By Mike McClure

During Monday night’s meeting, the Delmar Commission (Md.) discussed whether a mobile baptism truck located on the corner of Routes 13 and 54 needs to have a permit to operate at the location on a regular basis. The town had issued Charles Rideout a temporary permit (for a single or short-term event), but now he is looking for a permit for every day use. The town currently does not have such a permit in place.

“I just want to do God’s will,” said Rideout. “Who’s complaining, the unsaved? I’m not out there every day, all night long.”

Delmar (Md.) Mayor Ben Jorden said there is no permit in place. He added that there are complaints about the noise coming from the truck’s loud speaker as vehicles go by on the highway. 

“You can’t go to the church and get it because they’re closed. We’re open every day,” Rideout responded. “This is good trouble.”

Jorden said motorists and town residents who hear the music and preaching coming from the truck have texted him to complain about it.

“Tell them to come out and get saved and then they won’t have a problem with it,” said Rideout.

Douglas McAlister, pastor at Delmarva Christian Center, spoke in support of Rideout.

“This is a call for unity, it is a call for love, it is a call for cooperation within the community,” he said. “This would add to the blessings of the community.”

Jorden suggested tabling the issue in order for the town to research what can be done to permit the use of the amplification system on a regular basis. When asked by Rideout if he can play his music Jorden responded, “I need you to be patient with us because we need to figure things out.”

Jorden added that the town has a noise ordinance and the Commission and town administrators and lawyer need to figure out if a decibel level needs to be set. He later told Rideout that he can be out there with the understanding that the noise needs to be for people in the vicinity that choose to be there, not for people on other side of town. The town’s attorney added that it would be up to the town whether it wants to cite him for not having a permit.

Jorden asked Rideout to coordinate with the police department. He added that he doesn’t want the volume to go up, causing people to call and complain and the town to have to decide whether to cite him or not.

“When those permits get issued it’s definitely not for long term,” said Police Chief Ivan Barkley, who added that the department has received complaints. “I will assist the reverend in any way I can.”

The Commission voted to approve a permit request by Doug Marshall for a fireworks display on April 28 from 9-9:15 p.m., during the Heacook Festival. Marshall said he would contact neighbors through local developments’ HOAs. 

Barkley reported that the police department currently has 10 officers working, including the school resource officer. The department has 16 officers allotted. It also has someone in the police academy, with graduation scheduled for June. Barkley is also looking to put three more recruits in the academy in July and anticipates making conditional offers to three candidates later this week.

He also said that the department’s body cameras are in. It just has to figure out the placement and see how they fit.

“We want to take our time and make sure we get it right,” Barkley said.

The cameras have GPS features which will allow the chief to see where his officers are. The cameras can be also be activated remotely by administrators.

The Commission voted in favor of three new home builds, two in Wood Creek, and a new porch and patio in a Wood Creek home.