Sussex County Council Hears about Voluntary School Assessment & More

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With the start of the New Year, the Sussex County Council reorganized with the election of a new President and Vice President. Mike Vincent was re-elected as Council President and John Rieley re-elected as Council Vice President. Each by a 4 to 1 vote. Councilwoman Cindy Green voted against both because of a Planning and Zoning nominee who was turned down last year and she feels that she wasn’t given a fair chance to put another nomination before the Council, before a nominee was named by Councilman Rieley – and approved. Council leadership remains unchanged from last year.

Council also approved J. Everett Moore Jr. to re-appointment as County Attorney. Mr. Moore serves at the pleasure of the County Council as the elected body’s chief counsel. Meantime, staff from the Moore & Rutt and Parkowski, Guerke & Swayze law firms will represent the Board of Adjustment and Planning & Zoning Commission respectively as assistant county attorneys.

The County Council heard from Jamie Mack, Education Associate for Capital Projects at the Department of Education, on Voluntary School Assessment. This has been used in New Castle County – and during the last legislative session, SB 186 was passed by the General Assembly which would add Sussex County to the mix. The VSA is a fee paid by developers to school districts to support school construction, maintenance and operations. This assessment addresses the impact of residential development on school capacity. This was a presentation to the Council – no action was taken.

The County Council also considered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Sussex County and the Town of Dewey Beach related to the new Dewey Town Hall and Police Department. The current Town Hall also includes a County EMS unit and Town officials approached the County in co-locating and EMS station at the new Town Hall. This was discussed during this week’s meeting and approved by the Council. There is a financial contribution that is included – a $1-million to the overall Town Hall and Police Department construction costs. The County will pay half upon Dewey’s execution of a construction contract and the other half upon reaching 75% of construction completion.

Airport Manager Bob Bryant came before the Council with Airport Advisory Committee Member appointments. These are 1 year appointments that will end on December 31st of this year. The full list of appointments was approved by the County Council. The Council also approved the second and final lease extension for the Delaware State Police lot at the Delaware Coastal Airport. The Delaware State Police and State of Delaware, acting through the Department of Homeland Security lease the lot and use a State-owned hangar on the property to house and operate their Aviation South Unit. This lease will expire on June 23, 2029.

The Sussex County Council will meet next Tuesday – at 1pm – at the County Administration offices on The Circle in Georgetown.


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