Millville News

Town of Millville, Delaware


  • 544 (2010 Census)

Town council meetings:

  • Second Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m.


  • First Saturday of March

Town office:

  • 36404 Clubhouse Rd., Millville, DE 19967 (302) 539-0449

Web site

General e-mail inquiries

Town Council:

  • Robert Gordon, Deputy Mayor
  • Susan Brewer, Treasurer
  • Valerie Faden, Secretary

  • Steve Smalls

Town Manager:

  • Debbie Botchie

Finance Administrator:

  • Lisa Wynn

Town Clerk:

  • Matt Amerling

Code & Building Administrator:

  • Eric Evans

Accounting Clerk:

  • Anna Scarola


  • 911

TRAFFIC ALERT: DelDOT closes Route 1 between Bethany and Dewey

Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) officials announced around 4:30 p.m. that, due to high water, Route 1 northbound and southbound was being closed between Bethany and Dewey Beach (including the Charles Cullen Bridge over the Indian River Inlet).

Songwriter documentary, performance set for Sept. 28

Grammy-winning songwriter and musician Scot Sax is looking to show audiences the not-so-glamorous side of being a successful songwriter in his debut documentary, “Platinum Rush,” which will be shown at Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville on Monday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m., followed by a live performance, as part of the Dickens Documentary Series with Bryan Russo, himself a musician.

Millville approves plans for new building

The Millville Town Council voted unanimously at its Sept. 8 council meeting to approve the plans for its new municipal building.

‘Hate Mail’ to open BART season at Dickens

The Bethany Area Repertory Theatre (BART) will be kicking off its 2015-2016 season next week, opening with “Hate Mail,” a comedy by Bill Corbett and Kira Obolensky.

Casting call set for upcoming BART comedy production

Bethany Area Repertory Theater (BART) is inviting local drama buffs to try out for some of the group’s fall offerings. BART, which perform at the Dickens Theater at 3575 Atlantic Avenue in Millville, will begin the season’s first production, “Hate Mail,” in September, with performances on Sept. 17-19 and 24-26.

Millville adopts significant updated zoning ordinances

How long does it take to approve a 30-page draft zoning ordinance? About 25 minutes (plus or minus a year).

The Millville Town Council unanimously approved a zoning overhaul during one of their shortest meetings of the year, on Aug. 11. A committee of council members, Town staff and others spent months writing a draft, which the Planning & Zoning Commission had reviewed for several more months.

“The Town of Millville adopted the most recent version of its zoning code probably about 10 years ago,” said town engineer Kyle Gulbronson of URS. “[The review was] based on the development trends in town … and stuff the council has found problematic.”

Millville Town Hall to get new ‘in-house’ computer server

The Millville Town Council made some long-term decisions at its July 14 meeting. Besides approving a new computer server for town hall, they nearly concluded talks about a proposed zoning overhaul.

Fourth of July festivities galore this weekend

Coastal Point • File Photo: Young paraders carry the Bethany Beach sign at the front of a past annual Fourth of July Celebration parade.Coastal Point • File Photo: Young paraders carry the Bethany Beach sign at the front of a past annual Fourth of July Celebration parade.To commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Americans gather together each year to celebrate the country’s independence from Great Britain with family and friends.

In the local community, there is no shortage of celebration — from family barbecues and picnics on the beach, to parades and fireworks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

South Bethany to hold holiday weekend fun

South Bethany is heating up for the holiday weekend, from a boat parade to movie night.

Pedestrian Safety Day comes to South Bethany on Friday, July 3, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Delaware Office of Highway Safety will distribute safety information and demonstrate best practices, to encourage bicycles, motorists and pedestrians to share the street, on the corner of Henlopen Drive and Route 1.

Millville Town Council bites into substantial zoning overhaul

Before an audience of one reporter on June 23, Millville Town Council began the first of several meetings to review a 30-page zoning overhaul. Last year, the mayor had formed a committee specifically to modernize the zoning district regulations in the Town’s current code.

Millville Town Peddler to host exhibit by Emily North

The Millville Town Peddler announce this week that it is hosting artist Emily North for a month-long exhibit.

North recently graduated from St. Joseph’s University with a major in art education. In the fall, she will begin teaching art in Baltimore City Public Schools.

“I have always been passionate about art and work in many media,” she said.

Millville to purchase 4.9 acres of land for Dukes Drive park

Millville can now put an address on the proposed park and playground that town officials have so long sought. The Millville Town Council this week voted to pay $800,000 for 4.91 acres of land located at 32517 Dukes Drive.

The land itself is mostly grass at present, with a small border of trees. A single-family house and detached garage, which appear to be in sound condition, are currently located on the property.

“It has the potential to be a very nice park,” said Mayor Gerald “Gerry” Hocker Jr.

On May 20, the council had authorized Town Manager Debbie Botchie to engage in negotiations with the seller, John Scott Evans Jr., for two parcels of land. The offer was formally presented to the town council to approve at their June 1 meeting. The council voted unanimously (with Steve Maneri absent) on the agreement of sale, which is a binding agreement.

The seller’s parents’ names are to be used in conjunction with the naming of any park built there.

Millville fire company member suspended

The Millville Volunteer Fire Company has suspended one of its members during an investigation of misconduct.

“We have one of our members under investigation for conduct impropriety in regards to the position that individual held. The member is currently suspended until further notice,” Bob Powell, MVFC public information officer, said in the department’s official statement.

Donations being collected for area woman affected by fire

Coastal Point • Submitted: An early morning fire damaged the home of Ocean View resident Bonnie Cooper. Community members are rallying to support Cooper in her time of need through donations of giftcards and checks.Coastal Point • Submitted: An early morning fire damaged the home of Ocean View resident Bonnie Cooper. Community members are rallying to support Cooper in her time of need through donations of giftcards and checks.In the early morning hours of June 2, the Millville and Bethany Beach fire companies responded to a house fire in Murray Estates in Ocean View. The fire grew through the roof of the two-story house before it could be extinguished.

Having heard about the fire through a Facebook group, Kathy Jacobs, director of community relations at Brandywine Senior Living at Fenwick Island, jumped at the chance to help.

“Somebody posted on there, while it was happening, a picture of the fire and said, ‘Wow! This is in Murray Estates. I hope everyone got out OK,’” recalled Jacobs. “I just responded, ‘They’re going to need help, whoever this family is. If anybody knows who the family is, please get in touch with me so we can get them whatever they need.’ For all I knew at the time, it could have been a family with children in the home.”

Through the group, Jacobs learned that the home belonged to Bonnie Cooper, who had escaped injury, as she was staying at her mother’s home across the street when the fire occurred.

Hagen launches fourth restaurant with Hooked Up Ale House

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Restauranteur Steve Hagen shucks oysters at the raw bar of his fourth Off The Hook venture — Hooked Up Ale House in Millville.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Restauranteur Steve Hagen shucks oysters at the raw bar of his fourth Off The Hook venture — Hooked Up Ale House in Millville.You know them all by name — mostly, because they’re all kind of the same.

First, there was Off the Hook in Bethany Beach. Before long, Just Hooked followed in Fenwick Island. Then, more success. More restaurants. More puns. Eventually, Hooked opened up in Ocean City, Md.

But just when you thought Steve Hagen and the Off the Hook Restaurant Group were running out of names, they’re at it again — launching Hooked Up Ale House & Raw Bar in Millville this week, their fourth restaurant in just six years.

And, this time, there’s a real hook.

“It’s totally different than anything else that we’re doing,” said Hagen of the new venture. “We want to take the same concept of fresh products and original sets and put them into things that appeal to everything and everybody.”

While Hagen’s first three restaurants, of course, all offer their fair share of variety in terms of both menu and atmosphere, Hooked Up aims to break the mold by offering a more casual gastropub setting.

And with 24 beers on draft, 24 screens, the NFL “Sunday Ticket,” a long and lively raw bar, a game room equipped with pool tables and murals dedicated to local teams, and plenty of seating — the approach is not only new for the OTH Group but, according to Hagen, the local area in general.

In case you missed it, there have been some changes here

Plenty has happened around the community over the off-season. In case you’ve been out of town, or have just been too busy to stay on top of things, here are some of the items that could most affect your summer season.

Meet the artisans of the 2015 Lord Baltimore Artisans Fair

The annual Artisans Fair will return to Lord Baltimore Elementary School in Ocean View on Saturday, bringing along with it some of the area’s top artisans, as 49 exhibitors from the local area and beyond will put their work on display from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., showing off and selling their hand-crafted paintings, sculptures, pottery, ceramics, jewelry, textiles and other unique creations.

Route 26 moves to nighttime lane closures — for summer

Late-night work is getting a little later this summer on Route 26. The Delaware Department of Transportation was already scheduled to begin a second year of overnight work on the road construction project, from May 15 to Sept. 30, in a schedule designed to accommodate summer traffic.

Annual cornhole tournament to benefit foundation

The Beta Sigma Phi sorority will host its 6th Annual Cornhole Tournament, benefitting the Russell White Scholarship Foundation, next month in Millville.

“We do it to keep Russell’s memory alive,” said Emily Harne, a member of Beta Sigma Phi, “and to give back to the community.”

Harry Anderson to appear in Dickens fundraiser shows

Dickens Parlour Theatre on June 3-6 will celebrate its fifth anniversary and kick off a fundraising drive with a four-night, five-performance offering of David Mamet’s play “Oleanna,” starring actor Harry Anderson.

Millville approves preliminary design for new muni building

The Millville Town Council this week unanimously approved a preliminary design plan for the Town’s new municipal building.

In January, the council had unanimously approved a $106,942 contract for the design of a second Town municipal building, plus other services. Architectural design, permitting and soil testing will be done by George, Miles & Buhr LLC (GMB).

On April 28, the council heard a presentation from civil engineer Andrew J. Lyons Jr. of GMB about the preliminary design of a two-story addition to the current town hall that would be used by both the Town and the Delaware State Police.

Lyons said the stormwater flow on the property would stay the same, with water draining back to the tax ditch. He said that they still needed to meet with the Soil Conservation District.

Teen got the ball rolling for clean water

Emma Rider has collected 100,000 pairs of shoes in five years. But those are just the tips of the laces that tie her tale together.

At 18, Rider has a knack for transforming old kicks into clean water. She explained the basics to the Lord Baltimore Lioness Club on April 16.

“One billion people lack access to safe water,” Rider said.

Put something friendly in the ground: CIB Native Plant Sale returns with cocktail party

Coastal Point • File Photo: Gardeners galore shop the native plants at a previous sale at the James Farm Ecological Preserve off Cedar Neck Road.Coastal Point • File Photo: Gardeners galore shop the native plants at a previous sale at the James Farm Ecological Preserve off Cedar Neck Road.Native plants are the best of both worlds; they bring natural beauty and wildlife to the back yard, but they were also meant to live in coastal Delaware, so they are less likely to need extra water or nutrients.

Their popularity accounts for the 11th year of the Gardening for the Bays Native Plant Sale, on Saturday, May 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The nighttime cocktail party also returns on the eve of the sale.

Organizer Sally Boswell of event sponsor the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays called this the “one-stop-shop for going native in your garden,” hosted annually at James Farm Ecological Preserve on Cedar Neck Road in Ocean View.

“The big stores, for the most part — they have not gotten into native plant offerings in their nurseries. So it’s our small, local, independent nurseries that are leading the way in that,” said Boswell.

Five nurseries will sell thousands of flowers, shrubs, grasses and trees.

Mueller arrested for marijuana possession

After being called to a residence on Parkview Street in Millville by the Sea around 9 p.m. on April 2 for a reported domestic incident, Delaware State Police subsequently arrested a 62-year-old Ocean View man on drug charges.

Millville council adopts fee schedule with no increases

The Millville Town Council has decided that there’s no reason to increase fees this year.

Before passing the Town’s 2016-fiscal-year budget on April 14, the town council unanimously passed the fee schedule for items such as business licenses, building permits and other fees.

“Nothing had to be increased this year. In fact, it hasn’t been increased in several years,” said Town Manager Debbie Botchie.

The 2016 budget also passed, with a few last-minute amendments, such as an increase in state health insurance premiums, office technology and IT support.

The current budget is doing swimmingly, as revenue is up, but the Town has only paid 55 percent of the projected expenses, “and we only have one month more to go of our fiscal year,” Botchie said.

Route 26 culverts right on schedule

Morning commute may be impacted by lane closures

The recent mandatory detours along Route 26 are almost over, as the current phase of the project is right on schedule to reopen the road by Tuesday, March 31.