Fenwick Island Approves Gross Rental Receipts Increase; No Election in August

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The Fenwick Island town council has approved an increase in gross rental receipts tax.  A first reading was approved last month. The ordinance change includes a .5% tax increase for the rental of rooms in any motel or hotel in the commercial zone, for the rental of single-family units and non-conforming dwellings in the commercial and residential zones and a 1% tax increase for rental of any other property in the commercial zone.  The council approved the second reading with a 7 to 0 vote – it’s the first increase in gross receipts since 2002.

There will be no municipal election in Fenwick Island in August.  Councilwoman Vicki Carmean and Councilmen Gardner Bunting and Bernie Merritt were the only candidates to file to run.  They will remain in office for another two years.

Weather has slowed beach replenishment projects along the Delaware coast this spring – and for Fenwick Island – they’re in the same boat – or dredge.  During Friday’s town council meeting, Mayor Gene Langan told the council that replenishment work is now scheduled to begin on July 28th and will end in mid-August – of course that is pending weather.

Several beach towns are looking to do away with plastic straws and they’ve worked on voluntary initiatives to get restaurants to stop using plastic straws.  Fenwick officials are now working to get local restaurants to switch to paper straws.

The Atlantic Coastal waters have been a hotbed for proposed offshore oil and gas exploration.  However there is grassroots opposition to the plan – including from Delaware, which is looking to obtain an exemption.  During a recent meeting with the Department of the Interior and Governor Carney, Fenwick Island Vice Mayor Richard Mais says applying for an exemption is an involved process and Delaware is at about step 2 out of 20.  Mais says the beach towns need to continue to voice their opposition.  However, they are disappointed that Florida based its opposition by saying tourism is so important to them and was granted an exemption quickly.  While other coastal states have used the same reasoning but have not been granted an exemption – including Delmarva.