Dennis Library plan approved

SUSSEX COUNTY. The Board of County Commissioners votes 4-1 in favor of spending about $1.9 million for improvements.

| 20 Nov 2023 | 09:44

The Sussex County Board of County Commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of spending about $1.9 million for improvements to the Dennis Library at their meeting Nov. 8.

The project, with a total cost of $3.8 million, would expand the Newton building by about 1,200 square feet, upgrade the air conditioning and heating, replace the roof and make the library compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

”It’s basically creating a better space, a more usable friendly space and that will include an elevator,” said board director Chris Carney.

County officials will ask the state for $1.9 million to do the project, he said.

Commissioner Bill Hayden voted no.

The board’s attorney, Doug Steinhardt, said county officials discussed the proposed project with state librarian Jennifer Nelson, who said county officials must detail the source of their funds and explain how the work would enhance the value of the library.

”They will make a determination as to whether or not they feel it is worthy of granting the corresponding matching funds,” he said.

Carney pointed out, “There is no guarantee that we’re going to see that money.”

On another topic, he said a survey of the jail is done. The next step is to get an appraisal “and try to sell this as quick as possible.”

The board voted 3-2 in favor of promotions of two employees in the Surrogate’s Office. Voting no were Hayden and Commissioner Herbert Yardley.

A special probate clerk will move from working on call at $18.53 an hour to working 30 hours a week at $19.46 an hour. Another employee will move from $19.45 an hour to working 35 hours a week for $53,000 a year as a confidential assistant.

No one on the board moved a proposed resolution to promote two investigators to detectives in the Prosecutor’s Office, effectively killing it. Their salaries would have increased from $70,812 to $103,869.

During public comments, Acting Prosecutor Annmarie Taggart pointed out that money for the promotions is available in the budget for her office.