The Fenwick Island Town Council officially re-named West Essex Street Extended as Ebb Tide Cove with a resolution passed on Friday, March 26. It was the end of a year-and-a half project with Sussex County Mapping and Addressing to rename some streets whose designations were found to be of concern because of redundant or confusing names.
The council on March 26 also approved a banner for Warren’s Station for the summer season. The banner will be approximately 12 feet by 5 or 6 feet, announcing the 50-year anniversary of the restaurant. It will be placed on the north side of the roof, in between the two dormers. Council members said they had allowed similar banners for other businesses in the past and noted that Warren’s Station had always been an “incredible business partner and neighbor.”
Councilman Gardner Bunting reported to the council that the budget committee had met several times recently concerning the safety of and maximum return on some of their investments. Much of those funds will be reallocated to local institutions that are fully insured through the FDIC, at the request of the town’s auditor. Bunting said one series of CDs will actually see an increase by 11 times because of the move – something he said should be seen on next month’s financial report.
Town Manager Win Abbott reported that the town’s new solar-powered radar signs are installed and working. Building Official Pat Schuchman reported that the town appraiser will be in Fenwick Island on May 6 and May 7.
Resident Buzz Henifin spoke and complained that the town’s police report information is “so blah.” He said that, even with the news that suspects had been apprehended in burglary cases from last fall, the information that was shared with residents was minimal.
“It should get out to the people,” he said, opining that Police Chief William Boyden “did not want to tell us what went on. He indicated it wasn’t proper.”
Mayor Audrey Serio said she “wouldn’t want people to know” if it had been her house that had been burglarized and noted that police are often not able to say much publicly during open investigations.
Council Member Vicki Carmean said she “respectfully disagreed.”
“We don’t need all the details, but a simple reminder…” said Carmean, adding that she had heard not all the doors in the residences that were burglarized had been locked. “We could warn our neighbors and lock our own door.”
Resident Mary Pat Kyle said, “I completely agree with Buzz. If I had heard about it, I would have taken precautions.”
Serio said they would “continue to work on it.” And Carmean reminded townspeople they could sign up for Nixle and get police report and information sent to their e-mail addresses and/or their phone.
Resident Lynn Andrews said she had been unnerved recently when she saw a group of people going into fenced-in yards.
“I asked them what they were doing, and they said, ‘We are looking for Greg,’” she related. “We are all looking for Greg,” she added, “but that seems an invasion of privacy or trespassing.”
Greg Forte, 29, was last seen in Fenwick Island in early February, during one of the area’s major snow storms. His car was found, with its door open and keys inside, at his last known location.
Smallwood said he had come home to searchers in his garage, but he said he did get a notification from Nixle about the search, so he was aware that there would be a search team out. “It is sensitive,” he added.
Bunting said he would have to agree with Andrews, that if they were out and were on private property, it “was an issue.”
“But, they were on everyone’s property,” interjected Serio, to grumbles of “It doesn’t matter,” from some of those present for the council meeting. Serio added that it is a tricky situation because of the high percentage of yards that are empty during the off-season. “This is a desperation thing. If you were that gentleman’s parents…”
Another resident added that, in the future, it would be nice that, if the searchers saw cars in driveways, if they could knock on the doors to gain permission before searching around a property.
Also on March 26, the council passed second readings of Chapter 77, Disorderly Conduct, and Chapter 107, Noise, and first readings on Parking, Property Maintenance, and Peace and Good Order.
Serio also presented Town Clerk Agnes DiPietrantonio with a plaque honoring her for completing 24 hours of training from the University of Delaware’s Institute of Public Administration, for academic excellence in local government leadership.