Sussex County News
Sussex County, Delaware
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The Shore Democrats last week got some inside information as to how the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission conducts business.
P&Z Chairman Bob Wheatley, along with Bethany Beach resident and District 4 Commissioner Rodney Smith, spoke to an assembled group of members, explaining that P&Z is a five-person commission, where no more than two members can come from any one district.
The Planning & Zoning Commission deals with changes of zoning, conditional uses and subdivisions.
“Everything we do is governed by the planning and zoning ordinance,” said Wheatley. “We often have to act on things that we may not like, but our job as planning and zoning commissioners is to measure the application against the ordinance. Whatever the ordinance says goes.”
Wheatley, who has served on the commission for 20 years, said the P&Z makes recommendations to Sussex County Council, though the council is not bound to follow those recommendations.
The Sussex County Council received a legislative update from Hal Godwin, deputy county administrator, at this week’s county council meeting.
Godwin spoke to the council about House Bill 85, which would amend Title 30 of the Delaware Code relating to State Taxes — allowing tax intercept programs to be used to collect delinquent taxes.
About 40 high school juniors filled the Sussex County Council chambers last Thursday, April 16. They were not in chambers to request a grant or make public comment on a proposed ordinance, but rather as representatives of Girls and Boys State.
Boys and Girls State are programs through the American Legion, offering high school juniors the opportunity to become part of the operation of local, county and state government.
“The national organization requires them to be a member of the junior class, becoming seniors in the fall,” explained Lyman Brenner, chairman of Delaware Boys State. “The state of Delaware has added, too, that they must be in the upper third of their class academically.”
Boys State has existed in Delaware since 1946, and those who wish to participate may be recommended from their school, previous Boys and Girls State participants, American Legion posts or military service academy nominees.
DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between April 6-12 made 1,254 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 110 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 41 complaints and issued 26 citations.
Patti Grimes, executive director of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, gave Sussex County Council members an update on the Freeman Stage at Bayside earlier this week. Grimes said “the arts are alive” in Sussex County while sharing the progress the foundation has made.
According to its website, the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, “aims to create opportunities to elevate the human spirit through the arts, for residents of Sussex County and the surrounding area, by partnering to present memorable performances and provide inspired arts education for all.”
“We are a foundation on a mission,” she told the council. “Our mission has been consistent with partnering to present memorable performances and inspire arts education for all… Those last two words are very important to us: ’for all.’
“Having access for everyone in Sussex County, including guests that are coming into the county to enjoy high-quality arts experiences.”
On May 9, golfers can play a round and celebrate a fallen U.S. Marine in the process. The second annual Cory Palmer Memorial Golf Tournament is being hosted by a group of the young man’s best friends that Saturday, at Heritage Shores Golf Club in Bridgeville.
Seaford resident Cory L. Palmer died on May 6, 2006, when his Humvee patrol was struck by a roadside bomb near Fallujah, Iraq.
From Millsboro to Selbyville, residents worried about plans for the future of Route 113 can breathe a sigh of relief. The Delaware Department of Transportation is scrapping the proposed 16.5-mile Route 113 bypass in favor of smaller road projects.
The Sussex County Action Prevention Coalition (SCAPC) met this week to discuss the group’s mission to address the growing drug problem in the state and county.
“In order to conquer addiction in our communities, we need teamwork, we need programs, we need education,” said Jim Martin, who chairs the coalition.
It’s time to clean out those closets and maybe donate some old shoes to a good cause. The Lord Baltimore Lioness Club will host a used shoe drive Thursday, April 16, at 6:30 p.m. at South Coastal Library. The service club has also invited teenager Emma Rider to give a firsthand account of her experiences in transforming old shoes into clean water.
The Sussex County Council this week continued its discussion of an ordinance regarding temporary vendor stands, which would create a streamlined process to allow vendors to operate on property zoned as commercial without having to go through the traditional process of applying for a special use exception before the Board of Adjustment.
While touring the renovated Delaware Seashore State Park, Ray Bivens marveled at the two-part campground.
“For a park that’s divided by a highway, a bridge and an inlet, it’s now very connected,” said Bivens, director of the Delaware Division of Parks & Recreation.
“We’re all gonna imagine what it’s like here in June and July, when it’s 80 degrees out,” he told stakeholders who gathers on a cold, blustery March 27 to officially cut the ribbon on nearly $10 million worth of improvements.
The Delaware Department of Transportation took responsibility for putting the park back together after commandeering part of the campgrounds for the construction of the new Indian River Inlet Bridge. The Federal Highway Administration paid $7.06 million of the $9.87 million cost for the project.
It may come as a surprise to some that not all Delawareans who fought during the Civil War have grave markers indicating their service. To rectify this situation, Glenn Layton and Dan Cowgill have taken on the immense task of identifying everyone from this state who donned a uniform between the years 1861 and 1865.
Two Sussex County Council members stopped to chat with the Shore Democrats on March 18. George Cole and Rob Arlett talked about development, as well as County services, at the group’s lunch meeting at NorthEast Seafood Kitchen in Ocean View.
Eric Bodenweiser, 56, of Georgetown pled no contest on March 18 to two counts of third-degree unlawful sexual contact in Sussex County Superior Court.
A proposal to amend Sussex County Code could streamline the process for certain vendors, such as food trucks, food carts and produce wagons.
Volunteer training to be offered April 11 and 16
The Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR) is seeking volunteers to assist with DNREC’s annual bay-wide horseshoe crab spawning survey in May and June on the Ted Harvey Wildlife Area, Kitts Hummock and North Bowers beaches.
Sussex County’s computers are about to get a turbo boost on the information superhighway, and that will mean faster network and Internet speeds — not just for government operations, but potentially for other consumers in the Georgetown area.
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.
The Delaware State Police are still seeking the public’s assistance in locating a suspect, or suspects, involved in vandalizing 26 homes in the Bayshore Mobile Home Park, off of Cedar Neck Road near Ocean View.
Master Cpl. Gary Fournier, public information officer for the Delaware State Police said that the vandalism, which occurred on Feb. 11 between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., was reported to police by a park resident who noticed a neighbor’s home was damaged.
The suspect or suspects shattered glass doors and windows of residences — some that were adjacent to each other and some that were not. The suspect or suspects entered the unoccupied seasonal homes, police said; however, no missing property has been reported to police.
Fournier said that, while it is not common for homes to be broken into without items being stolen, he noted that some of the victims may have not been able to inventory their belongings, as they are seasonal homes.
The total damage to the homes is estimated to be more than $9,000.
The Sussex County Council this week voted to defer any action following a public hearing for the planned Route 54 expansion of the Fenwick Island Sanitary Sewer District.
The moment that many inland bays residents have awaited is here. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened public comments for Delaware shellfish aquaculture on Jan. 21. Comments are due by Wednesday, Feb. 23.
Sussex County Finance Director Gina Jennings presented the county council with a comprehensive annual financial report for the 2014 fiscal year at this week’s council meeting.
The 100-page report was broken down into four sections — introductory, finance, statistical and single-audit supplement.