Millsboro looks at street repair needs, use of Cupola Park

At the July 7 Millsboro Town Council meeting, Rick Davis from the engineering firm URS spoke to the council about the condition of the town’s streets.

“We physically walked every street in the town,” said Davis. “Basically, what we see throughout town is a lot of cracks, and the cracks are large.”

Davis said most of the town’s streets are middle-of-the-road, damaged street sections. He added that, throughout town, cracks were noticeable in the roads, which if left unaddressed would eventually lead to permanent failure.

“You could be one harsh winter away from having every road red,” he said of conditions that could become high-priority. “Without doing any geotechnical, work we have no idea what kind of subgrade is beneath the asphalt streets. Your flexible pavements are only as strong as what’s beneath them,” he said.

Davis said a detailed analysis through geotechnical evaluation, such as taking pavement cores, would be needed to further address the street issues. He added that addressing street repair will depend on the individual street, and the type of traffic will help determine the priority level of work on the town’s streets.

“Part of that is to look at the truck traffic and other vehicle traffic and design a section that would actually last,” he said. “Some of the other streets may be able to get away with sealer.”

He noted that the Town does have options for financing repairs, via grants from the State. Davis added that this initial report is just the beginning for the Town, which allows them to better address the issues the streets are facing.

Mayor Bob Bryan said that the council would review the information provided by URS and discuss the next step for street repairs at a future meeting.

During the meeting, the council also discussed the use of the stage in Cupola Park. Town Manager Faye Lingo said that the Town has received requests to hold weddings using the stage. She said that, due to previous council action, the stage is readied for a fee of $100 and the Town has never roped off the surrounding area for an event before.

She added that a local church group also requested to use the stage to hold a public concert, not sponsored by the Town, on Aug. 14.

“I don’t see anything wrong with it,” said Councilman Joseph Brady.

“I think we have a beautiful park, and we should allow it to be used,” agreed Councilman Tim Hodges. “We should have a process and applications, make sure we have a set of rules for them to abide by. … I think with weddings, also. In my opinion, that’s an appropriate use of the park.”

The council voted unanimously to approve ceremonies at the park, with a maximum of 200 people, with the understanding that the rest of the public has rights to use all land there, even during events, and that no alcohol may be consumed.

In other town news:

• Mike Mitchell of the Millsboro Fire Department stated that the Great Race was a great success when it drove through town on June 24.

“I think it was fantastic, to see groups that had never ever worked together before to come together and work as a group,” said Mitchell of the volunteers.

“Everybody pulled together... There were so many different groups,” added John Hall.

Hall said that Millsboro was one of the smallest towns the race stopped in over its nine-day drive and finished first for the Best Lunch Spot.

Bryan, who participated in the race, ranked fourth in his class and 20th out of 109.

“The people were just amazed,” said Bryan of his fellow drivers. “All I heard about was how good the lunch was. They were coming to me all week, telling me how much they enjoyed Millsboro.”

• Assistant Town Manager Matt Schifano said that the Town had had ongoing discussions with White Farm, which is leasing a property from the Town, regarding deer population control.

Schifano said that the Town has drafted a deer-control agreement for the property, which states that only eight potential people, whose names and phone numbers would be provided to the Town, may participate in controlled hunts on the property, with a maximum of five being able to hunt at the same time.

The agreement states that the date and time, along with the names of the people who would participate, must be sent to town hall three days prior, in writing. No permanent deer stands may be erected on the leased property.

The agreement also stipulates that the police chief, director of public works, town manager or assistant town manager can call off the hunt, if necessary.

The council unanimously approved the draft agreement by a vote of 6-0.

• Millsboro will hold a concert in Cupola Park on July 20, from 5 to 7 p.m., featuring Cathy Gorman. A rain date is scheduled for July 27. The concert is in memory of Alice Hudson.

• The Hon. Jeni Coffelt swore in District 3 Councilwoman Michelle Truitt and District-At-Large Councilman Joseph Brady at the meeting.

• The Millsboro Town Council will hold its next monthly meeting on Monday, Aug. 4, at 7 p.m. in the Town Center.