Just 10 miles south of Selbyville, inside the Maryland border, Atlantic General Hospital is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
At the Selbyville Town Council’s May 7 meeting, Mayor Clifton Murray called the hospital an asset. He said he remembered when Selbyville didn’t have a full hospital nearby, but now those services are just miles away.
AGH President and CEO Michael Franklin gave the town council a rundown of the hospital’s current projects.
“We’re obligated every three years to do a community needs/risk assessment … to help inform us on what we need to be doing in the community,” Franklin said.
“The top issue that came up was access to healthcare — especially primary care,” as well as chronic illness maintenance and cancer. “We have a higher incidence rate in this region,” Franklin said.
Three of the biggest local challenges are addiction, cancer, access to good healthcare.
Locally, AGH is trying to increase the availability of doctors, surgeons and oncology services.
Right now, they’ve raised just over half of the $10 million called for in their capital campaign. They’re looking at putting a total of $35 million into five facility upgrades in the future.
The local battle against cancer continues as AGH completes its John H. “Jack” Burbage Jr. Regional Cancer Care Center this spring, “on schedule and on budget,” Franklin said. AGH also partners with cancer networks and treatment centers to increase technology and knowledge, Franklin said.
They have opened a women’s health center in West Ocean City, Md., in addition to renovating patient-care areas, surgical facilities, emergency services and outpatient services.
The workforce includes nearly 230 medical staff, in addition to all of the support services and a payroll of more than $48 million.
The hospital’s vision is “to be the leader in caring for people and advancing health for the residents of and visitors to our community.”
Franklin encouraged the Town to make any suggestions it has for how AGH can improve or expand service, especially as Selbyville continues to add housing.
More information about the hospital is online at http://atlanticgeneral.org.
In other Selbyville Town Council news:
• A Lighthouse Lakes resident complained of a sulfuric “rotten egg” smell coming from their tap water, despite having a tankless water heater. Council members seemed surprised, since the Town recently built additional water treatment systems and tests the water daily.
Town staff said they would check her system.
Residents and property owners are encouraged to contact Town Hall regarding any problems or anything unusual with their water, such as discoloration or smell.
• The Selbyville Police Department is available to teach defense classes for emergency situations. Training for Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) is open to educators, churches, businesses and any other interested individuals. The police also hope to host a public event later this spring.
• Drivers need to play it safe this summer, as the police have grants for extra patrols, targeting distracted driving and seatbelt violations.
• The public can anonymously dispose of unwanted prescription pills at the Selbyville police station. Proper disposal prevents the chemicals from entering the water supply or the waste stream or ending up in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. It is a popular service, said Police Chief W. Scott Collins.
• Selbyville recently ranked No. 6 in an online ranking of “10 Safest Cities in Delaware” by SafeWise, a Utah company. Selbyville was reported as having 3.69 violent crimes and 31.97 property crimes per 1,000 people. The population itself was 2,440 people.
It’s a nice feather in the cap for Selbyville, although the list is only based on the 2016 FBI crime report statistics for towns over a certain population threshold that also submitted complete reports. Lewes and Milton took the top two spots in Delaware, while Millsboro followed at No. 9.
• Exactly three years have passed since a culvert under Railroad Avenue first showed the first signs of collapse.
Engineers at Davis, Bowden & Friedel Inc. were tasked with designing a permanent fix. This summer, they hope to put the plans for that fix out to bid. After that, Selbyville needs to find the money to fix it. Initial construction estimates ranged from $300,000 to $500,000.
Railroad Avenue crosses over the Sandy Branch tax ditch, with a galvanized metal culvert that is rusting away. The hole was temporarily patched when soil and asphalt began crumbling away. But heavy vehicles were also asked to avoid the road. The pipe continues under Mountaire Farms’ poultry processing plant and the Southern Delaware School of the Arts properties.
• The 61st annual Old Timer’s Day festival will be June 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is a classic car show, door prizes, food, crafts, live music, children’s activities and more. Car judging is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with awards at 3 p.m. The festival and street fair are free. Car registration costs $10. Details are online at http://business.bethany-fenwick.org/events.
• Mountaire and the Selbyville Police Department mutually complimented each other and the Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company for a quick response to a roof fire at the poultry plant on April 23.
• Selbyville will officially take control of the streets, water and sewer utilities in Lighthouse Lakes for building Phases 1 to 6. The vote was 3-0, with Councilman G. Frank Smith III absent and Councilman Jay Murray abstaining because his company helped build the project. Some of the developer’s bond money will remain in place until they complete the final coats of pavement.
The Selbyville Town Council’s next regular meeting will be Monday, June 4, at 7 p.m.
By Laura Walter