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Lewes, Delaware
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January 17, 1997     Cape Gazette
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January 17, 1997
 

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18 - CAPE GAZETrE, Friday, January 17 - January 23, 1997 Rehoboth wells, Oak Orchard floods, Lewes bridge on DelDOT priority list By Michael Short A sparse crowd turned out for the Capital Improvement Program hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 14. Sponsored by the Council on Transportation, the Dover Kent Metropolitan Planning Organiza- tion and the Wilmington Metro- politan Planning Organization, the meetings are held to discuss the blueprint for future state trans- portation projects. That blueprint or Capital Im- provement Program (CIP) covers everything from flooding in Oak Orchard to shoulders being added to Rt. 113. The CIP essentially lays out the major transportation projects for the next half decade. Tuesday night's hearing was to get input on the CIP for Sussex County, a list of approximately $70 million in projects from now until Fiscal Year 2003. Only a handful of people spoke, including County Administrator Bob Stickels, who presented the County Council's top seven wish list. The top item on Stickels' list Castle Town Meeting in Sussex County Jan. 24 Congressman Michael N. Castle will be opening his town meeting series for the winter with a Friday, Jan. 24 session in Millsboro. Cas- tle will be hosting town meetings in each county, and he chose to start in Sussex County. The town meeting is set for 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Main Hall of Millsboro Civic Center, 322 Wilson High- way, Millsboro. Castle will be dis- cussing issues that will come be- fore Congress this year. The pub- lic is encouraged to attend. Rehoboth Beach officials file labor appeal The City of Rehoboth Beach has filed an appeal to a recent rul- ing issued by the Delaware Public Employees Relations Board re- garding which ranks of the police department can be represented in a single bargaining unit of a labor union. After a .December hearing, the PERB decision stated that sergeants could be included in a bargaining unit along with other officers of a lower rank. A spokesperson for the PERB said that the city filed an appeal Monday, Jan. 13; and city offi- cials requested that they be al- lowed to use affidavits to supple- ment the records presented for the initial hearing. If the appeal is ac- cepted, it will be reviewed by the three-person Public Employee Re- lations Board. Members of the Rehoboth Beach POlice Department have petitioned for an election to be represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. An election cannot be held until it is determined exactly which ifficers can be .included itl=a-Smgle bar- was improvements to Rt. 54, a project which is being planned. Number two on the list are im- provements to Rt. 1, but the al- ways controversial stretch of roadway is not listed in the CIP for any major improvements. Stickels also called for improve- ments to Rt. 26, Rt. 24 and Rt. 404. He said Rt. 24 is becoming congested and is particularly trou- blesome around the Long Neck area. Joanne DeFiore, who has been active in pursing improvements in the "forgotten mile" of Rt. 1 from Dewey Beach north to the bridge over the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal near the entrance to Rehoboth Beach, did not speak in public ses- sion. But several "forgotten mile" residents came to the meeting and DeFiore spoke to a stenographer taking comments from the public. She said her group would contin- ue to push for a traffic signal in the area, which she feels will im- prove safety. gaining .unit. Milton workshop sets topics for Feb. meeting In a Jan. 15 workshop session, members of Milton Town Council touched on several issues that will be included in the regular council meeting Feb. 3, and probably in later meetings to come. Mayor John Bushey pointed out that sev- eral desired projects such as build- ing a city civic center and acquir- ing and maintaining appropriate equipment for the town require long-range planning and budget- ing. The mayor said that officials and town residents need to accept that it is necessary to decide on projects, get cost estimates, and determine how much money Mil- ton can borrow and pay back in a reasonable time. It was pointed out that most Milton taxes and fees have not been increased in years. Dennis Hughes town council treasurer, said that the current trash fee was set years ago to pay the landfill tipping fee alone, with no amount built in for equipment or salaries of city employees who collect trash. Even though city coffers are not brimming with surplus funds, Milton does have a sewer plant that is paid off and provides the potential to sell waste water pro- cessing services to other areas. The plant was designed with ex- cess capacity, and town officials believe that there is still a possi- bility of contracting with other ar- eas that do not have central sewer. Jackie Moore, town clerk, said that town tax bills just went out and payment is due March 31. She said that Milton presently has a smaller amount of outstanding taes than the town has had in the last five years. Moore and the mayor credited determined pursuit of penalties for delinquent taxes with encouraging more responsi- ble payment. Elise Altergott of Millsboro said she would like a truck route around Millsboro and other com- ments focused on Rt. 54 and Rt. 26. Here's a look at some of the projects that are listed in the Capi- tal Improvement Program. Oak Orchard floodingThis project calls for realignment of Sussex 312 and 311 to deal with flooding in the Oak Orchard area. The work will raise and re-align the roadway to help alleviate flooding in the area fronting on Indian River. The project funding is for this year and Fiscal Year 1998. Replacement of Rehoboth Beach wells--There are no dol- lars set aside for this project right now. But the intent is to replace Rehoboth Beach wells very close to Rt. 1 just north of Rt. 271. The reason there are now no dollars set aside is that Delaware's Depart- ment of Transportation (DelDOT) and Rehoboth Beach may go to arbitration to fund replacement well costs. An estimate of approx- imately $400,000 has been given for the work by the state. DelDOT previously agreed it would replace the wells if needed after widening Rt. l. Lewes swing bridge--This is the railway bridge over the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal which is used by Barcroft. The historic rail- road bridge's east abutment is leaning inward and during the summer when the beams expand, this abutment causes the bridge's mechanisms to jam, making it hard to open. The substructure, fender system, counterweight, op- erational gears and steel girders are badly corroded and need reha- bilitation. The $1 million funding planned will include electrifica- tion of the mechanisms to open the structure. Rt. 1 improvements--Plans are in the works for some im- provements north of Nassau. Plans call for modifying for turn- ing lanes the intersection of Rt. 5 and 1, to modify the intersection at Rt. 16 and 1 and to do auxiliary lane work from Dover Air Force Base to Nassau by improving ac- celeration and deceleration lanes. U.S. 113This is the big tuna of Sussex improvements with $40 million of the roughly $70 million allocated here. The changes are not vast, but they include crossovers and intersection im- provements and other changes from the Maryland line to Sussex 321. Other plans include drainage improvements and replacing some failed concrete pavement. The work is not expected to be funded until Fiscal Year 2000. Was Now 5.20 APY 5.30 Minumum deposit of $500.00 Offer valid from 12/16/96 through 2128197 tg Rehoboth Long Neck Milford Seaford 226-9800 947-7300 424-2500 628-4400 Member FDIC Penalty for early withdrawal. See bank for details.