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Fenwick Island Dredging Project Pushed Forward with $800,000 Sussex County Contribution

Posted on June 10, 2024

FENWICK ISLAND, DE — The Sussex County Council is agreeing to contribute $800,000 in funding toward dredging in the north and south channels leading to the Little Assawoman Bay.

The Town of Fenwick Island began receiving bids for the proposed project in April. The initial bids were roughly $2.3 million, nearly $1 million more than the town had planned for.

Fenwick Island Dredging Committee Chairman Bill Rymer tells WBOC the town then scaled back the project to not dredge the channels as deep. The bidding cost was then lowered.

“The bids now range between $1.9 and $2.2 million, so we’re very pleased with that, but we still needed additional external funding and that’s where Sussex County became involved,” says Rymer.

Now, with $800,000 from Sussex County, $1 million in State Bond Bill Appropriations, and close to $800,000 collected by the town itself, the channels can be dredged to their originally engineered depths.

Rymer says the goal is to begin digging in September.

For Fenwick Island resident June Blocklin, the news is a relief.

“It’s been quite dangerous,” says Blocklin. “I see boats with small children on them and they hit the sandbar, and it’s a real problem.”

Resident Bill Biddle agrees the project is long overdue, but says it will only solve half the problem.

“On the north side of town, trying to get out to the channels they’re going to dredge, that’s still a problem,” says Biddle. “That’s not covered.”

Town officials say the project must be completed by December 31, 2024.

The Fenwick Island Town Council must discuss the funds and then vote on how the money will be spent. Town leaders tell WBOC they plan to do so at their next town council meeting on June 28th.


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