Opposing majority rules: County ditches water district referendum for Winding Creek Village

GEORGETOWN – Majority rules.

Winding Creek Village residents opposed to a referendum for a water district encompassing their Long Neck residential community got their wish this past Tuesday.

Following an update and recommendation by Sussex County Engineer Hans M. Medlarz, county council voted 4-0 to ditch the water district proposal that spurred waves of opposition the past two months.

According to Mr. Medlarz, the county received 190 affidavits – 51 percent – in opposition to the Winding Creek Village water district referendum. County calculations list 379 eligible Winding Creek Village voters.

Based on parcels, there were 113 affidavits in opposition from the 232 total parcels in the community. That’s 49 percent.

“Looking at it from both angles we believe the bar has been met and we recommend council instruct us to discontinue any further efforts in implementing the water district for Winding Creek,” said Mr. Medlarz.

2 todd arms out, good one

Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson speaks at a public meeting in February on proposed water and sewer districts.

Jeanette Cosgrove, among the Winding Creek Village residents who have spoken at county council meetings in opposition to the water district proposal and Winding Creek’s potential inclusion in the Herring Creek Sanitary Sewer District, addressed council prior to Mr. Medlarz’ s presentation.

“You know that several of us have attended the council meetings each week and we have spoken either about the proposed sewer or water district. I would like you to see today our large group, that it is part evidence that we have been speaking for the majority of our neighbors in Winding Creek Village,” said Ms. Cosgrove. “We haven’t been bluffing. We are in opposition to the water and the sewer districts.”

Prior to council’s vote, councilman George Cole, R-Ocean View, asked, “We’re just talking water?”

“We’re talking water,” Mr. Medlarz replied.

Mr. Cole and council colleagues Rob Arlett, R-Frankford, Sam Wilson, R-Georgetown, and Michael Vincent, R-Seaford, voted to instruct the Sussex County Engineering Department to discontinue steps toward the Winding Creek Village water district referendum based on the information presented on May 3, 2016. Councilwoman Joan Deaver, D-Lewes, was absent.

“We have learned a lot, I guess, regarding the will of the people within the homeowners’ association against the board, the homeowners’ association board,” said Mr. Arlett. “For me I think the board should have listened to the people instead of acting on their own accord. So for this reason, absolutely I will support this.”

As proposed the Herring Creek Sanitary Sewer District would include the Winding Creek Village, Herring Creek Estates and Pinewater Farm residential communities.

The county delayed the referendum process on the water and sewer districts at a public meeting back in February amid opposition from Winding Creek Village residents.

A second public meeting is scheduled for this Saturday at the Beacon Middle School on John J. Williams Highway starting at 10 a.m.

Following an update to council May 10, county council is scheduled to address boundary resolutions June 7. The sewer referendum is scheduled for July 9.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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