By Rachel Lord

Linda Morris, elected as a Delmar (Del.) town council member last fall, resigned after nearly five months in office. Todd Lanier was nominated, voted on, and sworn in to replace Doug Kemp during the mayor and council meeting on Monday, April 3 after an advertisement and interview process. The same process will begin again to fill the new vacancy. 

Councilmember Lanier said that he was looking forward to fixing problems and wants to “learn how it works and keep it running as best we can.”

Phase one of the sewer replacement project is underway on the Maryland side of town. This will be a lifestyle interruption for travel and parking on those streets, but there will be new pavement when the project is over, said Delmar (Md.) Commissioner Cory Shaffer, who was in attendance along with the rest of the Maryland commissioners. In the meantime, kids should stay off the equipment that is being staged and stored around town. 

The starting point of this project is E. Pine Street, E. Chestnut Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. In addition, there is paving restoration and patching occurring; affected streets include S. Railroad Avenue, W. Grove Street, S. Pennsylvania Avenue, Poplar Street, S. Fourth Street, E. Walnut Street, E. Pine Street, E. Chestnut Street, S. Maryland Avenue, Connelly Mill Road, Stage Road, Executive Club Drive (entrance), E. Jewell Street at Eighth Street, E. Grove Street, and N. Hantwerker Drive.

The town will spend roughly $4,000 on two crosswalks at the intersection of Grove and 8th Streets, near the middle/high school. After some debate on materials, the council, with input from Town Manager Jeff Fleetwood and Public Works Director Robert Buck, agreed that the extra cost for thermoplastic in order to “do it right the first time,” rather than the continious upkeep that comes with painting. They will also change out the stop sign for the next size up with a sign below that reads “Cross Traffic Does Not Stop.” 

The town also plans to wrap the pavilion posts at State Street Park with PVC boarding, as opposed to paint, for the same reason. Both projects have funding available through ARPA.

Speed bumps were also approved for Yorkshire Estates. A Homeowners Association (HOA) Board representative was present and stated that the board had 63 percent of signatures from the neighbors agreeing to speedbumps. The police, fire, and public works departments were all okay with the plan as well, she said. Buck  added that the only potential negative impact is ice buildup during inclement weather, as the developments are serviced later (focus is first put on the town for the fire department and nursing home locations) and people often drive before plowing, so ice becomes compacted. After an initial vote of 3-0 in favor of the speedbumps, Town Manager Fleetwood asked Mayor Tom Bauer if he would state his relation to the Yorkshire HOA Board, to which the mayor replied he is the president of the board. He explained that he was able to vote since he owned less than one percent of property there, but he changed his vote to abstain. The vote became two yes and one abstention, with the motion still passing for up to five speedbumps at $3,000 each, plus painting of chevrons. 

Senior citizens should be aware that there is a discount for utility payments available to residential property owners 65 and older who are the sole owner of the property, reside there at least seven months of the year, and are current on their property taxes. For questions about the discount or application, which must be turned in before July 1, 2023, call 410-896-2777 or 302-846-2664, Extension 107.

Upcoming Events

At 12:30 p.m. on April 30, before the Heacook Fest activities begin, a dedication will take place for the nicknamed “McWawa Way”; a new sign reading “Corporal Keith Heacook Way,” donated by Gardner Signs, will designate the street. Town Manager Fleetwood gave a shoutout to the business owners there and Sussex County for giving approval (in addition to the Delmar Council), as well as to Doug Marshall for coming to council with the idea. 

With most of the upgrades now complete at State Street Park, a ribbon cutting will be held May 7 at 1 p.m.; more information to come.

Heritage Day is scheduled for September 23 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Pennsylvania Avenue. The day will include the annual Delaware vs. Maryland tug-of-war across State Street, a rock-climbing wall, caboose tours, touch-a-truck, and carriage rides, as well as craft and food vendors. A basketball and skateboard tournament will take place at Gordy Park.