Fenwick Island News

Town of Fenwick Island, Delaware

Population:

  • 379 (2010 Census)

Town council meetings:

  • Fourth Friday of the month, 3:30 p.m., town hall meeting room

Elections:

  • First Saturday in August, alternating slate of four and three seats, two-year terms; mayor/council president chosen from among the council, with a one-year term

Town office:

  • 800 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island, DE 19944; (302) 539-3011, fax (302) 539-1305

Web site

General e-mail inquiries

Town Council 2013-2014:

  • Gene Langan, Mayor
  • Richard Mais, Vice-Mayor
  • Diane Tingle, Secretary
  • Gardner Bunting, Treasurer
  • William Weistling
  • Roy Williams
  • Julie Lee

Town Manager:

  • Merritt Burke

Town Clerk:

  • Agnes DiPietrantonio

Finance Assistant:

  • Josie Correnti

Building Official:

  • Patricia Schuchman

Standing committees:

  • Beautification/ Parks & Recreation, Beach, Environmental, Planning, Board of Adjustments, Board of Elections, Audit, Budget, Building, Charter and Ordinance, Commercial Action, Emergency Management

Police:

  • William Boyden, Chief

Town Solicitor:

  • Tempe Steen

Emergency:

  • 911

Non-emergency police contact:

  • (302) 539-2000

Beach patrol:

  • Tim Ferry, Captain
  • The Beach Patrol is on duty beginning Memorial Day weekend each summer (Saturday, Sunday & Monday) and then two more weekends thereafter, and every day through Labor Day and then two weekends after Labor Day.

Trash pick-up:

  • October through April, Monday only. May through September, Monday & Thursday. Heavy trash pickup, June 8, 9 & 10 and September 9, 10, & 11.

Curbside recycling:

  • A voluntary townwide curbside recycling program through DSWA has been instituted beginning in 2008. Property owners may sign up on the town Web site or at town hall. Pick-ups are on Fridays, weekly from May to September and bi-weekly during the other months. The Fenwick Island Lions Club also collects aluminum cans in a bin behind town hall.

Public invited to Fenwick Island comp plan workshop

Every municipality in the state of Delaware is required to write a comprehensive plan, and Fenwick Island is now preparing its 10-year plan update.

Barefoot Gardeners’ Plant Sale sprouting up this weekend

Coastal Point • File Photo: These are just some of the plants that were available during a past Barefoot Gardeners Plant Sale.Coastal Point • File Photo: These are just some of the plants that were available during a past Barefoot Gardeners Plant Sale.Fenwick Island’s Barefoot Gardeners will hold their annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 13, kicking off a summertime focus on area homes and gardens — including a very famous “house.”

The proceeds from the plant sale, according to club member Karen Dudley, help the club fund several community projects, including beautification of the town of Fenwick Island, the gardens at the Fenwick Island Lighthouse, participation in Operation Seas the Day, scholarships for area students, and programs at the Brandywine Assisted Living facility west of Fenwick Island.

In addition to many varieties of annuals, perennials, herbs and vegetables, the sale will also include pre-planted containers. Club members will also be on hand to answer questions and offer advice on plant combinations that work well in area gardens.

Fenwick talks insurance savings, beach rules, Earth Day

The Town of Fenwick Island will save some money by switching to public program of worker compensation. The Town expects to save at least $10,000 by leaving its current $75,000 workers-comp plan for the DeLea Founders Insurance Trust (DFIT), a consortium of 24 municipalities that partner to purchase insurance.

Free bilingual paralegal service benefits Selbyville

Because of the large number of non-English-speaking crime victims locally, Community Legal Aid Society Inc., will now provide free bilingual paralegal services once a week at Selbyville Town Hall.

“We’re pretty proud. It’s us and Seaford. We’re one of two towns doing that,” Selbyville Police Chief W. Scott Collins told the town council on March 12.

Smoke test coming to a Fenwick Island sewer near you

Officials concerned of stormwater leaks

Concerned that stormwater may be leaking into the Fenwick Island sewer system, officials are proposing to smoke out the problem.

Exterminator scam terminated before real damage done

This scam is a real pest, for citizens and contractors.

Fenwick Island police recently encountered a new kind of scam involving pest control. In this scam, the perpetrator asks a pest control company to check for mice in what is supposedly a relative’s home. When the exterminator arrives at the victim’s house, they call the perpetrator back to set up payment.

Few slots left for volunteer for beach-grass planting

If you’ve waited till the last minute to register for this year’s beach-grass planting, your options are quickly disappearing.

Fenwick considers canal project costs

Fenwick Island Town officials don’t know if or when their canals were last dredged, but officials said this week that it’s time to consider such a project.

“There are some issues with depth and getting in and out of our canals,” said Alex Daly of the Town’s Environmental Committee.

Fenwick's new town manager charmed by beach living

Teresa 'Terry' TiemanTeresa 'Terry' TiemanFenwick Island’s new town manager is bringing with her decades of experience. Teresa “Terry” Tieman will arrive at town hall on Jan. 23, having already won multiple awards in her five-plus years as Harrington’s city manager and 23 years as a senior city administrator in Dover.

“She’s got a really good background we’re excited about,” said Fenwick Mayor Gene Langan. “She has about 28 years of municipal government experience.”

Coming from the City of Harrington, Tieman (“TEE-man”) has a master’s degree in business administration. In Harrington, she said, her biggest impact was capital improvements to infrastructure and improved billing. Tieman won the 2015 City Manager of the Year award from the Delaware League of Local Governments.

In Dover, she did billing, collections, budgeting and new-project planning. She has also worked alongside, but not necessarily above, Harrington’s police chief.

Fenwick Island ready to bring the ‘Freeze’ to the shore

Coastal Point • File Photo: The Fenwick Freeze creates a splash.Coastal Point • File Photo: The Fenwick Freeze creates a splash.Good news, Fenwick Freeze fans! This year’s freeze — technically a dip in ocean waters whose temperatures are hovering in the mid-40s — will be 90 minutes later.

That means New Year’s revelers will have a bit longer to drink some coffee and pull their swimsuits out of the bottom of their dressers. This year’s swim will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 1. Swimmers will gather on the beach at Bayard Street, according to Rebecca McWilliams, chairman of the town’s Beach Committee.

McWilliams, who has organized the swim since its inception 13 years ago, said although Fenwick’s winter swim might not be as big as those in neighboring beach towns, its charm lies in its simplicity “It’s kind of a local thing,”she said. “It’s the same people that do it every year.” McWilliams said many of the 150 or so swimmers have participated with their families since the very first one.

Fenwick leaves voter codes unchanged

After hours of discussion, the Fenwick Island Town Council this week elected to make no changes to voter qualifications. At a special meeting on Dec. 8, they finally agreed with Town Solicitor Mary Schrider-Fox that the current system is the simplest they can manage at this time.

Fenwick to discuss voter qualifications at special meeting Dec. 8

Who is qualified to vote in Fenwick Island elections? The discussion continues this week, as the Fenwick Island Town Council has scheduled a special meeting for Thursday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m. to discuss a proposed amendment to the town charter that would expand voter and candidate qualifications.

They’ll once again have legal guidance from Town Solicitor Mary Schrider-Fox.

Sing for the season at Fenwick Island tree-lighting

How about a little sand with your Santa Claus?

Fenwick Island will welcome the Christmas season with a “Sea the Holidays” community event.

Residents and neighbors are being invited to a holiday gathering on Friday, Dec. 2. People can enjoy caroling, the tree-lighting and shared treats from 6 to 9 p.m.

Fenwick considers more handicapped parking

Handicapped parking is minimal near the Fenwick Island’s Town beaches. So on Oct. 28, Town Councilmember Gardner Bunting proposed that they add one handicapped-accessible spot on each street end.

Police Chief Bill Boyden said the town has had several threats from lawyers because of the limited parking, despite this being a federally-funded beach.

Council member to host Fenwick Island ‘Town Talks’ series

Fenwick Island Town Councilwoman Julie Lee is beginning a series of informal Town Talks, starting Friday, Sept. 23, at 5 p.m., after the next town council meeting.

“It’s all for the positive; it’s open to the public,” Lee announced at the August council meeting.

Community invited to give ‘Heroes’ Welcome’ to veterans

Operation SEAs the Day’s Warrior Week 2016 is well under way, but there is still time for community members to get involved.

Fenwick town council considers changes to its election law

Trusts will be addressed

After facing confusion in back-to-back elections, the Fenwick Island Town Council sat down recently to discuss their intentions for voter and candidate eligibility.

Brooksfest in Fenwick Island to benefit Alana Rose Foundation

After their biggest turnout to date last year, Brooksfest is back for its fifth year in a row, aiming to send the summer out in style. The family-friendly event will feature food, skimboarding, giveaways and more, set for this Saturday, Sept. 10, on the beach in Fenwick Island.

Fenwick bids farewell to outgoing officials

As July came to a close, three people approached retirement from their duties at Fenwick Island Town Hall.

After 10 years of service apiece, outgoing Town Council Members Diane Tingle and Bill Weistling Jr. opted not to run for reelection this year. Meanwhile, Merritt Burke IV served his final days as town manager before becoming CEO of Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR).

Fenwick Island swears in new town council members

With one hand on the Bible, three Fenwick Islanders swore to this week serve as town council members in accordance with the Town Code, state and U.S. constitutions.

Vicky Carmean, Bernie Merritt Jr. and Gardner Bunting officially began their two-year terms at a Aug. 16 reorganization meeting.

Sierra Club donates memorial bench in Haon’s honor

Coastal Point • Submitted: Carolyn Haon, widow of Harry Haon, seated at center-left, and their son, Jay Haon, seated at right, gathers with Stephanie Herron of the Sierra Club, seated at center, and the IBF Board of Directors, back row and kneeling, at the dedication of a memorial bench for the late Fenwick Island Town Council member and environmental advocate.Coastal Point • Submitted: Carolyn Haon, widow of Harry Haon, seated at center-left, and their son, Jay Haon, seated at right, gathers with Stephanie Herron of the Sierra Club, seated at center, and the IBF Board of Directors, back row and kneeling, at the dedication of a memorial bench for the late Fenwick Island Town Council member and environmental advocate.On Aug. 5, representatives of the Sierra Club met with members of the Board of Directors of the Inland Bays Foundation to dedicate a memorial bench in honor of the late Harry Haon, a past IBF member.

The memorial bench, made of 100 percent recycled material and inscribed with a brass appreciation plate, was placed in front of the Fenwick Island Town Hall. The bench was donated by the Sierra Club based in Wilmington.

Haon was known as a champion of environmental causes in Delaware. In addition to supporting the activities of the Sierra Club, Haon was a member of the Fenwick Island Town Council, and participated as a board member at both the Center for Inland Bays (CIB) and the Inland Bays Foundation(IBF). The IBF is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to returning Delaware’s waters to their original fishable and swimmable state.

Fenwick Island election sees new and familiar faces

The ballots have been counted, and the Fenwick Island Town Council has a new lineup after the Aug. 6 election.

The three winners were council newcomer Bernard “Bernie” H. Merritt Jr. (258 votes), incumbent Gardner Bunting (241) and former councilwoman Vicki Carmean (203).

They defeated candidate Kevin Carouge (154).

Fenwick talks committee to look at trustees

With a Fenwick Island Town Council election just days away, discussion of voter and candidate eligibility issues continued at the Town’s Tuesday, Aug. 2, Charter & Ordinance Committee meeting.

Fenwick Island candidates get final word before election

This year’s Fenwick Island Town Council election gives voters the choice of four candidates for three positions. Polls will open at Town Hall on Saturday, Aug. 6, from 1 to 5 p.m.

Voters can select three of the following candidates: Gardner Bunting (incumbent), Vicki L. Carmean, Kevin Carouge and Bernard “Bernie” H. Merritt Jr.

Fenwick election issues discussed as campaign comes to a close

After two would-be Fenwick Island town council candidates were recently deemed ineligible due to confusion over the eligibility of trustees under the town charter, Councilwoman Julie Lee emphasized the importance of straightening out and clarifying the charter in the next year.