Selbyville gives church bell a reprieve

At the corner of Church Street and Church Avenue in Selbyville, there is a… well, a church. And in that church – Salem United Methodist Church – there is a bell. Well, these days it’s actually an electronic chime that makes the bell-like music that rings from the church’s bell tower over downtown Selbyville. And, for at least two people in town, that music has become enough of a nuisance to officially complain to the town about the noise.

At the Selbyville Town Council’s regular monthly meeting on Monday, Dec. 1, church officials formally responded to the complaints, requesting through representative Carroll Brasure that their chimes and church bells be exempt from town noise ordinances.

Police have taken three complaints from two different parties about the volume and length of the chimes. But Brasure said that, since reports were filed, the church has reduced both the length and volume of the chimes.

Council members voted on Monday to allow the chimes to continue to play, with understanding that the issue would be discussed again at next month’s meeting.

Also on Monday, council completed a lengthy public hearing, continued from its November meeting. A change of the zoning designation from R-3 Residential District to R-4 Residential District on 30 properties passed with a unanimous vote. Council members have supported the rezoning of the properties as the change allows developers additional flexibility in lot sizes and community layouts without increasing overall density.

The Selbyville Police Department reported Monday that three of its officers will receive an Award of Valor for apprehending suspects in attempted-homicide cases recently. The department arrested two of the suspects within just the last month, in both cases without incident.

Work on Well A has been completed, according to the town’s Water Department. The well is now up and running, in compliance with all state and federal regulations. The town is also now taking bids for a new well.

However, work on the town’s expanded sewer system is taking longer than expected. Contracts have been established so that the town will not incur any additional cost as work continues. Paving should be completed within the next week, officials said this week. But it is possible that final touch-up work may not be completed until next spring, they noted.

Anyone having problems resultant to the sewer work is being asked to contact the town manager so those issues can be resolved as quickly as possible.

The dilapidated house at the intersection of Pollybranch Road and Route 54 is currently being inspected for the presence of asbestos, ahead of plans to have it demolished. The property owner has been contacted, officials said, and, pending the inspection results, has consented for the structure to be demolished.

Finally, the town announced on Monday that its new computers have been set up, and all town billing and payroll functions are being transferred over to the newer, improved system.