Selbyville moves to improve water and sewer

After a public hearing Monday, Aug. 1, the Selbyville Town Council approved a resolution to proceed with plans to borrow more than $2 million for improvements to the town’s water and sewer distribution systems.

The council has proposed borrowing up to $2,048,430 through issuance of general obligation bonds to fund the two projects. The water project would include extending a 10-inch water main, implementing a test well program and possibly installing a production well to increase the water supply capacity.

Funding for the sewer project would go toward installing two pumping stations — one near the intersection of Route 54 and 387, and the other near Route 17 and Route 388. Each station would have submersible sewage pumps, force mains and manholes.

Mayor Clifton Murray noted that neither project will have significant environmental impact.

The resolution requires there be a special election to allow residents to vote for or against the proposed borrowing for each project separately.

The referendum will take place on Aug. 31 from noon until 6 p.m. at town hall.

“I can’t imagine it not being accepted,” Town Administrator Gary Taylor said. “We were really lucky in being able to get one of the last few grants left.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service has committed a $2,100,000 grant and a loan for $1,761,000 to permanently finance the “New Project.” The town will also use a $287,429 loan left over from a prior project in 2000 and 2001 that included construction of aeration towers that were never built.

As stated in the resolution, the council will use its taxing power to finance the principal and interest on the bonds, and anticipates they will be payable quarterly over a 40-year period.

“Anytime you can get a grant with a loan like this, it’s an opportunity that doesn’t come along very often,” Murray said.

Also during the town’s monthly meeting, the council approved a resolution to discourage the Federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission from realigning and/or closing the New Castle County Air National Guard Base.

The resolution states that closure would result in the loss of 47 full-time military personnel, 101 full-time civilian personnel, 485 Guard military positions and relocation of 39 fire fighters.

Additionally, the resolution noted a direct economic loss of more than $28.7 million annually to civilian and military positions, as well as a significant negative impact on the “financial well being of an assortment of businesses surrounding the base.”

Although the base does not lie within the town limits, the council noted its close proximity as vital in case of a national emergency, and thus unanimously decided to support the resolution.