Dewey Beach commissioners voted unanimously Oct. 9 to adopt the county’s hazard mitigation plan as part of a joint effort to minimize and reduce safety threats and damage to private and public property.
Interim Town Manager Jim Dedes said town officials discussed joining the Sussex County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan in 2016 but never took action.
Dedes said officials met with Center for the Inland Bays representatives several months ago to explore developing a town hazard mitigation plan, when discussions renewed to join the county plan.
“If we have a disaster, we would not be left out,” Dedes said. “We would be included in grant opportunities and emergency assistance. We felt it was to our advantage to adopt the plan along with other municipalities.”
Dedes said town officials can still research options to develop a town-specific plan if they so choose; there is no negative to joining the county plan, Dedes and Town Attorney Fred Townsend said.
First adopted in 2005, the Sussex County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan is a long-term planning tool that identifies strategies to reduce or eliminate the loss of human life and property damage resulting from natural and man-made hazards.
The Disaster Mitigation Act, passed in 2000, requires state and local governments to develop and approve hazard mitigation plans in order to be eligible for post-disaster hazard mitigation funding.