Dewey leaders set parameters for new town hall

Budget, height, square footage, parking, exterior design determined
June 13, 2023

With unanimous votes on agenda items June 2, Dewey Beach commissioners set parameters for a new town hall and police department, including the budget, maximum height, square footage, parking and exterior design style.

Mayor Bill Stevens said the estimated square footage of the new facility is still about 13,000 square feet, about the same amount proposed about a year ago. An estimate for an 18,000-square-foot facility had included a proposed parking garage as part of the overall square footage, he said.

Currently, the town has $6.6 million on the table for the building, including $1.1 million for contingencies, Stevens said, and Fulton Bank would offer a loan if needed to cover a gap. Other potential funding sources are still available, he said.

The facility would be located on Route 1 where the code enforcement building currently sits, Stevens said, and a sally port would be located in the rear of the current town hall property.

Town Manager Bill Zolper said the county wants to see the town is moving forward with the new building before setting aside any money in its budget for an EMS station within the facility; they could commit the funds in the following year.

After some discussion regarding demolition costs and furnishings, commissioners voted to set a budget not to exceed $7 million, not including furnishings. 

Broken-down costs are set at $5.9 million for construction of the new building, $100,000 to demo the code enforcement building and $1 million to construct the sally port and EMS station. 

Commissioners voted unanimously to stay within the town’s height limit. The overall building will not exceed 32 feet plus base flood elevation and a 1-foot freeboard, and the lowest finished floor will not be below base flood elevation plus 3 feet.

The maximum square footage will be determined through pricing, Stevens said. To make the building more accessible, commissioners voted to exclude any parking beneath the building, with the understanding that spaces in town will need to be identified for municipal use.

Regarding the exterior design style, commissioners opted for a look mirroring the Lifesaving Station.


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