Sussex County News

Sussex County, Delaware

Population:

  • 156,638 (2000 Census)

County council meetings

  • Tuesdays, 10 a.m. (second Tuesday of each month), council chambers, county administrative building; council meetings and other public meetings held in the council chambers are broadcast over the Internet

Planning & Zoning meets:

  • Thursdays, two to four times per month, 6 p.m.; occasional Wednesday afternoons; council chambers, county administrative building

Board of Adjustments meets:

  • Mondays, two to four times per month, 7 p.m.; council chambers, county administrative building

Elections:

  • Council members elected by district, to four-year terms; council president selected from among council members

County administrative building:

  • 2 The Circle, Georgetown, DE 19947; (302) 855-7700

Web site

General e-mail inquiries

County Council 2013-2014:

  • Michael Vincent, Council President, District 1
  • Samuel Wilson Jr., Council Vice-President, District 2
  • Joan Deaver, District 3
  • George B. Cole, District 4
  • Vance C. Phillips, District 5

County Administrator:

  • Todd Lawson

Council Administrative Staff:

  • Robin Griffith

Finance Director:

  • Gina Jennings

Public Information:

  • Chip Guy

Public Works Director:

  • Michael Brady

Director of Planning & Zoning:

  • Lawrence Lank

Director of Planning & Zoning Commission:

  • Robert C. Wheatley

Police:

  • Delaware State Police Troop 4

Sheriff:

  • Jeffrey Christopher

Emergency:

  • 911

Non-emergency police contact:

  • (302) 856-5850

Sewer service:

  • Sussex County provides central sewer service to communities throughout the county, while some private property owners and other communities utilize on-site septic or sewer systems of their own.

DelDOT welcomes input from public on plans

Millsboro bypass included in forecast

Each year, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) develops a six-year Capital Transportation Plan (CTP) that identifies future projects and costs.

Today & Tomorrow Conference to highlight ‘Innovation’

Coastal Point • Submitted: Community leaders, educators, businesspeople and elected officials will come together to raise public awareness on current economic issues at the 22nd Annual Sussex County Today & Tomorrow Conference on Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 7:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Carter Partnership Center at DelTech.Coastal Point • Submitted: Community leaders, educators, businesspeople and elected officials will come together to raise public awareness on current economic issues at the 22nd Annual Sussex County Today & Tomorrow Conference on Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 7:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Carter Partnership Center at DelTech.Community leaders, educators, businesspeople and elected officials will join together to raise public awareness regarding current economic issues at the 22nd Annual Sussex County Today & Tomorrow Conference. The event will be hosted on Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 7:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Carter Partnership Center at Delaware Technical Community College in Georgetown.

Following welcoming remarks by Sussex County Council President Michael Vincent, Delaware Tech President Mark T. Brainard, and Vice President and Campus Director Ileana Smith, the morning will include information that could be important to Sussex County employers.

The conference will include a statistical update by Workforce Analyst Ed Simon of the Delaware Economic Development Office and a keynote address by Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Brewery.

There will also be an hour reserved for Delaware Tech’s 1 Million Cups initiative, a partnership effort with the Kauffman Foundation to support entrepreneurship nationwide. The two presenters will be Rob Rider of Body & Soul Fitness and Katey Evans of the Frozen Farmer.

Delmarva Power washing off salt-coated North Bethany lines again

Power interruptions may occur during cleaning process

Delmarva Power crews are resuming their efforts today to pressure-wash utility lines and equipment along Route 1 between the Indian River Inlet and an area just north of Bethany Beach to remove sea salt carried inland by winds from the weekend nor’easter.

Public hearing held for proposed Sussex psychiatric hospital

The Delaware Health Care Commission held a public hearing earlier this week for a proposed 90-bed psychiatric hospital to be located in Georgetown.

At the hearing, SUN (Solving Unmet Needs) Behavioral Health President Steve Page stated the company first heard about Sussex County after meeting Jeffrey Fried, president/CEO of Beebe Healthcare, last fall.

Sign workshop kicks off Sussex County ordinance review

Sussex County held a workshop to review its signage ordinance earlier this week, following the approval of a six-month moratorium on applications for off-premises signs.

Public workshop planned for Oct. 14 for Route 113 bypass update

The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will present to area residents an update on the U.S. Route 113 North/South Study for the Millsboro South area at a public workshop on Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Millsboro Town Center, 322 Wilson Highway.

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).

Governor Issues limited state of emergency in Sussex County

Coastal flood warnings in effect along Atlantic Coast and Delaware Bays

With moderate to major coastal flooding expected at high tides today and tomorrow, along with high wind warnings along the coast, Gov. Jack Markell at noon on Oct. 2 issued a Limited State of Emergency for Sussex County, effective immediately. State offices will remain open, and no driving restrictions are being implemented; however, localized road closures may occur as conditions warrant it.

Sussex County approves moratorium on off-premise signs

The Sussex County Council voted 4-1 on Tuesday to approve a moratorium on off-premise signs, with Councilman Sam Wilson opposed.

Delaware State Police still investigating OV accidental shooting

The Delaware State Police this week were continuing to investigate an incident in which a 2-year-old child was believed to have been accidentally shot by her father at their home just outside of Ocean View over the weekend.

Around 1 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 30, police said, emergency services were dispatched to a home located on Muddy Neck Road, following a 911 call stating a child had been shot.

SCAPC continues to address local addiction issues

The Seaford Chapter of Sussex County Action Prevention Coalition (SCAPC) held its monthly meeting this week, continuing to try to attack the area’s drug problems from various angles.

Sussex P&Z recommends against signage moratorium

The Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission met last week to review and discuss their recommendation regarding a proposed moratorium on the County’s acceptance of special-use exception applications for off-premises signs.

The draft ordinance, which was introduced by Councilman George Cole on July 28, states that the Sussex County Council “views the placement of off-premises signs as an important public-safety issue” and believes that “the recent proliferation of off-premises signs has a detrimental effect on the safety and welfare of the citizens of Sussex County.”

If approved, the moratorium would direct the Sussex County Planning & Zoning office to decline applications for special-use exceptions for off-premises signs for a period of six months, which could be “extended, modified or terminated at any time by a majority vote” of the council.

Deer, dove, resident Canada goose and teal seasons set to open

Delaware’s hunting seasons kicked off Tuesday, Sept. 1, with the opening of the archery and crossbow deer season and mourning dove and resident Canada goose seasons on private lands and state wildlife areas.

Best of Milton Auction & Party set for Sept. 12

A celebration is planned for the 10th Annual Best of Milton Auction & Party on Saturday, Sept. 12, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Milton Fire Hall, 116 Front Street in Milton. The party will aim for an atmosphere of cool elegance, in pale blue and shimmering silver as they celebrate this anniversary in style.

County defers vote on moratorium for off-premise signs


The Sussex County Council this week deferred voting on a proposed moratorium on off-premise signs, following a public hearing.

“Typically, what you’d consider off-premise is more of a billboard-type application, but there are small ones also,” said Lawrence Lank, director of Planning & Zoning.

County Administrator Todd Lawson said the County is currently in the process of trying to schedule a signage workshop to address the council’s concerns.

“There is an intent to bring together the County Council, Planning & Zoning Commission, the Board of Adjustment — all 15 members — along with our legal staff, our Planning & Zoning staff, and walk through the ordinance as a whole,” he said. “From that point we will come back and get to work on introducing a new ordinance from the feedback we would receive.”

During the public hearing, Georgetown attorney David Hutt, who has represented numerous applicants’ billboard applications over the last several years, spoke in opposition to the moratorium and offered his assistance to the council moving forward.

Sussex County seniors offered new transportation options

At Tuesday’s Sussex County Council meeting, Nancy Feichtl, who formed the Senior Transportation Cooperative in Sussex County, gave a presentation on ITNSouthernDelaware — a nonprofit organization offering affordable rides to senior citizens, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The membership-based organization has an annual membership fee of $35 for individuals and $60 for a family membership in which two of the members are 55 or older, with additional costs per mile traveled. Memberships are also available for adults with visual impairment who are 21 or older.

Subscription forms may be found online, as well as in libraries throughout Sussex County.

Feichtl said the group was able to raise $220,000, exceeding the $150,000 required to become affiliated with ITNAmerica.

Public hearing held for signage moratorium

The Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission was set to take the next step toward a possible moratorium on off-premise signage on Thursday, Aug. 13, with a public hearing at 6 p.m. for an ordinance that would establish the moratorium on the special-use exception applications needed to get such signs approved.

The draft ordinance was introduced before the Sussex County Council on July 28 and states that the council “views the placement of off-premises signs as an important public-safety issue” and believes that “the recent proliferation of off-premises signs has a detrimental effect on the safety and welfare of the citizens of Sussex County.”

Councilman George Cole had requested the council discuss the County’s sign regulations at the July 24 council meeting, stating that he had spoken to Dale A. Callaway, chairman of the County’s Board of Adjustment, regarding signage.

“He’s relayed to me that they have problems with these electronic signs… Basically, our ordinance needs to rewritten.”

County introduces draft moratorium on signs

An ordinance that would establish a moratorium for off-premisess sign applications in Sussex County was introduced before the Sussex County Council earlier this week.

Paramedics move a little closer to the beach with new base

Coastal Point • Laura Walter : With offices and comfortable living space behind these garage bays, Sussex County paramedics have a new base near Ocean View and Bethany Beach.Coastal Point • Laura Walter : With offices and comfortable living space behind these garage bays, Sussex County paramedics have a new base near Ocean View and Bethany Beach.
As the local population goes, so go Sussex County paramedics — moving closer to the beach. Sussex County Emergency Medical Services (SCEMS) cut the ribbon this week on their Medic 105 base, which moved from Route 17 in Clarksville to just outside Ocean View.
“Our biggest challenge was the communities to the east were growing,” said Robert “Robbie” Murray Jr., SCEMS operations division manager. “We constantly found ourselves going to the east.”

Lower Sussex clinches two state softball championships

Last July, Lower Sussex Little League had never won a state championship for softball. Less than a year later, they’ve won three — and they’re in the running for a fourth.

County looks to place hold on new signage

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Sussex County Council voted this week to draft an ordinance for a moratorium on off-premise billboards and electric signs.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Sussex County Council voted this week to draft an ordinance for a moratorium on off-premise billboards and electric signs.The Sussex County Council is considering placing a moratorium on off-premise billboards and electronic signs, following a discussion at this week’s council meeting.

Councilman George Cole requested the council discuss the County’s sign regulations, stating he had spoken to Dale A. Callaway, chairman of the County’s Board of Adjustment, regarding signage.

“He’s relayed to me that they have problems with these electronic signs… Basically, our ordinance needs to rewritten.”

Cole said there are electronic signs on two-lane roads, such as Route 26, “that are very distracting.”

“It’s getting out of hand,” he said. “The board doesn’t know what to do. They need direction from us.”

Work camp builds fellowship, as well as new roofs

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Kids from across the country came to participate in the First State Work Camp at Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Kids from across the country came to participate in the First State Work Camp at Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church.More than 400 youths from across the country traveled to Sussex County last month. Although most kids their age who spend their summer vacations traveling to the area come to enjoy a beach vacation, these particular youths were spending their time making a positive impact on local families.

“This is what we’re called to do — not just Mariner’s. We understand that God moves first in our lives. God pursues us, God loves us, and we have many blessings that God is able to give to us,” said the Rev. Woody Wilson of Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church, which hosted the First State Work Camp the youths attended.

“Therefore, as often as we can, as many ways as we can, for as long as we can, we’re supposed to be reaching out to help the many needs of folks — not only here but also abroad. First State Work Camp gives us the opportunity to locally love on the people here, help them with some of their needs and build some awesome relationships.”

Hooverville ready to rock the house across Delmarva

Delmarva classic-rock band Hooverville is headed south this summer, making their debut at Brew River Restaurant & Bar in Salisbury, Md., on July 25 and taking their sound to the beach at Locals Under the Lights at the Freeman Stage at Bayside in West Fenwick on Aug. 27.

Citizens bring science to the table in effort to Save Beach Cove

Several months and thousands of dollars later, the people who oppose oyster aquaculture in Beach Cove finally have some hard data to support their claims.

As resident James P. Bond said, “The scientific reasons as to why this is a poor location are very convincing.”

Organizations come together to discuss addiction epidemic

Connections Community Support Programs made a presentation to the Sussex County Action Prevention Coalition’s (SCAPC’s) Seaford Chapter at its monthly meeting last week.