Dewey Beach Town Council is planning to spend about $50,000 to install surveillance cameras in the town’s business district.
Council said the total cost of the eight-camera system would not exceed $95,000. About half – $42,800 – will be paid using grants and police department donations; the remainder will be funded by the town.
According to the Public Safety Committee proposal, cameras will be placed in high-density locations, where police presence is most often required. One camera would be set up on Dickinson Avenue at the Lighthouse; two at the Dewey Beach Lion’s Club, on both McKinley and Dagsworthy avenues; four on Route 1 at Dagsworthy and Dickinson avenues and Saulsbury and New Orleans streets; and one camera at the intersection of Route 1 and 1A.
Public Safety Committee member Jay Rooney requested money to fund the system at town council’s meeting in May. Mayor Diane Hanson asked Rooney how many cameras could be purchased using only grants and police donations.
Rooney proposed four cameras at the June 14 town council meeting, an option that could have been paid for without additional town funds. “The safety committee still thinks eight is the right answer,” he said.
The alternate proposal would have removed the most expensive camera locations from the plan – two at the Lions Club, one on New Orleans Street and one at the intersection of 1 and 1A.
Members of the public urged the town to fully fund the Public Safety Committee’s eight-camera proposal. Dale Cooke noted much of the funding came from business community donations gathered at the annual Winter Gala. “I wonder why the town cannot also put in town funds,” he said. “The money is there.”
“I agree 100 percent with Dale,” said David King. “The town needs to fully fund this as a public safety issue.”
King said funds could be taken from the infrastructure account or the town reserve.
Town Manager Marc Appelbaum said a $480,000 building permit for the Ruddertowne complex would soon be available for the town. “If you all think it’s a priority, the money is there,” Appelbaum said.
Commissioner Gary Mauler said he has been working on the technical details of the proposal with the public safety committee and Integration Logistics, the company the town will hire to install the system. He said the cameras would take six to eight weeks to install. “The season is going to be pretty much over,” he said.
Mauler said he would bring performance specifications to the July town council meeting.