Dagsboro council reorganizes with Baull remaining mayor

Following a Dec. 7 election, resulting in the three incumbents all winning their seats back for new two-year terms, the Dagsboro Town Council started off its monthly meeting on Monday, Dec. 16, by re-organizing.

 

Following their swearing-in by Town Solicitor Greg Morris, incumbent Mayor Brian Baull was unanimously approved to remain mayor by all members of council in attendance. Patrick Miller was also approved as vice-mayor, with Theresa Ulrich named secretary-treasurer of the council. Councilman Norwood Truitt, who was absent from the meeting, was named vice-secretary-treasurer.

The council’s first order of business on Dec. 16 was listening to a presentation from Dagsboro Police Department Sgt. Nicholas Disciullo, requesting the purchase of two new vehicles for the DPD fleet.

Currently, the DPD has four vehicles, but several are older models that Disciullo said are deteriorating quickly from daily operation. Among them are a 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe that has 96,000 miles on it, as well as a 2014 Ford Explorer with 75,000 miles, which would also need roughly $4,500 in repairs. The latter vehicle is in desperate need of replacement due to the wear and tear it has experienced as an everyday patrol vehicle.

Among the four vehicles in the fleet, only one has four-wheel drive, which he said limits the department’s response time in situations of snow or other forms of inclement weather.

Also, with the department set to become fully staffed in the next couple months, there would then not be enough vehicles for daily operations, nor would it provide for a back-up in the event a vehicle goes down for routine maintenance or other type of repair. That would leave the 2011 Chevy Tahoe in the daily driving rotation, which would not be an ideal situation for a vehicle that would have more than 100,000 miles on it.

“We currently have two vehicles on hold at I.G. Burton,” Disciullo said of the Milford auto dealership. “These two vehicles are both four-wheel-drive 2019 Chevy Tahoes. We would like to sell the Ford Explorer ‘as-is,’ which by my estimations would be about $1,500 to $2,000. We would remove the light package on that, and re-use it on one of the new vehicles. The money left over from the vehicle we didn’t purchase,” he added of an initial plan to purchase one earlier in 2019, “could help offset the cost for one of the new vehicles. We would need to lease or finance the other.”

Council Members Ulrich and William Chandler asked a few questions regarding possibly splitting the purchases of the vehicles, rather than getting both at the same time. Disciullo responded that, with the two vehicles currently on hold being 2019 models, if they were not to purchase them, then the cost numbers would likely change, with the 2020 vehicles coming into stock at potentially higher prices.

After a brief deliberation, the council members unanimously agreed to the purchase of the two new 2019 Chevy Tahoe four-wheel-drive SUVs for the police department. Because of the money left over from not purchasing the other vehicle earlier this year, the Town will only have to finance one of the new vehicles, at approximately $36,980, which is a State contracted price.

The approval also included the selling of the 2014 Ford Explorer, and not completing the nearly $4,500 in repairs currently needed. The upfit of lights and sirens for both new vehicles will be done by an outside contractor because of the needed turnaround time.

The two new SUVs will bring the total number of vehicles in the police department’s fleet to five, with the 2011 Chevy Tahoe becoming the spare vehicle. The 2016 Ford Taurus cruiser, currently in the shop for electrical repairs, has 46,000 miles on it, while the newest vehicle is a 2019 Ford Taurus cruiser that has 2,600 miles on the odometer.

In other police department news, Chief Steven Flood provided the council with the DPD’s monthly statistical report for November 2019.

Among its highlights, the department apprehended three wanted subjects for local jurisdictions and the courts. Officers also made criminal arrests for two DUI offenses, five drug-related offenses, one for resisting arrest and one for felony pursuit.

There were three collisions investigated during the 30 days of November, with 124 traffic arrests and 12 criminal arrests.

The council on Dec. 16 also unanimously approved the snow plowing contract for the same vendor as last year, Gray’s, for the upcoming winter season.

The council meeting dates and holidays for 2020 were also reviewed and approved during the meeting. Because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in January, the January meeting was moved back a week, to Jan. 27, at 6 p.m.

The quote for curb painting was looked over by the council, and Matt’s Paving was approved to handle the project, which will commence in the spring throughout the town.

 

By Jason Feather
Staff Reporter