County could expand MIllville sewer district

Several communities along White’s Neck Road not included in the original Millville Sanitary Sewer District, including West Ocean Farms, White’s Neck Village and Bowerset could soon see county sewer. Sussex County Engineer Mike Izzo presented to county council on Tuesday, July 20, a proposal to bring service to the remaining areas because they have come in under budget for the project.

County Administrator David Baker explained that county staff believes they could provide the service with no affect on existing customers’ rates.

“It seems a good opportunity to hop on board at a good rate” said Izzo.

Because the first public hearings on the district were held back in 2003, Izzo asked that there be a public meeting to go back to the communities so property owners would have a chance to ask questions. He said that, after that meeting, he would again report back to council.

The council on Tuesday also approved a small, temporary pump station for Denton Mills. Izzo said Denton Mills was always included in the original district and they had been working with the developer, but since the economy has cooled down, that has not moved forward. He said that, in the future, they could take the temporary station offline and connect to the permanent one – which will go out to Route 17 – once it is completed.

The council on July 20 also approved local law enforcement grants to the towns of Ocean View, Frankford and Milton. Ocean View will receive $11,777.06, their second disbursement of the year, the first being roughly $4,000 back in March; both are to help with the purchase of a new police car. Frankford asked for its entire $15,000 for the first time, to help pay for staff expenses during the summer months, and Milton asked for its entire $15,000 allotment, for assistance in refurbishing existing police cars, rather than for the purchase of new ones. Deputy County Administrator Hal Godwin touted the plan as “a pretty ingenious way to efficiently use funds.”

Sussex County Council has also issued a grant of $13,800 for the Senior League Softball World Series to Martin Donovan, District 111 administrator. Donovan explained that teams come to Sussex County from around the world and have been doing so for the past seven years.

Six U.S teams and four international teams will come to Roxana from Aug. 8 to 14 to play at the Pyle Center. Donovan said that last year, 258,000 households saw Sussex County on ESPN when the championship games were televised. There were 16,000 visits to the Web site, and $1 million was generated for Sussex County – $60,000 in housing and food alone.

The event takes more than 100 volunteers each night to operate, from interpreters and umpires to concession stand workers and medical personnel. This year’s event theme is “The World Comes to Delmarva.”

The council heard from Ronald Guche, a new candidate for the Board of Adjustments from Councilwoman Joan Deaver’s district after the council rejected her previous nominee. Guche is a former Lewes police chief and officer. He was born and raised in Lewes and worked for 28 years in the Lewes Police Department, 14 of those years as chief.

Guche said his main issues if he serves on the board were to be honest, hard-working and to have integrity. He likened working in a law-enforcement environment to the duties of a Board of Adjustments member – something council president Vance Phillips commended.

The candidate emphasized that he is not a paid lobbyist, contractor or homebuilder, and that he does own property in Sussex County. Phillips said that, because of the “issues raised by some people” regarding the Board of Adjustments and its duties, he thought it would be prudent to wait until after a planned workshop with the BoA, which will possibly be held Aug. 3, or as late as Aug. 17, to name a new member.

Deaver, who introduced Guche, asked if there would be ample notice that there would be a vote before one was held. Phillips said it would be posted on the agenda one week before the meeting – which, he noted, is not a guarantee of a vote that day but notice of a possible one.

The council on Tuesday also approved a contract with Techtronic Engineering and Consultants PC for $35,000, for professional serves to update the All Hazards Emergency Operations Plan for Sussex County. Godwin said the plan will update the old plan by incorporating the national plan and will help to reach out to towns to help incorporate into the county plan how they do business in times of emergency.

The county council also approved two changes of zone for roughly 60 acres for Twin Cedars LLC, from General Residential (GR) and General Commercial (C1) to GR and Residential Planned Community (RPC). The property is located off of Route 20.

Planning and Zoning commissioners had recommended the change, with several conditions, including a maximum of 199 units; entrances, intersections and exits approved by DelDOT; being a part of the county sanitary sewer district; central water; approval of the Sussex Conservational District; no wetlands on individual lots; and acknowledgment of a seasonal RV campground being adjacent to the property, as well as nearby hunting activities.

The final site plan review for the project will be subject to Planning and Zoning approval.

The council also held a public hearing and approved an ordinance amending a prior ordinance authorizing the issuance of up to $10,475,000 of general obligations recovery zone economic development bonds of Sussex County, for the design, construction and equipping of improvements to and expansion of the Inland Bays Regional Wastewater Facility.

This week’s amendment will allow them to take advantage of a 45 percent rebate from stimulus funds, with a savings of about $2.7 million for the county.