Zoning code draft comments, tax rebate requested

Peterman

Mayor Anthony Moyer presented Carrie Peterman with a proclamation declaring March 25 Random Act of Kindness day in memory of her daughter, Madison Peterman, during the Mon., March 16 City Council meeting.

HARRINGTON — After a recent 49 percent tax increase and switching to a billing system which individually metered water and sewer usage, the City of Harrington has accrued some savings according to Vice Mayor Cheryl Lahman; a savings which she says should be given back to the citizens who paid it to the City in the first place.
“I would like to pass along any savings we have been afforded to the citizens because I live here, too, and felt the crunch of the increase,” she said at the recent city council meeting.
Councilwoman Lahman requested a proposal from City Manager Terry Tieman to be presented at the April council meeting reflecting a potential rebate of 10-15 percent for citizens who paid taxes this year and will pay taxes for the same property next year.
A presentation by Ms. Tieman of the budget for fiscal year 2016 was requested for the April meeting as well by Councilman Wayne Porter during the previous city council meeting.
Also at the request of Councilwoman Lahman, the council continued its discussions on charter code 7.4.2 in relation to purchases made on behalf of the city to her business, The Harrington Florist & Bakery II.
“My business does not currently, or has ever had, a contract for floral or bakery services that says it would limit the city exclusively,” she said. “I do, however, understand that a phone order can constitute a verbal contract.”
Mr. Porter added support for Ms. Lahman and her business, saying she has donated both time and money for the downtown area.
“The kids wouldn’t have a Santa house. I think the good things ought to be put out there like the bad,” he said.
A motion to table the discussion until the next workshop, supported by Council members Amy Minner and Duane E. Bivans, and another to allow the City Manager to consent to purchases under $500 without a Council vote both failed with Council members sitting on either side of the debate.
“Let that be put in the paper: we do not support the local business,” she said.
Workers for the upcoming municipal election and ordinances updating building standards and property maintenance codes were approved during the meeting.
Mayor Anthony Moyer also proclaimed March 25 as Random Act of Kindness Day in memory of Madison Peterman.
City Planner Debbie Pfeil presented the first public draft of the zoning code rewrite for Harrington, which included major changes to signage, home occupations, design standards and the single-family residential zone (R-1) which would allow for existing manufactured homes to be replaced within certain parameters to name a few.
A copy of the proposed zoning code rewrite can be found at City Hall, the Harrington Public Library or on the City of Harrington Website. The public is asked to submit written and legible comments by May 6 for consideration.
“As we go on, there could be changes,” Ms. Pfeil said. “This is a living document. There is no one fix-all code.”
Comments can be submitted by e-mail to kblanchies@cityofharrington.com, in person at City Hall or by mail to City Hall, Kelly Blanchies, 106 Dorman St., Harrington, De, 19952.
Ms. Pfeil assured Council members and public attendees that all comments will be considered and actions or recommendations for each comment will be recorded for the Council to review at a later meeting.

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