Sussex County Council Gets a Lesson on Roberts Rules of Order & Approves an Amended Change of Zone Application

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The Sussex County Council had a demonstration by the Sussex Central FFA Parliamentarian Procedure Team. The team will be competing in a national competition at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis in a few weeks. The Sussex County Council provided a grant for them. Their advisor, Kara Kochis, tells the council the team must successfully demonstrate an official business meeting using Roberts Rules of Order. The team recently placed 4th in a regional competition. Their demonstration during today’s meeting was impressive.

Fiber Circle being purchased by the County

Director of Information Technology, Dwayne Kilgo talked with the council about acquiring the Georgetown Fire Ring. He tells the County Council the benefits of the acquisition – they county maintains the best connectivity between the county facilities. He’s asking for a 5-year investment in payment – then after that there are no more monthly recurring fees as they would own the ring – a savings of $100,000 annually. However the county does not want to bet is the ISP business, but this would bring in companies running ISP to get to the more rural areas of the county – in this case in the area around Georgetown. The council approved by a vote of 4 to 1, spending $510,000 to purchase the Georgetown Fiber Ring. However Councilman Sam Wilson believes private enterprise should make the decision on this – he voted against the expense.

Mark Isaacs from the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension in Georgetown spoke to the council about what’s going on at the school and to discuss how annual funding from the council for their agricultural experiment station has been used. Sussex Cooperative Extension has added three state specialists – in plant pathology, entomology and agronomic crops. The Council has approved some increased funding to allow them to get moving on research. He discussed other areas where council funding has been used when it comes to grant funding. The Sussex internship program which includes 35 interns over the last three years – with help from other groups providing funding as the Council has, however the Sussex Council funding stays here in Sussex County. Councilman Riley also asked about what the County could do to help maintain the poultry industry here in Sussex. Cooperative Extension helps with research into poultry illness.

Sussex County and DelDOT are working to update an over 30 year old Memorandum of Understanding. Assistant County Attorney Vince Robertson tells the council the current MOU only deals with rezoning – the new MOU will cover all types of land use applications. Sussex County has sent a revised MOU to DelDOT which the department has now commented on. The revised MOU better defines terms, uses master planning – to include inner connectivity. While DelDOT is the best to offer recommendations dealing with traffic and roadways, and shall suggest any conditions that the County can impose as part of the landuse approval process. The revised MOU would include better communication to make sure the County and DelDOT are always talking throughout projects.

Three airport leases were brought before the council and approved. And under Old Business, the council also approved change of zone application #1878 to allow for garage studio apartment for a large 301 unit residential planned community on Route 16, which would basically double the size of the development. Councilman Burton proposed an amendment that would keep the original 301 single family units as originally approved, and allow for garage studio apartments to 15% of the properties with the notification of such being included falling on the developer, property owner or the HOA – not county staff. The amended application was approved by the full council.

There was no afternoon session this week. The Sussex County Council will meet next week at 10am in the County Administration Building on the Circle in Georgetown.