City of Lewes 2013 year in review

January 12, 2014

This was another busy year for the Lewes elected officials, appointed committee members, and city employees. The following is a summary of some of the highlights of our activities for the year 2013, but certainly it is not all-inclusive. Some issues are either a conclusion of the prior year, or are continuing into 2014. As you can see, our community is the benefactor of countless hours of time and energy given by so many volunteers. On behalf of the City of Lewes, and the city council, we thank everyone for your service of integrating your thoughts and concerns into the public democratic process, ultimately making our community a strong representation and reflection of our citizen ideals.


• For city council, Fred Beaufait was re-elected, Dennis Reardon was newly elected

•  For the Board of Public Works, Preston Lee was re-elected, A. Thomas Owen was newly elected,

City Personnel Changes:

• Carol Richardson became project coordinator and chairperson of Lewes Parks and Recreation Commission

• Pat Liberto was hired as new financial clerk/receptionist

• Kevin D. Williams was hired in the streets department

• Lewes Police Department hired two new officers: Patrolman Robert K. Scisco and Patrolman Jonathon R. Moyer; Officer Tyrone Woodyard became new canine handler for our new canine Blue; Officer Jamie Locklear continues in the detective position; Lt. James Azato attended and participated in training at the FBI academy.

Capital Projects:

• Coordinated with the State of Delaware regarding construction of the new connector road and also overlay improvements on Savannah Road

• Full street rehabilitation project for Madison/Railroad Ave., improvements to a portion of Monroe Ave. underway, completion in spring of 2014

• Moved forward with Chesapeake Utilities regarding expanding natural gas service

• City sold two lots on Burton Avenue to reduce debt toward the purchase of the future Library/Trail Head location

• Dredging of the Canalfront Park Marina

• Consideration of renovations to the Lewes Police Department and construction of new restroom facilities for Mary Vessels Park and Zwaanendael Park, completion in 2014

• Added park signs in Canalfront Park (in partnership with the Friends of the CFP), Zwaanendael Park, Mary Vessels Park, 1812 Park, and Stango Park

• Received the final schematic design for the new Lewes Public Library as recommended by the library design  committee and presented by Becker Morgan Group

As a result of recommendations from various committees/commissions, the council took actions such as:

• Redefined snow emergency routes, established zoning areas for emergency identification, presented public education and outreach regarding emergency preparedness procedures and flood plain mapping, and continued to make improvements directed toward the Community Rating System

• Numerous modifications and updates to the zoning code to address compliance, provide special-exception consideration in the Marine Commercial District, accepted a revised subdivision code

• Accepted administrative changes to the Historic Preservation Commission, including changing to a once-a-month regular meeting schedule

• Received a traffic study regarding intersections and speed zone studies

• Accepted improvements and innovative educational outreach programs from the Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee

• Coordinated activities/decisions made by the Board of Public Works, Board of Adjustment, and Board of Ethics.

Actions or discussions took place for the following items:

• Metered the parking lot on Third Street, added a change machine to Beach Lot 2

• Renewed the franchise agreement with Comcast, renewed contracts to provide curbside recycling and yard waste collection to the year 2016

• Approved the Dragon Boat Festival request for 2013 and 2014

• Received Point Farm Annexation request, formed annexation committee, held public committee meetings, accepted the committee report, process continues

• Entered into an agreement with RC Quinn Consulting Inc. for assistance in reviewing and assessing zoning and building codes as related to improving community resilience to sea level rise and future flood risks

• Held workshop on consideration of leasing city-owned lands in the area of Tennessee Avenue

• Considered expanding parking opportunities on paper streets on Lewes Beach

• Continued working with Lewes Unleashed and the State of Delaware regarding the process and details of creating a dog park

• Received delivery of new trash truck to replace 11-year-old truck

• Entered into agreements with Guided Path (Lori Athey), and the University of Delaware to assist in updating the city’s comprehensive plan, due fall 2015

Further discussion items:

• Consideration to establish Parks Rules and Regulations/Noise Ordinance clarity

• Parking options/jitney service

• Future use of Schley Ave. property power plant in conjunction with the BPW

• Zoning classification for Abbotts Park Cooperative

• Modification of the Canary Creek recorded plot plan, amending the existing trail locations

• Continuation of water taxi development with the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal Improvement Association

• Improvements to the entrance of the Little League area by means of partnerships using Transportation Enhancement Grant Funding

• Continued work with the Greater Lewes Foundation regarding the development of the Lewes Public Library and the State of Delaware Lewes- Georgetown Rails with Trails improvements

• Continued work with the Lewes Fire Department and Beebe Healthcare to coordinate services to the community.

The Lewes City Council strives to provide the best public services available to our community. We continue to seek input, community contribution, and citizen engagement to interact with our constituents and to provide the council with your thoughts and opinions that ultimately assist us in making our final decisions. We all look forward to the challenges coming in 2014. Feel free to contact us, and our regular meetings are scheduled for the second Monday of each month, at 7 p.m., Lewes City Hall. For more information, go to

Mayor Jim Ford

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