Author: Commissioner Hosfelt

What’s New for District 2

02/28/2018

Employee of the Year

On Tuesday, January 16, we had the opportunity to recognize the 2017 Kent County Employee of the Year.  Ms. Elizabeth Caufield was named the 2017 Kent County Employee of the Year, recognizing her dedication, skill and hard work on behalf of the Department of Planning Services.  Ms. Caufield has been with Kent County for approximately 2 ½ years.

Committee Meetings

During Committee meetings on Tuesday, January 23, Levy Court worked through a review of the upcoming Community Development Block Grant projects which must be submitted to the Delaware State Housing Authority.  Included were projects that had been prepared on behalf of six municipalities (Camden / Wyoming, Clayton, Harrington, Milford and Smyrna) and unincorporated Kent County.  One project pertained to municipal infrastructure and the others involved housing rehabilitation projects throughout Kent County.  Following unanimous support by the commissioners on January 30, 2018, Kent County committed to an administrative match of $172,000.

Also, commissioners reviewed 4 applications for the Community Event Promotional Grant and one was approved.  This is a process we continue to review so we ensure county funds are dispersed appropriately.   American Legion Ambulance Service Station #64 was awarded the maximum amount of $750.00 to help with the purchase of health and safety materials for community outreach.

2017 Perfect Attendance Awards

On January 30, commissioners had the opportunity to recognize 47 Kent County employees for Perfect Attendance.

Storm Water Maintenance

On the evening of January 30, 2018, I introduced Resolution 3666 creating the Planters Woods Stormwater Maintenance District after a majority of the lot owners signed a petition in support of such action.  Levy Court voted in favor of the resolution.  The annual fee adopted in the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget is $28.00.  Given that the proposed effective date of the resolution is January 30, 2018, only $15.00 will be due for the current year and that fee will be added to the Fiscal Year 2019 tax bill.

February 13, 2018

US Route 13 Force Main Rehabilitation Project

Within the past 4 years two significant line breaks have occurred to the main wastewater transmission line which is located in the median of US Route 13 at the north end of Dover.  The 24” pipe line conveys sanitary sewer flows from northern Kent County through the City of Dover onto the Kent County Regional Resource Recovery Facility (KCRRRF) near Milfrod, DE.  The first break occurred in 2014 near the intersection of Rt. 13 and Rustic Lane and after completing repairs in 2016 a second break in the same vicinity confirmed more failures were imminent if action is not taken.  Therefore, the Public Works department is proposing a trenchless rehabilitation project for a 2.8 mile section of the sanitary sewer line located in the median of US 13 from West Denny’s Road to Garden Lane.  This project will require slip lining the current pipe and the expected cost is $6,004,755.  It is expected this project will create traffic headaches for all of us due to lane closures.  There is no date set for construction at this time.

Opioid Crises

On February 20th, Levy Court took action to retain two law firms (one local and one out of state) to act as Special Counsel to Levy Court, on a contingent basis with no cost to be incurred by Kent County.  This is for the purpose of representing and advancing the interests of Kent County, in pursuit of legal actions against the various manufactures and distributors of opioid pharmaceuticals.  Their actions have created a devastating effect on the residents of Kent County and they must be held accountable.

Employee of the Month

Ms. Angela Wise was named the Kent County Employee of the Month for March 2018.  Ms. Wise was recognized for her many contributions to the Department of Finance.

Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Maps

During the evening of February 27, Levy Court approved action to amend the Comprehensive Plan Map in two cases.  The first amendment involved property located on the north side of Sudlersville Rd (DE Route 300), southwest of Kenton.  The owners of the property are planning a RV Campground and clubhouse for the property.  The second case involved property located on the south side of Strauss Avenue, in Marydel and the owners needed to rezone the property to allow for a manufactured home.

12/31/2017

Additional Engineering Position Approved

On Tuesday, November 14, I voted with a unanimous Levy Court to approve the creation of a new engineering position within the Division of Wastewater Facilities.  The new position was created at the request of our Acting Director of Public Works along with the recommendation for approval by the Personnel Director. This newly created position will be responsible for the technical oversight of the treatment plants, ongoing capital projects and interrelated projects.  The estimated cost for the remainder of the current budget is $54,000, which can be absorbed by currently budgeted funds.

Site Plan Approval

Approval for a site plan was passed by Kent County Levy Court on Tuesday, November 28.  The use of the property located at the N/E corner of S. State Street and Highview Avenue will change from that of a single family residence to a church.  This request does not change the zoning for the parcel and it will remain RS-1, not commercial.  After speaking with the pastor of the proposed church, he expects the congregation not to exceed 88 people with sufficient onsite parking.  Services will occur on Wednesday evenings from 7 – 8:30 pm and Sunday’s between 11 and 1:30 pm.

Delaware Electric Co-op Check Presentation

Mr. Bill Andrew, President/CEO of Delaware Electric Cooperative, was on hand at the December 5, 2017 meeting and presented a $52,925.65 check to Levy Court.  As most will know, the Co-op is a not for profit cooperative and returns profits to its members.  The County is the Co-op’s largest customer.

Kent County Medal Presentation

The Commissioners of Levy Court presented 16 year old Kaleb J. Webb of Milford, Delaware with the Kent County Medal for his heroic actions on September 24, 2017.  Kaleb did, by all accounts, save the life of his 69 year old grandfather when he exercised certain CPR lifesaving skills until the arrival of Kent County Paramedics.

January 2018 Employee of the Month

Congratulations to Melanie A. Marinucci, a member of the Kent County Department of Public Safety, for being chosen Employee of the Month.

10/24/2017

Change to Kent County Taxation for Disabled and/or Senior Citizen Property Owners.

On Tuesday evening I had the opportunity to introduce positive change to the Kent County Code on Taxation; titled Disabled Property Owner and Senior Citizen Exemptions.  After working with Susan Durham, Director of Finance and Mike Petit de Mange, County Administrator, adjustments to the total adjusted gross annual income of a single applicant, as well as, an applicant and spouse were developed and recommended to the Levy Court for approval.  The adjusted gross annual income for a single applicant was raised from to $18,000 and that of a family was raised to $24,750.  These increases to our exemption limits place the county more in line with our municipal partners and the support by all members of Levy Court was certainly appreciated.

New Business Coming to West Dover

During the public hearing, we heard from a prospective business hoping to occupy the former site of the Calvary Baptist Church of Dover, located at the corner of Forrest Avenue and Victory Chapel Road.  The business, specializing in retail sales, service & parts of farm equipment, took a big step forward on the evening of October 24 with an unanimous approval of their request for conditional use of this property.  We need to continue to do whatever we can to support new businesses in Kent County.

What’s New for District 2

09/26/17

Land Use Issue – Southwest corner of DE Rt. 8 and Artis Drive.

The applicants/owners of the property wanted to develop the current residence into a home occupation/life consultant business.  The current property is located outside the growth zone and the Regional Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend denial of the application.  After hearing from the property owners and the neighbors who reside in this area I voted against the proposed land use.  As I am sure everyone realizes, this property sits outside the 2nd District but I was concerned with the traffic and issues it would create at the intersection of Route 8 and Artis Drive.

09/19/17

Land Lease with Toys for Tots

Kent County currently owns the property located at 26 Starlifter Avenue within Kent County AeroPark.  The property was the former location of Monster Racing and includes a single story 9,800 square foot commercial building.  By a unanimous vote, Levy Court approved the lease of this property to Toys for Tots for $1.00.  The Marine Corps Reserve Unit will be using this property as a base of operations, with warehousing of donated toys and other gifts items, packaging of the gifts and ultimately distribution of the packaged gifts.  Thank you to the Marines Corp Reserve Unit for your great work and dedication to the children of Kent County.

2018 Comprehensive Plan Workshop

For the past several months Planning Services staff members have been publishing elements of the Plan in a story map form while also drafting the Plan document.  The story maps are available on the county’s Facebook page as well as the county website.    You can find all of the story maps at: http://www.co.kent.de.us/planning-dept/planning/comprehensive-plan.aspx and our Facebook page at:  https://www.facebook.com/KCLcPlanning/.  We anticipate the first draft by mid-October.

09/12/17

Public Hearing – Delaware Transit Corporation Reimbursable Transportation Budget

Resolution 3659, FY 18 Delaware Transit Corporation Reimbursable Transportation Budget was introduced.  This resolution was developed to promote cost effective transportation to the elderly and disabled within Kent County.  The funding comes to Kent County through the Delaware Transit Corporations annual budget and the county is responsible for disbursing the funds, a total of $647,426.00.  These funds were disbursed to six different senior centers, including the 2nd Districts Modern Maturity Center, along with Kent/Sussex Industries.

08/15/17

There were two fee increases discussed and approved.  The first, a fee to increase the cost of usage with the Recorder of Deeds by $5.00 was approved.  This fee will offset the increasing costs of technology needs with both the Recorder of Deeds and other county offices.  A second fee increase of $20.00 proposed by the Clerk of the Peace was approved.  Again the fee increase was necessary to cover the increasing costs of this office.  Bottom line, both fee increases only affect the user, not all county taxpayers.

08/08/17

Over the last year, much has been written about DE Turf and deservedly so.  What a great facility.  Soon after the election in March, I had the chance to visit the facility and was extremely impressed with the facility, staff and all those involved in making this a reality.  On August 8th a proposal was brought forward to lease county owned property (approx. 3.5 acres) to DE Turf for $1.00 a year on a 3 year lease.  While I support DE Turf, I didn’t believe a three year lease is in the best interest of the taxpayers.  Instead, I proposed a one year lease or, a three year lease with both sides having an opt-out clause.  While I appreciate this was not in the best interest of DE Turf, I still believe it would have been in the best interest of the taxpayers, should an entity come along and want to purchase the property.

07/18/17

The Murphy property consists of 25.35 acres and is located on the east side of DE Rt. 1, south of the DE Turf complex and is outside of the current growth zone.  The Murphy’s requested their property be rezoned to BG (General Business) so they could develop it for commercial use.  Following much discussion and eventual agreements between the Murphy’s and their neighbors regarding the property, I voted in favor and with the majority of commissioners for the rezoning.

06/27/17

I was appointed Finance Committee Chair and in this role with Levy Court I will be working with the Kent County Finance Director, Susan Durham and her staff.  I believe this to be a great opportunity and appreciate the appointment by President / Commissioner Banta.