After a week off for Easter, the Sussex County Council was back in session today with a packed agenda – but one that was quick to move through. The council filled a vacancy on the Library Advisory Board after the resignation of Rebecca Calio from District 1. Dr. Steve Schwartz was brought up to fill the remainder of her term and was appointed with a 5 to 0 vote. Calio’s term ends on June 30, 2020.
County Administrator Todd Lawson announced that in early April the county bought some property east of Millsboro from New Double Eagle Farms, LLC for $1,592,500. The property was needed for the continued operation of the Inland Bays Regional Wastewater facility in Angola. Also in the Administrator’s Report a reminder to all county residents that the public libraries will be closed Thursday while library officials area attend the annual Delaware/Maryland Library Association Conference. The professional associations of both states share resources and expenses for this multi-state continuing education event. All county public libraries will reopen at their regular time on Friday. And next Tuesday the council will meet for a budget workshop beginning at 9am. The next regular County Council meeting will be on Tuesday, May 14.
EMS Manager of Logistics, Robert Schoonover, came before the council with a lease modification for Medic 103 in Dagsboro, which also houses a special operations vehicle. With the new special operations facility nearly complete at the airport in Georgetown, they plan to move the special operations vehicle to the airport and cancel half the rent for half the use of their current Dagsboro home. However they are still looking for land to build a permanent Medic 103 – and while the council has approved a modified 5-year lease, there is also a 60 day opt-out clause which would allow them to move if that permanent home comes to be.
Two morning public hearings were approved by the council unanimously. One was the Tanager Woods Annexation of the Sussex County Unified Sanitary Sewer District – which includes two properties between Robinsonville and Wil King Roads. The other was for the issuing of up to $2-million of general obligation bonds of Sussex County in connection with the Winding Creek Village Water District project. There was no one present for either public hearing to comment either for or against.
Planning & Zoning Director Janelle Cornwell was before the council with a time extension request for conditional use 2045. The applicants were asking for a 6-month extension for their Riverside Plaza project after they hired new engineers. The project was approved initially in May of 2016 and were granted a preliminary site plan, but they continue to work through various agency approvals and Cornwell tells the council if they continue as they have – they should be under construction within the 6-month time frame. She adds that they are within 30-days of review acceptance and placing it back on a P&Z agenda. The County Council approved the 6-month extension.
County Engineer Hans Medlarz had two items for the Council – both with completions. The first was the James Farm Master Plan implementation. The final issue was the parking lot construction which is clam shell with the exception of the crosswalk and handicap striping. The Engineering Department presented change order 2, which includes various signage
for the parking area, striping for ADA parking, crosswalk striping and balancing final quantities in the amount of $5,165.00, and brings the final contract cost to $372,102.50.
Construction began on November 26, 2018 and was declared substantially complete on April
9, 2019. The other project dealt with the Angola North Expansion and the approval of moving funding where there was excess to the last work to be completed and approval of substantial completion of the project.
Another engineering project was brought to the Council by Patrick Brown, that would repair and pave the two roads within the Owl’s Nest subdivision east of Selbyville. The streets are owned by the community HOA which has asked for help from the County through the Sussex County Improvement Program, which the community is eligible for. The next step is an election which has been set for Wednesday, June 5 from 1:30pm to 5:30pm, at the Selbyville Public Library to determine if the property owners of The Owl’s Nest community are in favor of moving forward with the project improvements that were presented to them during a public meeting on April 17.
There were four public hearings during the afternoon session. Conditional use No 2163 was for a proposed wedding venue in Milton. The Planning & Zoning Commission recommended denial and because of parking issues and an overall lack of information – the council unanimously also denied the project.
A conditional use No. 2166 for a professional office and business services on Burbage Road in Frankford was approved by the council as was a change of zone (No. 1869) request for WMF Watercraft and Marine on Oak Orchard Road. The business has been in place – on a conditional use – for over 40 years. The applicant was asking for the change of zone from general residential to a C-3 heavy commercial district to better match what is done on the property. He doesn’t plan to change the use – and most of the properties across the road are also zoned commercial.
A second change of zone No 1868 was recommended for denial by the Planning & Zoning Commission, but no one appeared before the County Council to discuss the application for a change of zone from AR-1 to C-2 medium commercial for property on Harbeson Road just north of Route 9. Having only the recommendation to base their decision, the Council also unanimously denied the application.
Again – the Sussex County Council holds a budget workshop next Tuesday beginning at 9am – the next regular Council meeting will be on Tuesday, May 14 beginning at 10am in the County Administration building on the Circle in Georgetown.