On Saturday, May 3, the Town of South Bethany celebrated a landmark in its history, with the unveiling and grand opening of the new town hall and police station. South Bethany Mayor Gary Jayne led the ceremony and ribbon-cutting, then welcomed citizens to tour the new structures. Accompanied by Councilmember and former Mayor Marge Gassinger, and Police Chief Joe Deloach, state Sen. George Bunting and several others, he introduced the finished products to the public.
“This is really an important day,” said Jayne, addressing those in attendance for the ceremony, “and I’m honored to be a part of it, and glad that you all are here to be a part of it.
“It’s important to know, to point out here at the beginning, that constructing this new town hall and police station is not something that was done only by an individual or today’s current council. Previous mayors and councils also contributed by installing the infrastructure that we run on today,” he noted.
“They accomplished a lot. They put in the riprap on Ocean Drive. They saw to it that the canals got their bulkheads and that the people got sewers and water. Those who came before us used the town’s money wisely, so when it came time for these new structures, we were able to go ahead,” he emphasized.
Jayne acknowledged the citizens of the town, as well, who helped make the project possible through their support and contributions.
Former mayors of South Bethany were recognized for their assistance with the construction of the new buildings, including the town’s second mayor, from 1972-1973, Harold B. Barber. Two-time mayor, Herber “Joe” Schafer, was also recognized by the current mayor. Gassinger, who held the mayor position from 1980 through 1986, and currently serves on the town council, was acknowledge for her intricate and time-consuming dedication to the buildings’ development.
“There were many others who were instrumental in the history of the town,” Jayne noted, as he also took time to honor the late Mae Felerski, who allowed for the original town council to meet on her front porch in the 1950s as South Bethany’s government was establishing itself. Guests, including Bunting, representatives for U.S. Sen. Joe Biden and mayors from adjacent towns were also in attendance.
The planning committee, town council and town staff were also recognized for their time and effort put into the construction of the town hall and police station. Jayne also expressed thanks for the contributing effort from the project’s architect, Pat Ryan of French and Ryan Inc. in Georgetown, and builder Mike DiSabatino.
“It’s a really good feeling to be a part of all this advancement,” Jayne said, following the ceremony. “We’ve had a lot of cooperation from the people in town. The town of South Bethany is a real community, and we’re very proud of that.”
“I’m absolutely pleased,” said Gassinger. “When I was working with the project before, it always seemed like we were taking one step forward, and two steps back. It’s wonderful to see the finished product and have it turn out so well.”
South Bethany Town Hall and Police Station are located at 402 Evergreen Road. For more information, call (302) 539-3653, or stop in during office hours.