DSU-Wesley plans highlight busy Dover’s Council Committee of the Whole meeting

DOVER — Members of the city of Dover’s Council Committee of the Whole will have a lot of things to consider during their meeting on Tuesday night with an extensive agenda in front of them.

One of the highlights of the meeting will come during the Parks, Recreation and Community Enhancement Committee discussion when Delaware State University President Dr. Tony Allen will present the school’s plans on its future for Wesley College, which it acquired in July.

There will also be presentations by the Wilmington Hope Commission and Bobby Wilson, another regarding a Vines Community Project with Rev. Carol Harris, and the Dover Public Library will offer its reopening plan, which includes opening a temporary computer lab beginning Sept. 28 with a partial capacity reopening on Oct 26.

“There is a lot to consider,” said David Anderson, a 4th District city councilman. “Due to the cancellation of the August meetings, we have a packed agenda in September. My top five are the Delaware State University and Wesley College partnership and how that will affect downtown. One of the biggest (items discussed) will be the plans that DSU has for downtown. That will likely be the big story afterwards. It is extensive.

“There is also the workforce development initiative of the Hope Commission, The Vines and Kent Goes Purple on substance abuse, and (discussion about) a permanent home for the Police Athletic League. There will also be discussion involving Human Relations Commission reform.”

In all, there are 13 items on Tuesday night’s agenda. The virtual meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and can be accessed by phone at 1-408-418-9388 or on Webex at https://cityofdoverde.webex.com/cityofdoverde/onstage/g.php?MTID=e0d32bb1cfb0116929174 862167f2a9a3. The event number is 173 586 9042 and the password, if needed, is DOVER.

Fred Neil, a 3rd District councilman believes there is a possibility the agenda could change.

“There is a possibility because it is a very long agenda,” Councilman Neil said. “It could shrink a little because some items as more informational than vital to the operation of the city.”

He said there are several items that will be discussed that he is extremely interested in.

“As an avid book reader, the opening of the library directly affects me and other book borrowers,” said Councilman Neil. “As important, to a pandemic cautious public who use the outstanding programs provided by the library, they should be anxious to see what the status is of a reopening.

“From very recent problem in Dover Park involving what was apparently an unauthorized college student party, the progress on the master plans of (Dover’s) major parks throws a light on my concerns. Whitman Requardt has solicited comments from the council as part of the process on the master plans for the parks. My comments on Dover Park included concerns about lighting, cameras, and safety. What will that report reveal?”

Even with all the other discussions to take place, the highlight will still be Delaware State and its plans for Wesley College.

President Allen is expected to talk about DSU taking a critical leap forward as the 21st century model for a Historically Black College and University and becoming a bigger economic development driver for Delaware over the next decade.

He said the acquisition of Wesley College will make an immediate economic impact with additional 1,000 students and facility growth while statewide academic/research programs will expand immediately. There will be an influx of students to nursing, education, business and psychology programs.

The acquisition will also help with a laboratory increase that removes capacity constraint on grant awards and increased fiscal stability from more diversified revenue. The institution notes that the expanded dual enrollment capacity drives Delaware Department of Education funding and it will be able to receive state/federal/private workforce grants at a greater capacity.

“Despite so much uncertainty on many fronts nationally, this is a unique opportunity for the university and the State of Delaware,” President Allen said, when DSU acquired Wesley. “The time for bold innovation for young people is now, particularly for students who have made it to college by sheer determination against sometimes enormous odds.

“Acquiring a college like Wesley, which serves a very similar student base, boasts strong academic programs, and brings sustained economic impact to downtown Dover and Kent County, is a significant step closer to our broader vision – a substantively diverse, contemporary and unapologetically Historically Black College or University (HBCU).”

Dover Council Committee of the Whole agenda

Tuesday night, 6 p.m.

Utility Committee

  1. Update #2 on Development of Provisions and Ordinances for Wireless Communications Facilities – Proposed WCF Ordinance and Proposed Small Wireless Communications Facility (SWCF) Design Manual (Staff recommendation: Review of Proposed Draft Ordinance and Preliminary Draft Design Manual. Recommend forwarding Proposed Ordinance with Design Manual to City Council for First Reading and establishment of Public Hearing dates with Planning Commission and CityCouncil. Draft Ordinance will need formatting into proper Ordinance format and review by City Solicitor. Preliminary Draft Small WCF Design Manual continues to be refined.)
  2. Approving the Form and Content of a Model Master License Agreement for Small Wireless Communication Facilities Attached to City of Dover Assets (Staff recommendation: Approve the model Master License Agreement and authorize the City Manager to sign agreements with individual carriers.)
  3. Adjournment of Utility Committee meeting

Legislative, Finance, and Administration Committee Adoption of the Agenda

  1. Equalized Payment Plan Program (also known as Budget Billing) – Options (Staff recommendation: Staff is providing two options as it relates to the Budget Billing Program. 1. Discontinuation of the Equalized Payment Plan program, thus requesting that it be removed from the Electric Service Handbook and Water / Wastewater Handbook as an available program. 2. Temporarily pause the budget billing program while the new accounting program is implemented. Restart the program in October 2021. This option does involve a cost to the City of approximately $18,000.00 and initiation of a $5.00 per customer per month charge.)
  2. Proposed Amendments to the Purchasing Policy (Staff recommendation: Approval of recommended changes)
  3. Proposed Ordinance #2020-11 – Chapter 46 – Fire Prevention and Protection, Article II – Fire Department, Division 1 – Generally and Division 2 – Officers (Staff recommendation: Adoption of Ordinance #2020-11)
  4. Proposed Amendments – Dover Human Relations Commission (Anderson, Rocha, and Sudler)
  5. Status of Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) and Pension Funds (Staff recommendation: Information update only)
  6. Proposed Ordinance #2020-05 Amending Chapter 22 -Buildings and Building Regulations, Article IX – Lodging houses and Article X – Rental Dwellings (Staff recommendation: Information update only)
  7. Adjournment of Legislative, Finance, and Administration Committee meeting

Parks, Recreation, and Community Enhancement Committee Adoption of the Agenda

  1. Presentation – Delaware’s State University – The Acquisition of Wesley College (Dr. Tony Allen, President – Delaware State University)
  2. Presentation – Wilmington Hope Commission and Bobby Wilson (Deferred by Committee on July 14, 2020)
  3. Presentation – Vines Community Project (Reverend Carol Harris)
  4. Library Reopening Plan (Staff recommendation: Opening a temporary computer lab beginning Sept. 28 with a partial capacity re-opening on Oct 26. If the Committee is in agreement the Committee should direct staff to proceed and revisit the reopening plan Oct. 20.)
  5. Police Athletic League (P.A.L.) Update
  6. Adjournment of Parks, Recreation, and Community Enhancement Committee meeting

Adjournment of Council Committee of the Whole meeting