Sustainability Plan Reviewed In Fenwick

FENWICK ISLAND – Officials in Fenwick Island got their first look at a completed sustainability plan last week.

Last Friday, Debbie Pfeil of KCI Technologies came before the Fenwick Island Town Council to present the town’s new Community Sustainability Plan.

“What I don’t like is a project where they give you a book to put on the shelf and you never go back to it ever again …,” she said. “This is a working, breathing document.”

In 2017, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Division of Energy and Climate awarded $245,000 in grant funding to the cities of Wilmington and Newark, and the towns of Frederica, Milton and Fenwick Island, to create a local sustainability plan that would ultimately serve more than 100,000 Delaware residents.

The plan is expected to identify ways to save energy, reduce pollution, increase green space, and overall, make communities healthy and livable. In short, the document identifies sustainability goals and creates a roadmap of sorts to achieve them.

Fenwick Island received $40,000 from the grant award and provided a $12,000 match to complete a sustainability plan for the town.

Since that time, town officials have gathered data and community input, developed goals and objectives, and created strategies and implementation plans.

Pfeil said areas of concern for Fenwick Island included the lack of a complete risk and vulnerability assessment, transportation, emergency preparedness and protecting and preserving the town assets. She noted that outlining the town’s goals and efforts to address those concerns would improve Fenwick Island’s chances of securing grants.

“Let’s say in two weeks Terry [Tieman, town manager] gets an email or I get an email that somebody has the money,” she said. “We are laid up very well with a recent plan to be able to get Fenwick additional funding to investigate some of these issues.”

Pfeil said she held 15 meetings and worked alongside town staff and several committee members to complete the Community Sustainability Plan. She said the next step is to get final comments and recommendations from the town.

Pfeil noted that recommended changes for the plan are due to the town clerk no later than Friday, Oct. 11.

“If I were to take this and get money for some of your implementation items, it shows you are invested in volunteerism, invested financially and invested in seeing things through,” she told the council. “That shows really well for any potential funding.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

Alternative Text

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.