Dear Constituents, Even though it's summer, there's quite a bit happening. Read below for more details. Please don't hesitate to call or email if you have a question or concern. I'm here to help. Sincerely,
8th District City Councilman
P.S. If you want to be added to the email list to receive future updates, please send a text, call or email.
(1) Summer Concert Series - Every Monday Night I can't think of anything more relaxing on a summer Monday and Wednesday night than the Summer Concert series in Rockford and Brandywine Parks:
I'm very impressed with the work of Delaware State Parks, Friends of Wilmington Parks, Gable Music Ventures, and Delaware Arts Division and others to make this fun series possible, which includes food trucks, alcohol for purchase and the opportunity to climb iconic Rockford Tower.
Key Building and Construction Updates
(2) Planned Apartment building at 1021 Gilpin Avenue:
On June 27th, Berger Communities held a community meeting to receive feedback on their proposed plans for a 140 unit apartment building at 1021 Gilpin Avenue. The project includes a to be proposed street vacation of the portion of Jackson St bordering I95 and a request for a variance in the setback requirements on Gilpin Avenue. As the neighborhood's representative, I am working hard to ensure that constituent concerns are fully addressed, especially as relates to parking. I will be keeping residents immediately informed of any new follow up information on the project as soon as it becomes available.
(3) 2800 block of W. 17th St Temporarily Closed
Tower Hill School is doing construction on the sides of the 2800 block of W. 17th St to add some traffic calming measures to slow drivers down. The street will be fully reopened to traffic as it was before the closure as soon as the construction is completed. ***Scroll to bottom to read a detailed update from the Highlands Community Association.
(4) Fixing the Issues with LED Lights
The City is committed to fixing this problem. The City expects delivery of less intense test lights from Delmarva in early July. They will install four or six test lights in Wawaset Park and after reviewing them, will proceed to replace the more intense lights already installed.
(5) Update on the Reopening of S. Park Drive
Closed since 2020, work on S. Park Drive will be completed by DELDOT within a month and their equipment removed. Questions remain about the exact status of the road. I am told that the City does not plan to keep it permanently closed at this point. However, before any reopening, the issue of trees falling into the road and the quality of the guardrails must be addressed.
(6) New Discussion on Gibraltar:
At the May 23rd Highlands Community Association meeting, Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki briefly introduced a new proposed concept for the site. From the HCA meeting minutes:
As always, I am following this closely and will keep residents informed as soon as there is additional information.
Progress on Neighborhood Beautification
(7) "Water Lily Lane" on 14th St completed
In early June Rachel van Wylen completed a mural - "Water Lily Lane" on a graffiti covered wall on 14th St. Our goal is to continue to beautify our city streets and to attract more pedestrian traffic to this corner of the neighborhood.
(8) Bringing Art to the Neighborhoods:
Working with the Delaware Art Museum Staff in June we put up nine temporary vinyl murals featuring scenes from key Art Museum paintings.
We hope to promote more foot traffic to and from the area and to encourage people to go and see these world-famous 19th century paintings in person:
(9) Smaller Trash Cans Are Available
Many residents of blocks with mostly row houses have complained to me about how the City policy of only collecting trash from a City issued standard can has one negative side effect of altering the look of their block. This is because the size of the standard 65 gallon container can't be concealed from view forcing them to be stored on the sidewalks in front of their homes.
One immediate option is available. Smaller 36 gallon cans are available to be swapped out. You can call the Public Works Call Center at 302-576-3878 to request a switch:
(10) Neighborhood History Happy Hour Series Kicks Off
This new feature was started in May when noted beer historian John Medkeff gave an outstanding talk on the history surrounding the local brewery scene that once existed in and around 40 Acres, Trolley Square and the Highlands. The June event featured a book signing by Bill Knightly, author of a very good new book on Wilmington During the Revolutionary War. Three events will be held this Fall. .
(11) CITY COUNCIL LEGISLATIVE NEWS
The State legislature passed a bill last year requiring Cities with over 30,000 people to have a process for permitting EV charging stations in the public right of way.
City Council last night passed a framework to allow people to apply for permits to charge EVs in front of their house with cords or to apply to install EV Charging stations in the sidewalks.
The exact details will be worked out over the next six months or so.
Finally, I hear the concerns of condominium owners about a new city policy to not collect trash from their buildings. There are more than 1,100 condo owners in the 8th District alone.
They pay City taxes like all other homeowners. Because of that, myself along with other council members believe that they should either receive garbage collection, get a tax credit covering the cost of private trash collection, or some other consideration. I continue to work to resolve this.
(12) Bancroft Bridge to Open in April 2025
On March 28th, the State of Delaware gave a presentation on the way forward. A new prefabricated bridge will be installed. However, due to permitting issues and wildlife restrictions that prevent construction between the months of April through July, work will begin in August 2024, leading to a reopening in August 2025. See the full presentation with more details here.
(13) What are your thoughts on Green Lawn Care?
As many residents have noted, gas powered lawn care equipment is bad for the environment and the loud noises create quality of life issues for residents. A group of neighbors continues to meet to study options for incentivizing Green Lawn care in Wilmington. Could you help us by taking this 3 minute survey on your lawn care experiences?
***Update Email from the HCA on Tower Hill School project details:
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