Ellendale residents still want water district

Sussex County officials schedule August public hearing
July 11, 2018

Story Location:
13724 South Old State Road
Ellendale  Delaware
United States

With a new boundary that excludes most of town limits, Ellendale residents are coming back to Sussex County to establish a water district.

Two proposals for water districts have been defeated over the past eight years.

During county council's June 26 meeting, John Ashman, director of utility planning, said the new request was community driven. He said a public hearing has been scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 2, at Philadelphia Pentecostal Holiness Church, 13724 S. Old State Road.

A previous proposal for a larger area was defeated in a Nov. 4, 2017 referendum in the small town split by Route 16.

County engineer Hans Medlarz said the same plan is in place including a partnership with Artesian Water Co. Under the plan, Sussex County would handle billing, and Artesian would supply water and maintain the system.

The company already has established a water district within part of the proposed boundary, and residents in the two areas would have different rates, Medlarz said.

The projected annual cost under the previous plan was $400. The cost was the main factor cited last year by opponents in the 120-107 vote against the proposal. That amount included a county subsidy to not charge residents to hook into the system.

The county already provides central sewer service to Ellendale residents, but drinking water comes from private wells. Another request to hook up to a public system was defeated during a 2009 referendum.