Texas Roadhouse preliminary site plan in Millsboro

Pending a variety of other approvals, Millsboro has approved the preliminary site plan for a Texas Roadhouse restaurant (rendering here) at Peninsula Crossing Shopping Center.

The Millsboro Town Council, at the Monday, April 6 meeting, approved the preliminary site plan for Texas Roadhouse restaurant, contingent upon review by the town’s engineer and director of public works, and approval of requests for variances.

“The preliminary site plan passes. Welcome to Millsboro, Texas Roadhouse,” Mayor Michelle Truitt told Project Manager Jillian Janovsky of Greenberg Farrow, based in New Jersey.

Because of coronavirus restrictions, the meeting was held by conference call.

“They have to get a couple variances from the Board of Adjustment, like Sussex Conservation District, DNREC. It usually takes a few months to come back for the final site approval,” Town Manager Sheldon Hudson told Coastal Point.

Janovsky of Greenberg Farrow said Texas Roadhouse wants to build a new, 7,570-square-foot restaurant in the Peninsula Crossing Shopping Center, between Taco Bell and Royal Farms and provide 121 parking spaces.

Seating capacity hasn’t yet been released and the target date for opening hasn’t yet been announced.

When Town Manager Sheldon Hudson asked Janovsky how the restaurant size will compare to Texas Roadhouse establishments in Fruitland and Seaford, she said it will be larger.

The chain, known for free buckets of peanuts and each table and free dinner rolls, is based in Louisville, Ky., and has more than 560 restaurants, spread almost every state in the United States, plus Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, the Philippines, Mexico, Taiwan and South Korea.

It was founded in 1993 by W. Kent Taylor of Colorado.

COVID-19 policy approved

The Town Council unanimously approved the town’s COVID-19 Policy.

Hudson said it outlines policy in case a town employee becomes ill with the virus, or has to be home caring for a child. The employee will have paid leave and not have to use sick time.

Resident to be honored

Millsboro resident Beatrice Carey, who will celebrate her 100th birthday this year, will be honored with a proclamation from the Millsboro Town Council.

“She’s a very important Millsboro resident and this is a very important thing to do,” Mayor Michelle Truitt said.

Monthly police report

Police Chief Brian Calloway, during his monthly report, said Pfc. Joseph Mulhern and Pfc. Kyle Wharton attended Crisis Intervention Training in Dover from March 2 to 6.

He said there were no community events or grant applications in March. All Office of Highway Safety patrols were suspended and there were no reported road closures or updates.

Councilman James Kells asked if the police department has enough personal protective equipment, or PPE, and Calloway said supplies are limited.

Two hundred masks have been ordered.

Sussex County police chiefs have partnered and received a large amount of PPE equipment that will be distributed to personnel, Calloway said.

Truitt thanked police, ambulance attendants, fire fighters and all first responders, saying, “I salute you guys.”

Fire department report

Councilman Larry Gum, a member of the Millsboro Fire Company, said during the current pandemic, “We are being as cautious as we can but we still have to respond to emergencies.”

Truitt urged them to stay safe.

“We know you are going to have contamination, and we are keeping you in our thoughts,” she said.

Bid for water tank accepted

The Town Council accepted the low bid for a new, 1-million-gallon water storage tank that will be built in Millsboro.

The bid, one of three, was from Caldwell Tanks, Inc., in Louisville, Ky.

Hudson said it’s important for the town to have sufficient water resources as growth continues.

Late last year, Millsboro’s water and sewer engineering consultant, Carrie Kruger of Duffield Associates, based in Wilmington, told the Town Council her company was working on a wastewater facilities master plan for the town.

Assistant Town Manager Jamie Burk, at the time, told Coastal Point it’s important to stay ahead of growth. Town officials were determining the daily flow for water and sewer, based on growth projections.

“We have had people expressing interest in coming to town. Once we annex someone in, residential or business, we are sort of promising them a certain amount of water. When they come in, they have to let us know their intent for the property. There is an EDU calculation that determines how much water and sewer use they will have. They have to give us their water and sewer intentions and they have to set up their infrastructure,” Burk said.

Comprehensive Plan

Savannah Edwards, a planner with the engineering firm AECOM, presented an overview of Millsboro’s comprehensive plan. Council members will vote on adoption of the 10-year vision for the town at the May Town Council meeting.

Edwards said her company started working on the 150-page document in early 2018 and that it covers population, land use, transportation, demographics and the environment.

Meeting by conference call

Town Council members agreed to again meet by conference call, if they can’t gather in the council chamber next month, due to State of Emergency restrictions intended to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“If we have to continue this in May would you like it in this format, or would you like us to use Zoom so we can see each other?” Truitt asked Council members.

Kells said he was comfortable with the conference call, as did Councilman John Thoroughgood, who said it worked well.

“The less technology you have involved, the better things will work. There’s such a delay with Zoom,” he said.

Hudson thanked staff members, saying they worked to be sure the call went smoothly.

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.