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City Manager's Spotlight
Spotlight December 22, 2016
City Hall Construction Update
In 2015 the City applied for and received an $18 million loan from the United States Department of Agriculture, through its Community Facilities Program, to fund the City Hall Municipal Complex project at a maximum interest rate of 3.5%. USDA funding comes after the completion of the project. In order to pay costs associated with the project, the City obtained interim financing from PNC Bank. The City originally expected to close on the USDA loan in the fall of 2017. At their regular meeting on December 16, 2016, with the opportunity for obtaining a lower interest rate, the Rehoboth Beach Commissioners adopted all resolutions necessary to permit the closing on the USDA $18 million loan before the end of December 2016. On December 20, 2016, the City authorized the issuance of its General Obligation Bond in the maximum principal amount of up to $18 million at a fixed interest rate of 2.375% for a 25 year loan period. This equates to an approximate savings of $123,000.00/year and $3 million of savings for the length of the loan. Obviously this is very good news to report as the City remains committed to its longtime philosophy of being fiscally conservative with taxpayer money.
Construction on new City Hall is humming along. The project currently has a majority of the basement, first and second floor partitions in place. The targeted completion date for the roof rafters, trusses and bracing is by the end of January making way for the roofing to begin in early February, weather permitting. The contractors are continuously roughing-in and installing electrical and plumbing services. Progress continues daily by the site-work contractor at the west side of the project to install and complete the underground storm piping. You can follow the construction live by visiting cityofrehoboth.com/webcam and viewing the City Hall Construction Streaming Webcam.
Spotlight November 29, 2016
Beachfill Nourishment Project
The Beachfill Nourishment Project is underway. The pumping of sand started the evening of November 24 and will operate 24/7 until completion January 18, 2017. The scope of the project is to replenish sand on Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach caused by storm damage, construct automotive and pedestrian dune crossings, install sand fence, plant dune grass and install two storm water outfall extensions, one at Virginia Avenue and one at Maryland Avenue. During the past eight years wave action has caused damage to the outfalls and the city has been relying on temporary fixes. The new outfalls will have a more robust design to withstand storm damage with steel pipe added for strength and an enhanced support structure around the pipe. Although coastal storms, one in October 2015, and another in January 2016, did significant damage to Delaware beaches, Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach were in line for routine, three-year maintenance work.
The project sponsor is the State of Delaware and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the design and construction agent and the contractor is Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company. The total cost of the project is $11.2 million. The corps will pay 65 percent of that cost and DNREC will pay the remaining 35 percent. The city budgeted sufficient funds and will pay $946,500 for the outfall repairs.
The base contract called for 424,000 cubic yards of sand to be pumped. Additional options accepted will increase this base amount to 653,000 cubic yards pumped with 384,000 for Rehoboth Beach and 269,000 for Dewey Beach. For the two outfall extensions the time slated for completion is June 15, 2017. The staging area for this work is on Deauville Beach and pipe has already landed at Baltimore Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue. The corps will use a new borrow site located off the Delaware Seashore State Park where grain size of the sand matches the beaches of Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach. This choice is not only for aesthetics, but for stability, as matching grains are less prone to erosion.
Dredges are the source where giant vacuums pull up sand and water. The intake travels through grating that filters out debris. The sand and water travel through an underwater pipeline to the beach. The material gushes out the end of the pipeline into a "basket" that serves as a second filter (with a finer screen) to eliminate any sort of debris. Any debris is hauled to dumpsters on the beach. Conventional earth-moving equipment then moves the sand to the optimal shape and slope of the beach.
Spotlight October 22, 2016
City Hall Construction Update
Work is well underway at the new City Hall construction site. The basement contractors are finishing up with masonry, rough carpentry, plumbing, electrical, security system and fire protection. The contractors on the first, second and third floors are currently working on installing masonry, rough carpentry, plumbing, electrical, security system and fire protection. The construction of the common walls between the Convention Center and City Hall has begun. The City Hall building's exterior envelop system has started and the contractor is working towards a watertight structure. The Convention Center veneer work is ongoing and should be finished by mid-November.
Progress is continuing daily by the site-work contractor who next week will start connecting to the existing storm water structure. This work will necessitate the closing of the temporary municipal entrance at Lake Avenue and Third Street on Tuesday, October 25, beginning at noon, and last through Wednesday, October 26. City Hall, Rehoboth Beach Police Department and Alderman Court will be accessible through the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company property at 219 Rehoboth Avenue during this time period. Signage will be posted. Access to the city offices via Lake Avenue and Third Street will resume Thursday, October 27.
In the coming months the building will really start to take shape. You can follow the construction live by visiting cityofrehoboth.com and viewing the City Hall Construction Streaming Webcam.
Mayor Sam Cooper and Commissioner Stan Mills visiting the new City Hall construction site.
Rehoboth Beach Police Department Chief Keith Banks in his future office.
Spotlight Septmber 21, 2016
Lake Avenue Streetscape Improvements Project to Begin September 26, 2016
Construction for the long awaited Lake Avenue Streetscape Improvements Project is scheduled to begin on Monday, September 26, 2016, and will be completed by May 2017. This schedule may vary depending on things like the weather and delivery of materials and equipment. This is a Sponsored-Administered Project through DelDOT where the City of Rehoboth Beach was granted $800,000, or 80% of the amount contracted at $973,392. The City budgeted the remaining 20% of funds. Project construction will accommodate vehicular traffic with local access only for residents and adjacent businesses.
At all times during construction on-street parking is prohibited. Phase 1A of construction will begin on the north side of Lake Avenue at Third Street and continue west to the front entrance of Stingray Restaurant. It will then cross Lake Avenue, to continue on the south side of the street, and 20’ east of City Hall Drive, to the crosswalk at Rehoboth Avenue. Phase 1B, scheduled to start February 2017, will begin on the north side of Lake Avenue at the crosswalk at Rehoboth Avenue and continue to the front entrance of Stingray Restaurant then crossing to the south side of the street from City Hall Drive to Third Street. The contractor will maintain one lane open in the easterly direction of Rehoboth Avenue during construction for local traffic and detours will be in place. Construction work will occur Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and construction signage will be posted. Maryland Avenue, between Second and Third Streets, will be restriped to accommodate for two-way traffic during construction. The construction staging area will be located on the west side of the triangle on Olive Avenue between Second and Third Streets. Although certain inconveniences are to be expected for the abutting residents and businesses, contractors will attempt to minimize these issues.
The contractor for this streetscape project is Sam’s Construction located in Wilmington, Delaware. There will be a project manager on site at all times during construction representing both Sam’s Construction and Kercher Engineering, the City’s consultant. For any questions or concerns, please contact the City of Rehoboth Beach Communications Department at 302-227-2772 or email [email protected]
Spotlight September 4, 2016
Tropical Storm Hermine No Longer a Threat
Tropical Storm Hermine is moving east and is north of Delaware.
The storm is no longer a threat to our area although swimming is still prohibited due to strong rip currents.
People are permitted on the beach.
Thank you for your attention and cooperation.
Spotlight September 3, 2016
Tropical Storm Hermine
Update: 6:00 PM
Hermine is moving east from VA and is expected to stall east of the DelMarva coast on Sunday.
Expect rain and high winds through Monday.
Check your local weather forecast and the city website frequently.
Sign up for CodeRED emergency alerts by clicking the CodeRED button on the home page of cityofrehoboth.com website.
Spotlight September 3, 2016
Tropical Storm Hermine Update
The City of Rehoboth Beach is feeling the affects of Tropical Storm Hermine. Rain and windy conditions will prevail throughout the Labor Day weekend and into early next week. Currently there are RED FLAG conditions at the beach with swimming prohibited. The beach is closed to all foot traffic. Due to expected prolonged rain and wind conditions the public should be mindful to prepare for possible flooding with periodic road and street closures.
We will continue to post regular updates with follow-up messaging and up-to-date information. Please continue to listen to national and local forecasting that is broadcast throughout the day.
Click on the following link to find the latest National Weather Briefing. http://weather.gov/phi
Spotlight July 22, 2016
City Hall Construction Update
Work is progressing at the site with the installation of perimeter drains at the basement, which will enable the completion of the waterproofing process for the building. The first shipment of steel was delivered today from the manufacturer located in New Castle, Delaware, with additional steel delivery to follow early next week. The steel is being stored off-site at a city location. Once the concrete pad is poured in the basement contractors will begin to set steel in place, tentatively scheduled for mid-August. Of course this means that the shape of the building will soon be evident in due time! You can follow the construction live by visiting cityofrehoboth.com and viewing the City Hall Construction Webcam.
Lake Avenue Streetscape Update
This highly anticipated project is scheduled to be underway in the fall of 2016 and is anticipated to continue for at least six months. Kercher Engineering has been working with the City and DelDOT to redesign Lake Avenue from Rehoboth Avenue to Third Street as part of a federally funded project. The main focus of this project is to provide safe, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant sidewalks along Lake Avenue and crosswalks at the intersection with Third Street. The proposed project includes a minor realignment of the street, elimination of parking on one side, installation of 5-foot wide pervious sidewalks for the full length of the street on both sides and will improve street lighting. Additionally, there will be some relocation of utility poles and upgrading of the existing drainage system on Lake Avenue. The city’s share of $200,000, or 20%, has been budgeted in order to move forward with this project.
Kercher Engineering has prepared the bid documents and they have been approved by DelDOT. The project bid advertising began June 19, 2016, to be followed by pre-construction meetings that will take place with all interested contractors. A pre-bid meeting is planned for Tuesday, July 26, 2016, at 10:00 a.m., in the Commissioner's Room located on the second floor of the Rehoboth Beach Fire Station. This is not a mandatory meeting. The bid opening will take place on Thursday, August 11, 2016, at 2:00 p.m., in the City Hall Conference Room. In September 2016, a contract will be awarded to the most responsive and responsible bidder with construction slated to begin shortly thereafter.
Spotlight July 6, 2016
The City of Rehoboth Beach Launches CivicWeb Portal
The City of Rehoboth Beach, in partnership with iCompass Technologies, a local government technology leader, is excited to announce the release of its new CivicWeb Portal. The portal will increase transparency and ensure the important decisions made by the City are more easily accessible for the public. This automated web portal is linked to the City’s website ensuring everyone in the community has access to timely updates from meetings 24/7. The CivicWeb Portal is the community’s new home for meeting agendas, minutes, audio, ordinances and resolutions. It also contains a powerful search engine allowing residents to search through the City’s archives for information. As time passes, more and more information will be made available through the portal.
The new CivicWeb Portal continues the City’s push to improve its online presence working seamlessly with its website. It’s ideal for residents who want to be engaged with City activity, but cannot attend meetings because of their busy schedule. In line with the new portal, we will be phasing out some of our previous notification/posting methods and implementing the new features provided by CivicWeb. We invite you to visit the new portal. To access the CivicWeb Portal please visit www.cityofrehoboth.com and look for this icon which will link to the portal:
If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback, please contact the Communications Department at 302-227-2772 or by email at [email protected]
Spotlight May 27, 2016
June 1st marks the kick-off date of the city’s pilot program for valet trash pick-up. City refuse crews will be picking up trash containers from a pre-determined location on each of 50 properties where owners have signed up for the paid service. The city received over 100 applications from interested property owners, however, the initial selection of 50 is the limit decided upon for the pilot program that will continue through May 31, 2017. A comprehensive analysis of the program will be made throughout the one-year trial period and provided to the Commissioners for discussion at public meetings.
The new restrictions contained in the refuse ordinance that goes into effect June 1st include:
- Rigid or metal containers placed curbside no earlier than 6:00 p.m. the day prior to regular collection.
- Containers must be removed from city property (curb location) by 9:00 p.m. on collection day.
- Disposable trash bags may be set out curbside on collection day no earlier than 5:00 a.m.
Options for part-time residents, renters or those who cannot meet the new requirements include:
- Work with neighbors or property managers to coordinate refuse placement times and receptacle removal times.
- Take refuse back to a primary home for disposal.
There is a civil penalty with a fine of $25 for violations of this ordinance. However, it is more important for compliance and to keep our city streets clean and safe. An educational approach with friendly reminders will be emphasized. Please be respectful of your neighbors and visitors to our beautiful city.
Spotlight May 20, 2016
Rehoboth Beach, DE – City Manager Sharon Lynn has announced the selection of Krys Johnson as the new Communications Specialist for the City of Rehoboth Beach. For the last two and one half years, Johnson has been the Executive Director of Rehoboth Beach Main Street where she oversees the organization’s large-scale community events and marketing efforts. She has a broad range of experience in communications that includes media relations, strategic partnership development, and effective design and marketing practices.
As the city’s Communications Specialist, Johnson will work with all city departments to provide information to the public and collaborate, develop and manage a strategic communications plan. This newly formed position will focus on cohesive messaging and increased citizen participation and feedback strategies.
“At a time when the city is looking to enhance communications and community outreach, Krys is absolutely the right person to lead our Communications Department,” City Manager Lynn said. “Her strong background working for Rehoboth Beach Main Street, coupled with her expertise in media relations and policy development, will help strengthen public outreach and provide outstanding communication on critical projects like the new city hall complex and ocean outfall.”
“I’m excited to bring a fresh perspective to communications at the City of Rehoboth Beach,” Johnson said. “I believe I bring a wealth of experience to this outstanding community through my years of experience in relationship-building and media communications. I am looking forward to the opportunity to update and broaden the city’s communications to be more inclusive and compatible with today’s ever changing technology and global influences,” says Johnson.
“I am confident that Krys’ energy and can-do attitude, together with her knowledge of city operations, will serve the city well,” states City Manager Sharon Lynn. Johnson moves into her new role with the city May 23rd.
Spotlight April 28, 2016
DelDOT work on Rehoboth Avenue delayed until 2017
DelDOT engineers have informed the City that the sidewalk work on Rehoboth Avenue, scheduled to begin next week, has been delayed until March and April 2017. DelDOT has partnered with the City so that there will not be any work on Rehoboth Avenue to impede traffic flow with the upcoming busy season.
Spotlight April 5, 2016
Municipal Complex Construction Shoring Operation (Pardon the Noise)
You may have noticed that a very large crane and a smaller crane were delivered on Monday and are on site at the construction zone of city hall. The smaller crane “assists” the larger crawling crane used to “hammer” in the steel shoring. A total of 33 steel piles, averaging 30 feet in length, will be driven into the earth to support the basement excavation of the structure. This work is very noisy and is anticipated to last approximately 10 working days, weather permitting, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For those of you who are in the City to see this it’s quite the operation. And you are probably able to hear it as well! All others are able to view the work on the webcam which is accessible on the homepage of the city’s website, www.cityofrehoboth.com.
Spotlight April 1, 2016
City Hall Construction
The fact that Lake Gerar is experiencing some sediment issues is likely related to the City Hall project where dewatering is taking place to provide for well installation at the site. Though silt bags placed around the storm drains are effective, they still allow the fine particulates of sediment to flow through with the water.
The well installation for the dewatering process was completed today. It will now be much easier to control sediment in the surrounding areas.
The contractors are working within the approved Sussex County Conservation permit regulations as well as within the DNREC dewatering permit. In fact, contractors have taken additional measures over and above the required silt fencing by installing fiber eels and stone sediment traps to slow silted water infiltration. The heavy rains today added to the run-off issues. When the rain stopped, contractors actually took measures to re-furbish the stone sediment traps by placing fresh, clean stone.
The sediment will settle out of the lake water once the flow has stopped. This is continually being monitored and the contractors are following through with extra measures in place to stop as much flow as possible through the established erosion and sediment control measures.
Spotlight March 21, 2016
Detour - City Hall, Police Department and Alderman Court 37
Beginning Tuesday, March 22nd at 8:00 a.m. the Rehoboth Avenue entrance to city hall offices including the police department and the alderman court will be closed for an undetermined amount of time due to construction activity for the new municipal complex. Access to the temporary offices will be from Lake Avenue and Third Street. Signage will be placed in key areas alerting motorists and pedestrians.
Please visit the city’s website, www.cityofrehoboth.com, to view the City Hall construction camera.
Spotlight March 16, 2016
OCEAN OUTFALL WORK UNDERWAY
The City’s contracted engineers for the ocean outfall, GHD, continue to perform survey work related to permitting that is required by the State of Delaware and the Federal Government and for the development of construction documents. This work began in the fall of 2015 and will continue through most of 2016. Most of the surveys to date have been along the designated route of the force main running from the wastewater treatment plant, Henlopen Avenue and Deauville Beach.
GHD engineers have subcontracted with a highly specialized firm that is currently working out in the ocean in the area of the proposed outfall. They are in a boat conducting marine surveys and taking core samples from the ocean bottom at depths of approximately 15 feet. Again, the information expected to be collected from these investigations is needed for permit development as well as development of construction documents.
The contractor has been waiting for an appropriate weather window to perform this work, which will likely continue through the end of this week.
If you have any questions please call the City Manager’s office at 302-227-4641.
Spotlight March 4, 2016
Utility and Street Improvements Underway
In 2015 the city’s water department began systematically improving old infrastructure in varying locations throughout the City of Rehoboth Beach. The existing cast iron 4” water mains were first installed back in the 1940’s. Standard installation now is with an 8” PVC pipe, which provides increased water flow, improved reliability and increased fire protection capability. Although areas of the city already have upgraded water mains through repair and maintenance, we now have an all-out mission to methodically progress with this important work each year.
In preparation for the utility improvements, in 2014 the city contracted with Kercher Engineering, Inc., to provide a citywide pavement management plan to collect data of pavement conditions on the 19 miles of streets owned and maintained by the city. The information collected was then analyzed through a highly selective software program to determine the type and cost of repair needed for each pavement segment. The report generated determined four different levels of funding associated with pavement conditions projecting out for a period of 10 years. These projections are then used for budgeting purposes on an annual basis and presented as a capital expense. The current budget year included $250,000 for upgrades. The streets selected for reconstruction are then compared to the condition of the infrastructure below street grade, including the water mains. In other words, according to the pavement management plan identifying which street requires attention first, what maintenance is needed to the underlying infrastructure in order for these services to be repaired as well.
Last year water service was upgraded at the ocean blocks of Stockley Street and New Castle Street. Paving will occur this spring. In addition, during the fall of 2015, other water service repairs were made at First Street and Park Avenue. Street repaving and repairs were completed on Oak Street, between 1st Street and 2nd Street as well as on Hickman Street from State Road to Laurel Street.
Included in the 2016-2017 fiscal year budget are the following streets that will be scheduled for water main upgrades and street paving depending on funding availability:
Norfolk Street between Scarborough Avenue and Bayard Avenue
Sussex Street between 5th Street and Columbia Avenue
Hickman Street between Scarborough Avenue and Bayard Avenue
Kent Street between Columbia Avenue and 5th Street
Kent Street between 5th Street and Dover Street
Kent Street between Dover Street and 4th Street
Stockley Street between Scarborough Avenue and Bayard Avenue
Spotlight February 24, 2016
A snowy President’s Day started the week off to a slow start with a snow event that turned to rain preventing construction crews from working. Although it was a pretty scene from the webcam, any delay of work, especially at the parking department building, is not a happy day for me!
Fortunately the remainder of the week was productive. I’m happy to report that the parking department building is almost completely under roof-it’s all hands on deck next week for plumbers and electricians expected to be on scene. Delmarva Veteran Builders and their sub-contractors are doing their best to meet my deadline of April 30. Just enough time to move the parking staff back into the building and settle-in for the Memorial Day rush. This is a photo taken today showing much progress.
City Hall Demolition
Demolition is almost complete at the city hall site as can be seen from this photo. Earlier this week we met with the project manager and superintendent from Whiting-Turner Contracting Company who plan to begin construction of city hall and the police department on March 8.
Boardwalk Damage Update
Most of you are aware that the north end of the boardwalk at the Henlopen Condos was damaged from the turbulent surf conditions during the winter storm on January 23. The dune protecting the entire length of the boardwalk prevented storm damage to all but the northernmost section from Surf Avenue to Grenoble Place causing the supports underneath to crack and raising the boardwalk approximately 12 inches. The city’s engineer has estimated repairs at $200,000 to $400,000 depending on labor costs. FEMA representatives visited Rehoboth Beach this past Tuesday and they have been assessing damage at all coastal communities in southern Delaware. At the current time we’re waiting for a determination from FEMA and hoping for support to repair the boardwalk.
In the meantime, this week our capable city employees from the streets and water departments were able to use equipment to lift the boardwalk and jockey it around a bit before placing it back onto the support girders making it flush with the undamaged boardwalk. It’s anticipated that this temporary measure will hold up until permanent repairs can be made. Here’s a photo of the guys out on the job during a blustery, cold Wednesday afternoon!
Let’s hope for no additional storms and spring weather soon!