The director of the Greater Millsboro Art League asked the town council on Monday to waive the $500 monthly rent paid to the town so the money can be used to pay for much-needed repairs to the building.
Debra Doucette said volunteers have completed some work, such as installing grab bars in restrooms and minor electrical upgrades, but more is necessary.
“I know the rent is inexpensive, but $6,000 a year means a lot to the Art League. I want to see the Art League stay there, but I can’t see it staying there if we don’t do something. I’d hate to see it go. More than anything, it’s so great that the town has this. You have a program where a family can come for $15 and all paint together. You can’t go to the movies for that price. It’s really valuable,” Doucette said.
Councilman Tim Hodges asked for an overview of necessary improvements, and Doucette said they include a ramp for the handicapped, a new door a wheelchair will fit through and work on the roof.
Mayor Michelle Truitt asked for a full list by next month.
Resale fee declared not a Town matter
A standing-room-only crowd lined the walls of the Millsboro Town Council chamber on Monday and spilled into the hallway, with those attending ready to ask town officials to stop Plantation Lakes from implementing a resale fee on homes.
As the meeting began, Town Manager Sheldon Hudson announced that the matter wasn’t on the agenda.
“When will it be on the agenda?” a man called from the audience.
“It won’t be. It is not a Town matter and won’t be on the agenda,” Town Solicitor Mary Schrider-Fox said.
“If the developer can charge that fee is not a Town issue, and not one of the Town’s requirements with respect to granting site-plan approvals or amendments,” Schrider Fox stated. “The Town looks at town code and what is applicable to state law [but] for the Town to insert itself into this retail fee issue would place the Town in jeopardy, and I have advised against it.
“It is for the Attorney General’s Office to enforce the one statute that some believe has been violated,” she emphasized, “although, in my opinion, it has not been violated. It would be absolutely inappropriate for the Town of Millsboro to grant permission to do something or deny permission to do something concerning site plans.
“That is why the resale fee is not going to be on the agenda, because it is not a Town issue, either today or tomorrow,” Schrider-Fox said.
Chief Calloway presents monthly report
At the request of Millsboro Police Chief Brian Calloway, the Millsboro Town Council approved minor changes to written regulations.
“These are very minor changes, nothing major,” Calloway said, adding that the labor attorney had reviewed and approved them.
One involved wording explaining what kind of force can be used on someone who is fleeing police. In another instance, the word “initial” was added to information about required training for officers.
Job descriptions for the chief and police clerk were changed, to reflect that a chief is required to have 10 years of continuous service and a bachelor’s degree, and that the police clerk can be required to lift only 10 pounds, not 50 as originally stated.
“So, I’m going to have find somebody else who can lift some things,” Calloway joked, bringing laughter from the audience.
Trick-or-treating hours set in Millsboro
Children 12 and younger may go trick-or-treating on Thursday, Oct. 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Millsboro. Those hours and the day were officially approved by the Millsboro Town Council on Monday.
Children are also welcome to attend the annual Halloween event sponsored by the police department, in the Town Hall parking lot, also from 6 to 8 p.m. that day.
“This is a safe place for people to meet and interact with police officers, and be involved in our town during Halloween,” Calloway said.
“We give out candy to the children. Last year, we had a couple business partners there. Chick-fil-A was there. State Farm was there. We have a couple vehicles on display. We have the antique police car. The fire department was there. Halloween is already going on at that time, so kids are welcome to visit us,” the chief said.
Citizens’ Police Academy to begin Oct. 15
The Millsboro Police Department’s Citizens’ Police Academy will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 15, Calloway told the Millsboro Town Council on Monday.
About 15 people have registered, and there is room for more participants, he said.
Classes will continue until Dec. 10, on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. The first meeting will be at the police station at 307 Main Street. There is no charge, but registration is required by Oct. 1. Applications are available at the police department or at www.millsboropd.com. They can be dropped off, e-mailed or faxed.
Topics, taught by various officers, include courtroom procedures, the process of becoming a police officer in Delaware, crime-scene processing and judicial proceedings. Starting a community watch program will also be discussed.
Calloway gave council members copies of the syllabus, which includes tours of Sussex Correctional Institution and the Delaware Police Academy.
The Citizens’ Police Academy is free and open to the public.
Dodd to be one-way street
The Millsboro Town Council on Monday finalized making Dodd Street a one-way corridor.
A few months ago, a committee was formed to study the idea of closing the street, northwest of Main Street, once the new town hall is built downtown. However, committee members decided to change it to a one-way street after receiving a letter from the fire chief and reviewing traffic statistics from the Delaware Department of Transportation.
The fire chief asked that it not be closed because it is needed to get equipment to the east side of town.
A traffic study, conducted July 2 to 9 by Police Chief Brian Calloway, in conjunction with DelDOT, determined that about 7,300 cars traveled on Dodd Street from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. School buses also use it.
It will be open eastbound off Washington Street, but closed heading across Main Street.
Work on dog park continues
Millsboro Assistant Town Manager Jamie Burk told town council members on Monday that the Town will submit a plan for the entrance to its proposed dog park to the Delaware Department of Transportation.
DelDOT will probably require an upgrade to the entrance and maybe paving, he said, adding that he expects to receive more information within the next 10 days.
The plan is to build the dog park near the intersection of Route 20 and Sheep Pen Road, and have areas for large and small dogs, enclosed with a chain-link fence, and to eventually expand it. The Town has $100,000 budgeted for the park, which could open next year.
Kells bounces basketball court idea
Millsboro Town Councilman James Kells urged fellow council members to build a basketball court in town, for youth 12 to 15 years old, who can walk or ride their bicycles to reach it.
“They will enjoy it as long as they play responsibly,” he said. But some council members said there has been rowdiness and illegal activities at basketball courts.
“A lot of schools got rid of them,” Councilman Tim Hodges said.
Councilman John Thoroughgood said drug sales on basketball courts can be a problem, but Kells said it could be monitored with cameras and a security system.
Mayor Michelle Truitt asked Kells to look into grant opportunities to fund it, and Kells asked council members to consider a location.
Councilman Larry Gum said the Town is “trying to find money” to build a dog park, and now there is talk about paying for a basketball court. Kells said it is only in the discussion stage and not a budgeted item.
Town Manager Sheldon Hudson suggested the Town write to non-profits, such as the YMCA, to gauge interest in an outside organization managing a basketball court. Hudson said he’s concerned the Town would have to hire a full-time or part-time employee to monitor it if it were run by the Town.
By Susan Canfora