FENWICK ISLAND – Town officials will soon begin the process of reviewing Fenwick Island’s comprehensive plan.
In this month’s meeting of the Fenwick Island Town Council, officials voted unanimously to a $5,000 funding request from the town’s planning commission. Mayor Vicki Carmean noted the money would be used to engage the services of consulting firm AECOM in the commission’s comprehensive planning review.
“We are mandated by the state of Delaware to prepare a comprehensive plan consistent with state guidelines to address local issues and ensure coordination with the state, county and other municipalities,” she explained. “Fenwick’s plan was completed and approved in 2017. The state requires each plan to be reviewed every five years to determine whether updates or changes are warranted. A review is due in 2022, this year.”
Carmean said the town had hired AECOM in recent years for several projects. In 2017, for example, the firm was employed to develop the town’s most recent comprehensive plan.
“Fenwick Island does not have any planning staff. We’re not like some of the other communities, and we’ve relied on the consulting firm of AECOM to develop the 2017 plan …,” she said. “AECOM conducted research and analysis that supported the 2017 planning process, provided planning expertise, wrote and produced the planning document, and designed and conducted public engagement.”
Regarding the current review process, officials noted the commission would use the $5,000 to engage with AECOM during the scoping phase of the project. The funding will allow for the updating of certain materials, disclosure and production of sources, planning expertise and the production of different document formats, among other things.
“The Commission intends to conduct a scoping process involving town committees and administration and external stakeholders including businesses, residents and property owners,” Carmean said. “The planning commission seeks funding to access AECOM support during the scoping phase, and they are asking for $5,000.”
Commission Chair Amy Kyle noted AECOM’s services would benefit the town, as the firm had worked with Fenwick Island in the past to develop its comprehensive plan.
“We’re ready to move forward,” she said, “and we need to get the stuff from these guys – they have the materials and information and everything else – and get their advice on how to move forward in this next phase.”
With no further questions, the council voted 6-0, with Councilman Richard Benn absent, to approve the $5,000 funding request.
“This is mandated and has to be done,” Carmean said. “It should be done well, or we just end up redoing everything. The amount that was budgeted for this year’s budget was zero, and we need to remedy that.”