South Bethany News
Town of South Bethany, Delaware
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Ed Bintz was excited to save money on flood insurance when FEMA planned to lower the base-flood elevation (BFE) of his South Bethany house from 12 to 10 feet. But that was short-lived, after a letter from a member of the town council prompted FEMA officials to reevaluate the land — and raise the BFE to 13 feet.
The will of the people has been heard. The South Bethany Town Council voted unanimously Nov. 20 to remove, at this time, the proposed mandatory 2 feet of freeboard from its draft floodplain ordinance.
The South Bethany Town Council will be continuing its discussion of requiring 2 feet of mandatory freeboard following a change in some council members’ minds after their Oct. 23 workshop.
Barely three months after South Bethany gave people the option to build taller homes with flood-resistant freeboard, Town Council is considering mandatory freeboard.
Not all councilmembers are happy about it.
In a conversation echoing that heard in other town councils across Delaware, South Bethany is beginning to think about federal flood requirements.
The Underground Railroad was an integral part of the Civil War, and next Tuesday, Clara Small will discuss its legends and facts at an event hosted by the South Bethany Historical Society. The talk will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 21, from 7 to 9 p.m. at South Bethany Town Hall.
South Bethany’s newest police chief is homegrown, with 26 years of experience in the South Bethany Police Department. Town officials said Troy Crowson stood out from among the 85 nationwide applicants, including candidates from Arkansas, Ohio and Colorado.
“He started here. He aspired to this. We’re really thrilled that it’s working out for him,” said Mayor Pat Voveris at his swearing-in celebration on Oct. 10.
“He’s just someone who goes over and above,” having won multiple officer awards, she added.
A screening committee ranked the initial applications, and South Bethany’s police chief search committee considered the top four candidates.
“Troy stood neck-and-neck” with the others, eventually winning for his qualifications and familiarity, said Voveris. “It’s nice to know you have that talent in our back yard.”
Ever since Phil Iacangelo began gardening along the canal of his South Bethany home, he’s noticed a greater sense of community on York Road.
Watering the daisies, daylilies, coxcomb and crape myrtle early in the morning, Iacangelo is often greeted by joggers, cyclists and pedestrians.
His public garden not only starts conversations, but this year it won the Adopt-A-Canal 4th annual decorating contest.
Sponsored by the Community Enhancement Committee (CEC), the Adopt-A-Canal program lets residents take ownership and beautify their neighborhood.
“I think Phil adopted it about 40 years ago when we first moved here. He loves it,” said his wife, Cicily.
If ever I am lost and find myself in Heaven,
Let it spell Bethany
In an unusually busy primary election day for Delawareans, voters on Sept. 9 will decide which candidates will represent their parties in more than a half-dozen races in November, including candidates for U.S. senator, State Treasurer, Delaware Auditor of Accounts, Sussex County Register of Wills, Sussex County Council District 5 and Sussex County Sheriff.
Residents and visitors to South Bethany no longer have to travel to neighboring communities to enjoy the offerings of a library. Last week, the town’s Free Little Library was installed on Evergreen Road, near town hall, welcoming community members to enjoy free books at their leisure.
“This idea was brought to the Community Enhancement Committee by one of our members, Lori Cicero,” said Councilwoman Sue Callaway, who chairs the committee.
Cicero said she had seen similar little libraries over the last few years, and thought the concept would work well for the town.
“I walk my dog at Northside Park and saw it again last year. I thought, you know, this would be a nice thing for the community.”
The concept is, provide a box somewhere in a community, where books may be taken or shared free of charge.
“It’s supposed to be take a book or leave a book… or not. But they’re there to take,” she said. “It’s like a service to the community.”
Cicero brought the idea to the Community Enhancement Committee (CEC), where it was embraced, and fellow committee member Pat Weisgerber volunteered her husband’s woodworking skills for the job.
For 50 years, the Cape May-Lewes Ferry has been helping travelers cut miles off of a trip along the Atlantic coast. And, on Thursday, Sept. 11, from 7 to 9 p.m., the South Bethany Historical Society (SBHS) will host a free history talk on the ferry’s half-century of service at the South Coastal Library in Bethany Beach.
Those who have walked the streets of South Bethany lately have been able to enjoy some unique art on Ocean and Seaside drives — in the form of art boards.
“We started the whole idea last year, but this is the first summer we’ve had them hanging,” said South Bethany Councilwoman and Community Enhancement Committee (CEC) Chair Sue Callaway.
The art boards are original works created by local artists that have been printed on a sustainable board that then is adhered to trash-can enclosures on the two streets.
“We have three now, and we have two potential other ones, and one in the works that’s being painted right now,” said Callaway. “These are original artworks that have been scanned, and we send it to a sign company that takes the scan and creates an image onto almost a street-sign kind of product, so it’s weather-resistant and can withstand the environment and anything else that might come along.”
Driving through South Bethany, motorists often notice the beautifully landscaped canal and road ends. The continued beautification of the areas has been carried out through the work of the town’s Community Enhancement Committee (CEC) and countless resident volunteers, with the creation of the Adopt-A-Canal/Road End Program.
Although the speed limit through the portion of Route 1 in South Bethany is 35 miles per hour, some travelers disregard that limit.
The South Bethany Town Council met with Deputy Attorney General Edward K. Black of the Delaware Department of Justice last Friday, for a question-and-answer session about the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
South Bethany was built between bayside canals and the Atlantic, so it could use some protection from high water. And, recently, the South Bethany Town Council has poured hours into creating an ordinance that would allow homeowners to raise their houses a few feet, without trapping them under the current height limit.
The Town of South Bethany honored former mayor Kathy Jankowski with a reception and proclamation before the town council meeting July 11.
“It’s great! I’m surprised. I figured people have better things to do on a Friday,” Jankowski mused.
Her successor, Mayor Pat Voveris, read a proclamation honoring Jankowski’s two years at mayor, from 2012 to 2014, including “exemplary leadership after Hurricane Sandy.”
The council and residents in attendance applauded her service.
Jankowski had already served on the town’s Planning Commission and Community Enhancement Committee, and as president of the South Bethany Property Owners Association.
She ran for mayor because “I felt like it was my time,” she said.
Jankowski was mostly inspired by “the people. I just love the people and working with them and the town staff.”
Now spending several months per year in Florida, she said she “didn’t feel right doing it remotely.”
The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section and the Division of Parks & Recreation are seeking volunteers and boats for the 10th annual Inland Bays Cleanup. The Cleanup will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 12, and end about 1 p.m.
With the summer season in full swing, it is important to take the time to be extra cautious when traveling on area roads, for the safety of motorists, pedestrians and cyclists alike.
After a number of crashes in the area last year involving cyclists and pedestrians, at least one such accident has already been added to the tally for 2014.
The Centre for the Inland Bays wants to improve the water quality in South Bethany’s canals, and they’re floating a couple new tools for their environmental toolbox there: islands and oysters.
Those looking for a way to celebrate Independence Day on the Delaware shore with a real bang may have trouble picking where to go to celebrate.
Digital may be the wave of the future for newspapers, but providing useful information through smartphones and tablets is something the Coastal Point is doing today. We launched our first-ever app this week — Explore Coastal Delaware — with an eye toward informing both visitors and longtime residents about the best the Delaware shore has to offer.
Our new, free app -- Explore Coastal Delaware -- is now available in the Apple App Store (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/explore-coastal-delaware/id886698442?mt=...) and Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.coastalpoint.ecdelawar...).
“With the advent of the 21st century, it became increasingly apparent that much of South Bethany’s rich history was slipping away.”
That concern ignited the South Bethany Historical Society, and the sentence now introduces the colorful 160-page history of the small town, published just last week.
“The Best Little Beach in Delaware” includes memories of life in the quiet town, as told by the residents themselves. They remember clamming, crabbing, watching National Guardsmen train in Bethany Beach, running errands in Selbyville and tying boats to shrubbery before bulkheads were installed.
“We tried to make history fun,” said coordinator and chairman John Speer Jr.
The book includes many opinions, from those who remember throwing parties in their parents’ beach houses to those who wish today’s parties were a bit quieter.
“The founder wanted us to interview the old-timers before they all passed or left the area or started getting forgetful,” said Tony Caputo, writer, designer and South Bethany councilmember, of SBHS founder Mary Suazo.
About 20 volunteers did the writing and interviewing.
Besides full interviews and stories, pages are dedicated to homeowners’ association, neighborhood watch, tennis club, wildlife sightings, storms and much more.
Past mayors had their say, discussing hot topics of the day.