Fenwick Island News

Town of Fenwick Island, Delaware

Population:

  • 379 (2010 Census)

Town council meetings:

  • Fourth Friday of the month, 3:30 p.m., town hall meeting room

Elections:

  • First Saturday in August, alternating slate of four and three seats, two-year terms; mayor/council president chosen from among the council, with a one-year term

Town office:

  • 800 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island, DE 19944; (302) 539-3011, fax (302) 539-1305

Web site

General e-mail inquiries

Town Council 2013-2014:

  • Gene Langan, Mayor
  • Richard Mais, Vice-Mayor
  • Diane Tingle, Secretary
  • Gardner Bunting, Treasurer
  • William Weistling
  • Roy Williams
  • Julie Lee

Town Manager:

  • Merritt Burke

Town Clerk:

  • Agnes DiPietrantonio

Finance Assistant:

  • Josie Correnti

Building Official:

  • Patricia Schuchman

Standing committees:

  • Beautification/ Parks & Recreation, Beach, Environmental, Planning, Board of Adjustments, Board of Elections, Audit, Budget, Building, Charter and Ordinance, Commercial Action, Emergency Management

Police:

  • William Boyden, Chief

Town Solicitor:

  • Tempe Steen

Emergency:

  • 911

Non-emergency police contact:

  • (302) 539-2000

Beach patrol:

  • Tim Ferry, Captain
  • The Beach Patrol is on duty beginning Memorial Day weekend each summer (Saturday, Sunday & Monday) and then two more weekends thereafter, and every day through Labor Day and then two weekends after Labor Day.

Trash pick-up:

  • October through April, Monday only. May through September, Monday & Thursday. Heavy trash pickup, June 8, 9 & 10 and September 9, 10, & 11.

Curbside recycling:

  • A voluntary townwide curbside recycling program through DSWA has been instituted beginning in 2008. Property owners may sign up on the town Web site or at town hall. Pick-ups are on Fridays, weekly from May to September and bi-weekly during the other months. The Fenwick Island Lions Club also collects aluminum cans in a bin behind town hall.

Fenwick Island to talk waterway dredging

Delaware’s waterways are important to those who use them, whether it’s the wide bays or the narrow-dug canals that snake through small towns.

But those small towns are trying to find the resources to keep the shallow waters well-dredged, to improve navigation and water flow.

Fenwick drafts new voter laws to restore votes of trustees’ spouses

After two years of debating voter qualifications, Fenwick Island officials finally compromised on new guidelines that could restore votes to previous voters, without heavily diluting residents’ votes. But the town solicitor has said the latest draft still leaves Fenwick open to potential problems in town elections.

Fenwick officials ready to tackle sidewalks again

The Town of Fenwick Island had dreams of new sidewalks to safely connect the town. Over the past decade, they added a few sidewalks, but in many places, pedestrians must still tiptoe around traffic or through parking lots.

On July 7, most of the town council and a few others gathered to broach the topic again, under the new Pedestrian Safety & Sidewalk Committee.

Maryland woman suffers broken leg as car rolls into canal

A 76-year-old Stevensville, Md., woman suffered a broken leg on Sunday, July 30, when the car she had been driving rolled over her leg as it crashed into a canal at Treasure Beach Campground.

Local musicians get their time under the lights

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Mama’s Black Sheep jams out on stage during the first Locals event at the Freeman Stage at Bayside.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Mama’s Black Sheep jams out on stage during the first Locals event at the Freeman Stage at Bayside.For the fifth season, the Freeman Stage at Bayside in Selbyville is hosting its Locals under the Lights performances, so that local up-and-coming artists have the opportunity to further their musical interests while audience members are able to appreciate the local talent.

This summer’s second Locals under the Lights will take place Thursday, Aug. 10.

“We want to help not only expose a variety of art media to people, but we want to be able to let people express their love for music and performing as well,” said Alyson Cunningham, communications and public relations manager for the Freeman Stage.

From 7 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 10, people of all ages are being invited to listen to vocal and instrumental performances from 5th Avenue, Cologne, Hedera SOJO, Bad Avenue Band and Jacob Osias, while sitting on the lawn in front of the stage.

State plans for Fenwick lighthouse and keeper’s home

Coastal Point • File Photo: The Fenwick Island Lighthouse’s keeper’s house, on the left, will become a public historical site, if state historians can get their plans, and finances, approved.Coastal Point • File Photo: The Fenwick Island Lighthouse’s keeper’s house, on the left, will become a public historical site, if state historians can get their plans, and finances, approved.In days gone by, sailors looked for the beacon on dark nights. The Fenwick Island Lighthouse warned ships away from the shallows that could trap or shred a boat to bits, depending on the weather. And lighthouse staff were so dedicated to their jobs that they lived next door.

Today, the State of Delaware wants to show people a slice of that life by renovating the keeper’s house into a public historical site.

Delaware has long owned the lighthouse and more recently acquired the keeper’s house, just to the west, said Tim Slavin, director of Delaware’s Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs.

“We are looking at creating that keeper’s house into a kind of community site and interpretive center for lectures or gatherings of any kind,” Slavin said. “We’re also going to do a little better job of marrying the two parcels together, … create a campus there, so when people visit, it’s more than just two parcels.”

Area police warn people about driveway paving scam

Asphalt is the latest on the list of new scams. Con artists are travelling door-to-door to promise driveway paving services, but they just don’t deliver.

In Selbyville, “Subjects portrayed themselves as contractors for the municipality and told residents that their driveway must be repaved to bring it up to code,” the Town reported.

Health screenings coming to West Fenwick

Residents living in and around West Fenwick can learn about their risk for cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and other chronic, serious conditions with screenings by Life Line Screening. The Roxana Volunteer Fire Company will host the event on Aug. 16, at 35943 Zion Church Road, near Frankford.

Screenings can check for:

Fenwick to consider allowing two votes per trust

Voting reform has passed its next hurdle in Fenwick Island: the Charter & Ordinance Committee will recommend to the town council that the Town allow two votes per trust.

Barefoot Gardeners Club offering free Story Time in Fenwick

Coastal Point photos • Submitted: Susan Henickle reads a book about the American flag to the children.Coastal Point photos • Submitted: Susan Henickle reads a book about the American flag to the children.

The Barefoot Gardeners Club hosted its first Story Time in the Park of the summer season on the morning of Wednesday, July 5, at the town park adjacent to Fenwick Island Town Hall. The park features a butterfly garden, a gazebo and a playground, all of which are available to Story Time attendees.

Story Time started promptly at 10 a.m., when Susan Henickle introduced the ladies of the Barefoot Gardeners Club and politely asked the children to gather under the gazebo. The club members in attendance included Susan Henickle, Barbara McCoy, Mary Ellen Gonski, Sue Clark and Jennie Nedwick.

The July 5 Story Time combined both the club’s love for the environment and the Independence Day holiday, as the children listened to three book readings. It all began with a reading of a book about the creation of the United States’ flag. Henickle interacted with the children throughout, asking questions such as, “Who sewed the first flag?” and waiting for the children to answer.

Next, the club members transitioned away from Independence Day and brought out caterpillars in containers for the children to see. McCoy showed the children a diagram of the life cycle of a painted lady butterfly and read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Following the reading, McCoy and other members of the club walked the children to the butterfly garden on the edge of the park to observe the butterflies.

MGT & Co. Toggery bringing luxury brands from land and sea to Fenwick Island

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Michael Thanner and ‘Gracie’ are bringing some land and sea style to Fenwick Island.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Michael Thanner and ‘Gracie’ are bringing some land and sea style to Fenwick Island.Dress like John F. Kennedy. Speak like Ernest Hemingway. Work like Ralph Lauren. And party like Gatsby.

That’s the mantra of Michael Thanner and the MGT & Co. Toggery, which recently launched in Fenwick Island to offer the “Low Country” a taste of the high life when it comes to premier men’s clothing and the latest in luxury fashion.

While the Ralph Lauren lifestyle and fictitious Jay Gatsby may have been a very real inspiration for Thanner and his new experience-centered men’s boutique, catering to weddings in West Egg isn’t the only focus at MGT & Co.

Whether it’s picking up a dress shirt from Mizzen+Maine for dinner at Just Hooked right next door or a pair of swim trunks from Rhythm for trying to hook dinner at the drive-on beach across the street, the Toggery aims to keep their wide-range of customers covered, literally, with everything from headwear to footwear.

“We’ve got everything you could need from head to toe — there’s something for everyone,,” Thanner said. “It’s classic, it’s American and it’s simple, but at the same time, it’s very unique.”

It was through his various travels that Thanner formed the concept behind what’s become an eclectic selection of contemporary classics at MGT & Co.

Fenwick to change beach rules for umbrellas, tents, smoking

It’s a debate that’s been working its way down the Delaware coast. And Fenwick Island is the latest town to consider limiting oversized umbrellas and tents on the beach.

The Fenwick Island Town Council approved on June 23 a first reading of new beach regulations and is expected to vote to enact the ordinance at their July 28 meeting.

Public invited to Fenwick Island comp plan workshop

Every municipality in the state of Delaware is required to write a comprehensive plan, and Fenwick Island is now preparing its 10-year plan update.

Barefoot Gardeners’ Plant Sale sprouting up this weekend

Coastal Point • File Photo: These are just some of the plants that were available during a past Barefoot Gardeners Plant Sale.Coastal Point • File Photo: These are just some of the plants that were available during a past Barefoot Gardeners Plant Sale.Fenwick Island’s Barefoot Gardeners will hold their annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 13, kicking off a summertime focus on area homes and gardens — including a very famous “house.”

The proceeds from the plant sale, according to club member Karen Dudley, help the club fund several community projects, including beautification of the town of Fenwick Island, the gardens at the Fenwick Island Lighthouse, participation in Operation Seas the Day, scholarships for area students, and programs at the Brandywine Assisted Living facility west of Fenwick Island.

In addition to many varieties of annuals, perennials, herbs and vegetables, the sale will also include pre-planted containers. Club members will also be on hand to answer questions and offer advice on plant combinations that work well in area gardens.

Fenwick talks insurance savings, beach rules, Earth Day

The Town of Fenwick Island will save some money by switching to public program of worker compensation. The Town expects to save at least $10,000 by leaving its current $75,000 workers-comp plan for the DeLea Founders Insurance Trust (DFIT), a consortium of 24 municipalities that partner to purchase insurance.

Free bilingual paralegal service benefits Selbyville

Because of the large number of non-English-speaking crime victims locally, Community Legal Aid Society Inc., will now provide free bilingual paralegal services once a week at Selbyville Town Hall.

“We’re pretty proud. It’s us and Seaford. We’re one of two towns doing that,” Selbyville Police Chief W. Scott Collins told the town council on March 12.

Smoke test coming to a Fenwick Island sewer near you

Officials concerned of stormwater leaks

Concerned that stormwater may be leaking into the Fenwick Island sewer system, officials are proposing to smoke out the problem.

Exterminator scam terminated before real damage done

This scam is a real pest, for citizens and contractors.

Fenwick Island police recently encountered a new kind of scam involving pest control. In this scam, the perpetrator asks a pest control company to check for mice in what is supposedly a relative’s home. When the exterminator arrives at the victim’s house, they call the perpetrator back to set up payment.

Few slots left for volunteer for beach-grass planting

If you’ve waited till the last minute to register for this year’s beach-grass planting, your options are quickly disappearing.

Fenwick considers canal project costs

Fenwick Island Town officials don’t know if or when their canals were last dredged, but officials said this week that it’s time to consider such a project.

“There are some issues with depth and getting in and out of our canals,” said Alex Daly of the Town’s Environmental Committee.

Fenwick's new town manager charmed by beach living

Teresa 'Terry' TiemanTeresa 'Terry' TiemanFenwick Island’s new town manager is bringing with her decades of experience. Teresa “Terry” Tieman will arrive at town hall on Jan. 23, having already won multiple awards in her five-plus years as Harrington’s city manager and 23 years as a senior city administrator in Dover.

“She’s got a really good background we’re excited about,” said Fenwick Mayor Gene Langan. “She has about 28 years of municipal government experience.”

Coming from the City of Harrington, Tieman (“TEE-man”) has a master’s degree in business administration. In Harrington, she said, her biggest impact was capital improvements to infrastructure and improved billing. Tieman won the 2015 City Manager of the Year award from the Delaware League of Local Governments.

In Dover, she did billing, collections, budgeting and new-project planning. She has also worked alongside, but not necessarily above, Harrington’s police chief.

Fenwick Island ready to bring the ‘Freeze’ to the shore

Coastal Point • File Photo: The Fenwick Freeze creates a splash.Coastal Point • File Photo: The Fenwick Freeze creates a splash.Good news, Fenwick Freeze fans! This year’s freeze — technically a dip in ocean waters whose temperatures are hovering in the mid-40s — will be 90 minutes later.

That means New Year’s revelers will have a bit longer to drink some coffee and pull their swimsuits out of the bottom of their dressers. This year’s swim will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 1. Swimmers will gather on the beach at Bayard Street, according to Rebecca McWilliams, chairman of the town’s Beach Committee.

McWilliams, who has organized the swim since its inception 13 years ago, said although Fenwick’s winter swim might not be as big as those in neighboring beach towns, its charm lies in its simplicity “It’s kind of a local thing,”she said. “It’s the same people that do it every year.” McWilliams said many of the 150 or so swimmers have participated with their families since the very first one.

Fenwick leaves voter codes unchanged

After hours of discussion, the Fenwick Island Town Council this week elected to make no changes to voter qualifications. At a special meeting on Dec. 8, they finally agreed with Town Solicitor Mary Schrider-Fox that the current system is the simplest they can manage at this time.

Fenwick to discuss voter qualifications at special meeting Dec. 8

Who is qualified to vote in Fenwick Island elections? The discussion continues this week, as the Fenwick Island Town Council has scheduled a special meeting for Thursday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m. to discuss a proposed amendment to the town charter that would expand voter and candidate qualifications.

They’ll once again have legal guidance from Town Solicitor Mary Schrider-Fox.

Sing for the season at Fenwick Island tree-lighting

How about a little sand with your Santa Claus?

Fenwick Island will welcome the Christmas season with a “Sea the Holidays” community event.

Residents and neighbors are being invited to a holiday gathering on Friday, Dec. 2. People can enjoy caroling, the tree-lighting and shared treats from 6 to 9 p.m.