Sound System Upgrade Planned For Fenwick Town Hall

FENWICK ISLAND – Citing the need audio improvements, the town council voted last week to spend more than $6,000 for a sound system upgrade project.

The Fenwick Island Town Council voted unanimously last Friday to upgrade its sound system in town hall.

Town Manager Terry Tieman said the project, expected to cost $6,335, will include additional wireless microphones and system upgrades.

“We are at the maximum capacity for microphones in the current system,” she said.

Tieman told the council the new sound system would improve audio capabilities during in-person and virtual town council meetings.

Since March, the town council has held its monthly meetings via teleconference. Some residents, however, have complained about their inability to hear councilmembers’ comments.

“We have had a couple people telling us they’ve had a difficult time hearing through the Zoom conferences,” Tieman said. “I think this will help address that and set us up for expansion in the future.”

Tieman noted that sound system upgrades were included in the fiscal year 2021 capital plan. With the approval of sound system upgrades at town hall, the project will be removed from the planning document for next year.

The council last week also voted unanimously to spend no more than $6,000 for a bathymetric survey of the Little Assawoman Bay.

Councilman Bernie Merritt, chair of the town’s dredging committee, noted the survey would allow a long-awaited bay dredging project to move forward in Fenwick.

“We were hoping that DNREC would give us the survey at their cost, but because of COVID and their backlog it could be at least a year before we did this …,” he said. “Once we get this survey done we can go ahead and move forward and get a dredging cost. So I’m asking the council approve a fee that we go ahead and get a private company to do this survey relatively quickly so we can get a cost.”

Last August, the Fenwick Island Town Council voted unanimously to negotiate a contract with Anchor QEA for engineering services related to the dredging project, which is expected to address shoaling in the back bay system and clear between 3,000 and 4,000 linear feet of channel.

Additionally, roughly 12,000 cubic feet of dredged material will be moved to another site for reuse. To that end, the town began working with the Carl M. Freeman Companies to relocate the material to one of its properties.

Officials last week noted the town received an $5,000 cost estimate from Anchor QEA, a Lewes-based engineering firm, to complete the bathymetric survey. Councilman Bill Weistling, however, suggested adding a maximum price to the project.

“I think just to play it safe we put it as not to exceed $6,000,” he said.

Councilman Richard Mais noted the town would use funds set aside for dredging and sidewalk projects.

“We have, fortunately, started last year putting aside [money], and each fund has about $90,000,” he said.

With no further discussion, the council voted 7-0 to approve the additional cost for the bathymetric study.

“This is time sensitive,” Councilwoman Vicki Carmean said, “so we need to support it.”

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.