South Bethany News

Town of South Bethany, Delaware

Population:

  • 449 (2010 Census)

Town council meetings:

  • Town council regular meetings on the second Friday of the month, except January, at 7 p.m., in the town hall meeting room; council workshops/special meetings on the fourth Thursday of the month, except November, at 5 p.m . Workshop meeting dates and times subject to change.

Planning & Zoning meets:

  • as needed

Elections:

  • Mayor elected separately from the council at the same time; alternating slates of three council seats, with two-year terms for mayor and council members

Town office:

  • 402 Evergreen Road, South Bethany, DE 19930; 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed noon to 1 p.m.; (302) 539-3653, fax (302) 539-7576

Web site

General e-mail inquiries

Town Council 2013-2014:

  • Kathy Jankowski, Mayor
  • Sue Callaway, Mayor Pro-Tem
  • Pat Voveris, Council Secretary
  • Tony Caputo, Treasurer
  • George Junkin, Council Member
  • Al Rae, Council Member
  • Jim Gross, Council Member

Town Manager:

  • Melvin Cusick

Town Clerk:

  • Dee Burbage

Administrative Assistant:

  • Pam Smith

Finance Director:

  • Renee McDorman

Maintenance Supervisor:

  • Don Chrobot

Maintenance Employee:

  • Ron Watts

Code Enforcement/Building Inspector:

  • Joseph Hinks

Standing committees:

  • Planning Commission, Board of Adjustments, Budget & Finance, Canal Water Quality, Charter & Code, Communications & Public Relations, Community Enhancement, Sea Level Rise, Storm Surge

Police:

  • Lt. Troy Crowson, (interim) Chief

Town Solicitor:

  • John Terence “Terry” Jaywork

Emergency:

  • 911

Non-emergency police contact:

  • (302) 539-3996

Beach patrol:

  • Ryan Dacey, Captain
  • Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (5:30 on weekends)

Trash pick-up:

  • October through April — Monday; May & September — Monday & Saturday; June, July & August — Monday, Thursday & Saturday.

Curbside recycling:

  • May through September — Every Friday; Remainder of the year — Every other Friday

Yard Waste Collection:

  • Every other Wednesday

South Bethany gets a mulligan on flood maps

Just weeks before new flood maps were to be enacted in South Bethany, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has agreed to wind back the clock. FEMA has rescinded the “final determination” that previously raised the base flood elevation (BFE) for oceanfront homes in the town, at the Town’s urging and under pressure from Delaware’s Congressional delegation.

BFE is the elevation to which floodwaters are expected to rise during a 100-year flood. For years, Ocean Drive had a BFE of 12 feet. Houses had to be built starting no lower than that elevation or pay high flood-insurance premiums.

FEMA considered lowering several South Bethany zones (most notably Ocean Drive to VE-10) during a large-scale rewrite of Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) in August of 2013. However, a councilmember’s “inquiry” about the lightened restrictions caused FEMA to actually up the BFE, to 13 feet instead of 10.

South Bethany talks budget — meets again March 13

South Bethany may have a budget shortfall of about $1,500 in its proposed 2016-fiscal-year budget, “but we know where to find it,” said Town Council Treasurer Tim Saxton.

On Feb. 26, he presented to the council a “fully loaded” draft budget, which included savings, new expenses and a 4.1 percent pay increase for employees.

Local brides to get help with weddings

Planning your dream beach wedding? We're here to help.Planning your dream beach wedding? We're here to help.The love of your life has just kneeled on one knee and asked for your hand in marriage… But now what?
Many dream of having a beach wedding, where the vastness of the sea mirrors their love for one and other, but the logistics of planning can be difficult.
Enter Delaware Seaside Bride. With a website — DelawareSeasideBride.com — and yearly print magazine that will launch March 6, 2015, Delaware Seaside Bride will be your guide to planning your dream day, surrounded by the beauty of the Delaware beaches.

Candidates sought for three two-year council seats in South Bethany

Town council elections are approaching in South Bethany, so candidate and voter registration has begun. Three positions are up for voting in the 2015 election, scheduled for May 23. Terms are for two years. Those council seats are currently held by Tony Caputo, Jim Gross and Al Rae.

South Bethany seeks Congressional help in FEMA debate

South Bethany has tugged at its Congressional connections in an effort to induce FEMA to reconsider the proposed Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) — or rather, to disregard South Bethany’s previous communication on the matter.

Harris Teeter to close Salt Pond store

The Harris Teeter grocery store company announced on Tuesday that it would be closing its Salt Pond location near Bethany Beach in two weeks. The store is the area’s newest Harris Teeter store, open at Salt Pond Plaza since March 31, 2010, on the heels of its first local store opening in West Fenwick.

South Bethany getting true 24-hour police coverage

By adding a new police officer position, South Bethany could get the true 24-hour police coverage many believe they already have. Residents broke into applause Monday afternoon after the town council narrowly voted to create a new full-time police position.

South Bethany awash in transfer tax revenue

South Bethany is expecting an additional $100,000 in revenue above its current budget, thanks to an increase in transfer taxes. That will more than cover some unexpected expenses in the 2015-fiscal-year budget, for the period ending April 30, 2015.

South Bethany has already surpassed its original transfer tax estimate of $250,000.

South Bethany police officer recognized for solving burglary case

Coastal Point • Laura Walter : For solving the crime and aiding the victim, South Bethany’s Cpl. Mark Burton recently received a Certificate of Commendation. Here, pictured is Burton, left, with South Bethany Police Chief Troy Crowson.Coastal Point • Laura Walter : For solving the crime and aiding the victim, South Bethany’s Cpl. Mark Burton recently received a Certificate of Commendation. Here, pictured is Burton, left, with South Bethany Police Chief Troy Crowson.One of the most fearful moments of Kathy Jankowski’s life was discovering that someone had broken into her home.

In a letter to the South Bethany Town Council, the former mayor described how quickly Cpl. Mark Burton had responded to her house, done his job and calmed her down. She called him a “knight in shining armor [who] made me feel safe enough to stay in my house that night.”

Between overwhelming evidence and Burton’s diligence, officials said, the South Bethany Police Department solved the burglary case and recovered the stolen items. In honor of the job well done, Burton received a Certificate of Commendation at the December town council meeting.

Burton had visited four pawnshops, searching the inventory data for hours, “and I do mean hours,” said Police Chief Troy Crowson. That’s before the Internet searches began, including on eBay and Craigslist.

They found the stolen goods and identified the sellers, and a suspect was apprehended less than 24 hours after the warrant was issued. He’d been to the house legally before, with someone who had been contracted to do work. He was not a contractor himself, officials said. His arrest also led police to two more accomplices.

South Bethany resident wants action on new floodplain numbers

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.

South Bethany’s mandatory freeboard is off the table — for now, at least

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.

South Bethany continues mandatory freeboard discussion

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.

Surprise South Bethany vote returns mandatory freeboard to table

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.

South Bethany looks at FEMA regulations, Smart911

In a conversation echoing that heard in other town councils across Delaware, South Bethany is beginning to think about federal flood requirements.

South Bethany offering Civil War talk on Tuesday, Oct. 21

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.

Familiar face to lead South Bethany Police Department

Coastal Point • Laura Walter : New South Bethany Police Chief Troy Crowson is sworn in to his new position by Mayor Pat Voveris on Friday, Oct. 10.Coastal Point • Laura Walter : New South Bethany Police Chief Troy Crowson is sworn in to his new position by Mayor Pat Voveris on Friday, Oct. 10.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.”

Canal contest winners create a community in South Bethany

Coastal Point • Laura Walter : South Bethany’s Sue Callaway was proud to honor winners of the annual canal-decorating contest. She stands (left to right) with runners-up, Pat Weisgerber and Carol Stevenson, Michael Lord of Lord’s Landscaping, and first-place winners, Phil and Cicily Iacangelo.Coastal Point • Laura Walter : South Bethany’s Sue Callaway was proud to honor winners of the annual canal-decorating contest. She stands (left to right) with runners-up, Pat Weisgerber and Carol Stevenson, Michael Lord of Lord’s Landscaping, and first-place winners, Phil and Cicily Iacangelo.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.

Full slate of primary elections set for Sept. 9

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.

South Bethany opens its own little library

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : South Bethany resident Lori Cicero came up with the idea to put a little library near town hall, and the town’s Community Enhancement Committee agreed to have one installed. Residents and visitors can stop by and take or leave a book at any time.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : South Bethany resident Lori Cicero came up with the idea to put a little library near town hall, and the town’s Community Enhancement Committee agreed to have one installed. Residents and visitors can stop by and take or leave a book at any time.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.

South Bethany invites community to learn about ferry

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.

South Bethany offers unique way to enjoy art

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert : South Bethany is taking a creative path to beautifying the town.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert : South Bethany is taking a creative path to beautifying the town.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.”

South Bethany to hold fourth annual ‘beauty contest’

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.

South Bethany discusses speed, house height

Although the speed limit through the portion of Route 1 in South Bethany is 35 miles per hour, some travelers disregard that limit.

South Bethany Town Council delves into FOIA

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).