The agenda for the April 7 Smyrna Town Council meeting was jam packed with items to discuss from zoning for compassion care centers to the 2014 tax to the library site.
What We Knew – Members of the town’s Economic Development Committee have been working on reactivating the town’s Redevelopment Authority. The authority was adopted in 2004 but is inactive. Committee member Rick Downes approached council at the Oct. 21 meeting and asked for moral support in pursuing funds outside of the town to support the authority.
Council members, when the authority was created, were considered the Redevelopment Authority. Downes said at the meeting the goal is to make the authority self-sufficient without the use of local funds and simply wanted council’s endorsement to move forward.
What Was Discussed – Downes came back to council once again April 7 regarding the Redevelopment Authority. He said the group continues to search for funding outside of the town; however, he was there to ask council to authorize the mayor to appoint a five-member committee to act as the authority.
“This Redevelopment Authority’s work would be two-fold,” Downes said. “We would try to do what’s necessary to revitalize and upgrade vacant buildings in disrepair anywhere in town, not just in downtown. We also want to help current businesses in town.”
What Was Decided – Councilman Jeff Flairty proposed a motion to authorize Town Manager Dave Hugg and lawyer Barrett Edwards to draft an ordinance to allow the town to make the suggested changes in the guidelines for the authority. Flairty said once the proper changes were made, then the committee can worry about the details of how the authority would work.
Site of new library
What We Knew – Council members approved a motion in February that enabled the town to put together a more detailed memorandum of understanding to identify the town’s specific role with the town new library project.
What Was Discussed – Council members were supposed to vote on the memorandum of understanding April 7; however, the town staff and lawyers weren’t able to finish the MOU in time for the meeting.
Hugg said the town was really close to finishing the memorandum of understanding, and had been working closely with the Smyrna Public Library Guild and town lawyer Barrett Edwards to finish the MOU for the meeting.
“The intention of the MOU is to state the intended library site location is the municipal parking lot and additional areas, if possible,” Hugg said. “We’re close to finishing it and I’m hoping to have it to you at the next meeting.”
Police Chief candidates
What We Knew – The Town of Smyrna is searching for a new police chief following the December retirement of then Police Chief Wil Bordley. Lt. Norman Wood has been working as the interim police chief since then while the town works with the Delaware Police Chiefs’ Council in finding a new police chief.
What Was Discussed – Mayor Joanne Masten said the town received a total of 59 applications. The Delaware Police Chiefs’ Council has narrowed this number down to 12 candidates for the position and will now decide the top three candidates to interview.
Masten said she has been advised that the town should select a committee of sorts to interview the final candidates. She said suggestions on the committee varied from number to who should be members of the committee.
What Was Decided – Council voted 5-2 to have all seven members of council act as Police Chief Interview Committee. Once the committee was approved, Masten said the group would need to decide when the interviews will be done and decide relatively soon as some candidates may have to travel quite a ways for the interview.
“By our meeting on April 21st I’m sure we’ll know who our top three candidates are so we’ll need to figure out a schedule,” Masten said.