report.” He said it is “nice to see” a town with money in the bank and no debt.

The town council also voted this week on several proposed revisions to this year’s already-approved budget. Town Manager Debbie Botchie said several things needed to be adjusted after a six-month review, to keep actual expenses as close to the budget as possible.

For instance, the Town budgeted for $109,000 in transfer tax revenue and has already received $152,000, just halfway through the fiscal year. The council had also budgeted $3,000 for public safety, to pay for additional state police coverage, but Botchie said they didn’t need it, and she requested that be reduced to $1,500. She also said they would also be receiving a grant from Sussex County Council for $11,000 for the hiring of state police officers to periodically patrol the town.

Another item she requested be added to the budget was $500 for “Welcome to Millville” bags that could be filled with information for people moving into the town, such as information on businesses and ordinances and other pertinent information.

The council unanimously approved the changes to the budget.

The council also approved the final draft of a cable franchise agreement with Mediacom, making it the third local town to do so. Botchie said Bethany Beach and Ocean View have already approved it, leaving South Bethany as the only town involved in the multi-municipality negotiations with Mediacom that has not yet done so. She said the next step after that is actually sitting down with Mediacom to move forward with negotiations.

Pen Frey, a resident of Ocean View who said he used to have a Millville address before it was changed, expressed concern to the council about a conditional-use application coming before the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday, Nov. 2, for a yard waste and composting facility outside Millville town limits.

Frey said he believes it would affect Millville residents adversely and damage property values, as well as increase truck traffic in town and create unpleasant odor. He encouraged all those in attendance to go to the meeting.

The application by Jeremy W. Smith asks the County to approve conditional use of 17 acres of land, west of Road 347 (White’s Neck Road) and south of Road 349 (Old Mill Road), in an AR-1 agricultural-residential district, for a yard waste and composting facility. The County Council would consider possible approval of the conditional use once P&Z makes a recommendation on the application.