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Lewes, Delaware
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March 6, 1998     Cape Gazette
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March 6, 1998
 

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58 - CAPE GAZETrE, Friday, March 6 - March 12, 1998 Patrick Foundation new anchor tenant at Sussex airport By Michael Short Sussex County Council signed a lease with the Harvey and Vera Patrick Family Foundation on Feb. 24 to become the new fixed base operator for the county air- port. The Patrick Foundation, a non- profit group, will lease approxi- mately three acres of land at the airport in Georgetown, including the terminal and fuel farm facility. It's an arrangement that paves the way for development of more air- port amenities while paying eco- nomic dividends to Sussex Coun- ty. "We will have something here the county can he proud of," said Patrick Foundation School of Aeronautics Administrator Bob Striebel. Part of the long-range plans of the Patrick Foundation is "development of a small aeronau- tics school at the county airport. The school is expected to draw most of its students from Delmar- va. Frank Calio, the Sussex County director of economic develop- ment, considers the lease so im- portant that he described the Patrick Foundation as an airport "anchor tenant." Harvey Patrick is also the owner of PATS Support Inc., the compa- ny that recently began refitting business jets at the airport with long-range fuel tanks. "We have always been im- pressed with the Patrick family," said county Council President Dale Dukes. There are some important dis- tinctions between this lease and the previous lease to Delmarva Aircraft. Per- haps the most significant distinction is that this lease is for approx- imately 3 acres while the previous lease to Del- marva Air- craft was for STRIEBEL 350 acres. In essence, it returns control of much of the airport to the county, allow- ing the county to continue eco- nomic development efforts at the airport and industrial park. The county is already planning significant improvements to the airport in an effort to attract cus- tomers. The county is building addition- al hangars and has been upgrading runways, lighting and making oth- er such improvements. Part of the lease agreement re- quires the Patrick Foundation to develop rental car service within one year at the airport. Currently, there are few available services to commuters or businesses who use the airport. They can buy a soft drink, but they can't buy a meal or find a rental car at the airport. There is no lodging, no restaurants and the amenities for travelers are slim and none. Striebel said that the only way to increase business at the airport is to increase amenities. "If you land at the Sussex County Airport, it is quaint and has a certain bucol- ic charm," Striebel said. Striebel said one goal of the Patrick Foundation is to establish a small, but quality school of aero- nautics. Initially, the school is only like- ly to attract perhaps 10 students when it begins operations. A second goal is to help the air- port turn a profit, even though the foundation is considered non- profit. A second major difference with the new lease (Sussex County has bought out the remaining time on the Delmarva Aircraft Lease) is that the county will receive far more money from gasoline sales. The county was paid 2 cents a gal- lon under the old lease, but will receive 12 cents a gallon for the first 200,000 gallons of fuel sold under the new terms and more for sales above 200,000 gallons. That additional income is con- Sussex newspaperman inducted into MDDC Community journalist W. Wright Robinson, who has chron- icled life in and around Seaford for close to 70 years, was inducted into the Maryland-Delaware-Dis- trict of Columbia (MDDC) News- paper Hall of Fame, Feb. 27, in Baltimore, before 290 reporters, editors and other newspaper exec- utives at the annual Editorial Awards Luncheon of the associa- Hall of Fame 1964. In 1929 he helped start a, new newspaper in Seaford, the "Delmarva Leader." He went to the competing "Seaford News" in 1930. When the "Leader" was put up for sale in 1934, he bought it for $1,500. He later bought the "Seaford News" for $1,000 and merged it with the "Leader." He sold the newspaper in 1964 to Chesapeake Publishing Corp., but was called back from retirement several times to continue editing it. In 1996, the paper was sold to Independent Newspapers Inc. (INI). He has won the Josiah Marvel Cup, the highest honor for c,ommunity service in Delaware. sidered significant and will make the airport, much more financially self-sufficient and help pay for improvements planne, d by the county.The specific r;pair plans include: repair of the r,rminal roof and hangar door, l? :" ring of the parking lot, installa ion of a new well, upgrade to central air condi- tioning and similar repairs. The lease will be for 15 years with two additional five year re- newals at the rate of $2,000 a month, according to Sussex Coun- ty Administrator Bob Stickels. Stickels said there is an escalation clause based on the consumer price index and said the new lease will net Sussex County $294,000 in the first five years of the lease. County Councilman George Cole said that he was concerned that the airport could grow too much, saying some residents like the small-town charm of the area. "You kind of described our airport as the one maybe just outside Green Acres." County Councilman Lynn Rogers, who has taken an avid in- terest in the county airport, re- sponded that "some people want it to grow." Cole went on to say that there had been some interest from Unit- ed Parcel Service, which at one time considered making George- town a hub site for its parcel ser- vice. United Parcel Service is no longer interested, but Cole said he worried that the airport could grow too large and busy. Striebel and Rogers down- played that, saying that no one wants or expects the airport to be- come a major facility. Norwest Mortgage, Inc. 4321 Highway One Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 Direct (302) 226-1863 Office (302) 227-5700 Toll Free (888) 217-5700 If you're considering Purchasing a home Building a home Refinancing your current home I CAN HELP! Jeff Thornburg Account Executive Call me for an update on rates and terms mAR  MORTGAGE IitllllWN Bill efliB , America's Largest Lender - March F=nanctng Special , , . 10 Different floor plans available' One wi'fl surelymeet your needs. 'fqr Call Today For More Information[/000000 I,..., / ,f 645-2030 ,,st :' : ,',, i 4554 Highwoy One, Midway FAX (302) 645-0232 _ Across from Rehoboth. Outlets tion's winter convention. The selection by the MDDC Press Association recognized Robinson for "a remarkable career combining quality hometown journalism with a rare vision that helped bring progress to his re- gion." Robinson, 89, continues to " write a column for "The Leader & State Register" and serves as a mentor and cheerleader in his role as editor emeritus for that western Sussex County newspaper, which he owned and edited from 1934 to MDDC President Deborah Corneiy (1) and Independent Newspapers President Tam- my Brittingham congratulate Wright Robinson on his Hall of Fame induction.