Fenwick moves forward with new ordinances

The Fenwick Island Town Council approved a first reading for two ordinances at their Jan. 22 council meeting: Chapter 95 – Hazardous Materials and Chapter 102 – Lighting. Councilman Bill Weistling Jr., who heads the town’s Charter and Ordinance Committee, said these were two more of the ordinances the committee had found needed to be looked at during their review and update of town codes.

For the hazardous materials ordinance, the ordinance adds the words “and storage” to the existing ordinance, so it now reads that “all federal , state, and county regulations concerning transport and storage of any hazardous material shall be applicable at all times on all streets, roadways, alleys, real estate and waterways in the Town of Fenwick Island.”

Weistling said the prior ordinance seemed to be directed more at transport, and they wanted to be sure the storage of the materials was addressed, as well.

The council also replaced their existing Chapter 102 – Lighting with a new ordinance.

“We knocked it down from seven and a half pages to three and a half” explained Weistling. He added that they had also combined residential and commercial regulations to make the ordinance more streamlined.

Building Official Pat Schuchman said people who are interested in viewing newly enacted ordinances before they go into the town code book, which is done once a year, can go online either to the town’s Web site or to general code.com, where they would click on Fenwick Island.

“Legislation not yet codified is updated each month,” she said of the sites, noting that the updates include everything that has been approved with a second reading but has not been added to the book yet.

In addition to the first readings of the two ordinances, the council on Jan. 25 also approved Resolution #41-2010, an addendum to the town’s schedule of fees, and they approved the outlay of funds to purchase solar-powered speed signs. The town was granted money for the sign purchase by the State of Delaware, according to Town Manager Win Abbott, and will be reimbursed when that money comes through.

Also, in his town manager’s report, Abbott reported offered thanks to town clerk Agnes DiPietrantonio. She entered the town into a contest, and they won the grand prize, which is a Web site makeover and hosting at no charge.

Fenwick Island Police Chief William Boyden reported that the Nixle service is now available to anyone who wants to sign up to receive news from the Fenwick Island Police Department. Interested participants can get e-mail or text messages inviting them to check the Nixle Web site for information on alerts sent out by the FIPD, along with several other areas police forces.

Councilwoman Vicki Carmean asked Boyden why there had been no notice of an assault and battery that took place in the prior week, but Boyden explained that not all police activity is shared.

“It’s an ongoing investigation involving a juvenile,” he said. “So it wouldn’t be made public.”

Boyden added that the FIPD’s Nixle alerts are intended to notify people of any “public safety issue,” rather than a wider variety of police activity.

“This assault involved a juvenile – it wasn’t a roving band,” he explained. “This wasn’t someone just standing on the street corner and a roving band came and beat him up.”

Carmean asked then if the juvenile was targeted in the attack, and the chief said he had been, adding that, while he couldn’t say much because of the active investigation, it was not a random act and therefore not considered a public safety issue.

Boyden added that Nixle doesn’t cost the town any money to use and is more secure than any other notification system. He said Facebook and other networking sites, and even the town Web site, are more vulnerable to hackers and therefore to being used to spread erroneous information.

“It’s an incredibly secure system,” he emphasized, adding that only he or whomever he delegates at the time has access to Nixle.

The next Fenwick Island Charter and Ordinance Committee meeting will be Feb. 2 at 9:30 a.m. The next Environmental Committee meeting will be Feb. 9 at 10:30 a.m. The Cultural and Historic Preservation Subcommittee and the Planning Commission will also meet on Feb. 9, at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., respectively. The town hall will be closed Feb. 15 for the President’s Day holiday, and the next regular council meeting is set for Feb. 26 at 3:30 p.m.