Frankford water plant construction to start

All the paperwork is signed and work was expected to start Nov. 3 to retrofit the “new-old water plant” in Frankford, said Town Council President Greg Johnson on Nov. 2. The quote for construction costs to get the plant running properly is $646,941, and the town should soon know the true cost of operating and maintaining the plant.

Officials also announced at the Frankford Town Council’s Nov. 2 meeting that the town had decided to forego approving a quote from Tidewater Utilities for $2,000 to 3,500 to flush all existing hydrants and will instead do the work in-house.

The town also heard on Monday from Kyle Gulbronson, senior project manager for URS and the town’s engineering consultant, and from town solicitor Dennis Schrader, on updates to the town’s the Land Development Ordinance. The council decided it might be better to have Schrader and Gulbronson work out some of the technical details and come back to them with a revised draft.

“For the past 25 years, Sussex County has enjoyed a lot of growth, and Frankford has not,” said Schrader on Monday, noting that the ordinance might need to be adjusted for the town’s specific vision. He mentioned several policy changes the town might want to look at – specifically, fees for single-lot development – and suggested the town look into how much involvement they want in land development. He also suggested using URS for specific and technical engineering questions.

Town Manager Terry Truitt defended the fees the town charges to consider a subdivision or change-of-zone, saying the town was trying not to lose money on the deals. But she ultimately agreed that the ordinance was something the town needed to study and wanted to make more efficient.

“By the time we pay our legal fees and advertising, we were literally going into the hole,” she noted. “But, we have not addresses or updated ordinances for multitudes of years.”

The council decided they would have Schrader and Gulbronson look at technical aspects of the ordinance and come back to the council at a later date, with a draft the council members could start to look at.

Police Chief William Dudley reported that trick-or-treating on Oct. 31 went off without a hitch and that there were no reports of disturbances. He thanked everyone, including Truitt, for their hard work on the Fall Festival, which was held on Saturday, prior to trick-or-treating.

Councilman Vincent Leon-Check offered similar sentiments. “I got pretty good comments on the Fall Festival,” he said. “Families are saying that Frankford is coming alive.”

Dudley also reported to the town that Mountaire is interested in having a meeting to see what the town’s concerns are pertaining to trucks at the plant. Several residents had brought up the fact that there are no “No Stopping, Standing or Parking” signs coming into the town, as there are going out of town. He suggested that maybe a solution to the traffic gridlock and an answer to safety concerns could be a traffic-control person.

He said that is what the Town of Selbyville and Mountaire had agreed upon to ease that town’s similar concerns at its Mountaire facility.

Dudley also reported that, after the Neighborhood Watch meeting with DelDOT officials last month, there are now several new stop signs and painted traffic indicators around the area at Daisy Street.

The intersection at Daisy and Route 113, while not inside town limits, was also a topic at that same Neighborhood Watch meeting, and representatives of DelDOT came down to discuss their plans after a fatal crash in October.

“It’s a good thing, it needed to be addressed,” Dudley said on Monday.

The town also heard on Nov. 2 from the Revs. Kim Tephabock and Tom Gross about Unite Sussex, a interdenominational movement to unite churches with state and federal leaders, and care organizations with the people that need them. They invited the town to become part of the movement and emphasized that it is not a political movement, rather an idea to simply “connect the dots” between agencies and people that can help with those in need.

The next meeting of Unite Sussex will be at the CHEER Center in Georgetown at on Thursday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m.