Smyrna Town Council members had a lot to discuss at their July 15 meeting including the approval and enforcement of the town's new ordinance that limits dog tethering.

Here are a few other items from the meeting.

Standing committees list updated

Council approved a resolution updating the standing committees list in the town. The resolution also clarified that committee members serve at the will of the mayor and council.

The purpose of the resolution was to take the Business Development and Long Range Planning committees off the list and add the Economic Development Committee. However the topic of conversation turned to whether or not the town's Compensation Committee should be a standing committee. Council previously approved a resolution in March that made the Compensation Committee a standing committee and expanded its role to not only benchmark the pay of council members but that of town employees as well.

Councilman Bob Johnson said he still didn't agree with the committee's inclusion on the standing committee list because it overlaps with the work of other committees; therefore, he made a friendly amendment to remove the Compensation Committee from the resolution.

Councilwoman Regina Brown said as the current committees stand now, they are overwhelmed with work so the Compensation Committee should be in charge of benchmarking employee pay for the town.

"We explained before the committee will benchmark compensation of employees of the town and will keep the Personnel Committee up-to-date with what other municipalities are paying their staff and managers," Brown said.

Councilwoman Andrea Rodriguez said the Personnel Committee is already discussing positions and salaries, and asked how the committee would continue to operate this way if another committee is working on that process. She later said the Compensation Committee seems like it should be a subgroup of the Personnel Committee.

Mayor Joanne Masten said the town isn't currently benchmarking the pay of town employees with employees in other Delaware towns. She said such as task would take a lot of time, but it's something the town needs to do to retain existing staff.

"I don't want if forgotten. If it's [Compensation Committee] not a standing committee, I don't want this forgotten," Masten said.

Ultimately Johnson withdrew his friendly amendment to exclude the Compensation Committee from the list, but the original motion to approve the list failed by a 2-4 vote. A second motion to approve the standing committee list, without the Compensation Committee, was approved 5-1.

Bond approved for Phase I of Duck Creek project

Council passed a resolution that approved the issuance of a general obligation bond to the United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Utilities Service to finance improvements to the Town of Smyrna's water facilities.

The resolution approved the borrowing of $1.19 million to pay for "Phase I Water Project" portion of the project that is putting utilities north of Duck Creek. The term of the bond is not to exceed 40 years with an interest rate not to exceed 2.125 percent.

The water line extension is already underway; council approved bridge financing for the project last year.

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