Fenwick Island News

Town of Fenwick Island, Delaware


  • 379 (2010 Census)

Town council meetings:

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


  • 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


  • William Boyden, Chief

Town Solicitor:

  • Tempe Steen


  • 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.

Once again, coastal towns oppose drilling, seismic testing

Public can still submit comments

People are turning their voices toward Washington, D.C., as the U.S. Department of the Interior eyes the Atlantic Ocean for potential oil and gas drilling activities.

Public comments are now being accepted on the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program for 2019-2024.

Fenwick juggling commercial parking rules again

Parking is no easy feat in Fenwick Island during the summers. Any business able to succeed might run out of parking in its regular lot and could have to get creative.

But the Fenwick Island Town Council is trying to get a handle on things, and historically, they have not wanted cars migrating too far from the businesses their drivers are supposed to be patronizing.

Fenwick Freeze cancelled, but shirts are still available

It’s a New Year’s tradition to dive into the ocean, but it was a bit too chilly this Jan. 1 for Fenwick Islanders. The 2018 Fenwick Freeze was canceled.

“The Town decided to cancel it. They felt it was too much of a liability in case somebody got hurt,” said organizer Becca McWilliams.

“I know — it’s called the ‘Fenwick Freeze’ for a reason,” McWilliams joked.

Shiver me timbers! Fenwick Freeze returning Jan. 1

What’s it like to jump in the Atlantic Ocean on New Year’s Day?

“It’s not as bad as it seems,” said Becca McWilliams, organizer of the Fenwick Freeze. “You go in so fast, and your adrenaline is pretty pumped at that point. You’re in and out before you feel how cold it is. … If you do it, you really feel good after you do it. It’s kind of exhilarating.”

Fenwick town council talks dredging and borrowing

The Fenwick Island Dredging Committee met in December to begin brainstorming a plan of attack in their quest to improve navigation in the Little Assawoman Bay and two channels leading there.

Fenwick gets DelDOT money to start sidewalk process

The Town of Fenwick Island has begun their quest to build sidewalks along Coastal Highway. Currently, pedestrians have an irregular path along the major thoroughfare, with sidewalks just here and there. Having seen too many baby strollers on the highway shoulders, Councilwoman Vicki Carmean helped start the new Fenwick Island Pedestrian Safety Committee.

Towns keep focus on bays and beaches

Officials from area coastal towns met recently under the auspices of the Association of Coastal Towns (ACT), focused primarily on the issue of dredging in the inland bays, Bethany Beach Mayor Jack Gordon noted at the Bethany town council’s Nov. 17 meeting.

Annual Turkey Trot scheduled for Thanksgiving Day

The 10th Annual Fenwick Island Turkey Trot will be held on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 23, at 8 a.m. The untimed 2.2-mile fun-run/walk starts oceanside on Lewes Street in Fenwick Island, and goes south to the Maryland state line and back.

Fenwick officials seek to increase borrowing in future for storms

If a coastal storm were to hit Fenwick Island, the town council wants to have to have some financial power ready to go.

The Fenwick Island Town Council recently proposed changing the town charter to increase their borrowing limits. Currently, Charter Section 34 permits the Town to borrow up to $500,000 in one year for current expenses — an amount that hasn’t changed since 1965.

Fenwick celebrates heritage in new seal

As Fenwick Island approaches its 65th birthday, in 2018, the town council has approved a new town seal with a bright, new 21st-century design.

It all started when the Lieutenant Governor’s Office asked each municipality for a copy of their seals. Town Manager Terry Tieman realized that Fenwick Island has several images floating around.

There’s the old purplish-blue logo with a bluefish and stylized lighthouse that says, “Fisherman’s Paradise,” sometimes found on parking permits.

There’s the black-and-white lighthouse logo, found on town letterheads and official documents.

Fenwick First Fridays offer new shopping specials

Fenwick Island businesses are aiming to make Friday a big shopping night. The local businesses have followed in the footsteps of other towns in the region by starting the new Fenwick First Fridays events, continuing Nov. 3 and Dec. 1.

Take two: Route 54 traffic focus of second public meeting

It was a long discussion, but it was missing some key players. This time when residents discuss Route 54 traffic congestion and safety, they’ll be speaking with Sussex County officials.

Delaware begins discussion of off-shore wind

Maryland project would cross into waters off Fenwick Island

As the breeze turns cooler, Delaware officials are brainstorming how that very wind could benefit the state.

Fenwick fatality underscores pedestrian safety concerns

Police and government leaders throughout the area are trying to keep pedestrians from ending up on the wrong side of a car accident, and an incident this week underscored the need for the problem to be addressed.

Local beaches to receive replenishment in new year

Gov. John Carney, U.S Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) on Monday announced that the next steps are under way in the long-awaited beach replenishment projects in Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Fenwick Island.

BREAKING NEWS: Contract awarded for beach replenishment to start in new year

Gov. John Carney, U.S Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) on Monday announced that the next steps are under way in the long-awaited beach replenishment projects in Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Fenwick Island.

Trustee spouses denied vote as Fenwick ends voter discussion

Fenwick Island election laws will not change significantly anytime soon. The town council has decided not to extend voting rights to anyone married to individuals who own their property in trusts.

Public invited to Route 54 traffic meeting on Sept. 19

Two-lane highways are under volume pressure as more houses and vehicles bring people to coastal Delaware. There will be a public meeting to discuss traffic conditions along Route 54 (Lighthouse Road) on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 12:30 p.m. at the Roxana Volunteer Fire Company’s fire hall.

Fenwick council to talk voter registration one last time

Fenwick Island Town Council will — perhaps grudgingly — give the voter registration topic one last chance.

‘An accident waiting to happen’

Fenwick Islanders beg for bay dredging

Make some noise — at the end of the day, if people want to fight for state funding, they may need to get organized and start contacting their legislators. That includes Fenwick Island’s desire for better-maintained waterways.

Bringing the ‘wow’ factor

Pizzazz features unique décor and gifts in Fenwick

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Pizzazz by the Bay owner Victoria Thanner in her Fenwick Island shop.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Pizzazz by the Bay owner Victoria Thanner in her Fenwick Island shop.This tiny shop in Fenwick Island is living up to its name. Pizzazz by the Bay isn’t trying to be the ordinary gift shop. Visitors and locals are coming there to find eclectic gifts and home décor by local artists.

Never behind the counter for very long, Victoria Thanner greets every customer with a smile. She loves being right there, helping them find the perfect item, or picturing it in their home.

With so many people still building and renovating in coastal Delaware, “I want to do something different … showcase local artists and pieces,” Thanner said. “People are looking for that ‘wow’ piece.”

Some of the more striking sculptures begin with driftwood: a gentle curving sailboat, a rough sea turtle and tall lamps strung with Edison bulbs and ship’s rope.

BREAKING: Fenwick cancels public hearing on election rules

The Fenwick Island Town Council has canceled its Aug. 25 public hearing and the council’s final vote on voter qualifications. In fact, the primary sponsor, Councilwoman Julie Lee, said she has decided to hit “pause” altogether on the proposed charter amendment. She said she may move to rescind the first reading from July.

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.