Bethany to discuss the notion of sidewalks

The Bethany Beach Town Council recently voted to scale down its Streetscape plan for the town’s Garfield Parkway area, focusing primarily on taking utility lines below ground. At their meeting on Feb. 16, the council will consider pursuing another downtown renovation: sidewalks on its eastern side.

Council Member Lew Killmer told the Coastal Point that the subject had been brought to the council via the town’s Planning Commission, where Council Member Steve Wode had raised the issue in January.

“Since this is a subject that the Planning Commission wishes to pursue for the development of a ‘sidewalk plan’ for the east side of town, it was suggested that before the Planning Commission begins to develop plans, a good place to start is to obtain the public’s input regarding the possible installation of sidewalks,” Killmer explained of the planned council vote Friday on whether or not to hold a public workshop.

The workshop, if scheduled, would be designed to solicit comment regarding the desirability of installing sidewalks in the town, east of Route 1.

“If not now, when would be a good time to do this?” Killmer said of secondary issues the council is likely to discuss. “Secondly, a time has not been determined, but if approved, I will recommend a Friday evening or a Saturday morning to encourage attendance.”

Killmer said the council is particularly interested in public input on the subject of a possible sidewalk plan. “We are receptive to all and any of the public’s ideas and/or concerns on this subject,” he said.

Currently, only the immediate downtown area, around east-side Garfield Parkway and on limited sections of Pennsylvania and Atlantic avenues, have sidewalks.

Those existing sidewalks on Garfield Parkway are likely to be widened as part of the smaller-scale Streetscape improvements the town is currently planning. But the lack of sidewalks elsewhere on the beach side of Route 1 in Bethany Beach have been the focus of concern about pedestrian safety as vehicular and pedestrian traffic have both increased in recent years.

Also on the extensive agenda for council discussion Friday night:

A second reading of an ordinance to amend Chapter 238 (Waters and Sewers) of the Bethany Beach Town Code to allow for housekeeping amendments;
Discussion and vote regarding committee Purpose and Scope of Work Statements;
Discussion and vote on the Bethany Beach Town Council Protocol Manual;
Consideration of a contract submitted by Hillis-Carnes Engineering Association. Inc. for $14,400 to cover hydro-geologic engineering fees for the drilling of the test well and the actual production well for the new well project;
Discussion and possible vote on the concept of having a farmer’s market in Bethany Beach;
Consideration of a contract with AC Schultes for $34,000 for the removal and installation of two new high-lift pumps for the town’s water plant; and
Consideration of a contract from Pyrotecnico for $29,000 for the planned July 4, 2007, fireworks display. Contract expenses include fireworks, tugboat and crew, and barge and crew.