It appears members of the military who want to get married in Sussex County may soon see a savings in their wedding budget.
Sussex County Council might amend an ordinance to eliminate all Clerk of the Peace fees for active military and veterans for marriage and civil union licenses and marriage ceremonies performed by the Sussex County Marriage Bureau. That could be a savings of anywhere from $50 to $200.
As Sussex Clerk of the Peace George Parish talked to council Nov. 13 about a possible reduction in fees for active members of the military, Councilman Vance Phillips, R-Laurel, said the fees should be eliminated all together, and not just for active military. Phillips said no veterans regardless of residency should be charged for services, including reservists. “It's a very small amount of money and it's what we should do coming on the heels of Veterans' Day,” he said.
Councilman George Cole, R-Ocean View, asked Parish what financial impact the move would have on revenue in the office. Parish said the financial impact would be minor. Cole said adding all veterans and reservists may have more of a financial impact than anticipated.
Cole said he felt a better definition of who should be included was needed before council should vote on the amended ordinance. County attorney Everett Moore agreed, and Phillips rescinded his motion to allow Parish and Moore to meet and fine-tune the ordinance. The issue will be placed on a future council agenda.
Parish decided not to seek another term and will step down at the end of this year. John Brady will become the new Clerk of the Peace.
Under the current schedule fee, a marriage or civil union license is $50 for Delaware residents and $100 for out-of-state residents. Performing a service in the Clerk of the Peace Office, The Circle or any building fronting The Circle in Georgetown is the same cost, but performing the service anywhere else is $75 for Delaware residents and $150 for out-of-state residents.