Sussex County Delaware

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Sussex County Council ...

Council Approves $50,000
for GIS Mapping System

By ERIC MAGILL
SC Online Publisher

GEORGETOWN -- Sussex County Council unanimously approved the payment of $50,000 toward the purchase of a new GIS mapping system at its regular meeting on Tuesday, June 4, 2002.

The total cost of the system will be $150,000, with the state of Delaware providing the remaining $100,000 in funding as part of the state's GIS Grant Assistance Program.

The new system will provide one seamless map of the county's 700 tax maps. Working through a web browser, county staff and the general public will be able to access the county's mapping databases over the Internet.

Matt Laick, the county's acting supervisor of Mapping and Addressing, said it would have taken his staff three years to accomplish the same work and cost far more than $50,000.

A representative of the mapping system company said that the information would be available online in 4 to 6 weeks.

Laick said some typical uses of the system might be for emergencies or zoning changes.

In the case of an emergency, if emergency personnel needed to notify all residents within a one-mile radius of the parcel the emergency occurred on, this system would enable them to do that easily.

In the case of a zoning change, the county could pull all of the residents neighboring the area to be rezoned and contact them of the rezoning request.

Slam Dunk to the Beach ...

Council was receptive to a request for an increase in funding from $15,000 to $20,000 for the Slam Dunk to the Beach National Holiday Basketball Tournament from tournament founder Bobby Jacobs.

The increase request will be formally heard during a public hearing on human services grants in council chambers on Tuesday, June 18.

Council denied a similar request from Jacobs last year but County Administrator Robert L. Stickels said there is money in the budget this year for a $20,000 donation.

Jacobs said this year's tournament will feature 45 games over 5 days with 34 teams from 16 states, including Laurel High School from Sussex County.

Jacobs has been criticized in the past for not including more in-state teams but this year, he said he has invited Laurel because it has a bonafide Division I prospect in 6-foot-8 center Trey Elzey.

Laurel returns the nucleus of its 2002 state tournament quarterfinal team for next season.

State Rep. Charlie West and former judge William Swain Lee spoke on behalf of the tournament and the funding increase.

In Other Business ...
  • Greenwood resident Dan Kramer, a staunch opponent of the Woodbridge current expense referendum approved on Saturday, June 1, 2002, questioned County Administrator Robert L. Stickels and County Finance Director David Baker on why some Woodbridge area residents do not appear to be billed for the district's Capitation Tax. Kramer said he received an angry call from a resident of the district questioning why, if the district is in the financial distress that school officials said it is, would they not be charging everyone in the district the Capitation Tax. Stickels and Baker both said it is a difficult tax to assess because people move and others are not year-round residents, especially in the county's resort areas. Stickels said that the county has typically checked school records and Department of Motor Vehicle records to determine who should be receiving Capitation Tax bills. He said the county could also check the Woodbridge district's election rolls to determine if there are others in the district who are not being taxed.

  • Council heard a presentation from the Delmarva Christian School, which plans to open for classes for Grades 9-12 in Fall 2003. Robin James, president of Delmarva Christian Schools, told council the concept was to provide a private regional high school for the county's Christian elementary and middle schools to feed into. He said the school would open with 500 students in an 85,000 square foot facility and eventually expand to 1,000 students in a 170,000 square foot facility. In addition to a college preparatory curriculum, the school will also offer technical trade courses in areas such as criminal justice and food and health services. Tuition is expected to be in the $4,500 a year range. The first principal will be Scott Kemmerlin, a former principal at Polytech High School.

  • Council unanimously approved a bid of $26,924 for a mail folder inserter for the county Treasury Department from Pitney-Bowes. Pitney-Bowes was the only company to bid. The total includes a maintenance contract.

  • Council heard an update on the mobile home demolition program it has entered into with the First State Manufactured Home Association. Ira Hitchens told council that 53 abandoned mobile homes have been removed and their sites cleaned up in the first two years of the program. He said he is currently working with 30 more clients on demolishing and cleaning up 31 more sites.

  • Council unanimously approved construction administration and construction inspection agreements for wastewater facilities in the Sable Farms development in the West Rehoboth expansion of the Dewey Beach Sanitary Sewer District. The agreements cover 31 single-family lots in the development.

  • Council heard the following proposed ordinances:
    • a change of zone from AR-1 to Light Industrial for 80 acres in Northwest Fork Hundred, the application of United Foods Inc.
    • A conditional use in an AR-1 District for a holding area for storage units on 8 acres in Dagsboro Hundred 8.07 acres, the application of Jeffrey Scott Burton.
    • A conditional use in an AR-1 district for doctor's offices in the Lewes-Rehoboth Hundred on 33,345 square feet.
    • A conditional use in an AR-1 district for an electric substation on 6.09 acres in Baltimore Hundred, the application of Delaware Electric Cooperative.
  • Council approved the following grant requests:
    • Benjamin Banneker Elementary School -- $400 for new playground equipment.
    • Marvel Carriage Museum -- $500 for the building campaign for a new exhibition building.
    • Sussex Central High School -- $200 for pennants.

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