Despite statewide restrictions and increasing cases of the coronavirus in Sussex County, the annual Fourth of July fireworks display in Millsboro has not been canceled — at least not yet.

“It is still technically on, but time will tell,” Town Manager Sheldon Hudson told the Coastal Point.

Town officials will confer with the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce but will wait a little while before making a decision, he said.

The annual event, centered at scenic Cupola Park, attracts thousands of guests from several towns in the region.

Grotto Pizza final site-plan approved

Ground will be broken at the end of this month or in June for the new Grotto Pizza that is set to open in Millsboro in October or November.

On Monday, the Millsboro Town Council approved the final site plan for the business, prompting Mayor Michelle Truitt to cheerfully tell a Grotto representative, “Well, bring it on. Welcome to Millsboro.”

The 212-seat restaurant with sports bar will be situated in a 6,558-square-foot building constructed in Peninsula Crossing on Route 113. It will be located near Royal Farms and Taco Bell.

Access to parking will be possible through Royal Farms and Texas Roadhouse, a steakhouse also coming to Peninsula Crossing, on an adjacent lot. That access is a benefit Truitt praised, for allowing traffic to flow more easily.

Hudson said the Town appreciates Grotto investing in Millsboro “during these challenging economic times.”

“We hope this is the snowball getting bigger and bigger, and attracting more sit-down restaurants and sports bars. We want to be the place where you can live, work and play,” he had previously told the Coastal Point.

Grotto has about 20 restaurants in Delaware and Maryland, including those in Bethany Beach, Long Neck, Rehoboth Beach and Dover, and Ocean City, Md. Along with 15 specialty pizzas, menu items include pasta, subs, salads, soups and appetizers.

Farmers’ market

Truitt asked council members for their opinions about offering a farmers’ market in town, possibly located near the railroad tracks.

Councilman Tim Hodges suggested asking local farmers if they’re interested, because when the town had a farmers’ market a few years ago, he said, it was discovered they were coming from out of state.

“That really was not achieving what we wanted to do,” Hodges said.

Councilman John Thoroughgood said the market started near the railroad tracks, but there were complaints about there being too much traffic. It was then moved across from the post office, but there was still too much traffic, and some farmers were charging more than local grocery stores.

“But you don’t know until you try. You can’t go on what the past history showed us. Things change,” Thoroughgood said.

Hodges recommended the Town line up local farmers for a farmers’ market before starting, and making sure the produce is local.

Hudson said that, in the past, some vendors had purchased produce from supermarkets, then resold it, but he added that, if it’s managed well, a farmers’ market would be a nice addition.

Truitt said she will research the matter, then report back to council members.

Police report

Police Chief Brian Calloway, during his monthly report to the town council, thanked the Millsboro Volunteer Fire Department for joining police officers for a small parade in front of Atlantic Shores Rehabilitation & Health Center, to thank the healthcare workers and other staff there.

Councilman Ron O’Neal thanked Calloway for organizing police cruiser drive-by acknowledgements for birthdays and other celebrations, since coronavirus restrictions are forcing birthday parties, especially for children, to be delayed.

“It has blossomed. We’re very, very busy with it. I certainly thank Chief Calloway. We’ve done birthday celebrations from 4 years old to 100 years, so we’ve covered the gamut. It’s worked out very, very well,” O’Neal said.

Truitt said she appreciates everyone’s involvement.

Calloway thanked O’Neal “for those kind words” and said it doesn’t take a lot of time, but brings happiness.

Concerning highway safety in the town, Calloway said patrols were stopped in April and he didn’t yet know when they would resume.

Updating council on personal protective equipment, Calloway said the police department has enough gloves, masks, hand sanitizer and other items necessary to stay safe, and that items are still being added to the inventory.

“A lot of that has to do with partnership with Sussex Police Chiefs Association,” Calloway said.

Concerning the school resource officer program at Millsboro Elementary School, Calloway said the police department had discontinued the process of hiring for that position, due to not finding qualified applicants, but will begin the process again, with hopes of finding a candidate by fall.

Truitt said May is Public Service Recognition Week, and thanked Calloway, and all who provide services, “for your great efforts.”

St. Mark’s Fourth of July Parade

The town council, by unanimous vote, approved the 14th annual St. Mark’s Children’s Parade, beginning at 10:30 a.m. on July 4.

Approval was contingent upon Gov. John Carney’s restrictions to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Press releases will be sent in mid-June, and signs will be put up around town a week before the event.

Councilman Larry Gum said it’s a nice town-friendly children’s parade “and a great little event.”

Dog park

More signs have been added to Millsboro’s new dog park, with one being erected on Monday and another on Tuesday, Assistant Town Manager Jamie Burk told the town council.

Benches will be installed, and the parking lot has been paved. It will be striped when current rainy weather stops and there are a few dry days, Burk said. Water fountains will also go in.

Hudson said the dog park, on Wilson Highway, remains open during coronavirus restrictions, as are all Millsboro town parks, as long as visitors remain a safe distance apart. Hudson said the Town is pleased parks can remain open for exercise and fresh air.

Hudson had previously explained that the dog park’s site was selected because Wilson Highway is town-maintained.

“There was no need to get a state permit, which would have cost tens of thousands of dollars. It’s more cost effective for the Town,” Hudson said.

GiggleBugs expansion

The daycare center GiggleBugs Early Learning Center, on West State Street in Millsboro, received approval from the town council for a new, 7,700-square-foot building with 21 more parking spaces, to serve 90 more children.

Hudson said he’s “thrilled to see this type of family-friendly offering” that will make Millsboro even more attractive to families.

“GiggleBugs has a great reputation,” he said.

“I’m glad that GiggleBugs can expand,” Truitt added.

Staff Reporter

Veteran news reporter Susan Canfora has written for many newspapers and held positions ranging from managing editor to her favorite, news reporter. She joined the Coastal Point in June 2019. She teaches college writing, tutors and professionally edits.