Sussex signs $1 million agreement with Dewey Beach

Town's new government offices, police station will house seasonal county paramedic unit
January 9, 2024

Sussex County Council has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Town of Dewey Beach to release $1 million for construction of a new town hall and police department, which will include a seasonal Medic 114 Sussex County paramedic station within the facility.

Dewey officials approved the memorandum Dec. 7.

During a presentation at the Jan. 2 council meeting, County Administrator Todd Lawson said the town will be responsible for all construction and maintenance costs. In addition, Lawson said, a lease will be written absolving the county of paying rent or operational costs.

The estimated cost of the 13,000-square-foot facility is between $7 million and $8 million. The town received a $3 million Community Reinvestment Fund grant in 2022 for the project. Construction is expected to begin this fall on the building along Route 1, where the town's code enforcement office is currently located.

History of seasonal units

Director of Sussex County EMS Robert Murray said seasonal units have provided emergency services to residents in eastern Sussex from 2008-20. Population growth and an increase in summer tourists along the coast have had a large impact on Sussex EMS. The county operates a seasonal unit at Americana Bayside along Route 54 near Fenwick Island.

In 2021, he said, Medic 104 on Plantation Road between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach had an average of 20 responses each day, while the countywide average was 10 responses per day. In addition, he said, Medic 104 paramedics have responded to more than 500 calls the last two summers.

When Medic 114 was started in Dewey Beach, Murray said, response times improved 20%.

The plan for the new Dewey station includes 130 12-hour shifts from Memorial Day to Labor Day, with Saturday and Sunday coverage in May and September, Murray said.

The director said extra shifts to cover events such as Dewey Goes Pink will also be provided.

Sussex County EMS has 12 stations throughout the county, including three in western Sussex, six in the central part of the county and three in the coastal area. They are: 101 – Lincoln; 102 – Laurel; 103 – Dagsboro; 104 – Lewes-Rehoboth; 105 – Frankford; 106 – Long Neck; 107 – Bridgeville; 108 – Georgetown; 109 – Selbyville; 111 – Milton; 114 – Dewey Beach; 200 – Seaford.

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