Rescheduled Georgetown municipal election, referendum set

GEORGETOWN — Aug. 15 is the rescheduled date for Georgetown’s 2020 municipal election that features one contested race with two seats unopposed.

Originally slated for May 9, that election was canceled with Gov. John Carney’s state of emergency and the potential public health threat due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Penuel Barrett and incumbent Bob Holston are candidates vying for the Fourth Ward council seat.

Angela Townsend is unopposed as the one candidate for Third Ward council representative. That seat is currently held by Chris Lecates, who is not seeking another term.

Mayor Bill West faces no challenge in seeking a fourth mayoral term.

Council and mayor terms in Georgetown are two years.

Voting will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Georgetown Town Hall on The Circle. Absentee ballots will be available for eligible voters starting July 17.

Georgetown Town Manager Eugene Dvornick presented the new election date for council’s consideration during a teleconference session Wednesday. He made note that Georgetown’s Aug. 15 election date avoids conflict with other potential elections in Sussex County: Fenwick Island (tentatively Aug. 1); Rehoboth Beach (Aug. 8); and Henlopen Acres (Aug. 29).

Special election referendum

On July 20, the town of Georgetown will hold the rescheduled special election referendum seeking voter approval to cover the interest generated in a $1.2 million waterline upgrade encompassing Bedford and Market streets. Voting is from noon to 7 p.m. at Georgetown Town Hall.

The referendum was slated for April 13 but was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The town is seeking permission to borrow upward of $1,255,000 with a 100% forgiveness loan.

With the interest rate at 1.3375%, the town’s financial responsibility would be an estimated $13,000 in interest during the project, if the maximum amount needed to be borrowed, Mr. Dvornick said.

Absentee ballots for this special election referendum will be available upon request starting today.

“Once the project is done, the $1.2 million is forgiven,” said Mr. Dvornick. “Obviously, if the voters say no, the project will die right there.”

As presented in March, the project will entail replacement of the 1,225 linear feet of water mains, plus 82 water service lines, meter pits and meters coming from the water mains to the residents or businesses.

This waterline upgrade project would precede repaving of state-maintained roadways in the heart of the town. Several years ago, the town undertook a service line and water main replacement project, but bypassed upgrades along North and South Bedford streets and East and West Market streets, which are maintained by the Delaware Department of Transportation.

A special information session with the town engineer will be recorded and posted to the town’s website at some point in the next three weeks, Mr. Dvornick said.