Update of Ruddertowne Oversight and the Town Budget

Date: December 17, 2012

To the Property Owners of Dewey Beach,

 Town Budget:

 There are several issues of interest to you this month. The town is currently experiencing a projected deficit of $300,000 in its budget. This is primarily attributed to a major decrease in parking revenues for meters and daily/weekly parking permits, delinquent parking fines, business licenses, and town ordinance fines. The deficit is primarily due to lack of anticipated revenue, however, legal fees are above the amount budgeted. It must, however, be noted that in hindsight the budgeted amount for legal fees was too optimistic in that it amounted to half of what was actually spent on legal fees last year.

We are currently evaluating ways to cut spending and boost revenue by the end of the fiscal year on Friday, March 31, 2013. The parking division is working hard to collect unpaid parking fines. If all are collected, it would total more than $140,000.

Commissioners have discussed increasing business license fees; business license permit revenue is $30,000 less than budgeted. And the Budget and Finance committee is considering a business license gross receipts tax which would be similar to the accommodations tax for renter properties. This would help as a long term solution to the Town’s lack of a sustainable revenue structure.  The Committee is planning a public hearing on this proposal in February.

Public hearing with DNREC re Ruddertowne application:

There are many meetings planned in January, 2013, that may be of interest as well, including a public hearing on the application by DBE (Dewey Beach Enterprises) to build a bay walk and gazebo as approved by the MAR (Mutual Agreement and Release) as well as a marina, expanding a beach by Van Dyke Street, and extending an outfall pipe into the bay. The commissioners have suggested a public hearing to allow people to understand more clearly what is being proposed. The hearing has now been confirmed with DNREC (Division of Natural Resource and Environmental Control) , however, the date has not yet been set due to the 20-day noticing requirements. It is expected be scheduled toward the end of January.

 If you are unable to attend, your comments will still be entered into the record until December 21 by writing to both the DE Coastal Programs and the Wetlands Subaqueous Lands. They are concerned about Environmental Impact, use of public space, flooding and Natural Resources.  They cannot address issues about the hotel and complex under construction or the political or legal issues involved.

The two DNREC Sections are:

Ms. Sarah W. Cooksey, Administrator                   Gayle Calder

DNREC                                                                             DNREC

Delaware Coastal Programs                                      Wetlands & Subaqueous Lands Section

5 E. Reed St., Ste 201                                                  89 Kings Highway       

Dover, DE 19901                                                         Dover, DE 19901

(302) 739-9283                                                           302-739-9943

Email: sarah.cooksey@state.de.us                         FAX 302-739-6304

                                                                                          Email: gayle.calder@state.de.us


 Other upcoming meetings of interest are:

 Public Hearing for updating the Town's Comprehensive Development Plan:  Saturday, January 5, 2013   10:00 a.m.

Code of Ethics Workshop --Friday, January 11, 2013   5:00 p.m.

January town meeting:  Saturday, January 12, 2013 9:00 a.m.   The issues discussed in this email correspondence will be discussed and we will have a special guest:  Newly elected Senator Ernie Lopez will address the audience at the very beginning of the meeting.

Oversight of the Ruddertowne project:

 We also recognize that the oversight of the Ruddertowne project is a major concern to most of you. The commissioners have already done several things to demonstrate active oversight of Ruddertowne project:

1.  Voted unanimously to hire an engineering firm to oversee the construction

2    Confirmed an agreement for a public hearing on the DNREC application

3.   Compiled a comprehensive list of outstanding MAR issues that need to be evaluated and followed up on in the immediate future and will be reviewed with our attorney to determine any required actions.

 Acting Town Manager, Marc Appelbaum, is our internal point person for this and has been doing a lot of hard work to manage oversight of the project. For an update from Marc with more details on the plans for oversight of this major project, click this link: http://www.townofdeweybeach.com/Ruddertowne-Project/

 We wish you all a very happy holiday season and look forward to seeing you at any and all of the many meetings planned from January, 2013.

Diane Hanson

Mayor of Dewey Beach

302 226 8728 (h)

610 322 8527 (c)