Sussex County News

Sussex County, Delaware

Population:

  • 156,638 (2000 Census)

County council meetings

  • Tuesdays, 10 a.m. (second Tuesday of each month), council chambers, county administrative building; council meetings and other public meetings held in the council chambers are broadcast over the Internet

Planning & Zoning meets:

  • Thursdays, two to four times per month, 6 p.m.; occasional Wednesday afternoons; council chambers, county administrative building

Board of Adjustments meets:

  • Mondays, two to four times per month, 7 p.m.; council chambers, county administrative building

Elections:

  • Council members elected by district, to four-year terms; council president selected from among council members

County administrative building:

  • 2 The Circle, Georgetown, DE 19947; (302) 855-7700

Web site

General e-mail inquiries

County Council 2013-2014:

  • Michael Vincent, Council President, District 1
  • Samuel Wilson Jr., Council Vice-President, District 2
  • Joan Deaver, District 3
  • George B. Cole, District 4
  • Vance C. Phillips, District 5

County Administrator:

  • Todd Lawson

Council Administrative Staff:

  • Robin Griffith

Finance Director:

  • Gina Jennings

Public Information:

  • Chip Guy

Public Works Director:

  • Michael Brady

Director of Planning & Zoning:

  • Lawrence Lank

Director of Planning & Zoning Commission:

  • Robert C. Wheatley

Police:

  • Delaware State Police Troop 4

Sheriff:

  • Jeffrey Christopher

Emergency:

  • 911

Non-emergency police contact:

  • (302) 856-5850

Sewer service:

  • Sussex County provides central sewer service to communities throughout the county, while some private property owners and other communities utilize on-site septic or sewer systems of their own.

County makes progress on sign ordinance

After holding a special meeting this week to focus solely on signage regulations, the Sussex County Council has seemingly addressed all items related to its recently introduced sign ordinance.

County to hold special signage meeting on July 11

The Sussex County Council will hold a special meeting on Monday, July 11, at 10 a.m. to discuss an introduced ordinance that would amend the county code regarding signage.

DSP targeting resources at addressing theft, DUI offenses

State police are reporting some success in addressing the most common crimes in Sussex County — burglary and theft — as well as preventing motor-vehicle accidents, according to Delaware State Police Capt. Rodney M. Layfield, commander of Troop 4 in Georgetown, who discussed local trends in crime in an update to the Sussex County Council at its June 28 meeting.

County chips away at proposed signage ordinance language

With all five members of the Sussex County Council seated at the dais earlier this week, after last week tabling discussions related to a sign ordinance introduced in April, signage was discussed at length by the council and County staff.

Commercial waterman faces charges for conch violations

DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested a commercial waterman June 3 for nearly 300 fishing violations — most of them for illegal taking of knobbed conch — after boarding his vessel for a no-wake violation near the Lewes public boat ramp on May 31.

County officials discuss impacts of potential state legislation

At the Sussex County Council’s regular meeting on June 14, County Administrator Todd Lawson updated the council on legislative happenings he said might impact the County.

House Bill 396, or the Bring New Jobs to Delaware Act, would impacts all three counties, said Lawson, by allowing each county to enact an expedited review process for land-use projects.

County planning director Lank to retire after 47 years

Sussex County’s planning director has a new plan under development — retirement, after nearly a half-century of public service. County Planning & Zoning Director Lawrence B. Lank will retire Dec. 1 from the position he has held since 1985, overseeing a staff of nearly a dozen employees in one of the County’s highest-profile departments.

County officials continue signage discussions

The Sussex County Council this week discussed at length a proposed ordinance to amend the County Code related to signs.

Drivers cautioned to watch out for terrapins crossing area roads

Drivers are being urged to use extra caution when traveling Delaware’s coastal highways through June and July. As the summer gets under way, female Diamondback terrapins are crossing Route 1 to lay their eggs in the soft sand of the ocean dunes, and many are killed in the process.

Rt. 54 sidewalk improvements subject of June 6 public workshop

The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) invites the public to attend a public workshop to receive information about the Final Design for various proposed lighting, striping, and pedestrian improvements on Route 54 in Fenwick Island.

‘Mighty Mo’s’ big gun moved to permanent resting place at Fort Miles

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The ‘Mighty Mo’ gun is hoisted, ready to be mounted at Fort Miles at Cape Henlopen State Park.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The ‘Mighty Mo’ gun is hoisted, ready to be mounted at Fort Miles at Cape Henlopen State Park.After wartime service in the Pacific aboard the “Mighty Mo” — the battleship U.S.S. Missouri — one of the ship’s nine original 16-inch guns that shook the enemy fleet with 2,700-pound shells was moved last week to a permanent display within historic Fort Miles at Cape Henlopen State Park. The big gun was mounted on the Missouri when the Japanese surrender was accepted about that ship on Sept. 2, 1945, ending World War II.

“The U.S.S. Missouri’s gun is an important piece of American history that will draw families and tourists to Fort Miles and the beautiful shores of Cape Henlopen State Park,” said Gov. Jack Markell.

“Bringing new amenities and historical treasures to our parks not only provides an economic boost to the state, but is one the reasons why Delaware State Parks was recognized nationally this year with the Gold Award as the best park system in the nation.”

Heroin Summit discusses Sussex epidemic

The Communities that Care Summit, cohosted by the Sussex County Health Coalition and the Delaware Department of Substance Abuse & Mental Health, was held at Crossroads Community Church this week, focusing on an open discussion regarding the heroin epidemic in Sussex County.

The summit’s keynote speaker was John Rittenhouse of SHIFTDestiny.

Sign ordinance discussed before Sussex County Council

Signs were a main topic of discussion at this week’s Sussex County Council meeting, as the council held its first public hearing on a proposed ordinance to amend the Code of Sussex County related to signage, as part of what has been a year-long discussion of signage in the county.

Tickets available for Sussex County Prayer Breakfast

On Tuesday, June 14, people will gather together to pray for local communities at the Sussex County Prayer Breakfast. This year, the Sussex County Prayer Breakfast will host Bill Alexson, son of former Brooklyn Dodger baseball player Andrew “Doc” Alexson.

DSP, state agencies bring down large-scale heroin ring

Following a two-year investigation, the Delaware State Police Sussex Drug Unit (SDU), Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) and the Sussex County Attorney General’s Office have charged 13 individuals who were allegedly part of a criminal organization that engaged in large-scale heroin distribution and money laundering.

Sussex County reveals proposed $119 million budget

This week, Sussex County revealed its proposed $119 million budget for the 2017 fiscal year.

In the proposed budget, County staff recommended no change in property taxes or general fund fees. Sewer and water service charges would not increase either, if the budget is approved.

Public hearing on proposed sign ordinance set for May 12

The Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission was set to hold a public hearing on Thursday, May 12, at 6 p.m., related to an ordinance to amend the code of Sussex County regarding signage.

BREAKING NEWS: Suspect in alleged MVFC embezzlement charged

Delaware State Police have arrested a 36-year-old Dagsboro man after an audit of a local fire company’s accounts reveal he allegedly stole more than $190,000 in funds.

Justin K. Oakley turned himself into detectives Tuesday, May 10, after the Troop 4 Financial Crimes Unit received a forensic audit from the State of Delaware Office of Auditor of Accounts.

BREAKING NEWS: State inspection reveals close to $200,000 allegedly embezzled from MVFC

A fiscal inspection report released by the State of Delaware Office of Auditor of Accounts (AOA) on Tuesday, May 10, reported that $190,433.61 was allegedly embezzled from the Millville Volunteer Fire Company (MVFC) by their former treasurer between the years of 2012 and 2015.

The treasurer’s name was not found in the official report.

Waste Management fined by DNREC for recycling violations

One of Delaware’s major waste haulers hasn’t completely done its job, according to Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control officials.

Hudson appointed to County P&Z — replaces Smith

Clarksville resident and former state trooper Douglas B. Hudson was appointed this week to the Sussex County Council Planning & Zoning Commission.

At the May 3 county council meeting, Hudson underwent a public interview before the council.

County sign ordinance introduced

After months of discussions, the Sussex County Council this week introduced an ordinance that would revise the County’s current signage regulations.

For nearly a year, the council has been working to revamp its sign ordinance, after Councilman George Cole raised concerns related to billboards.

Milton shopping center application denied by Sussex County

The Sussex County Council this week denied the controversial application by T.D. Rehoboth LLC for the Overbrook Town Center shopping center, proposed to be built near Milton and strongly opposed by some nearby residents.

With standing room only in County Council Chambers on Tuesday, April 12, the council voted 4-1 to deny the application, which was originally filed in December 2014.

Sing for the rafters: Middle-school honor choir returns

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: The Sussex County Junior Honor Choir performed at Woodbridge Middle School on Friday, April 7.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: The Sussex County Junior Honor Choir performed at Woodbridge Middle School on Friday, April 7.Sussex County has upped the ante for music education, as the Sussex County Junior Honor Choir returned to the stage for 2016.

This year, about 80 students represented Selbyville, Millsboro, Georgetown, Seaford, Beacon, Mariner and Woodbridge middle schools, as well as Sussex Academy and Southern Delaware School of the Arts.

Singers are hand-selected based on behavior, enthusiasm and willingness to learn new music.

“It makes me proud,” said Selbyville Middle School teacher Eric Tsavdar. “[It takes] self-discipline and drive to be part of the program. It gives them the opportunity to sing with a more advanced group.”

They performed April 7 at Woodbridge Middle School, under guest conductor LeeAnn Masters of Harford County, Md., (a teacher and professional musician for more than 40 years) and accompanist Jerry Biri.

Townsend describes potential for statewide clean-water fee

What would it cost to clean Delaware’s waters?

State Sen. Bryan Townsend said an extra $100 million per year would be nice. But Delaware’s Clean Water Task Force is approaching a more realistic recommendation of $20 million per year to start problem-solving.