Fenwick holds off again on IPA

The Fenwick Island town council again put off the approval of a contract with the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration (IPA) for comprehensive plan work at the town council meeting on Friday, Sept. 22.

The state-mandated comprehensive plan has been an often-discussed project Fenwick Island for two years, but movement toward actually drafting a plan has only begun in recent months.

Council Member Chris Clark has been in charge of the project and emphatically voted “no” when the project was motioned to be delayed. Clark said it was time to enact the plan, especially since the town’s new planning committee had been put together in recent weeks. He said the plan would be a guideline for the future of the committee.

Clark said, “The first steps have already been accomplished.” An overview of the plan has been presented, public participation has been encouraged and a summary of the town’s visioning workshops has been made.

Council Member Martha Keller, however, said the plan should be delayed for one more month to check other proposals for the work, allow the newly positioned committee members to look over things and invite the citizens of Fenwick Island to present additional opinions.

Former Fenwick Island Mayor Peter Fredrick said the town needs a written plan of what the town wants. He also said it is required that the town receives competitive bids from other organizations, in addition to IPA, in order to avoid later legal complications regarding public funds.

After mixed comments for and against passing the plan this month from the citizens present at the meeting, the decision of the council was to get other bids and delay approving the plan until the council’s October meeting.

Also discussed at the Sept. 22 meeting:

• The proposal for 95 new galvanized street posts to replace current posts was put on hold until after the vote on the Comprehensive Plan.

• The town hall is to be modified to meet ADA requirements for handicapped accessibility. The existing handrail for its entrance is to be adapted and van-accessible handicap parking will be made available.

• A Web site bulletin board will soon be made available for citizens to post constructive ideas and also as an informal way to converse about the future plans for the town.

• The Sept. 16 beach cleanup was reported as a success, recording 541 tons of garbage collected.

• Ideas to potentially ticket those who leave motor vehicles running beyond an allotted time were presented, to assist DNREC’s enforcement of air-pollution regulations.

• A town manager is to be appointed Sept. 30.