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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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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, March 7 - March 13, 1997 - 43 B us00NEss & REAL ESTATE State park entrance fee hikes sought, chamber told By Trish Vernon The need to preserve and main- tain Delaware's state parks has caused the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Parks and Recreation Division to seek hikes in entrance fees to all of these facilities this year. Mary Makdad Voshell, revenue administrator for the parks divi- sion, told members of the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce on March 5 that they have requested the per- mission of the state legislature to raise the fees and hopes that the business community and citizens of the state will support their efforts. If their request is approved, daily park entrance fees will increase from $2.50 to $3 per day for in-state vehicles and from $5 to $6 for out-of-state vehicles. Annual permits would increase by $5 for in-state and $10 out-of- state, but they would institute a transferable in-state annual permit for an additional $15 and change van requirements to allow them to pay the fee other vehicles pay if they are carrying 15 persons or less, as it is now $10 per day for vans. Campground fees would also be raised from $14 to $15 for in-staters and from $16 to $18 for out-of-staters. "We haven't raised fees in four years and that was an adjustment from when we charged a 50 cent fee per person in the vehicle," Voshell explained. "So really, we haven't raised rates since 1986. We've already heard good feed- back from Maryland visitors because in that state they charge $2 a head." While Delaware taxpayers foot the bill for capital improvements in parks, such as the upgrading of;'e bathrooms now being done at Seashore State Park, and the plan to improve the Gordon's Pond parking lot, Voshell noted that the state has held back $350,000 in park-generated rev- enue for the past three years while operational expenses continue to rise. She cited the fact that the Cape Henlopen State Park infra- structure is in bad shape and that they hope to improve the entrance as well as the road surface. Cost of living raises approved for all state employees and the need to be competitive when it comes to attracting good employees has offset the fact that they have decreased their workforce in recent years in an effort to reduce operational costs. The division has also instituted a method of raising additional rev- Mary Makdad Voshell, revenue administrator for the Divi- sion of Parks and Recreation, tells members of the Rehoboth- Dewey Chamber the reason they are seeking increases in entran fees fo r state parks. every year, Vosbell noted. Delaware's beach parks e0m- enue by encouLaging those :who prise 6;000 acres and:play an sell land t o tl  to.put part of theirt?rocs:ta:a: fund: impr'aUt r0:i th;.cpn0mics ::a aetie,the Region. from.which thestate-ean draw - Yoshetl.;tress.d,.citing the many interest. "But i[S getting scarier environmental and .educational programs, facilities and the soon- to-open Biden Environmental Education Facility at Cape Hen- lopen State Park as just a few of the assets. Voshell gave a demographic Continued on page 46 Various Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce members pins on behalf of Richard Krick, Michelle Stevens and Craig Krick, and Robin were recognized for their service to the organization at the March 5 luncheon Kirkendaie of American Express, which was a sponsor of the Sea Witch Festi- meeting. Seen with Chamber President Rob Marshall above are fl.r) Jean val. Former chamber president Bitsy Cochran received a caboose for her Cochran, who received a three-year pin; Susan Krick, accepting three-year many years of work on the beard. I I Know who represents you in real estate dealings Whether you're buying your first home or your tenth, today's consumers have the option to choose the type of representation they want when enlisting the expertise and knowledge of a real estate professional. "Traditionally, most agents rep- resented the seller," said Ron Annett, president of the Sussex County Association of REAL- TORS. ''Today, however, home buying consumers have the option to seek assistance with their search for the perfect home from a buyer's bro- ker- a real estate professional who will agree to represent their sole interest," Annett explained. Buyer's brokerage involves an agent representing the buyer in a real estate transaction for a fee paid by, or on behalf of, the buyer. A buyer's broker is employed by a purchaser to get the best possible price and terms for a buyer. For example, a buyer's broker might negotiate for a smaller deposit, for all closing costs to be paid by the seller, or for other contract terms most favorable to the purchaser. Assistance from a buyer's broker may also include helping the buy- er obtain legal assistance to review proposed contracts or structural inspectors to examine REALTOR FOCUS the property. In a buyer's broker situation, it is up to the agent and buyer to negotiate the fee for the service. "A buyer's broker represents the buyer just as a seller is repre- sented by a seller's agent," Annett said. Other types of relations that can exist include the following: Seller's agent - the agent rep- resents the seller in a transaction, and works with the buyer as a cus- tomer. Dual agency - the agent repre- sents beth the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. This may only be done with the informed eousent of both the buyer and the seller. Before deciding on what type of representation is best for you, the Sussex County Association of REALTORS recommends that, in addition to the various forms of representation, you understand the term "agency" refers to the fidu- ciary relationship that exists between a buyer or seller and the real estate agent who represents them. Some form of written disclosure is recommended between agents and the consumers they are work- ing with, to help ensure there is no misunderstanding regarding agency relationships. Currently 44 states and the Dis- trict of Columbia have mandated agency disclosure, either through legislation or regulation. This requires real estate agents to inform the parties to a transaction whom they represent. Delaware is one of the states that has mandated agency disclosure. "The changes in the way real estate professionals are represent- ing consumers can be attributed to a better-educated public looking for flexibility and options in the buying process," explained Annett. "The National Association of Realtors and our association endorse freedom of choice and informed consent for consumers of real estate services when creat- ing agency relationships with real estate professionals," he added. "We recognize that our industry is changing and we are committed to respond to those changes," Annett said. "Our policies emphasize the importance of education and train- ing on the topic of agency, and we applaud our state regulatory and legislative bodies for implement- ing requirements for pre-licensing courses and continuing education programs to address the topic of agency." Ron Annett is the president of the Sussex County Association of REALTORS which is one of more than 1,800 local boards and asso- ciations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Associ- ation of Realtors.