News Briefs 1/27/23

January 27, 2023
Lewes Beach parking workshop Jan. 30

The City of Lewes will host a public workshop on Lewes Beach parking permit system recommendations at 6 p.m., Monday, Jan. 30, at the Rollins Center.

Mayor Andrew Williams said he expects further parking-related workshops.

See the workshop agenda and link at

Joint meeting in Lewes Jan. 31

The City of Lewes and Lewes Board of Public Works will hold a joint meeting at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 31, at the Rollins Center.

Members will discuss plans for the Army Reserve Center, electric vehicle charging, mitigation teams work, and street lighting at New Road and Park Road.

Sussex council meeting on Jan. 31

Sussex County Council will meet at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 31, in the county administration building, 2 The Circle, Georgetown. Included on the agenda are discussions concerning memorandums of understanding between the county and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control for the White Creek dredging project, and with the Bay Beach Association for implementation of the Water Resources Development Act.

A full agenda and meeting materials are available at Meetings are held in person, livestreamed at, and available by phone at 302-394-5036 using code 570176.

Rehoboth BoA defers Grotto hotel hearing

At the request of the applicant, the Rehoboth Beach Board of Adjustment voted to defer a public hearing related to a variance request made by the developers of the proposed Grotto Pizza hotel at 1 Rehoboth Ave. The property stretches north to Baltimore Avenue and faces the Boardwalk. The reason for the request is because questions remain about flood plain issues and the possible need for an amendment to the federal flood plain maps. The hearing has been rescheduled for Monday, April 24, to give the city and the applicant time to reach a consensus on what must be done. 

DelDOT announces road closures

The Delaware Department of Transportation has announced the closure of Briarwood Road between Sand Hill Road and Shingle Point Road from Monday, Jan. 30 to Friday, Feb. 17, weather dependent, for the installation of a crossroad pipe. Detours will be posted.

DelDOT has also announced the closure of the southbound right-turn lane from Mount Joy Road to westbound Route 24. The road work and associated detour will begin Monday, Feb. 6 and are expected to be completed by Thursday, Feb. 15, weather dependent.

Emergency vehicles only will have access to make the right turn.

Five Points Working Group meets Jan. 30

The Five Points Working Group will meet at 6 p.m., Monday, Jan. 30, in the Cape Henlopen High School library. Topics being discussed include an update on Capital Transportation Program projects in the Five Points area, a Plantation Road project update, a Coastal Corridors study update and implementation status of Phase 2. Time for public comment is reserved at the end of the meeting. The meeting will be held in person and available via livestream at

Dewey to meet on budget Jan. 31

The Dewey Beach Budget and Finance Committee will meet virtually at 3 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 31. Members will discuss current financial results and the 2023 budget on assumptions, timing and risks, and will possibly vote on a recommendation regarding potential changes to fees and taxes. Agenda and link, at

Dewey hotel tax raised to 2.5%

Dewey Beach commissioners voted unanimously Jan. 13 to approve an ordinance to raise the hotel lodging tax from 2% to 2.5%. In March 2021, commissioners voted to enact the tax at 1.5% with the ability to increase it by not more than .5% per year to a cap of 3%. The new rate is effective April 1.

Rehoboth endorses Bennett as alderman

During a special meeting Jan. 9, Rehoboth Beach commissioners approved a resolution recommending the appointment of Renee L. Bennett for a new two-year term as the city’s alderman. Bennett was first appointed as Rehoboth alderman, which is Alderman Court 37, in June 2013. Her current two-year term was set to expire Feb. 8. The next step for confirmation includes the city forwarding the resolution to the Delaware Senate for approval.

Rehoboth cleaning, inspecting pipes

Rehoboth Beach announced Jan. 11 it will begin its annual cleaning and inspection of sanitary and storm sewer pipes in mid-January. This work will continue over an approximately six-week period.

A large sewer vacuum truck is used to clean the pipes. A video camera is used to assess the integrity of the pipes and identify any areas that may need to be repaired or replaced.

Lewes parks and rec appointments

The Lewes Parks and Recreation Commission appointed Kay Carnahan as its new vice president and Mardi Thompson as secretary Jan. 17 following the adoption of new bylaws.

Chair Janet Reeves said members will discuss appointments again in September.

Senate passes bill pertaining to state retiree benefits

A bill expanding membership to committees tasked with state employee benefit issues passed the Senate Jan. 18 by a 17-3 vote.

Senate Bill 29 expands the membership of the State Employee Benefits Committee by adding a state retiree to the committee and adding an additional representative from public sector union organizations, and the bill establishes the Retiree Healthcare Benefits Advisory Subcommittee with membership that includes three state retirees and four members of the General Assembly.

It also requires the controller general to provide comprehensive biannual public reports to the General Assembly regarding the work of the State Employee Benefits Committee. 

Changes to the pension plans of state retirees prompted protest last summer by a group that is now pursuing legal action against the state. Former legislator John Kowalko, a member of RISE DE, the group suing the state, spoke against SB29 during a committee hearing, because he believes the bill is being fast-tracked and does not represent the needs of pensioners.

The bill now awaits action in the House.

Wetlands, waterways apps submitted

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control issued a public notice Jan. 18 for several applications recently submitted related to projects in local wetlands and waterways:

• At 106 Buckingham Road, Rehoboth, to construct a 6-by-50-foot pier and install a 6-by-12-foot floating kayak dock, a boat lift with four associated pilings and two personal watercraft lifts in Bald Eagle Canal

• At 104 Buckingham Road, Rehoboth, to install two stand-alone mooring piles and a 6-by-12-foot kayak dock in Bald Eagle Canal

• At 55 Thompson Court, Rehoboth, to construct a 4-by-17-foot pier and a 6-by-60-foot dock, and install two boat lifts with four pilings each in the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal

• At 28 Sloan Road, Harbeson, to remove an existing structure and construct a 4-by-30-foot pier, a 3-by-12-foot gangway and a 6-by-30-foot floating dock in Herring Creek

• At 33936 Lazy Lane, to utilize and maintain a 5-by-46-foot pier and a 6-by-52-foot dock in Love Creek.

Rehoboth acts on tree-removal requests

The Rehoboth Beach Parks & Shade Tree Commission during its Jan. 23 meeting approved the removal of a total of 11 trees on two properties.

The meeting started with a request to remove four crepe myrtles located in the city right-of-way adjacent to 18 Park Ave., which the commission unanimously approved. In their place, the owners must plant three native small species trees that are a minimum of 8 feet tall and have a caliper of 2 inches.

All three trees can be planted in the right of way, but one is also allowed to be planted in the backyard.

The second hearing was related to the removal of seven arborvitae trees in the city right-of-way adjacent to 129 Columbia Ave.; the commission also unanimously approved this request.

In their place, the owners must plant three native small species trees that are a minimum of 8 feet tall and have a caliper of 2 inches. At least two of these trees must be planted in the right of way. The owners of this property also have to plant a native high-canopy tree in the front yard.

EV charging stations planned in Sussex

Electric vehicle drivers will have more opportunities to charge up along Delaware roads with the installation of 14 new direct-current, fast-charging stations funded by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Grants were awarded to several businesses and one Delaware municipality for the sites.

The chargers will be accessible to the public 24 hours a day, and users will pay a fee for powering their vehicles.

Funding for the stations comes from the Environmental Mitigation Trust, a negotiated settlement between Volkswagen and the federal government.

Locations in Sussex County include: Quality Inn & Suites, 20530 Dupont Blvd., Georgetown; Comfort Inn Suites, 23420 Sussex Highway, Seaford; Arby’s, 17719 Coastal Highway, Lewes; Gulf/Pep Up, 32919 Coastal Highway, Bethany Beach; and Arby’s, 28669 Dupont Blvd., Millsboro.

Sussex County Council presents nonprofit grants

Sussex County Council awarded the following councilmanic grants during its Jan. 24 meeting: $1,500 to Delaware Manufactured Home Owners Association for its program educating and aiding manufactured home owners; $2,000 to cover EMS costs to Race4Warriors Inc. for its annual event; and $1,000 to Nicmar Youth Connection Enterprises Inc. in Bridgeville for its annual Eastern Shore Alumni Basketball Classic.

Lewes exploring buy-back program

Lewes’ first phase of a ban on gas-powered lawn equipment is set to take place in 2025, following a delay of the 2022 proposed implementation. Before the vote to delay, some residents had inquired about a buy-back program for lawn equipment that would be noncompliant in the future.

City Manager Ann Marie Townshend announced Jan. 9 that the city is asking Energize Delaware about implementing a program to incentivize early conversion to battery- and electric-powered lawn equipment. Townshend said there was interest, but details would take some time to work out.

Lewes BPW web address changes

The Lewes Board of Public Works website is now BPW IT Manager Joshua Gritton informed board members during the Jan. 25 meeting that a soft launch took place earlier that day. A month’s transition period will allow for search engine optimization, and those using the old link will be redirected to

Gritton said BPW email addresses have been updated as well.

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