Union UMC plans dinner
Union United Methodist Church, 2 N. Laws St., Bridgeville, will hold its regular Union Station Dinner Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 5 to 7 p.m. The menu will include oven-baked chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, succotash, cranberry relish, pickled beets, rolls and dessert. Price for adults is $6 and for kids 10 and under, $3. Proceeds benefit the church.
Bridgeville considering industrial zoning
By Mike McClure
The Bridgeville Town Commission discussed a proposed ordinance that would create an agricultural/industrial overlay zone, the suburban street aid project and voted to hire two police officers.
The proposed ordinance addresses agricultural businesses that currently are zoned under manufacturing, the harshest zoning available under the current ordinance. Commission president Joe Conaway specifically mentioned Kenny Farms as one such business that is zoned as manufacturing.
The Commission introduced an ordinance that would create an Agricultural-Industrial overlay zone for agricultural related uses such as orchards, mechanical repair for ag equipment, roadside stands, packing-processing of agricultural crops or byproducts, and other related business.
The proposed ordinance would require properties to consist of a minimum of 20 acres and a 200-foot buffer between the property and the street right of way. Businesses under this new zoning would also be required to file a deed of transfer, which requires owners of the business to notify potential neighbors that the business is there.
The Agricultural-Industrial overlay zone would not allow chicken houses and livestock operations close to town. According to Conaway, it would will give the town the opportunity to correct the rezoning of Kenny Farms and other agricultural-related businesses in town and control what farmers can do with their land without the red tape.
The Commission will hold its first reading of the ordinance during its February meeting. Discussion of the ordinance and a possible vote will also take place at next month’s meeting.
The Commission also discussed its street project, which is being done through the state’s suburban street aid program. State Sen. Thurman Adams and state Rep. Ben Ewing secured $162,630 in suburban street aid money for Bridgeville. The money will be used for 24 street and curbing projects.
The town will develop specs for the 24 projects and bid them out. Among the streets that will have street or curbing work are: Maple Avenue, Railroad Avenue, South Cannon Street, Walnut Street, Williams Street, Edgewood Street, and Laws Street.
Police Commissioner William Jefferson reported that the town interviewed 22 candidates for the police department. The Commission approved a motion to hire Adam Hitchens and Christopher Story as the town’s fifth and sixth full-time officers.
Hitchens and Story will attend the state police academy starting February 3. The addition of the fifth officer was in the budget through the Cops program (through U.S. Sen. Joe Biden), while the sixth officer will be partially paid for through a 75 percent grant.
The town hired two additional officers last year (one of the officers is currently serving in the military). Conaway said the number of full-time officers will not increase beyond six until the town has additional residents.
Greenwood discusses crime threat in town
by Desiree Laws Moore
The Greenwood Town Council spent most of the meeting time last week thinking of ways to caution their residents about recent crimes.
Greenwood Police Dept. is investigating the November theft of town resident Paula Hughes’ home and business. She asked the council if there was some way to let other residents know about the crime committed against her and others that she had heard about since November so that residents could take more precautions.
“You just don’t know how violating a theft is until it happens to you,” Hughes said. “If something was put in the town’s newsletter maybe that would help.”
“I think we should let the people know,” said Councilman Carl Peters. “It might help to deter the crimes.”
“I would like to see something go out to the residents,” said Vice Mayor Randy Willey. “I know that when I am coming home from work at one o’clock in the morning, I see people walking up and down the streets. There is certainly nothing open here at that time of the morning. I think we should mention to the chief to have them stopped and investigate their activities at that time of day.”
The town has a curfew of 10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday for minors.
Mayor Donald Donovan told Hughes he would speak to the chief and the town staff to come up with an effective way to inform the residents.
Greenwood Chief of Police Otis Cephas said there is no increase in crime in Greenwood.
“If there was an increase in this jurisdiction, I would definitely be aware of it,” said Cephas. “Around the holidays there is usually an increase but overall the crime rate has not increased. Property crimes are the worst to solve because unless you catch them coming out of the property, there is little to no evidence.”
Cephas also explained that it would be difficult to question people walking around the town in the early morning hours.
“You have to understand that people have a constitutional right to walk at any time of the day,” Cephas said. “It is not against the law.”
The chief believes that many victims put themselves at risk by not securing their property. He says some ways to deter crime are to lock the doors of homes and vehicles, put valuables such as cell phones and purses away in vehicles, and to leave lights on around property. The chiefs also stressed if you see something suspicious, call the police department.
“Many people will not call when a crime is committed because they are afraid of retaliation or that their name will be used in court,” said Cephas.
At the council meeting, Hughes asked if there was some way that a Neighborhood Watch could be started in the town. Cephas has a meeting set up with officers at Troop 5 of the Delaware State Police to get tips on how to set up an effective watch for the town.
In other police matters, Police Commissioner Brenda Tallent reported that there have been complaints about the use of motorized scooters in town and the potential dangers in traffic.
“We have had to look at Seaford’s policy because there is nothing in the state statute about the scooters,” said Tallent. “We are trying to do something now before a child or someone else gets hurt.”
The council will review the policy from Seaford, send it to their lawyer for review and hopefully adopt an ordinance soon.
The next Greenwood Town Council meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the town hall.
Seven candidates running for two seats in Greenwood
Greenwood Town Council elections will be on Saturday, Jan. 18, from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Town Hall. The seats of current council members Carl Peters and Brenda Tallent are up for election. They are both seeking re-election and five other town residents are candidates for the positions as well.
Matthew Opaliski, Denis Schultz, Robert Terwilliger, Amy Willey, and Mary Wisseman have completed the required application for candidacy and are on the ballot for the elections.
Opaliski and Terwilliger have vied for council seats in the past.
Any Greenwood resident who has registered to vote with the town is eligible to vote.