The Sussex County Council has approved the proposed $177-million operating budget for FY 2019. The council has approved the operating budget, assessment rolls and established the annual service charges and assessment rates for teh county water and sewer districts. The vote was unanimous for each. During the public hearing on the operating budget, Dan Kramer asked about the lack of comment on employee raises, which was later answered by Finance Director Gina Jennings who said the county employees are receiving a 2% COLA in the upcoming spending plan. Terry Jester, Sussex County President of the Delaware Volunteer Firefighter’s Association, thanked the Council for the funding allocated for the volunteer firefighters, especially the 13 stations in the county that are not as fiscally secure.
An opening in the Planning and Zoning Commission led to the nomination of Holly Wingate for that position. She underwent a public interview from County Administrator Todd Lawson and the County Council. The Council approved Wingate for the P&Z Commission by a 4 to 0 vote – with Sam Wilson not voting. Wingate begins her 3 year term on the Planning Commission on July 1st.
The County Administrator’s report was turned over to EMS Director Robert Stuart who spoke in honor of Stephanie Callaway, who died when the ambulance she was treating a patient in crashed on Route 24 in Angola on June 17, 2008. The patient she was treating also died. Stuart said that a monument in her honor is in the works that will be placed on the Circle in Georgetown.