Millsboro business owner suggests artistic sidewalks

Eric Clarke, owner of the former Ball Theatre in Millsboro, this week suggested an artistic flair for new sidewalks coming to the downtown area.

“Instead of laying bricks or concrete, I wanted to ask if you’d consider adding an element of art, colored brick to a border or boundaries,” he told Millsboro Town Council members at the Monday, Feb. 3, council meeting.

“As you walk through town, you have to remember what used to be there — so something like the Centennial Hotel, maybe a marker that would be included in the walk. All the things that used to be Millsboro that aren’t currently there. It’s just a piece of art that gives us a little story,” Clarke said, speaking during the public-comments portion of the meeting.

“Instead of just throwing stuff down, or no pattern, maybe a little extra basketweave that has some color in it would add to it,” he said.

He also suggested memorial bricks to honor loved ones, as Mayor Michelle Truitt, Town Manager Sheldon Hudson and council members listened and nodded.

 

Police officers receive new pistols

 

Police Chief Brian Calloway, during his monthly report to the town council, showed council members one of the new 9-mm pistols his officers now have.

Each pistol has the town insignia engraved on it and holds 16 bullets — five more than their prior pistols.

The new pistols are also more lightweight and smaller, he said.

Calloway said the sight on the pistols is orange but turns green at night “so you can see what your sight picture is.”

Calloway also announced that during January, officers wrote 14 cellphone tickets, three other traffic tickets and one speeding ticket.

 

Fireworks set for June 27

 

The town council approved a request from the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce to have its fourth annual Stars & Stripes fireworks celebration at Cupola Park.

The event will be on Saturday, June 27, from 6 to 10 p.m.

In case of a weekend of rain, it will be rescheduled for Labor Day weekend.

Fireworks will be shot over Millsboro Pond, north of the Route 24 bridge.

Kevin Turner, president of the Chamber, in the formal request to the town council, wrote that sponsorship and involvement have been the keys to the success of the annual event, and that sponsors are being sought.

“We look forward to another successful event full of entertainment, food vendors and community support,” he wrote.

 

Golf carts

 

The Millsboro Town Council on Monday, by majority vote, decided to send to state Rep. Rich Collins a draft of enabling legislation allowing golf carts on town streets, to determine if it has merit. Councilman Tim Hodges was opposed.

At the January town council meeting on Monday, Jan. 6, the council had unanimously authorized the town solicitor to draft an ordinance regulating golf cart use on public streets, for the purpose of initial review and discussion.

City Solicitor Mary Schrider-Fox said a draft would eventually be sent to state legislators, if they are asked to change the town charter to accommodate use of golf carts on town streets.

“I want to explain to everybody — we’re not going to have people pulling up at the Dairy Queen in golf carts,” Truitt said, addressing those attending the town council meeting. Schrider-Fox said if that occurred, drivers would be arrested, because golf carts will only be allowed within residential communities.

Hodges expressed concerns about safety.

“To me, it just goes against my better judgment. A golf cart is not required to have doors, not required to have seatbelts. Going along at 25 miles an hour, that’s a pretty good speed,” he said.

This week, Schrider-Fox presented the draft of the enabling legislation, which states golf carts would be required to have safety features “to make the amendment palatable to the [Delaware] General Assembly,” she said.

“I still have my reservations. I think it’s too much of a safety concern, too much of a headache,” Hodges said.

Although he praised the town solicitor for drafting the amendment, he said he remained opposed.

Councilman James Kells said he doubts there will be many golf carts on town streets and estimated there are 60 or 70 golf carts used in Plantation Lakes, plus residents interested in buying them if they can take them out onto the street.

“All it’s going to do is multiply the problems we are talking about at Plantation Lake,” Hodges said, referring to a presentation earlier in the meeting by Calloway, who talked about parking problems at the residential development.

“They park them in the yard, don’t they, on the grass?” Thoroughgood asked. Kells said most people park golf carts in their garages.

Truitt read the amendment, which seeks to make legal, and regulate, the use of golf carts for recreation. They may not be capable of exceeding 20 mph, may not be low-speed vehicles or on-road vehicles. They will be approved for use only on roads that have been accepted by the Town and must be equipped with safety equipment, including brakes, headlights and taillights.

Hudson clarified that the amendment would enable the council to pass an ordinance, but it is not itself the ordinance.

At last month’s town council meeting, Calloway had explained that the top speed of golf carts is 20 mph, but Thoroughgood said they can move at 35 or 40 mph.

“All you’ve got to do is put a chip in it,” he said. “I’d feel better if they had lights on them,” he added.

Calloway said their weight is considerably different from a car or truck. A slow-moving vehicle can travel up to 35 mph and differs from a golf cart because the carts don’t have vehicle identification numbers or safety features found in cars, Calloway explained.

“There’s a risk in everything,” Kells said.

“If we look at the history, we have a pretty good track record, safety record, with golf carts. … If I was a pedestrian, I’d rather get hit with a golf cart than a car,” he said.

Hodges asked Calloway if seatbelts and shoulder straps could be installed. Calloway said he has heard it’s possible, but a golf cart would have to have head support, like those found in cars.

“It’s something I can look into,” the chief said.

 

Grotto Pizza sign

 

Grotto Pizza will erect a “Coming Soon” sign on the property where the company plans to build a new restaurant. 

The family-owned company, founded in 1960, will open a 6,558-square-foot restaurant in Peninsula Crossing on Route 113 south, near Royal Farms and Taco Bell. With 212 seats and sports bar, it’s expected to open in the fall.

 

Christmas tree recycling

 

Councilman James Kells at the town council meeting told fellow council members he’d like to see used Christmas trees ground to use as mulch, as is done in some other communities.

“A lot of people have trees they want to get rid of after Christmas,” he said.

Thoroughgood called it a good idea. Hudson suggested bringing the matter back for discussion in the fall.

 

By Susan Canfora
Staff Reporter