Millsboro officials declare Halloween event a success

Millsboro Police Chief Brian Calloway, at the Millsboro Town Council meeting on Monday, Nov. 4, pronounced the Oct. 31 town Halloween event at town hall a success.

He thanked Mayor Michelle Truitt for attending and helping officers as they greeted children and handed out candy.

Organized by Sgt. Patrick Forester, it was “a great event,” Truitt said.

Grant money spending approved

At the request of Calloway, the Millsboro Town Council approved how money will be allocated from a $6,750 JAG Byrne grant awarded to the police department.

Calloway asked that $4,000 be used to buy helmets and safety equipment for the upcoming bicycle rodeo and $2,750 be used for the Town’s first Millsboro Police Youth Academy. The town council unanimously approved his request.

Police awards banquet

On Oct. 9, the police department had its annual awards banquet.

Sgt. David Moyer was awarded the Exceptional Performance Commendation. Patrolman John Wharton was named officer of the year and presented with the Delaware House of Representatives Certificate of Recognition.

The Chief’s Commendation Award was given to Joanne Dorey, Matt Hall, Pfc. Jonathan Zubrowski and Sgt. Barry Wheatley.

Performance commendations were given to Lt. Robert Legates, Wheatley, Moyer, Wharton and Pfc. Kyle Wharton.

No stopping, standing or parking

To alleviate the problem on Route 113 in Millsboro of cars stopping at Dunkin’ Donuts (now rebranded as Dunkin’) waiting at the drive-through and overflowing onto Old Landing Road, and sometimes Route 113 northbound, the Millsboro Town Council approved a “No Stopping, Standing or Parking” restriction.

Calloway said the drive-through can accommodate about 10 cars, then they stop on Old Landing Road until spilling onto the highway. It’s busiest on Friday mornings, he said.

“Officers make people move to clear the highway. I’ve either had people commend us, or shout at us,” he said.

Town Manager Sheldon Hudson called the situation “a challenge.”

Millsboro Town Attorney Mary Schrider-Fox said the Delaware Department of Transportation requires the town council to first pass an ordinance before signage is erected. The ordinance will apply from the highway at the entrance of the doughnut shop to Mitchell Street.

Dog park

Fencing for Millsboro’s new dog park, at a cost of about $9,000, will be installed, before specifications are finalized.

“I think putting in the fencing is a good start, getting it in the ground,” Assistant Millsboro Town Manager Jamie Burk told members of the town council.

Discussion about the dog park has continued for the past few months. In September, a plan was submitted to DelDOT for the entrance to the park, and Burk said an upgrade and maybe paving will likely be required.

“It could grow into something more, but for now this is a good start,” Hudson said.

He suggested fencing, and getting basics in place before deciding on details.

“We’re not talking about the design today, just the path forward,” Hudson said.

Councilman James Kells asked if there will be water available for the dogs, and Burk said there will be.

The long-term plan is to build the dog park near the intersection of Route 20 and Sheep Pen Road, and to have areas for large and small dogs, enclosed with a chainlink fence, and eventually expand it. The Town has $100,000 budgeted for the park, which could open next year.

Annexation of East Millsboro Elementary School

Truitt appointed a committee to study annexing East Millsboro Elementary School into town limits.

Committee members are Councilmen Brad Cordrey, Tim Hodges, Ron O’Neal and Larry Gum, with Hodges as chairman.

Hudson explained the benefit of annexing the school is, in case police are needed, the Millsboro Police Department could be contacted directly and not have to wait to be notified by Sussex County Communications, known as SUSCOM.

“It could shave off response time, probably only seconds. It also sets the stage if the school wanted to have a resource officer,” Hudson explained.

The Town already provides water and sewer to the elementary school.

The elementary school is at 29346 Iron Branch Road. Millsboro Middle School, at 302 East State Street, is in town limits.

Search for Public Works employee

The search continues for a wastewater operator to work for the Town of Millsboro.

At the November town council meeting, Burk said the position has been advertised and will also be advertised on the Delaware Technical Community College campus.

Burk said town officials are also considering attending trade shows to further expand the search.

Town audit report is excellent

Auditors gave the Town of Millsboro an unqualified opinion, the highest classification, on its most recent audit.

That was the good news taken to the town council by Sheldon Forney, a certified public accountant for Jefferson, Urian, Doane & Sterner, a firm that has offices in Georgetown, Ocean View and Dover.

“We are pleased with the report. We are able to give an unqualified opinion. The Town’s assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses are fairly stated” and reflect the Town’s financial health as of June 30, Forney said.

At the end of June, the Town’s equity position was strong. The unrestricted equity of the Town was over 26 percent of the annual budget, as opposed to restricted. Restricted money, he explained, has strings attached.

“You can’t just spend the money as you like. There is an ordinance required or there is a state regulation restricting how the money can be spent,” he explained.

Forney reviewed highlights and said suggestions and recommendations were submitted for town officials to review based on costs and expected benefits.

Christmas honorariums

Town officials, at the Dec. 2 town council meeting, will determine honorarium amounts presented to those who provide services at the 2019 Millsboro Christmas Celebration on Saturday, Dec. 7.

Hudson said services provided include the emcee, two Santas and performers.

Councilman Tim Hodges agreed, saying those who help the Town create a nice celebration should receive honorariums in an amount higher than paid last year.

Truitt wished the community a happy Thanksgiving, since the next council meeting won’t be until after that holiday.

By Susan Canfora
Staff Reporter