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 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.

Aquaculture still open to public comments

Now is the time to submit final comments about the creation of commercial shellfish aquaculture in the inland bays.

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced that it only seeks to include 343 acres as “Shellfish Aquaculture Development Areas” (SADA) in the inland bays, instead of the 442 acres originally proposed.

Veteran services discussed in Sussex presentation

The Sussex County Advisory Committee on Aging & Adults with Physical Disabilities held a presentation on veteran services in Sussex County on March 21.

Laurie Corsa, a veterans’ service officer for the Delaware Commission on Veterans Affairs who presented to those in attendance said the number of veterans in Sussex County have now surpassed that of Kent County.

County BOA denies application for BBPD shooting range

The Sussex County Board of Adjustment this week denied the Bethany Beach Police Department’s application for a special-use exception to operate a shooting range for the department on a piece of Town-property in unincorporated Frankford.

No oil for now: Mid-Atlantic removed from survey/drilling plans

A million comments seem to have done the trick. After receiving that much feedback, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced this week that the Atlantic Ocean has been removed from upcoming plans for oil and gas development.

Corps questions Beach Cove proposed aquaculture sites

It’s been a year since people got to discuss their feelings on proposed commercial oyster-growing in the area. Since then, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has questioned the appropriateness of Delaware’s proposed sites for future shellfish aquaculture.

County Council extends sign application moratorium into June

The Sussex County Council has extended its six-month moratorium on off-premise sign applications. The council voted 4-1 on Tuesday to approve a continued moratorium on off-premise signs, with Councilman Sam Wilson opposed.

Post-storm beach repair not in the cards at present

In the wake of two storms that heavily damaged dunes and beaches in Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Fenwick Island, the potential for funding for shoring up the storm-beaten beaches remains unclear.

Last week, officials announced that there would be no funding this year for replenishment of those beaches in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ working plan for 2016.

Sussex Countians thanked for their generosity from Carols

Community volunteers were recognized at this week’s Sussex County Council meeting for doing their part in the County’s annual Caroling on the Circle food drive.

DART public transit expands to Route 24 and Mountaire

Fares to increase statewide

John J. Williams Highway (Route 24) recently got some attention in the latest DART public transit redesign. A year-round bus route will now make the rounds on Route 24, and the schedule will match the shift changes at the Mountaire poultry processing plant.

County holds public hearing on community development grants

A public hearing regarding the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program was held Tuesday before the Sussex County Council.

Sussex County reveals audit results for 2015 fiscal year

Sussex County Council this week heard a presentation on its audited financial statements for the 2015 fiscal year. Keith Hammond, CPA at BDO USA LLP, a firm of licensed certified public accountants, said the County was given a “clean” opinion and was in compliance with federal programs.

Schools, hospitals targeted in 31 bomb threats (and counting)

Indian River School District schools received two of the many bomb threats that targeted schools and hospitals early this week.

At least 31 bomb threats were telephoned in to schools and hospitals across Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. That included Indian River High School, Millsboro Middle School and Beebe Healthcare.

Southern Delaware real estate continues modest growth

For the fifth consecutive year, data compiled and released by the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) earlier this month indicates a period of modest growth in the region’s real estate markets.

Again led by the coastal market, the numbers indicate nearly $1.52 billion in southern Delaware real estate changed hands in 2015, which is a 1 percent increase over the previous year.

Hike and lecture series planned at state park

Delaware Seashore State Park is offering a series of programs this January to help people get outdoors, stay active and learn about the history and natural wonders of the area.

Health Care Commission upholds psychiatric hospital approval

A 90-bed psychiatric hospital is still coming to Georgetown, after the failed appeal of the project’s initial approval was heard before the Delaware Health Care Commission. The 70,000-square-foot hospital is to be located in Georgetown, adjacent to La Red and Beebe Healthcare facilities. The project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2017, with construction to begin next year.

County gets update on Clean Water & Flood Abatement

During Tuesday’s regular Sussex County Council meeting, County Finance Director Gina Jennings gave the council an update on the Clean Water & Flood Abatement Task Force. Jennings, who sits on the task force, said a meeting was held in November, with another meeting scheduled for Dec. 17.

Kammerer speaks to Southern Delaware Tourism

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Scott Kammerer, president and CEO of SoDel Concepts, was the featured speaker at the Southern Delaware Tourism luncheon on Dec. 9.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Scott Kammerer, president and CEO of SoDel Concepts, was the featured speaker at the Southern Delaware Tourism luncheon on Dec. 9.In 23 years, Scott Kammerer has come a long way, from a man who traveled to Sussex County from New Jersey in 1992, with a bicycle and $17.

He first began working in restaurants, washing dishes for minimum wage. After a few years competing as a wrestler, Kammerer said, he allowed his addiction to alcohol and drugs take over, and he returned to the restaurant scene. He eventually became the general manager of a busy restaurant in downtown Rehoboth Beach.

“That winter, on the steps of the church right across the street, I met Matt Haley, and my life would never be the same,” said Kammerer at the Southern Delaware Tourism Luncheon on Dec. 9 of his business partner and philanthropist, who passed away in August of 2014 while on a philanthropic trip to India.

Kammerer would later go on to work for Haley, who became his mentor and friend.

DelDOT announces plans for transportation improvement district

In a move designed to help the State fund transportation projects by extracting impact fees from developers, rather than relying on taxpayer funding, Delaware Department of Transportation Secretary Jennifer Cohan at the Dec. 8 Sussex County Council meeting announced plans for Sussex County’s first “transportation improvement district.”

New Office of Animal Welfare prepares for January startup

The director of Delaware’s new Office of Animal Welfare checked in with the Sussex County Council on Tuesday, Dec. 8, to talk about plans for animal control services in Sussex County.

County recognizes employee for third quarter

Coastal Point • Submitted: Sussex County Council members presented employee Barry Hitchens the ‘Pickle Award’ at their Dec. 1 meeting. Pictured, from left, are Joan Deaver, Michael Vincent, Hitchens, Rob Arlett and George Cole.Coastal Point • Submitted: Sussex County Council members presented employee Barry Hitchens the ‘Pickle Award’ at their Dec. 1 meeting. Pictured, from left, are Joan Deaver, Michael Vincent, Hitchens, Rob Arlett and George Cole.Sussex County presented its third-quarter “Pickle Award” earlier this week.

The Give ’em the Pickle program is a national employee-based recognition program that the County adopted this fall.

“It is a peer-to-peer recognition program led by County employees who experience another employee’s exceptional customer service,” said County Administrator Todd Lawson, “and acknowledge that employee by filling out a form describing the event, which is then reviewed and approved by the employee’s manager. This is literally giving them the pickle.”

Lawson said that, additionally, a resident or County customer could give an employee praise that a manager could also use to give the employee recognition.