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News Briefs 06/25/19

June 25, 2019

Nassau applications on June 27 Sussex P&Z agenda
Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission will meet at 6 p.m., Thursday, June 27, in the county administration building, 2 The Circle, Georgetown. Included on the agenda is a public hearing on a rezoning application filed by Nassau DE Acquisition Co. LLC from AR-1, agricultural-residential, to HR-1, high-density residential, for a 15-acre parcel on the east side of Route 1 near the Old Mill Road intersection.

The same parcel was the subject of two previous applications – a conditional use for 150 apartments and a C-2 commercial rezoning for a 4,700-square-foot office building. In December 2018, Sussex County Council approved the rezoning application but denied the conditional-use application based on opposition from residents who said traffic would increase in a congested area and the apartments were not in character with area single-family residences. See a complete agenda at www.sussexcountyde.gov.

New Rehoboth utility rates to be unveiled June 27
After months of meetings, a utility rate study working group formed to create new water and wastewater rates for Rehoboth will unveil its results and recommendations to commissioners during a special meeting Thursday, June 27. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and will be held in the commissioners room of city hall, 229 Rehoboth Ave.

The agenda says there will be public comment regarding the new rates after the initial commissioner discussion. During the commissioner meeting June 21, Mayor Paul Kuhns said he expects at least one public hearing following the June 27 meeting. He said the goal is to try and have the new rates implemented by Labor Day, so they can be applied to billing cycle beginning Oct. 1.

For more information call 302-227-6181. A full copy of the agenda, which can be found at town hall or online at www.cityofrehoboth.civicweb.net.

Rehoboth sets new property tax rates
Earlier this year, as part of the budgeting process for Fiscal Year 2019/2020, Rehoboth commissioners approved a 50 percent increase in property taxes and an increase in trash collection fees. Those increases were made official during the June 21 commissioner meeting.

As approved, beginning July 1, property taxes will go from $.04 to $.06 per every $100 of assessed value. During a budget meeting in February, city officials said the average annual property tax bill in Rehoboth is approximately $413. A 50 percent increase on that amount would come out to about $620, or roughly $17.21 a month.

For trash, it’s a $25 increase in residential services – in-season, from $250 to $275; out-of-season, $275 to $300. Between the two increases – $670,000 for the property tax; $64,000 for trash – the city is expected to raise over $700,000 of revenue.

Rehoboth agrees to county terms on loan
During a meeting June 21, Rehoboth commissioners unanimously agreed to approve the additional borrowing of $3 million from Sussex County to perform needed work on Phase 3 of the wastewater treatment plant upgrades. As agreed, the city will pay for 58 percent of the $3 million, which is approximately $1.7 million. The county is also charging a 2 percent interest rate on the 10-year loan.

This is the second time in recent memory that the city has worked with the county to fund improvements at the wastewater treatment plant. In July 2018, the commissioners voted unanimously to take the county up on an offer to fund approximately $6 million in improvements that include a switchgear and structural upgrades to the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The city and county are splitting those costs 50/50. The county is also funding the city’s portion of the project through a 10-year loan with zero percent interest.

Lewes BPW to meet June 26
The Lewes Board of Public Works will meet at 4 p.m., Wednesday, June 26, at city hall. The group will consider a request to waive a pre-annexation agreement and requirement to connect to BPW water and sewer for a property at the intersection of New Road and Captains Circle.

BPW directors will also discuss utility services to Admirals Chase, providing credit protection services to customers whose information was compromised, a proposed resolution to define the collection of impact fees and a general discussion regarding BPW bylaws. For more information, call the BPW at 302-645-6228.

Lewes byway committee to meet June 26
The Historic Lewes Byway Committee will meet at 1 p.m., Wednesday, June 26, at city hall. The group will receive updates on the railroad swing bridge project, design guidelines project and the New Road Master Plan. For more information, call city hall at 302-645-7777.

Lewes Public Art Committee to meet June 25
The Lewes Public Art Committee will meet at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, June 25, at city hall. The group will discuss logistics for the first public seminar, update on the projected site map, and a request for prize money for a Art in Bloom art show. For more information, call city hall at 302-645-7777.

Cape school board meets June 27
The Cape Henlopen school board will hold its regular meeting at 6 p.m., Thursday, June 27, at Love Creek Elementary. Outgoing board members Andy Lewis and Roni Posner will receive special recognition. Several board policies will be discussed with possible action, and the board may take action on construction documents and educational specifications at Cape High, and on membership recommendation for the citizen budget oversight committee.

Members approved for Rehoboth Bandstand committee
During a meeting June 21, Rehoboth commissioners unanimously approved two new members to the Bandstand, Convention Hall, Special Events Committee. Richard Green, who had a multi-decade career with Marriott, k, a photographer and co-owner of Mug & Spoon, will take the place of State Auditor Kathy McGuiness and Eddie Sherman.
As of June 24, the committee does not have an upcoming meeting scheduled.

Rehoboth’s 2019 election slate set
Rehoboth commissioners unanimously approved the candidacy of all six people who filed for the city’s 2019 election. Edward Chrzanowski was the only candidate who had faced any questions relating to the merits of his candidacy, but ultimately, the commissioners agreed he met the requirements necessary to run for office. The other five candidates include Mark Betchkal, Charles Garlow, Susan Gay, Gary Glass and Suzanne Goode.

The election will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 10, in Rehoboth Beach Convention Center, 229 Rehoboth Ave. To be eligible to vote, a person must register on or before Thursday, July 11.