Donovan-Smith Manufactured Home Community Annexed Into Lewes | News

LEWESDel.- It was a unanimous vote to annex Donovan-Smith mobile home park into the city’s water and sewage system.

The vote was also unanimous to make the community a part of Lewes’s code and zoning.

Donna Hoepfl could not hold back the emotions that flowed out of many homeowners Thursday night.

“Thrilled to death,” Hoepfl said. “Tears, joy, everything.”

Homeowners Association President Samuel Saunders says the council understood that people in the park cannot live this way much longer.

“They knew how we had been treated for so many years and they were just talking about the moral issue of helping our community which made us feel good,” Samuel said.

But Lewes Councilperson Timothy Ritzert placed one condition that can reverse the approval.

“If the MOU is not signed by all signatory parties within thirty calendar days from today,” Ritzert said. “That’s Monday, May 16th.”

If you drive around Donovan-Smith mobile home park you can see how bad the water situation is. You can see water from the septic system and it runs out into the road.

Homeowners say that septic spills happen all of the time because the tanks are not cleaned out as regularly as they should. Sussex County Councilman Mark Schaeffer has been calling for change see he was elected and has seen the issues first hand.

“It’s important for the government to protect the health and welfare of our citizens and I learned about this problem a year ago,” Schaeffer said. “When I was knocking on doors, I was outraged. We found third world conditions quite frankly. Sewage on top of the ground. People can’t drink the water. It’s contaminated.”

The owner of the park’s attorney John W. Paradee released a statement to WRDE saying in part:

“We are eager to move forward with the community’s connection to the BPW’s public sewer and water system, and we look forward to continuing our efforts to improve the quality of life for all of the community’s residents.”

He also said separately that he and the owner will be signing the memorandum of understanding as soon as possible.

Lewes Board of Public Works says that the work would not start in Donovan-Smith until about a year or year and a half from now.

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