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.

Banks shows some spirit with Chamber’s Lighthouse Award

Coastal Point • Maria Counts : Kami Banks, second from left, receives the Lighthouse Award at the Chamber’s annual awards celebration. Pictured with Banks, from left, are Dale Bellinger, Todd Hickman and Anne Powell.Coastal Point • Maria Counts : Kami Banks, second from left, receives the Lighthouse Award at the Chamber’s annual awards celebration. Pictured with Banks, from left, are Dale Bellinger, Todd Hickman and Anne Powell.Just running a business is a big responsibility, but that didn’t stop Kami Banks from working double duty for, and ultimately winning, the 2014 Lighthouse Award from the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce last week.

One year ago, Banks (of Banks Wines & Spirits) was sworn in as the Chamber board president. That was expected. What the Quiet Resorts didn’t expect was the sudden resignation of the Chamber executive director just prior to the new board term.

Banks then agreed to fill that roll, too, doubly leading the Chamber for four months, until staffer Kristie Maravalli was announced as successor.

Banks was praised for handling the situation with “class, dignity and grace,” despite the obvious rush of running a business and holding two Chamber positions.

Seniors learn to be safe and secure at LIVE Conference

Both seniors and the people who love them spent a rainy Monday pleasantly indoors with the second annual Sussex County LIVE Conference.

“Of course, everyone here wants to learn about living safely and secure,” said organizer Sally Beaumont, chairperson of Sussex County Council’s Sussex County Advisory Committee on Aging & Adults with Physical Disabilities.

Protecting Our Indian River group appeals to Superior Court

A courtroom in the Sussex County Superior Court in Georgetown was packed Monday morning, as Superior Court Judge Richard Stokes heard oral arguments for an appeal to overturn a decision by the Sussex County Board of Adjustment that allows the Allen Harim chicken processing plant to move forward in Millsboro.

Recent data shows a stable real estate market in Sussex County

The Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) released third-quarter sales data last week that they said indicates continuing stability in the county’s real estate markets.

“These positive housing trends continue to be fueled by strong inventories, incredible buying opportunities and interest rates that remain at below average levels,” they said.

Residents voice feelings on aquaculture

After a recent uproar about the potential impacts of shellfish aquaculture in the Inland Bays, local residents gathered at a massive meeting hosted by state Sen. Gerald Hocker Sr. and state Rep. Ron Gray this week to express their concerns.

Punkin Chunkin pos’poned to November of nex’ year

Punkin Chunkin organizers recently announced that the event was being moved out of Sussex County, and now, it’s been moved right out of 2014, as well. The pumpkin-flinging festival, which was to begin its first season at Dover International Speedway on Oct. 24 to 26, 2014, has instead been postponed to Nov. 6 to 8, 2015.

Federal funding granted to support Delaware aquaculture

Last week, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined local and state officials, and representatives from the University of Delaware and the Center for the Inland Bays to announce two federal grants to support the development of oyster farming in Delaware’s Inland Bays.

County hires Booker-Wilkins

Sussex County announced this week that Melody Booker-Wilkins will serve as the economic development director for the County starting in mid-October.

“The County is very lucky to able to hire such a well-qualified and experienced professional from right here in our back yard,” said County Administrator Todd F. Lawson on Tuesday.

Sussex County Council briefed on 2014 World Series

Earlier this week, Martin Donovan, director of Delaware District III, Senior and Big League Softball World Series, gave Sussex County Council an overview of the 2014 series, which was held in early August.

“By all accounts, it was a success, including the rain,” said Donovan on Sept. 30. “Little League International has nine World Series — we have two of them in Sussex County.”

Christopher seeks reelection as write-in candidate for sheriff

Earlier this week, Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher filed as a write-in candidate for that office in the November general election.

Christopher lost the primary race in September to newcomer Robert T. Lee, by 21 votes. An automatic recount was held by the Sussex County Department of Elections later that week, which found the 21-vote difference to be accurate.

DNREC struggling to maintain local beach crossings

After another summer of the trek to the ocean being a little too tall of an order for some beachgoers, Tony Pratt of DNREC’s Shoreline & Waterway Management division stopped by Fenwick Island town hall on Sept. 26 to discuss dune maintenance with the town council. The core problem with maintaining beach accessibility, he said, is too much to do with too few resources.

Oyster aquaculture isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, residents argue

After months of new oyster aquaculture regulations being hammered into shape, a group of concerned citizens are hoping to straighten that picture.

DEA to hold National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

The public can clean out their medicine cabinets this weekend and participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, on Saturday, Sept. 24, when they can drop off unwanted and unused prescription or over-the-counter medications at a number of area police agencies, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Collections are held twice a year and, according to the DEA, since Sept. 2010, nearly 4 million pounds of drugs have been collected nationally through the program.

County discusses FEMA’s freeboard requirement

The Sussex County Council this week received an update on the progress of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) flood ordinance.

The County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, which requires the County to adhere to requirements of the federal government and, more specifically, FEMA.

“At this time, FEMA has required all municipalities throughout country that participate in NFIP to update their flood maps, as well as the regulations that govern construction within a flood zone,” said County Administrator Todd Lawson.

Sussex County sponsoring election contest

Sussex County students can earn a lesson in politics — and pocket a little cash for their education — this election season, as the County is once again is sponsoring its Election Year Scholarship Contest for local students. As in elections past, students will be asked to predict which candidates will win office in the 2014 general election, set for Nov. 4.

County officials ask citizens to ‘be smart about safety’

Sussex County launched Smart911 last week, an online service allowing any Sussex County resident the opportunity to create a safety profile for their household.

County council discusses Capital Transportation, byway

The Sussex County Council was given an overview of the Sussex County 2016-2021 Capital Transportation Program Request earlier this week.

Wheatley, Arlett and Lee win respective primaries

The State of Delaware held primary elections on Tuesday, Sept. 9, in which 40 candidates vied to represent their parties on November’s general election ballot.

Full slate of primary elections set for Sept. 9

In an unusually busy primary election day for Delawareans, voters on Sept. 9 will decide which candidates will represent their parties in more than a half-dozen races in November, including candidates for U.S. senator, State Treasurer, Delaware Auditor of Accounts, Sussex County Register of Wills, Sussex County Council District 5 and Sussex County Sheriff.

Application withdrawn from County Council for music festival

For now, concerned Harbeson-area residents can breathe a sigh of relief, as the Sussex County Council approved this week the withdrawal of a conditional-use application that would allow for a music festival on a farmland property near the town.

Lifeguards recognized for their efforts on the sand and in the water

Coastal Point • Maria Counts : Lifeguards pose for a photo at the Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce’s annual Lifeguard Awards ceremony.Coastal Point • Maria Counts : Lifeguards pose for a photo at the Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce’s annual Lifeguard Awards ceremony.For the 21st year, the Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce has honored lifeguards from the area’s seven beach patrols for their outstanding service to their patrols and to the community at large.

“Every year, we ask the patrol captains of each unit to select one outstanding lifeguard who has demonstrated acts of bravery, gone over and above the duty, and or demonstrated leadership in some way during the summer season,” said Kristie Maravalli, the Chamber’s executive director.

Each year the Chamber asks the beach patrol captains to choose their patrol’s Lifeguard of the Year; however, many times, the patrols vote on the honor instead.

Todd Hickman, past president of the Chamber, thanked the patrols for their continued service to the Quiet Resorts’ beaches during the annual awards event held last week.

Fall weekend getaway packages available at state park

Delaware Seashore State Park, located north of Bethany Beach, is offering two weekend vacation packages this fall: the Fall Fishing Weekend and the Autumn Shores Getaway. Each package will include a variety of programs, several meals and a discounted rate for a two-night stay at the beautiful, waterfront cottages positioned along the Indian River Inlet.

Film society to screen Polish film for Around the World series kickoff

­The Rehoboth Beach Film Society, Lewes Public Library and Movies at Midway are launching the 2014-2015 Around the World series with the film “In The Name Of.” The Polish drama will be presented on Wednesday, Sept. 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the upstairs screening room at Movies at Midway.