The Sussex County Council had a smaller agenda this week and held the full meeting in the afternoon. The Council recognized retiring Paramedic, Brent Hudson, who has worked for the county for over 28 years. Last Friday was his last day on the job. He’s grown as a paramedic as the service itself has grown and advanced since the paramedic service began. He told the council, that when the job ads for paramedics first went up in the 1990s, he didn’t really understand what a Paramedic did – just that he knew he wanted to do it. He finished his words to the council, “It is truly and sincerely an honor and privilege to have served as a Paramedic in the county that I was born and raised in.”
Several appointments were approved by the Council – On the Library Advisory Board, the Council approved the re-appointment of Mary Schwanky from District 3. Her term will expire in June of 2022. Multiple appointments were also made to the Sussex County Source Water Protection Technical Advisory Committee. The County has two land use applications that requires the TAC’s review, but no committee. Half of the committee of 10 needs to be licensed Delaware professional engineers, geologists or hydrologists, the other 5 need to be lay persons with a basic knowledge of groundwater hydrology. Each will serve a 2-year term.
• Anita Beckel, DE Rural Water Association
• Diane Calloway, Del Tech
• Greg Coury, Tidewater
• Rick Duncan, Town of Selbyville
• Byron Jefferson, Engineering
• Greg Sauter, GRA Consultants
• Blair Venables, DNREC
• Jessica Watson, Sussex Conservation District
• David Wunsch, DE Geological Survey
• Rodney Wyatt, Artesian
Government Affairs Manager, Michael Costello talked trash to the County Council. Actually he updated the Council on the MOU that has been in place since 2018 between the DOC and DelDOT. The MOU provides for the payment of overtime to DOC staff who supervise the crews who pick up the trash in the areas that have been forwarded to them by the county – this is over and above the regular DOC trash detail. March was one of the busy months – with over 67 requests for pickup on over 60 miles of roads, 65 tires were collected and 579 bags of trash collected.
Overall – in the six month period from January to June 177 requests for trash pickup were made, covering 251 miles of roads. Crews picked up 85 tires and 2263 bags of trash were collected. The trash is usually piled by a street sign and DelDOT collects them and disposes of the bags at no extra cost. Costello says the partners in this MOU are happy with the agreement, the communities are happy where the trash has been dealt with. Residents can submit areas of trash concern through the county’s website – you’ll find the link at the very bottom of the page – look for “Request for Litter Clean Up.”
Honors for the County’s GIS Department, who were all in attendance during the meeting. The GIS & Mapping Staff was in California recently for the ESRI conference and won the SAG (Special Achievement in GIS) Award by ESRI for their efforts in the County’s GIS platform. GIS Manager Megan Nehrbas discussed improvements in the work being done by their engineering department – giving them a better way to make updates in the field, which notifies a manager who makes the needed changes – which are available to everyone in a matter of hours – rather than weeks as in the past. She talked of other improvements the department has been using and that other departments using GIS applications like them and rated them easy to use, was faster and more efficient and they all said that the “change is good.”
The Lochwood Development HOA have shown interest in an expansion of the County’s Unified Sanitary Sewer District – the Angola Neck Area – to include all parcels in the development near Angola. Director of Utility Planning, John Ashman, told the Council that about 68% of the residents responded to a poll asking who was interested in central sewer service – 85 parcels were in support and 66 opposed. A public hearing will be held on Saturday, September 7th at 10am at Conley’s United Methodist Church in Lewes to discuss an expansion.
There were two public hearing scheduled for the afternoon. Conditional Use No. 2177 was for an event venue requested by Ingrid Hopkins. The location is 5 acres of property along Fisher Road west of Lewes owned by the family. She told the council that the land is ag-preserved, there will be no new structures – but they have repurposed all the old historic barns. Other than making sure there would be no parking on the county roads, the council approved the application with a unanimous vote.
Change of Zone No. 1883 was an application to amend the mix of types of house at the Peninsula Development near Long Neck. The applicant’s attorney told the Council that over the years, there have been changes in home-buying and they wanted to restructure the mix of types – of single family lots, single family detached condos, townhouses and multi-family units and bring the total number of units from 1404 to 1394 – reducing the total number by 10. Peninsula resident Stephen Dulin spoke against the application telling the council that when they originally bought – they expected the full 1404 units to support the cost of general maintenance and upkeep, but for about 8 years the part of the development he bought into has supported about 40% of the dues and costs because the build-out was hampered by the recession. He asked the Council to deny the application. The Council has deferred a vote in order to study the matter more – however the record has been closed. The County Council will revisit the application at a later date.
The Sussex County Council will not meet next week. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, August 13th in the County Administration Offices on the Circle in Georgetown.