S. Bethany residents concerned about steep dune crossings

The South Bethany Town Council dove into the summer season by hearing from residents at their workshop this week about sand, grass and bike racks.

Dennis Franks, who owns a house on N. 6th Street, said he was concerned with how steep some of the beach walks are.

“Some of the older people can’t get over the dune,” he said.

Town Manager Mel Cusick said DNREC would be working on it, as the town would be part of the state’s beach replenishment efforts to restore the beaches to what they were “after 2007.” He said DNREC would also make temporary repairs. But he said he didn’t know when the beach replenishment would start.

“You won’t see the walkways repaired until the beach replenishment is back to where it was,” he said.

Councilman Jim Gross asked why the Town couldn’t do something about the situation. Cusick said they didn’t have the equipment to do it, and noted that it is DNREC’s dune, not the Town’s. He also said the accessibility-enhancing Mobi Mats couldn’t be put down until DNREC was finished.

“We put as much as we could without encroaching on it,” said Cusick.

Franks added that he thought it was “steep. It’s the worst I have seen in 25 years.”

Franks said he also had concerns with weeds and grass at properties near his. Town officials said those concerns should be addressed once they hire a full-time code-enforcement constable. The council was scheduled to discuss applicants at their May 30 meeting but deferred a decision on the hiring.

Police Chief Joe Deloach said he would continue to walk near that area, because Franks said people often chain bikes to his fence or his trash can and park in his driveway.

“Do we need another bike rack?” asked Mayor Kathy Jankowski. “Is it full? Is that the problem?”

The council concluded that the bike racks do, in fact, get full, but said there is little space to add more. They also suggested putting a sign on the fence, saying that it is private property.

“They are not going to pay attention to that,” replied Franks.

Deloach said police couldn’t give out tickets to those who chair their bikes to the fence or trash can, because it is private property, but he said he would be willing to work with Franks and would patrol the area. “I’ll keep my eye out. I walk that area quite a bit,” said Deloach.