South Bethany News
Town of South Bethany, Delaware
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The South Bethany Police Department doesn’t have room to properly do its job. It’s not because the SBPD suddenly grew in staff. (It hasn’t.) In reality, the police department wasn’t built for all of today’s needs.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and the dark streets get the light.
After the 2015 South Bethany Community Survey revealed that more people want streetlights, the Town Council has begun researching locations.
Canal Drive had the most requests for service, so that’s being addressed first. Lights will be installed based on public response.
After one year of discussion and research, South Bethany will allow floating boat ramps and docks. They unanimously voted Oct. 14 to amend the Town Code (Chapter 50, Bulkheads) to permit the installation of “Modular Floating Docking Systems,” such as floating boat ramps, floating docks and inflatable lifting docks.
The South Bethany Police Department needs to up its pay scale if it wants to remain competitive with surrounding jurisdictions, said Police Chief Troy Crowson. So the town council approved a $13,031 budget amendment to increase all salaries.
Inviting residents to decorate public space has given South Bethany a series of miniature parks. With five miles of canals, the town has plenty of canal ends that people have decorated and planted for the 6th Annual Adopt-A-Canal/Road End Beauty Contest.
The Adopt-A-Canal program lets residents take ownership and beautify their community.
“It just truly makes a difference. We’re seeing — as the years pass — the growth of the canal ends,” said organizer Councilwoman Sue Callaway. “And it still gets the community involved in doing something for the town, and it [gets] people together to work on many of them.”
In a municipality where the primary Town revenue is realty-related taxes, South Bethany’s success depends partly on residents who maintain a pleasant living space.
This summer, South Bethany’s election cycle saw the retirement of two active town council members: George Junkin and Tim Saxton.
“We need to thank them for hard work,” Mayor Pat Voveris said in May. “This is no easy gig sitting here.”
Finally armed with official statistics, South Bethany has doubled the hours in which the Cat Hill traffic barricade is in place.
Effective immediately, all eastbound traffic is prohibited from entering Black Gum Drive from Kent Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 15 to Sept. 15.
South Bethany officials this week offered their thanks to the owners of the 17 boats that registered for the third annual South Bethany Boat Parade, as well as the additional boats and kayaks who joined in.
At 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 3, the canals were lined with residents and visitors prepared to watch the boats making their way along the waterways of South Bethany. Kent and Bobbe Stephan’s boat from S. Anchorage Avenue led the parade with their “Sharknado” theme. Aboard were their son, Jonathan Stephan and his wife, Sam, and Hugh and Ginny Meade.
The “Safety Boat,” captained by Joe Conway of Henlopen Drive, was positioned in the center of the parade. Aboard with Joe and Terry Conway were Mayor Pat Voveris, Police Chief Troy Crowson and Bethany Beach Fire Department representative Dan Cowell.
The Town thanked the parade judges for their unbiased voting. Stationed at the end of Rebecca Road, judges Dave Wilson, Martha Lowe and Anne Long had a bird’s-eye view of the boats coming and going.
South Bethany is prepared to block the road for longer than before, as Town Hall is likely to approve new and longer hours for the eastbound barricade at Black Gum Road.
The Ad-hoc Traffic Committee will recommend that the town council change the official barricade hours from the early morning to a more-useful time period of 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The council could approve that change at a July 8 meeting. It would be effective immediately but subject to ongoing traffic study. The barricade would match other traffic restrictions in town with an annual timeframe of May 15 to Sept. 15.
“It’s a good start,” said Council Member Carol Stevenson. “It’s a start.”
Just starting with mockups, the South Bethany Police Department staff imagines having enough room to grow. In June, Chief Troy Crowson presented a proposal to double the size of the existing police building.
It’s here! The unofficial start of the summer season at the Delaware shore has arrived with Memorial Day weekend, and it’s a time of transition for the area, as the relatively quiet second season of spring sprouts into the hustle and bustle that is the resort area’s high season.
The year is 1985. A young Rebecca Mais has just found out that she didn’t get the job after interviewing for a position at the University of Maryland. The next day, she’ll find out that she’s pregnant.
Mais and her husband, Richard, had already left their posts at the University of South Carolina and were set to relocate in Washington D.C. They were ready for something new. But little did they know then that they’d get more than they’d bargained for when things turned 1986.
Not only was that the year that their first-son, Brandt, was born, in January, but that spring, so was McCabe’s Gourmet Market.
“Rebecca and I laugh — Brandt was born in January, we built an ocean front townhouse that we moved into April 1st, we both left our jobs and then we started the business,” said Richard Mais. “Ten years later, we read a list of the Top 10 reasons people get a divorce, and we had done like seven of them in one year.”
Motorists shouldn’t panic when they see state officials monitoring South Bethany around Memorial Day weekend, said Town Councilman George Junkin at the May 13 council meeting.
South Bethany house height limits could soon be based on their likelihood of flooding.
While considering that change for oceanfront homes, the South Bethany Town Council has created a committee to consider using base flood elevation (BFE) as a measurement for all South Bethany houses, besides the oceanfront VE zone.
On May 5, Christians around that U.S. were set to come together for the 65th annual National Day of Prayer, gathering on Thursday at noon at designated locations, to pray together.
According to the event’s website, “It is an unprecedented opportunity to see the Lord’s healing and renewing power made manifest as we call on citizens to humbly come before His throne.”
South Bethany won’t require a 2016 town council election, as exactly four candidates have offered to fill the available three council seats and mayoral spot.
Earth Day is a 46-year tradition designed to show Mother Earth some love.
People can plan an eco-friendly project of their own (plant a tree and turn off a light bulb), but local towns and groups are also hosting Earth Day events all month, including the Bethany Beach Nature Center, in Fenwick Island, at the Indian River Life-Saving Station, in Millsboro and in South Bethany.
South Bethany council wants DelDOT input before road changes
Traffic is clogging a neighborhood in western South Bethany, and according to Cat Hill residents, they feel increasingly unsafe living on the narrow roads that have become a shortcut to the beach.
That’s why the South Bethany Town Council will discuss a traffic committee and a new speed hump at the April 8 council meeting, at 7 p.m.
The Roxana Volunteer Fire Company announced that they are hosting a live-fire drill on Saturday, March 19, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the now-vacant Twin Cedars Apartments, located at 36112 Zion Church Road near Frankford.
This drill has been in the making for at least 5 years and has taken countless hours of coordination between the departments, owner and government agencies.
U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) last week asked a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official if funds left over from Hurricane Sandy might be diverted to emergency repairs of the beaches and dunes at three of Delaware’s beach towns.
The South Bethany Town Council has four seats up for election this spring.
Interested candidates may throw their hat into the ring by filing written notice at Town Hall during regular business hours from March 4 to Wednesday, April 13, at 4:30 p.m. There is no registration fee.
Residents of Cat Hill love their idyllic beach lifestyle. With winding roads, the South Bethany neighborhood feels very off-the-beaten-path. There are no sidewalks, so people walk their dogs, jog and bicycle in the narrow streets.
One of South Bethany’s welcome signs on Route 1 was destroyed after an alleged drunk-driving incident. According to the South Bethany Police Department, South Bethany resident Joan DeSantis was responsible for the single-car collision with the sign on Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 11:11 p.m.
Winters at the beach are peaceful, but sometimes quiet. So South Bethany is warming the season with its inaugural town potluck supper on Saturday, Feb. 20. The feast begins at South Bethany Town Hall at 6 p.m.
“We’re just looking forward to a good turnout and lots of good fellowship,” said Lisa Saxton, a member of the Town’s Communications & Public Relations Committee.
Ed Bintz first raised the alarm about a drastic change in South Bethany’s flood insurance rate map (FIRM). Now he’s submitting a second and final appeal to encourage Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to lower the numbers again.