FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I bring a problem to the attention of CCOBH?

How do I report potholes, debris in the road, or any other urgent street problem in my neighborhood?

Whom do I call to replace missing or damaged street signs?

Who is responsible for removing fallen branches or trees from our neighborhood streets?

The paving and curbs on my street are deteriorating. Whom should I call?

Some of our community’s street trees are damaged or dying. Who is responsible for caring for them?

Who is responsible for maintaining and repairing my neighborhood’s street sidewalks?

Can a community organization or property owner be sued if someone is injured because of a poorly maintained street sidewalk?

Who can help me deal with flooding and storm water runoff problems?

How do I report sewer problems?

If I have water service problems whom should I call?

How do I report a phone outage?

How do I report an electrical outage or a natural gas emergency?

Whom must I call before I dig in my yard?

Whom do I call to report traffic problems or to report graffiti and other vandalism?

I want to report a Code violation, but I don’t want to start trouble with my neighbors. What can I do?

Where do I go to find out if snow depths qualify for snow removal reimbursement?

I want to get street lights in my neighborhood. What should I do?

County park lands near my community need attention. Who can help me?

I need advice regarding my civic association’s deed restrictions. Where
do I get help?

Who are my State Senator, State Representative, and New Castle County Councilman, and how can I contact them?

Who are my US Senators and Representative, and how can I contact them?

How can I find out about my taxes for New Castle County and Brandywine School District?

Do community organizations need to carry insurance?

How do I bring a problem to the attention of CCOBH?

The quickest and most reliable way to reach us is by e-mail at contact@ccobh.org
The names of our Board of Directors and officers are on the About page. Which can be found on the About Menu tab. Just scroll down the page. In your e-mail, just tell us the name of the person you want to reach and tell us how we can help you. We will be happy to respond either by e-mail or by phone. If you need to send us a letter or document through the
mail, our address is:

CCOBH
Attn: _____________
P. O. Box 753
Claymont, DE 19703-0753

Our Board members are also available at all our public meetings to hear your concerns and answer your questions. If you would like to speak at one of our Board of Directors meetings, read A Note About Board Meetings at the top of the “Events” page, and get in touch.

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How do I report potholes, debris in the road, or any other urgent street problem in my neighborhood?

You may call the DelDOT Transportation Management Center
24 hours a day.  For accidents or other emergencies call 911.

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Whom do I call to replace missing or damaged street signs?

DelDOT Transportation Management Center
will take reports of missing or damaged signs, but the quickest way to get signs replaced is to call one of your local state legislators.

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Who is responsible for removing fallen branches or trees from our neighborhood streets?

DelDOT is responsible for removing any obstacle from streets they are
required to maintain. DelDOT crews will cut the tree or branches
into manageable pieces, remove them from the right of way, and stack
them so as not to block the street or sidewalk. The community
organization is then responsible for properly disposing of the debris.
DelDOT will not remove stumps, regrade and reseed turf, or plant new trees. All those things must be arranged by the community organization.  Contact DelDOT to report fallen trees or limbs, or to report any other road conditions.

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The paving and curbs on my street are deteriorating. Whom should I call?

DelDOT will do the repairs, but the funds will come from one or both of your state legislators’ Community Transportation Funds.
Contact your legislators to arrange repairs. Funds are very limited, and repairs may take some time to complete.

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Some of our community’s street trees are damaged or dying. Who is responsible for caring for them?

Street trees on private property are the responsibility of the property owner. Even though most street trees are planted on the DelDOT right-of-way, and are DelDOT property, DelDOT has neither the funds nor the manpower to maintain street trees. Care of street trees is, therefore, left to the adjacent property owner, or to the community organization.

Many community organizations realize that healthy and attractive street trees beautify their communities and improve property values, so they organize themselves to care for street trees with the help of individual property owners. To learn more, read the “Street Trees” section of the Civic Association Handbook.

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Who is responsible for maintaining and repairing my neighborhood’s street sidewalks?

Sidewalks are part of DelDOT’s rights-of-way but, as is the case with street trees, DelDOT has no funding available for sidewalk repair. Homeowners are, therefore, left to maintain their sidewalks as best they can.  Unfortunately, the state offers no grants or assistance of any kind for sidewalk repair.  Sidewalk repair can be very expensive, and most homeowners will not agree to higher dues to pay for a community sidewalk repair program. Therefore, almost all repair work is done by individual homeowners.

There is a lesser role for community organziations, however. Concrete is less expensive when delivered by the truckload. Community organizations can coordinate the efforts of several neighbors by working with a contractor to do all the repair work at the same time. Many reputable contractors will then pass
along the lower cost of concrete to the homeowners. If done this way, each homeowner is responsible for his or her own bill.

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Can a community organization or property owner be sued if someone is injured because of a poorly maintained street sidewalk?

Neither State nor the County statutory law requires property owners to
maintain the sidewalks adjacent to or on their property. Absent some type of
special circumstance (such as destroying it or creating a hazard themselves), a
homeowner who does not have a sidewalk on their property is not liable for the
maintenance of that sidewalk. It is, however, abundantly clear from Delaware
case law, that homeowners on whose property sidewalks do exist, are liable for
the injuries caused to users of that sidewalk when the sidewalk is not properly
maintained. Thus, a prudent homeowner will take steps to know whether the
sidewalk is on their property, and will make sure that the sidewalk is
maintained to prevent or correct any reasonably identifiable hazard on that
sidewalk.
If a homeowner has any doubt about whether the sidewalk is on their
property, they can check the Mortgage Inspection Survey they received when they
purchased their home. Please note, a sidewalk that is in the DelDOT right of
way, but on property owned by the homeowner, does not relieve the homeowner of
liability.
A homeowners association that has not undertaken to repair sidewalks on its
own initiative does not have any liability with respect to such sidewalks, but
if sidewalks are part of the common elements that are owned by and the
responsibility of a maintenance corporation, such maintenance corporation is
responsible for the upkeep of the sidewalk and is liable for hazards
thereon.

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Who can help me deal with flooding and storm water runoff problems?

Individuals and associations can get help from New Castle County, DelDOT, or DNREC, depending upon the problem. The New Castle County NDPES page is a
good place to start.  This page has the phone numbers you will need, and this page discusses both maintenance organization and civic association responsibilities.

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How do I report sewer problems?

Contact NCCo Special Services at 395-5700 to report sewer emergencies.

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If I have water service problems whom should I call?

If you are a United Water Delaware customer call 302-633-5900.
Wilmington Water customers call 302-576-3877 or 302-571-4150.

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How do I report a phone outage?

Verizon customers can report an outage online or by calling 1-800-275-2355.

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How do I report an electrical outage or a natural gas emergency?

Delmarva customers can report an outage online. To phone in an
electrical outage call 1-800-898-8042. To phone in a natural gas emergency call 1-302-454-0317. Post these emergency numbers where you can quickly find them.

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Whom must I call before I dig in my yard?

Call Miss Utility at 1-800-282-8555, or visit the Miss Utility Homeowners website to file an online underground locate request.

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Whom do I call to report traffic problems or to report graffiti and other vandalism?

Report vandalism on the police non-emergency line at 275-2800. If your community’s problems are chronic, your next call should be to the Community Services Unit of the New Castle County Police.
They are organized and equipped to work closely with community
organizations, and will meet with you to discuss your community’s
needs. Make a habit of inviting an officer from the Community
Services Unit to attend your community organizations meetings.

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I want to report a Code violation, but I don’t want to start trouble with my neighbors. What can I do?

New Castle County Code Enforcement
will send Code Enforcement Officers to investigate reports of code violations. You can call them at 302-395-5555, or you can file a report online.
You will not be asked to give your name, unless you want to know the results of the investigation. This link provides more information.

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Where do I go to find out if snow depths qualify for snow removal reimbursement?

If your community organization is eligible and has not registered for
the Snow Removal Reimbursement Program, it may not be too late to register. If your organization is registered for the program you can find the snow accumulation online, or you can call 1-800-652-5600.

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I want to get street lights in my neighborhood. What should I do?

The following information is taken from New Castle County’s “Maintenance Organization Manual”. Although written for Maintenance Organizations, it applies to all communities.

“As a community, you must determine the style of light standard desired by the members of your community. To do this, contact Delmarva Power at
1-800- 375-7117, and communicate to them that the community is seeking
information about streetlights. A packet of information will be
remitted. Once you have made your decision, contact Denny Hardman, New
Castle County Office of Treasury, 87 Reads Way, New Castle, De 19720.
Mr. Hardman can also be reached by dialing 395-5083.

Mr. Hardman will provide the following:

1. A Homeowner Petition – For homeowners to sign endorsing the
installation of streetlights.

2. A list of the names of all property owners and applicable parcel
numbers.

3. Information containing the current tax rates to give the community a
glimpse of the cost.

Upon receipt of the above information, the community members must circulate the petition and obtain 51% of the property owners
signatures endorsing the installation of streetlights.

All property owners must be contacted to express their opinion on this issue. The developer can sign the petition representing the undeveloped lots in
the community.

Once the above items are complete, contact Mr. Hardman and advise him
of this. He will provide further information as needed.”

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County park lands near my community need attention. Who can help me?

NCCo Special Services Department is responsible for park maintenance.
Call Park Maintenance at 395-5720 to report problems.

Park maintenance crews are understaffed and may not be able to respond quickly except in emergencies. Community organizations can help, however, by organizing volunteers to hold park clean-up days. A well organized event can clean trash and debris from a park, leaving it safe and attractive. Call ahead and the county can
send trucks to pick up bagged trash and bundled debris left in a pre-arranged location, usually alongside the nearest road.

You can also help by urging your neighbors not to dump trash or yard
waste in county parks. Most of the trash and debris that accumulates in parks is dumped by nearby neighbors who are either too careless or unwilling to dispose of it properly.

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I need advice regarding my civic association’s deed restrictions. Where do I get help?

CCOBH will be happy to answer any of your questions about deed
restrictions.  Just send us an e-mail at contact@ccobh.org
and we will get right back to you.  New Castle County does not
get involved in dealings with deed restrictions. This is
explained on page 25, Why the County Cannot Enforce Deed Restrictions, in the “Maintenance Organization Manual”.

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Who are my State Senator, State Representative, and New Castle County Councilman, and how can I contact them?

First, go to the New Castle County “ParcelView” page, enter the information called for and find the name of your state senator, state representative and county councilman. Then go to the CCOBH “Resources” page, and use the links to
navigate to the individual’s web pages.

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Who are my US Senators and Representative, and how can I contact them?

They are Senator Chris Coons, Senator Thomas R. Carper and Representative John Carney

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How can I find out about my taxes for New Castle County and Brandywine School District?

New Castle County maintains a “ParcelView
page where you can find detailed information about your property,
including county and school taxes. Take time to review all
the information while you are there.

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Do community organizations need to carry insurance?

There is no easy answer to this question.   “A Guide
To Insurance Issues For Homeowner, Condo And Civic Associations”
,
is published by the Delaware Insurance Commissioner’s Office.
It attempts to answer this question. If you think that your
organization might need insurance, give the Commisioner’s Office a call
at 1-800-282-8611.

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