South Bethany News

Town of South Bethany, Delaware


  • 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


  • 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


  • Lt. Troy Crowson, (interim) Chief

Town Solicitor:

  • John Terence “Terry” Jaywork


  • 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

Police ask residents to report all suspicious activity

At a recent South Bethany Town Council meeting, Sgt. Lee Davis repeatedly told residents to call the South Bethany Police Department if something seems suspicious.

“We’d rather go out 10 times” for a false alarm than miss something “because someone doesn’t want to bug us,” Davis said. “You guys are our eyes and ears.”

South Bethany’s Hudson recieves police award

The South Bethany Police Department this week announced that Patrolman Nathan Hudson has been chosen as the recipient of the Crowe-McGrory Award.

Hudson was awarded the Crowe-McGrory on Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Delaware Chapter Law Enforcement Day luncheon, hosted by the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) Chapter 54 in Wilmington.

South Bethany prepares for first FIRM appeal update

South Bethany planned to review the first round of scientific results this week as it decides whether to appeal its flood insurance rate map (FIRM).

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) gave the Town until Jan. 20 to appeal maps that have been unpopular since they were first publicized in 2014.

DSP investigating South Bethany pedestrian crash

The Delaware State Police are continuing their investigation of a crash south of Bethany Beach over the weekend.

South Bethany to foot the bill for potential FEMA maps appeal

It’s appeal season in South Bethany, as the town council voted this week to pay around $23,000 to potentially appeal its new flood insurance rate map (FIRM).

S. Bethany presents a history of the society

South Bethany may be young for a local beach town, but residents still proudly study its heritage in the South Bethany Historical Society. Councilman George Junkin will give a talk on “History of the Society” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29.

Delmarva Power washing off salt-coated North Bethany lines again

Delmarva Power crews are resuming their efforts today to pressure-wash utility lines and equipment along Route 1 between the Indian River Inlet and an area just north of Bethany Beach to remove sea salt carried inland by winds from the weekend nor’easter.

South Bethany hosts flood damage and insurance workshop

What could happen to the sea in 50 years? No one can know for sure, but South Bethany residents got tips on planning for sea-level rise at a pair of workshops on Sept. 25 and 26.

TRAFFIC ALERT: DelDOT closes Route 1 between Bethany and Dewey

Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) officials announced around 4:30 p.m. that, due to high water, Route 1 northbound and southbound was being closed between Bethany and Dewey Beach (including the Charles Cullen Bridge over the Indian River Inlet).

Governor Issues limited state of emergency in Sussex County

With moderate to major coastal flooding expected at high tides today and tomorrow, along with high wind warnings along the coast, Gov. Jack Markell at noon on Oct. 2 issued a Limited State of Emergency for Sussex County, effective immediately. State offices will remain open, and no driving restrictions are being implemented; however, localized road closures may occur as conditions warrant it.

South Bethany awaits news as consultant drops FEMA case

After hiring an independent consultant to analyze its Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), the Town of South Bethany is at a standstill.

South Bethany celebrates canal-end beautification

For the fifth year in a row, the Town of South Bethany has recognized residents who have taken the time to help make their community a better place by adopting the town’s canal ends.
South Bethany Town Seal

End of the experiment: South Bethany to sell canal diffusers

It was a pioneering effort, but South Bethany’s canal diffuser experiment was a wash.

After a two-year study, air diffusers placed in the Petherton Drive canal have not significantly increased the dissolved oxygen in the nearly stagnant dead-ends of the canal.

“We did this as an experiment, because we thought it would increase dissolved oxygen,” said George Junkin, town council member and a champion of water quality in the town’s canals. “There was no significantly measureable increase in the canals.”

Using the neighboring Anchorage Drive and Brandywine Drive canals as a control, the Town tested regularly at three different depths in the shallow canals fed by the Little Assawoman Bay.

South Bethany officer injured by unruly suspect

Police reported this week that alcohol was a factor in an incident that began as a missing-person case and ended with a severely injured police officer.

On Aug. 8, the South Bethany Police Department responded to a report of a missing person. When officers arrived on scene, it turned out to concern a 25-year-old white man who had left his friends to swim in the bay, said Cpl. Patrick Wiley, public information officer for the SBPD.

He was afloat at the southern tip of town, between the Plymouth canal and the Bayview Park community, Wiley said.

Officials cut the ribbon to open the new Assawoman Canal Trail

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark  : Gov. Jack Markell and DNREC Secretary David Small at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Gov. Jack Markell and DNREC Secretary David Small at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.Gov. Jack Markell on Wednesday joined DNREC Secretary David Small, federal highway officials and community leaders and groups, to cut the ribbon officially opening the new Assawoman Canal Trail. The one-mile trail is part of a regional network of trails, sidewalks and pathways for pedestrians and bicyclists, physically linking communities that share a boundary with the trail.

“This trail is only possible because of the hard work and commitment of engaged community members who recognize that this is an opportunity to enhance the quality of life in Sussex County,” said Markell.

“It was residents in Ocean View, Bethany and South Bethany neighborhoods who saw the value of creating a trail along the Assawoman Canal and worked together with the State to turn their vision into a reality. They share our belief that investments in our trails and pathways support our overall health and wellbeing, while helping to grow our economy.”

In the works for seven years, the trail will directly connect the municipalities of Ocean View, Bethany Beach and South Bethany, and the communities of Sea Colony and Bahamas Beach Cottages.

A concept plan, developed with a team of local residents, was released in 2011, after public outreach. Project partners included Ocean View, Bethany Beach and South Bethany, residents in Bahamas Beach Cottages, Sea Colony, Salt Pond and Waterside, and DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation.

Little library lifting literacy along the Delaware shore

Coastal Point • Submitted  : A second Little Free Library just opened in South Bethany, providing more opportunities for people to have access to books. Coastal Point • Submitted : A second Little Free Library just opened in South Bethany, providing more opportunities for people to have access to books.

Imagine a medium-sized wooden box, standing outdoors on a pole, in all kinds of weather. Inside, two-dozen portals can whisk people away to new worlds, from the mysterious to the fantastic.

This box is the Little Free Library (LFL), and it just got a second location in South Bethany.

“It’s been up 10 days, and it’s very active,” said Sue Callaway, town council member and Community Enhancement Committee chair. “It went along with the whole idea of enhancing Ocean Drive.”

Dedicated on July 30, Little Free Library East is located on a major pedestrian route, at the corner of S. 3rd Street and Ocean Drive.

“Once we realized how successful the one in the west was, we began planning,” Callaway explained, noting that Frank Weisgerber, who is now a council member, had offered to build another one on the east side.

Adults and children are encouraged to borrow a book from the library, eventually returning it or another good read. It all works on the honor system — no library cards or signatures required.

Instructions for sharing books can be found at the LFL, as well as on bookmarks donated by the South Bethany Police Department.

South Bethany council discusses boatlifts

Boatlifts seem to be popping up all around South Bethany. But there are no zoning regulations on these structures, from the size to the number a person can build.

At its July 23 workshop, the town council appointed an ad-hoc group to study boatlifts and floating docks. It will present research and recommendations, and the council can then decide whether to take future action.

Members of the ad-hoc group include Dick Oliver, Jack Whitney, Joe Conway (chairperson) and Dave Wilson.

Although the four men are all members of the Planning Commission, they said this is not a committee under that commission.

Meanwhile, discussions are just beginning for a potential town hall and police station expansion.

South Bethany hits the pause button on bulkhead talk

It took about 2.5 hours for the South Bethany Town Council to cover regular business at their meeting on July 10, when discussions ranged from zoning to law enforcement and touched more than briefly on the continuing controversy over FEMA flood plain designations.

South Bethany investigates assault; victim thrown in canal

The South Bethany Police Department this week was investigating an assault that occurred just after midnight on Sunday, July 5. According to the SBPD, officers were dispatched around 12:48 a.m. last Sunday after they received reports that a man had been attacked in the area of 127 Canal Drive.

ALERT: Beachgoers warned to avoid contact with Portuguese man o’ war

Portuguese man o'war

A number of sightings near ocean beaches over the holiday weekend and the subsequent washing ashore of several Portuguese man o’ war this week prompted DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation Natural Resources Police to issue a caution statement urging people to avoid the stinging jellyfish relatives that are rare tropical visitors to the Delaware coast.

South Bethany council delves into rules on committees

South Bethany’s committees have been the topic of minor debate recently, so the town council decided to take an official look at their policy on June 25, by creating one.

FEMA draws a crowd at South Bethany maps meeting

South Bethany Town Hall may never have seemed so small when 100 people tried to fit inside for a public meeting about the future of local flood mapping. Most of them wanted to know exactly why their flood-risk designation changed, and what they can do about it.

Little discussion, but more involvement in charter change

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: South Bethany’s new council members were recently sworn in to their first terms in office. Pictured, from left, are Frank Weisgerber, Carol Stevenson and Wayne Schrader.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: South Bethany’s new council members were recently sworn in to their first terms in office. Pictured, from left, are Frank Weisgerber, Carol Stevenson and Wayne Schrader.The South Bethany Town Council has a plan to get more public involvement. They voted, 6-1, on May 30 to request that Delaware General Assembly amend the South Bethany town charter to permit chairs of town committees to be individuals who are not council members.

But one morning of discussion about the issue was not enough for Councilman George Junkin, who gave the only vote against requesting the change.

“I have a problem with 10 minutes of discussion going to the state legislature,” he said, looking at the May 30 agenda, which allotted that amount of time to the issue.

“We haven’t discussed this and the ramifications,” said Junkin, adding that he wished the Charter & Code Committee had reviewed the proposal beforehand.