County waives marriage fees for active-duty military, vets

Sussex County Council formalized their amendment of Chapter 62 of the county code this week, waiving fees for licenses and marriage ceremonies within the county for active duty military and veterans regardless of residence. They had waited to complete adoption of the change during a previous meeting, until they could get a standard definition of veteran incorporated. They decided to use the definition within the Internal Revenue Service code.

The council on Tuesday also introduced a draft ordinance that would bring the County into compliance with the state statute regarding “the sealing of drawings, specifications, etc., by an architect or engineer.” They will have a public hearing on the proposed ordinance in the near future.

They also held a public hearing on amending Chapter 1 of the county code relating to Sussex County Council meetings that fall on legal holidays, which would give them flexibility to move the state-mandated Tuesday meetings should they fall on a legal holiday.

In other news from the Nov. 27 council meeting:

• The council awarded a balancing change order and substantial completion for the Sussex County Airport Taxiway A and Taxiway B and awarded a bid for their portion of the Nanticoke River Dredge project.

• Delmarva Teen Challenge received a $7,000 grant from Sussex County Council this week. They had been in front of the council in recent meetings to explain the mission of the Delaware facility, which is located at the former Seaford Rescue Mission. It is a faith-based rescue mission and treats men of all ages who are dealing with problems of addiction. The organization is known both nationally and internationally and has 1,100 locations, with an 86 percent success rate, according to DTC Executive Director Bob Carey.

“A strong part of our success — and our success rate is 86 percent — is that we are a faith-based program,” Carey said recently while in front of the council. “Addiction counts for a lot of the breakup of the family unit, and this program shows men that they can be the godly father and husband that they were meant to be.”

• Other grants went to the Sussex County Foster Parent Association, the Town of Blades, Ocean View Historical Society, Boy Scout Troop 281, Sussex Central Pop Warner, Laurel Lions Club, Polly Branch Extended/McCabe Court Civic Association and the Delaware State University Alumni Association.

Complete council packets, which include letters regarding grants requests and all other correspondence relating to agenda matters, are available on the County’s Web site at Click on the “online services” tab,” click the “agendas and minutes” tab, click the date of the meeting and then click “packet.”

Councilman Vance Phillips thanked County staff and asked if the packets that they received as members of council were viewable by the media and the public, as well. When staff members confirmed that they are, he again said he appreciated their efforts to make them available.

“Nobody can say we are not being transparent,” he noted.