Frankford consider two-year trash system

Frankford residents could soon have a new trash service contractor. Town Council members at their April 6 meeting opened the bids for a two-year trash-hauling contract to serve the town, receiving bids ranging from $10.83 per month per property served to $14.82 per month per property.

All of the bids offered wheeled carts around 96 gallons in size for each of the 275 properties estimated to be served by the once-a-week service. The term of the contract would run from June of 2009 through May of 2011.

The $13-per-month bid from Moor Disposal included a monthly single-stream recycling pickup at curbside. A $13.50-per-month bid included a provision for bringing the carts from the house to the curb and returning them again for residents who get a letter from a doctor certifying such a need. The $10.83 low bid from Chesapeake Waste Industries noted that if the hauler’s costs were to increase, the amount charged would also increase.

Council members voted on Monday to table a decision on the bids, pending some research on the various companies’ references. They could pick a winning bid at their May meeting, or sooner.

Town seeking grant for second police officer

Also on April 6, the council approved 4-0 (Jesse Truitt absent) Police Chief William Dudley preparing and submitting a grant application for federal recovery funding that could provide for a second police officer to patrol the town.

Dudley emphasized that he had already begun to prepare the grant application, at more than 100 pages, in order to meet an April 15 deadline, just 26 days after the grant monies were announced.

The grant is a competitive one, with Selbyville to be competing for the monies with other police departments in Delaware. Dudley said he felt the town stood a comparatively good chance of getting the grant, though, since the town has just the one officer at present.

The grant would fund 100 percent of the training costs, salary, benefits and equipment for the second officer for one year. Dudley said accepting it would require a one-year extension of the officer’s contract beyond that first year, but that’s shorter than the three-year contract requirement that exists for an existing grant.

Dudley also emphasized on Monday that the town would need to apply for the grant now in order to be considered, but that it could choose to refuse the grant if it was awarded and the town decided not to hire a second officer after all.

Also announced on April 6 was the Selbyville police station’s status at fully operational. The rehabilitated building has been set up to operate, though construction of workstations for officers is still ongoing. Dudley noted that he had moved his desk out of town hall and into the new station.

The police station can now be reached for non-emergency purposes at (302) 732-6244. Its fax number is (302) 732-6245.

Dudley reported 22 traffic stops and 15 service calls in the month of March, including responding to an incident at Selbyville Middle School in which Dudley assisted Selbyville officers.

Council approves water plant contract

Also on Monday, the council voted 4-0 to approve a contract for the final retrofitting of the town’s new water plant, to get it fully operational. The bid of $646,941 was approved for Shoreline Inc. to complete the construction, pending funding that is anticipated from state resources.

The council’s approval specified that the contract approval would only be final once that funding is confirmed.

The council is also set to approve a contract with engineering firm URS for the first phase of updating the town’s comprehensive plan. Town Manager Terry Truitt said she had been told by the town solicitor that the vote to approve the project would have to be done by ordinance and would thus have to be held for a future council meeting.

Town working on signage, park, events

Council members also gave approval this week for a more extensive signage improvement project in the town, doubling its cost from an estimated $400 to about $800. The project was spurred by concerns about a lack of signs notifying people about the town’s littering and loitering ordinances, among others. But Truitt said a more extensive review of the need for new and replacement signs led to the decision to recommend more signs be purchased than originally anticipated.

Maintenance Director Jim Reardon reported on Monday that he had removed a confusing “No Stopping” sign that an unknown person or agency had added to a town-controlled stop sign at Church and Main streets.

Reardon said the town had also begun work to upgrade a meter and meter pit at one residence – part of an ongoing project to upgrade meters and meter pits at a rate of about eight per year.

Also on the town’s list for upgrades are the town park and its ball field, which council members said they’d like to get re-seeded and have free from use while the new grass establishes itself. Councilman Vincent Leon-Check said he’d gotten agreement from a local group of players to move their games to Selbyville until the Frankford field is ready for use again.

Reardon said he and Truitt also had a list of smaller projects that could be done more cheaply and in-house, to improve the park. Council members said they’d like to plan some new events in the park this year, with such ideas as a children’s talent show, local edition of the National Night Out safety event or soccer tournament.

Council members agreed to set June 6 as the date for the town’s annual town-wide yard sale. It will run from 7 a.m. until sellers call it a day. Traditionally, the yard sale has been held in May.

Finally, recently installed Council President Cheryl Workman resigned the council’s lead role on Monday, citing personal reasons. Council Vice-President Greg Johnson, who had previously served as council president, returned to that role by virtue of her resignation. Workman returned to her former role as council vice-president.