Fenwick Grants Hourly Pay Jump For Beach Patrol

FENWICK ISLAND – A salary adjustment is expected to benefit members of the Fenwick Island Beach Patrol.

On Feb. 22, Town Manager Terry Tieman presented the Fenwick Island Town Council with a request to increase the starting salary for the Fenwick Island Beach Patrol from $13 an hour to $15.25 an hour.

“I do have documentation that the Delaware State Beach Patrol has a starting salary of $15.25, which is $2.25 more than what we currently pay,” she said. “It’s been our practice to match what the state pays, so I am asking that that occur.”

Tieman told the council it remains unclear how much the new starting salary would cost the town.

“There’s not any way to quantify that at this time because we are not sure who will be returning and who won’t be returning,” she said. “We sent out emails to existing patrol members. Twelve have responded, 10n are returning and two are not. Nineteen others have not responded, but … we are getting down to the cutoff date.”

Tieman added that the town is also in the process of reviewing more than 20 job applications and processing two new hires.

“We are in a situation where we have new lifeguards, new management,” she said. “So someone would be deciding, ‘Do I want to go there at $13 an hour, or do I want to try somebody new for $15.25?’”

Tieman said the new starting salary would keep the town competitive.

“I know in the past we always matched what the state pays so we can stay competitive,” she said. “And I think it will have an effect on the quality and the number of people that we get. That’s why I am asking for it.”

Tieman told the council salary and department savings could be used to fund the salary adjustment and pay raises for existing lifeguards. She also noted the state provided the town with an additional $7,000 this year for lifeguard services.

“The worst-case scenario, if everyone came back it would be approximately $30,000,” she said. “But that’s not going to happen because not everyone is coming back.”

With no further questions, the council voted 6-0, with Councilman Richard Mais absent, to approve the salary adjustment.

“I’ll know more when I know who’s coming,” Tieman said. “But right now, I don’t have an idea. I would just be playing with numbers.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.