Police ask town for collective bargaining
By Brian Cordrey
Members of the Delmar Police Department met with the joint town council members and presented them with information that they hope will encourage the council to engage in collective bargaining. Included in the packet of information was a collective bargaining agreement between the city of Seaford and its police department as a model Delmar police would like the town to adopt.
The advantage of collective bargaining, as explained by the police department’s representative, is that such an agreement would spell out exactly what is expected of the town and what is expected of the police. Wages, working conditions and working time periods would be clearly outlined.
The town mayors explained that before collective bargaining could take place in Delmar there would have to be a referendum to change the town’s charter.
Members of the joint councils acknowledged that they were aware that collective bargaining is a growing trend in Maryland. They asked the police representatives to give them time to study the information presented to them.
The joint councils agreed to a future meeting to ask questions and exchange information with the Delmar Police representative and a representative from the FOP.
Another major concern presented by the police department is the urgent need to repair or purchase a new police car. The police car that carries the canine unit has been out of service for two weeks. It will require approximately $7,900 to $10,000 to repair.
It would cost approximately $21,000 to replace the car or $10,000-$15,000 to purchase a refurbished car. Council agreed to consider the problem.
The utility commission reported that the town has three licensed operators working at the wastewater treatment plant and is interviewing for a new position at the plant.
Sidewalk repairs and replacement are continuing on Malone and Phillips streets. Tenth Street is undergoing a complete make-over from State Street to Grove Street.
Code enforcement officer Gaylon Bounds said that basketball backboards in the streets or next to the sidewalks facing streets pose a safety hazard.
There are 17 new homes in the Breckenridge development either under construction or finished. There will be several presentations coming before the Planning and Zoning Board at its next meeting, including one from a representative of Stone Mountain Carpet, another on a building concern on Maryland Avenue, and yet another on a zoning concern on Stage Road.
Acting town manager Sara Bynum-King reported that the town has been told by National Geographic that the story on bi-state towns, featuring Delmar, will be aired on TV near the end of March. She reported that there had been successful budget workshops with town department heads.
Bynum-King requested each council member to prepare a short list of projects that they wish the town to work on during the next fiscal year. The town is also looking for ways to dispose of sludge from the wastewater treatment plant.
If the town can find a way to dispose of this sludge rather than dumping it in the land fill, it will save many dollars.
The speed limit of 25 miles per hour on North Bi-State Boulevard from York Street northward including the area in front of Holly Oak Mobile Home Park has been raised to 35.
The police department contacted the Delaware Department of Transportation, which resulted in a meeting with Jean Logan and Jim Ho on Wednesday, Feb. 20. The meeting was held to discuss the impact this would have on the safety of the residents in the area, especially the elderly residents at Golden Meadows. An agreement was reached which would lower the speed limit back to 25 from York Street to Francis Street, in both directions.
The police department requested that the joint town councils consider expanding the impound lot to encompass the entire parking lot behind the police department. This would give the police department more flexibility for moving vehicles around for better placement and allow more vehicles to be sold at auction.
Youth group helping out around Delmar
By Brian Cordrey
Eleven young people from all over the United States are volunteers in Delmar, helping to improve the town by completing several needed projects. They are all members of AmeriCorps NCCC.
AmeriCorps NCCC is a ten-month, full-time residential service program for men and women ages 18 to 24. Members must complete 17,000 hours of community service during their ten-month commitment.
Members help with environmental projects, education, public safety, disaster relief and other community needs that vary from state to state. The AmeriCorps NCCC combines the best practices of civilian service with the best aspects of military service. The program helps its members develop leadership and team building skills.
Each year, more than 40,000 members serve with programs in every state in the nation. Members receive a modest living allowance, health insurance, student loan deferment, and training. After they complete their service, they receive a $4,725 education award to help pay for college, grad school, vocational training, or to pay off students loans.
So far in Delmar the NCCC group has done environmental work, clearing out all types of trees, bushes, poison ivy and other plant growth at the Delmar wastewater treatment plant. They cleaned out a drainage ditch on Maryland Avenue and are scraping, painting and repairing the Delmar Doctor’s Museum across from the Delmar Post Office.
From March 4 through April 25 the team will work with several communities along the Eastern Shore of Maryland, including Blackwater, Federalsburg, Ridgely and Goldsboro. Projects will encompass a wide range of tasks to improve the environment, enhance education and address unmet human needs.