As the battle against coronavirus intensifies, local government offices are closed to the public; police officers have masks, gloves and sanitizer ready; and town meetings are moving to an electronic format.
In Ocean View, non-essential employees are working from home, with staff members answering inquiries by e-mail. Calls to Town Hall will be recorded, then transferred to a staff member’s e-mail for reply, according to Town Manager Carol Houck.
Town council and committee meetings will be addressed on a case-by-case basis, with only urgent in-person meetings held. Town officials might have closed or electronic meetings, Houck said.
“We are still finalizing the April 14 meeting plans, but it looks like we will be utilizing a program called Zoom to hold the meeting electronically,” Houck said.
She, with Mayor Walt Curran and members of the town council, will determine when buildings will reopen.
Ocean View residents are being asked to make payments by mail or to use the drop box at the administrative office. Bids for contracts should be mailed.
Essential meetings with town staff may be arranged by appointment, although Houck said conference calls are preferred.
Anyone with questions can call (302) 539-9797.
John West Park’s playground and restrooms at the park closed Tuesday, morning but walkers can still use the park, as long as they keep safe distances and don’t walk in large groups.
When facilities reopen, the Town will post information on the website at www.oceanviewdel.com and share it on Facebook (under Town of Ocean View, DE), according to Houck.
Dagsboro Town Hall closed to the public
In Dagsboro, Town Hall is closed. Employees working inside can be reached at (302) 732-3777.
The Dagsboro Town Council will not meet in April.
Residents can pay bills online, drop off payments or mail them.
Millsboro mostly business-as-usual
In Millsboro, members of a committee formed to discuss further development of Plantation Lakes were expected to meet in person this week, but the April 6 town council meeting will be by conference call, according to Town Manager Sheldon Hudson.
Documents discussed during the meeting will be posted on the town’s website, at www.millsboro.org.
“We haven’t closed anything in Millsboro,” Hudson said, adding that the public is welcome to continuing enjoying Cupola Park and the newly opened dog park while remaining 6 feet away from others.
Some employees are working 20 hours each week at Town Hall and the other 20 hours at home, but nobody is home all the time, Hudson said.
Building permit-related and other services will be provided through the drive-through window on the Mitchell Street side of Town Hall.
“Our goal is to keep it as normal as possible.
“As an incredibly business-friendly city — after, of course, doing its part to keep its employees and town residents safe — Millsboro wants to do what it can to help developers, contractors and others continue to move forward with their projects during this economically-challenging period,” Hudson said.
“At a time when many organizations are shutting down completely — sometimes out of necessity — we believe the town’s current and future business community will appreciate the Town of Millsboro’s efforts and will remember them when the economy inevitably starts booming again,” he said.
At home, Hudson said, he, his wife and their two children aren’t limiting exposure to each other but are keeping their distance from others.
But Millsboro Police Chief Brian Calloway said Sunday family dinners held at his and his wife’s home, with more than 20 people invited, have stopped.
“We’ve done that every Sunday for 10 years. Our home has a pool and things that people can do, so everybody comes to our house. It’s kind of sad without that family dinner,” Calloway said.
Fenwick doing business by phone, online, mail
In Fenwick Island, town buildings and offices are closed, including Town Hall, Public Works and the Police Department. Residents can make payments online or by mail.
Town staff is working on-site and can be reached at (302) 539-3011 or by mail.
Frankford Town Hall, Town Park closed
In Frankford, the town park and Town Hall are shuttered. All town meetings in April were canceled, as well as a special council meeting and the first budget workshop of the 2021 fiscal year, both planned in March.
Those needing to contact town staff can call (302) 732-9424.
Selbyville officials available via phone
In Selbyville, town buildings and offices are closed. Call 302-436-8314 for town-related matters, 302-855-2980 for non-emergency police, , 302-841-1868 for the water department and 302-339-5882 for wastewater.
Bethany Beach sends staff home, where possible
In Bethany Beach, Town Hall staff is working on-site, and at home if possible.
Sussex County cancels hearings, restricts access
Sussex County government on Tuesday canceled public hearings for ordinances, land-use applications and all matters involving citizen input.
Public hearings scheduled for the County Council, Planning & Zoning Commission and Board of Adjustment have been suspended indefinitely, and no new hearings will be scheduled at this time.
Sussex County Council will continue to meet as needed, but the public will not be permitted to enter the council chambers.
Meetings will be broadcast live and archived at www.sussexcountyde.gov.
County offices are operational but closed to the public. Only those needing to drop off or pick up documents will be permitted to enter the County Administrative Offices building at 2 The Circle in Georgetown, and then only the lobby, where documents can be dropped off.
State re-opens welcome center, but limits access
In Newark, the Biden Welcome Center on I-95 in Newark will reopen to the public, in limited capacity, on Wednesday, March 25 at 6 a.m. The center closed on Tuesday, March 17, is reopening to help the trucking community that is delivering supplies and materials.