The Millville Town Council heard this week from a son of the family that owned the land on which the new town park has been constructed, stating that he wants the Town to hold to its promise to name the park after his family.
Scott Evans appealed to the council at its meeting on Tuesday, July 15, to name the park after his parents, Jack and Betty Evans, saying the family lowered the price of the land in return for the Town’s agreement to name the park after them.
“I was born and raised here, and the thing of it is, if I tell you something when we meet… that’s the way it was,” Evans said.
“I want my parents’ name to be on that park,” he said. “It is in the contract,” between him and the Town regarding the transfer of the land, he said. “I’m just here now to ask you guys to continue with what you promised.”
Evans told the council that his father was a tugboat captain, and that he thought having “Captain Jack” in the name would be appropriate, since that’s how his dad was known. (The park’s playground has a nautical theme as well.) He added, “Evans is kind of a big name around here.”
Millville Mayor Steve Maneri said he felt having the park name include Evans, rather than just his father’s name, “would cover the whole family.”
Maneri suggested the name “Evans Cove” would honor the family and its maritime heritage, while Council Member Sharon Brienza said she thought “something simple” would suffice, such as “Evans Park at Millville.”
“I have no problem with any of them,” Maneri said.
Deputy Mayor Ronald Belinko lauded the council for sticking to its part of what he called a “gentleman’s agreement” regarding the name.
“None of us on this council are natives,” Belinko said, adding that “it’s very important to maintain that heritage” for future generations. “We need to know that that property belonged to the Evanses,” he said.
Maneri said the council would review the issue, would consider several names that had been suggested and would possibly vote on one at its July 28 council workshop.
While the park project is nearly complete, its opening date is still undetermined because parks remain closed as part of Gov. John Carney’s emergency declarations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Maneri said recently that the park will open when Carney declares the state has reached Phase 3 of its COVID-19 recovery efforts. The state remains in Phase 2.
Because of the uncertainty regarding timing of reopening phases, the Town has decided to cancel its Great Pumpkin Festival, which would have been the first large event to be held in the new park.
The Town Council this week also passed an ordinance regarding food trucks — something it hopes to utilize once the park is open and events can be held there. The ordinance requires any food truck to purchase a mobile food truck business license for $50 per year or $25 for a 30-day permit. Food trucks will also be required to purchase an event permit for any event they serve at in the town, for $15 per day. Food truck owners will also be required to provide proof of commercial insurance with coverage of at least $100,000.
The ordinance also requires any business or organization holding a special event that would draw a crowd to purchase a public event permit for $15 per day of the event.