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Lewes, Delaware
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March 7, 1997     Cape Gazette
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March 7, 1997
 

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By Dennis Forney Delaware parks people have been gathering natural and cultur- al information about Cape Hen- lopen State Park for the past few months. Next week, the actual process of planning the future of the unique oceanfront park will _  .CAPE.GAZE, Ftiay,.March -.Mareh.1.3, .1997-- 17 State Officials ready to begin Cape State Park planning process south end of the park adjacent to North Shores and Rehoboth Beach. Trail proposal criticized A number of people objected to such a trail claiming it would ad- versely affect fragile wetlands in begin. .... the area of Gordon's'Pond. There Charles Salkin, director of "was also concern expressed about Delaware's parks, said a letter will go out next week announcing the first meeting for the planning process. "We'll send the letter to all who have expressed an interest as well as notifying the public through the papers," said Salkin. 'q'be meeting will be at the Sea- side Nature Center at Cape Hen- lopen State Park in April and the letter will include an agenda. We want to explain what we think a plan is, how and what kind of con- sultants and facilitators will be hired to do the planning, and how people will have direct and indi- rect input in the process. We want to lay it all out and get everyone started from the same founda- tion," said Salkin. The move toward a master plan for Cape Henlopen State Park grew out of discussions in 1996 about the possibility of develop- ing a bicycle trail inside the park that would connect a road at the north end of the park with the Gordon's Pond parking tot at the how much development would occur over the next several years in Cape Henlopen State Park's 3,000 plus acres and just what the carrying capacity of the park is. When the United States Navy de- commissioned its reserve training facility inside Cape Heniopen late last summer, a number of protest- ers were on hand to express their displeasure with the idea of a bi- cycle trail. And with their signs they also expressed a desire for a park mas- ter plan before any more park de- velopment takes place. Park officials, including Saikin, agreed that a master plan was in order. An assessment of the park's flo- ra and fauna began late in 1996. "Our goal with that is to assemble the baseline data we need to do a credible job of developing a plan for the park," said Mark Chura, manager of the Parks Division's Planning, Preservation and Devel- opment Section. Rehoboth Continued from page 13 of the water fountains at the Bandstand for pick ups. It was Commissioner Jan Kone- sey's understanding that the city had already given that directive last year, following numerous complaints about the problems at the Bandstand, but Mayor Sam Cooper cautioned that they should cooperate with the state-operated transit bus system operators and discuss it further with them. Cooper was informed that the committee broached the subject with Derrick Lightfoot, DART First State assistant director, didn't seem to have a problem with that request when they met with him last month. Cooper said he wants to wait and hear from the state before taking any formal ac- tion, as he expressed safety con- cerns about large crowds awaiting buses near the fountains. The city is also awaiting DART's decision on Rehoboth's proposal to allow those employed by merchants within the city lim- its to use the state-operated park and ride lot during the day, free of charge, with the city subsidizing the program at a rate lower than typically charged. Lighffoot said this week that he is sending out a counterproposal for their consid- eration, but didn't want to elabo- rate until city officials received the correspondence. In other related matters, the Re- hoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has agreed to sell park- ing permits on behalf of the city this coming summer. Chamber President Rob Marshall said that following meetings between city and chamber officials earlier this week, it was decided the Chamber would cooperate having been asked by the city to assist. He is awaiting feedback from City Manager Greg Ferrese before an- nouncing exactly what the Cham- ber's role will be. "As we gather data, it will help us define how rapidly we can wrap up the planning process," said Chura. "We want to separate emotion from fact. The area's been characterized in many differ- ent ways -by some as having na- tional significance. We want to see how the data we gather speaks to that." Salkin said the data gathering will require a full twelve month cycle so everything can be seen in the park. "We're excited about what the assessment will find al- though we're not expecting any real surprises." Chura said he would like to see the planning process concluded in 1997. "I think it's possible, but we'll just have to see." Milton Council extends tax due date, discusses run down housing problem By Rosanne Pack A variety of issues faced Milton at the monthly town council meet- ing. March 3, and questions rang- ing from Greenways support to finding space for Boy Scouts were heard. Included in the routine business of the town, council members vot- ed on several ordinance changes and charter changes. Attracting the most discussion was a propos- al to extend the time allotted for payment of town taxes from 30 to 90 days after date of receipt. Council compromised on 60 days. In introducing the proposed change to 90 days, Councilman Charlie Fleetwood, said that coun- cil always ends up extending the time from 30 to 90 days with a special vote, so why not go ahead and make it officially 90 days to start With. Discussion centered around the fact that tax bills go out Jan. 1, al- ready three months into the town's fiscal year, which starts Oct. I. Mayor Jack Bushey point- ed out that if the taxes are not payable until April 1, Milton goes six months into the fiscal year with a greatly reduced cash flow. Outgoing council member Den- nis Hughes said that town taxes represent 30 percent of Milton's revenue. Presently, the town is NEW KITCHENS Quality Design & Installation For Kitchens & Baths Distributor For Quality Cabinets. Wellborn Cabinets Mouser Custom Cabinets SAME DAY SERVICE AVAILABLE ON IN-STOCK CABINETS SUP, ELL SOLID SURFACE CUSTOM POSTFORM COUNTERTOPS [  25 YEARS EXPERIENCE I Igl!Mlllllllhmm/"''00'00l 000000644-9006 I IlWi/0000 I dealing with approximately $215,000 in outstanding payments due. That includes $160,000 in current taxes and $32,000 in past due taxes; the remainder is in un- paid water and sewer fees. After discussion, the charter change was revised to allowing 60 days before taxes are due, and unanimously approved. Other charter changes which Milton Town Council approved are the following: To be eligible to run for city of- flee, a candidate will be required to have paid all town taxes, utility bills and other fees before filing. The hours of town elections will be changed from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. to 1-6 p.m. Charter changes must be read into the council minutes for two meetings before being sent to the General Assembly for approval. Ordinance update Ordinance revisions were offi- cially approved to reflect recent changes in hours and shifts of town employees. Police officers are now working 12-hour shifts, providing Milton with 24-hour police coverage. The position of building inspector is to be part- time, 24 hours a week. The final ordinance change was to restrict overtime only to that granted writ- ten approval; and overtime will only be paid hour-for-hour rate, rather than time and a half. There was some displeasure ex- pressed with the hour-for-hour provision since maintenance workers are sometimes called out in the middle of the night, or on weekends and holidays. Bushey said, "Budget shortfalls required that we look at the fi- nances. We decided to cut the building inspector's hours in lieu of a tax increase. The tax payers have said to us, 'This is all we are going to give you.' " In an attempt to make a decision regarding the vacant civic center building, a committee of two was named to investigate the possibili- ties for the facility that stands be- side the library. Bushey asked present Council- man Fleetwood and in-coming councilman Bob Blayney to serve. He said they will meet with Sus- sex County Administrator Robert Stickels to see if the county will take a role in determining the fu- ture of the building. Since the li- brary building is owned by the county, he said there might be a consideration of expanding the li- brary to adjoin the civic center. He said demolition is also an option. Fleetwood said that the Continued on page 18 Management Program