Selbyville council prepares for new floodplain paperwork

Date Published: 
June 6, 2014

Municipalities throughout the state are in the process of updating their town codes regarding floodplain requirements. Town Administrator Bob Dickerson said this week that Selbyville has until March of 2015 to incorporate new federal requirements.

Any town that does not will make its citizens ineligible for the federal flood insurance program.

Even with very little land affected by federal changes to the floodplain, Dickerson said Selbyville must look at its five-page requirements document and incorporate about 25 pages of language. That includes new definitions, appointing a floodplain manager to oversee everything and more.

Town Engineer Erik Retzlaff said the problem faced by the Town is the sample language was written by the Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control, so it’s unclear exactly what language is required by federal officials and which is desired by the State.

There was talk of hiring a lawyer to differentiate the two. However, Dickerson noted that the paperwork still needs a review.

In other Selbyville news:

• The Click It or Ticket partnership with Worcester County, Md., police was successful, reported Selbyville Police Chief W. Scott Collins.

“Ocean City’s expecting issues — I’m sure we’ll have some overflow from that,” Collins said in regard to rumors of an influx of student-aged vacationers in June. The department is fully staffed, he said, with a new vehicle to be on the roads by June 9, and three old police cars should be for sale next month.

After some discussion about extreme speeders and dangerous driving, Collins said the police do look for that, but they’re stretched thin during the busy evening hours, when the shopping centers are full and Mountaire changes shifts.

New signage was proposed around the Southern Delaware School of the Arts, to encourage safe driving.

The police department issued $2,997 in fines and 250 tickets and took 194 calls for service in April.

• Selbyville’s wastewater treatment plant got high marks in a May 15 inspection by DNREC.

Councilman Frank Smith III read DNREC’s report, stating that overall housekeeping and plant operations were good, treatment calculations were correct and it was “quite evident the personnel take their jobs seriously.”

• The Town’s new wells continue to work, and the Town can officially begin the design process for a new aeration system that removes volatile organic compounds from the water. “That’s when we’ll really see a difference in water quality,” Councilman Rick Duncan said.

They hope to take the project to bid in fall.

DNREC is still trying to pinpoint the source of gasoline additive methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) in the Town’s water, which has plagued Selbyville and caused the new aeration system to be needed.

• The council unanimously approved Earl and Patricia Simpler’s request to subdivide their property at 37223 Roxana Road in the R-4 Residential District. They will pay to bring sewer and water to a total of four additional lots, which Councilman Jay Murray said called “fair-sized.”

• Dickerson noted that the Town’s museum has no regular hours, but people can ask Town Hall for admission at any time.

• There were 30 grass violations reported for uncut grass, which elicited some chuckles.

Unoccupied or foreclosed-upon houses are usually the biggest problem, Dickerson noted.

The grass must reach 12 inches before the Town issues a citation, although councilmembers made note of how long that is. Jay Murray suggested sending a warning even before the grass is that tall.

• A new resident asked about trash collection for big items. Dickerson said one large item can be tossed out with the first garbage collection each month (such as a sofa or television set), just placed next to regular garbage bins. Coming from an eco-friendly area in Texas, the newcomer said she was also pleased to see curbside recycling pickup was offered.

• Town athletic fields are being booked for summer. Duncan said people can just go to town hall to request a reservation.

• Town officials reported that the Delaware Department of Transportation wants to replace an old corrugated pipe under Polly Branch Road, offering to pay $1,300 for 2-foot wide property acquisitions, a permanent easement and a temporary construction easement.

DelDOT will also pay for Retzlaff’s engineering services as he instructs them on how to avoid existing water and sewer pipes in the area.

The next Town Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 7, at 7 p.m. at town hall.