In an effort to improve stormwater drainage for a property on Tidewaters in Henlopen Acres, town commissioners approved a $127,000 infrastructure project Jan. 11.
Town Manager Tom Roth said the house at 85 Tidewaters sits below street level and is also at the bottom of a hill coming from Fields End. He said because of this, the property experiences flooding during significant rain events.
Roth said two catch basins will be installed and a drainage pipe will run underground to the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal behind the property.
City solicitor Glenn Mandalas said he has informed the property owner the town’s engineer doesn’t think this will solve all the flooding problems, but, he said, it will be better. He said the property owner understood and gave the town permission to run the pipe on the property.
The town originally budgeted $84,500, but Roth said engineering and design costs were more than expected. The project could begin as early as Feb. 1, Roth said, and should take three to four weeks to complete.
McGuiness board of adjustment seat filled
As part of winning the statewide election in November, State Auditor Kathy McGuiness stepped down from a number of commissions and boards, including the Henlopen Acres Board of Adjustment.
During the commissioners’ meeting, property owner Gene Wilson was nominated and unanimously approved to fill the vacancy. He will serve the remainder of McGuiness’ term, which runs through Aug. 31, 2019.
Mayor Joni Reich said she expected to nominate Wilson for a full term on the board once the abbreviated term expires.
Recently, the board of adjustment hasn’t been too busy. Roth said it’s been at least two years since someone submitted a variance request to the board.
Change to HAPOC billing
Commissioners also approved including annual billing for Henlopen Acres Property Owners Corporation as part of the town’s annual bill. The fee is $25, and all property owners are required to pay it.
Mandalas said it will be up to the homeowners association to collect any delinquent payments. This is purely a courtesy, he said.
Commissioner Paddy Richards, who also sits on the homeowners association board, suggested the town charge the homeowners association $200 for providing the service.
HAPOC board member Henry DeWitt said it cost a couple hundred dollars to mail the invoices anyway and agreed the fee was appropriate.
Richards said the annual fee goes toward insurance costs, dune grass replacement and beach cleanup for the Block W beach.