Saturday, August 10, 2013

Delmar Police Press Release



 Incident:  Theft / Recovered property          

Location:  Elzey Brown Loop, Mardela Springs

Date:  08/09/13          

Arrested: Pending

On 08/09/13 the Delmar Police Dept. received information from a concerned citizen in reference to a trailer which contained a dragster that was stolen on 08/04/13.   As a result of that info officers of the Delmar Police Dept. with the assistance of the Maryland State Police aviation unit, Wicomico County Bureau of Investigation and the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Dept. were able to locate the trailer in the Elzey Brown Loop area, Mardela Springs, MD.  The Delmar police took custody of property; the investigation is continuing.  Charges are pending. 


Charges: Pending

Friday, August 09, 2013

Delmar In The News

Look for Delmar to be on TV later today.  Today when I drove past the house that burnt last Monday I could barely get down the street as there were several TV News Crews interviewing the Police and fire officials outside the house.  Lasted about about an hour before they cleared out.

Thursday, August 08, 2013


I passed these watermelon pickers today at lunch time and I see now days they have a chuckwagen service come out to sell them food. Much more convenient than when I worked in the fields and you had to walk down to a general store to buy a Nehi and a quarter pound of bologna and a half a loaf of bread and make your own sandwich on the bench outside the store.

The House That had The Fire

This is what The house that had the fire looks like now

Family Reunions

This time of year there are countless family reunions.  Perhaps you don't even call it a Reunion just a family picnic, nevertheless it is a gathering of the bloodlines and those who you acknowledge to be "family."   All are purely social events.  Some lean a little more to Genealogy then others but most are orientated to talking and eating. 

I have one this Saturday at St Georges' Church.  It is for the relatives of Samuel Miller and Elizabeth Hastings Miller.  Samuel was a farmer who lived west of Delmar in the late 1880s up until he died in 1932. 

Now as those who read this blog and other blogs know, I am interested in genealogy, but I have come to realize not all who attend Family Reunions are interested in family history.  We have an acronym in Genealogy known as EGO; or eyes glazed over.  It is what happens when you start to discuss "The Family Tree' with someone who has no great interest in it.   If I am not too wrapped up in myself and the story I am telling (those who know me are aware I tend to do that often) I will try to break loose and let that person go in peace, blissfully unaware if he is a product of Kings or Trash.

However if you are one of those people who have wondered about your roots take action now.  Almost universally the phrase most repeated among family tree seekers is "I wish I had started earlier when Grandmom was still alive."  The longer you wait your grandparents, aunts, uncles and parents will died and when they died that knowledge will disappear along with their belonging and mementos (they may have been the only ones who knew who the people were in those unmarked photographs in their albums).  Do It Now.


Wednesday, August 07, 2013

DHAS Meeting Thursday Night

The Delmar Historical and Arts Society will meet at 7 PM at the old movie theater downtown Delmar on Thursday August 8th. Besides the business meeting we will have a show and tell where members will bring something old to show and discuss with the members.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The August 2013 Delmar Delaware Council Meeting

I went to the Delmar Delaware council meeting last night.  As to be expected it was short – over with by 8 PM.  The only council member missing was Robert Thompson and since he is with the Fire Department it was assumed he was still involved with the house fire over on Second and Jewell Street.

The main item on the table was a request by Jessica and Robert Smith for a Tax adjustment on their property that is on Old Stage Road.  They had made this request before (In December) when they purchased the property. 
The land in question has an interesting history as the 190 acres was part of the Jamie Rostocki  Chesapeake Bay Reserve land.  Back about 6 years ago Rostocki was going to build 478 homes on 206 acres.  The town of Delmar was wild with approval.  It looked like we were going to move from being the 23rd largest town in Delaware up to maybe 14th (move over Camden, Delmar is growing).  Besides annexing the land, zoning the land R-2  and approving the subdivision, Delmar submitted a new comprehensive plan to the state of Delaware indicating any growth that would occur would be in this area of Delmar.  They also signed an agreement with Tidewater Utilities to supply water and sewer to this section of Delmar.  Finally, they included this land in the tax base for the annual budget.  It all blew up when the developer went bankrupt, which also brought Wilmington Trust down with them as Wilmington Trust Bank had loans with the Developer.     

Sometime toward the end of 2012 Jessica and Robert Smith purchased 190 acres of the land with the intent to farm it and ignore the approved subdivision plat that went with it.  I do not know what they paid for it but I would think between 1.5 million to 3 million dollars.  In December they requested the town give them an adjustment on their taxes as they only intended to farm the land – forever.
From the minutes of the December 2012 Joint Council Meeting;

36801 Old Stage Road- Property Tax Abatement Request
Mayor Houlihan informed the Council that this property is one of the five properties that

together annexed into Town a few years ago. This is the largest parcel of those five and the previous owner was Jamie Rostocki who received an approved plan for a subdivision. The property then went into foreclosure then to a public auction where the new owners have purchased it. The attorney for the new owners has contacted the Town requesting that the property be re-assessed agricultural, since they have no plans to develop, and to be refunded the amount difference from taxes.

Town Manager Bynum-King stated that Town Attorney Waehler informed her that the Council does not have to take any action to honor this request based on the word of the new property owners that they will never develop the land. Part of the concern is that the Town went through extensive time and resources during the annexation and the State Planning review process to have the property re-zoned. It would not be feasible for the Town to extend credit to the new property owners just because the Town received a letter stating that they will not develop the land. This is already included within our Comprehensive Plan and would be more involved than just refunding the money.

Mayor Houlihan stated that it would create a substantial decrease in the Town’s revenue. There could also be other layers of approval involved from the State if the Town wanted to change the zoning on this parcel. He stated that he doesn’t feel that they should be entitled to a refund since they bought the property knowing it was zoned R-2.

The consensus of the Council is to table this for right now. This is something that the Council has never dealt with before. Right now this revenue is built into our budget. It will create a shortfall of our revenue of about $9,000.00. There is also the concern that this might be the first of many who would want to de-annex.

Mayor Houlihan stated that the new owners do have this parcel that has an approved building plan. It might not be marketable right now, but with the upswing of the economy, it would be in their favor.

The consensus of the Council was that they would take the recommendation of the Delaware Town Attorney and not change the assessment of that parcel. Town Manager Bynum-King said she would have a letter sent to the new property owners to inform them of the Council’s decison

The property in question is 190 acres (130 acres tillable the remainder wooded) .  The Smiths say they did not know the property was in the town limits until they went to settlement and did not know the taxes were about $19,000 on the property until settlement, and they thought they could get an adjustment by having it zoned agriculture land (Delmar does not have a zoning for agriculture a simple phone call would have told them that).

In addition . Austin Short, State of Delaware Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, sent a letter to the Council telling them about the Farm Land Assessment Act.  Delaware Senator Robert Venables sent a letter supporting the Smiths and making a threat to take action against Delmar if they did give the Smiths their ways.

Tonight the Mayor and council told the Smiths a very similar opinion as they stated in the December meeting.  They suggested ways the Smiths could correct this problem themselves but none were quick and would take time and until the Smiths did something the property would remained assessed as it currently is. 
Now this is Howard’s outlook on this matter.  The town was entirely too easy on the Smiths.  A farm is a business and if the Smiths can come up with the money to buy the land (between 1.5 to 3 million) they must have some degree of common sense and investigating the property you are going to buy would be called in the business world “due diligence.”  It means a person has investigated an asset they wish to purchase before signing a contract.  If the property was in the Delmar Town Limits I would think at a minimum having a talk with the town manager about having a farm in the town limits and what was the town outlook on that and could the land be rezoned and how much taxes were to be paid as R-2 or as agricultural, all of this before you went to settlement, would all fall within Due Diligence and common sense.   I am afraid the Smiths got themselves into this jam and it is their fault, not the fault of the town.

Update: I an told the property was purchased  for $600,000, if so it was a bargain, however the principle is the same do your homework before buying anything.


Monday, August 05, 2013

Another House Burns On My Street

Another historical home in Delmar Delaware caught fire this afternoon about 3 PM.

This house is about 201 East Jewell Street or 200 North second street, since it is a corner lot I am not sure which address it uses.

Delmar, Laurel, Salisbury and Hebron fire companies were here.  There may have been more but I didn't see them.

The house was built about 1900 and was featured on a number of post cards between 1900 to 1920. 

It had been used as rental and was I think at this time there were two apartments in it at the time of the fire.

Since it was only a block from my house I naturally became excited when fire trucks starting showing up.

This is the house about 1915 from a post card