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Lewes, Delaware
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October 10, 2006     Cape Gazette
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October 10, 2006
 

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12 - CAPE GAZETTE - Tuesday, October 10 - Thursday, Ditch Continued from page 1 one resident said he is planning legal action. Garner said everyone who was affected by the addition of the tract was contacted and asked to attend a meeting in June. She said the vote to allow the addition had to be unanimous, and it was. "I wasn't contacted and I am an affected person," said Jeff Wakefield, who moved into Overbrook Shores less than two years ago. Wakefield plans to take legal action because he said he was not contacted about the vote. Tax ditch regulations, set up in 1984, give residents of Overbrook Shores no vote on tax ditch mat- ters, but those residents also pay no ditch taxes. They can attend meetings and make comments, however. Overbrook Shores' resi- dents have the fight of way on their property; Carsyljan Acres' residents do not. Carsyljan resi- dents have the fight to vote and they also pay an annual ditch tax. Ditch needs to be cleaned The tax ditch, which drains into Red Mill Pond, has been neglect- ed for the past two decades. Cahall and Garner showed a power point display to show work that needs to be done to the tax ditch. The presentation included slides of large excavating equip- ment digging out a ditch. 'rhere is no way this can hap- pen in Overbrook Shores," said Gay Corak, a resident of the development. "We feel there is, and we will work individually with folks who have obstructions," replied Cahall. "It's hard to accomplish any- thing in a big group because there is not one blanket solution to everyone's problem. Some have small problems; some have big problems. This is the start of the dialog so we can work through each individual's obstacle," said Cahall. "Vincent Overlook gets what they want and Carsyljan Acres gets what they want, and we get screwed," shot back Corak. The Coraks' house is 7 feet within the fight of the way. "And there is no way for me to get a variance or anything else," she said. "No one is worried about people in Overbrook Shores. These houses sitting in the 25-foot right of way were approved by Sussex County." October 12, 2006 She said there are at least two houses built in the fight of way. John Morrissey's house is only 7 feet from the edge of the ditch. "I've been fighting this for three years; I have a folder 5 inches thick," he said. "I've been told I can't get title insurance and I have to sell this house. Who is to blame? The builder, the Realtor, the state, the county - they are all pointing their fingers at one another," said Morrissey. "I called the state about stand- ing water and mosquitoes, which started this whole thing. I guess I was shooting myself in the foot. The only solution I can see is to pipe it. We are not living on farm- land anymore," said Morrissey. Wakefield has a buried propane tank in the fight of way, as well as several mature trees along the edge of the ditch. "Have you con- sidered the light touch?" he asked Continued on page 13 Tax ditch system dates back some 200 years There are 243 tax ditches in Delaware coveting 2,000 miles, almost the same amount of roads in the state, said Frank Piorko, environmental program manager for the state tax ditch program. Although the Division of Soil and Water Conservation Drainage Program oversees the tax ditch program, volunteers who live in the district manage each tax ditch district. Residents in the district pay a tax to fund cleaning out and maintaining the ditch and to cover all other expenses. The tax ditch system was established 200 years ago as a means of sharing the cost of digging ditches to drain farmland for better drainage and the prevention of flooding. Piorko said those who formulated the regulations could not foresee the intrusion of residential developments into tax ditch districts. The law states that anyone who willfully or negligently obstructs or damages any part of the tax ditch, and upon request of the tax ditch managers, refuses to remove the obstruction or repair the damage at the person's own expense, the ditch managers shall see that the obstruction is removed and the damage repaired. The person responsible for the obstruction or damage is liable for expenses and can be sued by the managers in the name of the tax ditch before a justice og the peace. There is also a fine of not more than $100. 15% OFF Country Hutch w/purchase of farm or harvest table Hutches starting at $479.00 Keepers of the Light Candle on sale $15.95 Pennsylvania handcrafted Country Pine Furniture Custom designed pieces available Stained, painted or two-tone. NO EXTRA CHARGE Country & holiday decor & crafts V&J COHNTRY FURNITURE 28953 LEWES GEORGETOWN HWY. 302-684-0116 Open: Thurs. - Mon. 3.5 MILES WEST OF RT. 1 ON RT. 9 Tues. & Wed. by appt. (next to Beaman's Old & Gnu Antiques) 302-684-0116 Peter & Mary Beaman Ron MacArthur photo Part of John Morrissey's house in Overbrook Shores is within the 25-foot right of way of the Carsyljan tax ditch. He is not alone as many other residents of the development have obstructions along the ditch. VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE EXTENDED HOURS FOR REGISTRAT.ION & ABSENTEE BALLOT VOTING PARTY COR Your On drop Party Storel 302.934.8119 208 Main Street Millsboro, DE gqkm1[ .0000.Your NFL Headquarters:00 NFL - AFC BALLOONS .  FOOTBALIJNFL PLATES, B : We carry decorations for your "G NAPKINS, ETC.  4 favorite football team. ,i "2"" Fall Decorations & Party Goods qk Check out 11 HOURS: e_ , " Ogl ,i, Mon., Tues., Thurs, t 1 , O/ _ '  1, a " 9-5:30p.m.   lJr t , Wed &Fri 9am -7pm  /i, ...... T Sat. 9a.m.-5p.m. r, i s_" SATURDAy, OCTOBER 14, 2006 - REGISTRATION DEADLINE to vote in the 2006 General Election. This office is open from - 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM. EXTENDED HOURS FOR ABSENTEE BALLOT VOTING Absentee ballots are available to be voted by mail or in person in the office of the Department of Elections. Monday. October 16, 2006 until Thursday. November 2, 2006 (WEEK DAYS ONLY) Office hours will be 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM. Friday, November 3, 2006 - Open: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM. Saturday. November 4, 2006 - Office will be open 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM. Friday, November 3, 2006 - Last day to mail out absentee ballots. Monday. November 6, 2006 - 12 Noon - Deadline to vote in person an absentee ballot in the office of the Department of Elections. For information, call: DEPARTMENT OF ELECTIONS SUSSEX COUNTY 119 NORTH RACE STREET GEORGETOWN, DE 19947 PHONE: 856-5367 12 - CAPE GAZETTE - Tuesday, October 10 - Thursday, Ditch Continued from page 1 one resident said he is planning legal action. Garner said everyone who was affected by the addition of the tract was contacted and asked to attend a meeting in June. She said the vote to allow the addition had to be unanimous, and it was. "I wasn't contacted and I am an affected person," said Jeff Wakefield, who moved into Overbrook Shores less than two years ago. Wakefield plans to take legal action because he said he was not contacted about the vote. Tax ditch regulations, set up in 1984, give residents of Overbrook Shores no vote on tax ditch mat- ters, but those residents also pay no ditch taxes. They can attend meetings and make comments, however. Overbrook Shores' resi- dents have the fight of way on their property; Carsyljan Acres' residents do not. Carsyljan resi- dents have the fight to vote and they also pay an annual ditch tax. Ditch needs to be cleaned The tax ditch, which drains into Red Mill Pond, has been neglect- ed for the past two decades. Cahall and Garner showed a power point display to show work that needs to be done to the tax ditch. The presentation included slides of large excavating equip- ment digging out a ditch. 'rhere is no way this can hap- pen in Overbrook Shores," said Gay Corak, a resident of the development. "We feel there is, and we will work individually with folks who have obstructions," replied Cahall. "It's hard to accomplish any- thing in a big group because there is not one blanket solution to everyone's problem. Some have small problems; some have big problems. This is the start of the dialog so we can work through each individual's obstacle," said Cahall. "Vincent Overlook gets what they want and Carsyljan Acres gets what they want, and we get screwed," shot back Corak. The Coraks' house is 7 feet within the fight of the way. "And there is no way for me to get a variance or anything else," she said. "No one is worried about people in Overbrook Shores. These houses sitting in the 25-foot right of way were approved by Sussex County." October 12, 2006 She said there are at least two houses built in the fight of way. John Morrissey's house is only 7 feet from the edge of the ditch. "I've been fighting this for three years; I have a folder 5 inches thick," he said. "I've been told I can't get title insurance and I have to sell this house. Who is to blame? The builder, the Realtor, the state, the county - they are all pointing their fingers at one another," said Morrissey. "I called the state about stand- ing water and mosquitoes, which started this whole thing. I guess I was shooting myself in the foot. The only solution I can see is to pipe it. We are not living on farm- land anymore," said Morrissey. Wakefield has a buried propane tank in the fight of way, as well as several mature trees along the edge of the ditch. "Have you con- sidered the light touch?" he asked Continued on page 13 Tax ditch system dates back some 200 years There are 243 tax ditches in Delaware coveting 2,000 miles, almost the same amount of roads in the state, said Frank Piorko, environmental program manager for the state tax ditch program. Although the Division of Soil and Water Conservation Drainage Program oversees the tax ditch program, volunteers who live in the district manage each tax ditch district. Residents in the district pay a tax to fund cleaning out and maintaining the ditch and to cover all other expenses. The tax ditch system was established 200 years ago as a means of sharing the cost of digging ditches to drain farmland for better drainage and the prevention of flooding. Piorko said those who formulated the regulations could not foresee the intrusion of residential developments into tax ditch districts. The law states that anyone who willfully or negligently obstructs or damages any part of the tax ditch, and upon request of the tax ditch managers, refuses to remove the obstruction or repair the damage at the person's own expense, the ditch managers shall see that the obstruction is removed and the damage repaired. The person responsible for the obstruction or damage is liable for expenses and can be sued by the managers in the name of the tax ditch before a justice og the peace. There is also a fine of not more than $100. 15% OFF Country Hutch w/purchase of farm or harvest table Hutches starting at $479.00 Keepers of the Light Candle on sale $15.95 Pennsylvania handcrafted Country Pine Furniture Custom designed pieces available Stained, painted or two-tone. NO EXTRA CHARGE Country & holiday decor & crafts V&J COHNTRY FURNITURE 28953 LEWES GEORGETOWN HWY. 302-684-0116 Open: Thurs. - Mon. 3.5 MILES WEST OF RT. 1 ON RT. 9 Tues. & Wed. by appt. (next to Beaman's Old & Gnu Antiques) 302-684-0116 Peter & Mary Beaman Ron MacArthur photo Part of John Morrissey's house in Overbrook Shores is within the 25-foot right of way of the Carsyljan tax ditch. He is not alone as many other residents of the development have obstructions along the ditch. VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE EXTENDED HOURS FOR REGISTRAT.ION & ABSENTEE BALLOT VOTING PARTY COR Your On drop Party Storel 302.934.8119 208 Main Street Millsboro, DE gqkm1[ .0000.Your NFL Headquarters:00 NFL - AFC BALLOONS .  FOOTBALIJNFL PLATES, B : We carry decorations for your "G NAPKINS, ETC.  4 favorite football team. ,i "2"" Fall Decorations & Party Goods qk Check out 11 HOURS: e_ , " Ogl ,i, Mon., Tues., Thurs, t 1 , O/ _ '  1, a " 9-5:30p.m.   lJr t , Wed &Fri 9am -7pm  /i, ...... T Sat. 9a.m.-5p.m. r, i s_" SATURDAy, OCTOBER 14, 2006 - REGISTRATION DEADLINE to vote in the 2006 General Election. This office is open from - 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM. EXTENDED HOURS FOR ABSENTEE BALLOT VOTING Absentee ballots are available to be voted by mail or in person in the office of the Department of Elections. Monday. October 16, 2006 until Thursday. November 2, 2006 (WEEK DAYS ONLY) Office hours will be 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM. Friday, November 3, 2006 - Open: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM. Saturday. November 4, 2006 - Office will be open 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM. Friday, November 3, 2006 - Last day to mail out absentee ballots. Monday. November 6, 2006 - 12 Noon - Deadline to vote in person an absentee ballot in the office of the Department of Elections. For information, call: DEPARTMENT OF ELECTIONS SUSSEX COUNTY 119 NORTH RACE STREET GEORGETOWN, DE 19947 PHONE: 856-5367