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March 13, 1998     Cape Gazette
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March 13, 1998
 

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Spengler early filer in Dewey election, pg. 10 Delaware's Cape Region Friday, March 13 - Thursday, March 19, 1998 Volume 5, NO. 42 Rhone-Poulenc sells Barcrofi to SPI-Polyols Lewes facility to continue operation By Dennis Forney Months of speculation and uncertainty ended this week when the Paris, France- based Rhone-Poulenc company announced the sale of its Barcrofi Company in Lewes to SPI Polyols Inc. Barcroft General Manager Bill Lauder- Gaming tax would skim slot dpllars for local governments By Michael Short Sussex County would receive approxi- mately $1.4 million if new legislation designed to return some of the proceeds from Delaware slot machines and Delaware lotteries to local governments is approved. If approved, the bill by Rep. Joe Petrilli, R-Pike Creek Valley, will provide an esti- mated $96,000 for Rehoboth Beach and $118,000 for Georgetown. Basically, the legislation would provide a continual source of funding for local and county governments, much like federal rev- enue sharing, which was done away with more than a decade ago. The bill, which is not even introduced yet, would create a 12 percent tax that would raise an estimated $14.1 million annually for local or county governments. Gov. Tom Carper has made no secret of the fact that he does not like revenue shar- ing, so Petrilli has proposed tapping the lucrative lottery and the very lucrative slot market (also called video lottery machines). Continued on page 10 baugh, who plans to remain in his position for the new owners, said the Lewes compa- ny will remain in business and continue to manufacture the pharmaceutical ingredients that it has since operations began in 1969. "I think over the long term this is a growth opportunity for Barcroft," said Lauderbaugh this week. "It's hard to tell how it will play out in the short term. But there is a commitment to providing jobs for the 75 employees on-site in Lewes. Whether all those jobs will be here will be a function of how fast we drive new business into this facility." Barcroft, one of the largest industries in Lewes, has an annual payroll of more than $3 million in addition to employee benefits. It also plays a positive role in the area econ- omy through the purchase of a variety of products from local suppliers. Lauderbaugh said that Rhone-Poulenc, which until recently manufactured Maalox antacid products before selling those fran- chises to Novartis, has committed to pur- chasing products manufactured at Barcroft for at least five years. The Lewes manufacturing facility, locat- ed on Cape Henlopen Drive adjacent to Cape Henlopen State Park, extracts magne- sium hydroxide from seawater drawn in from a pipe located beneath the public fish- ing pier in Cape Heniopen State Park. It also manufactures aluminum hydroxide from railroad car loads of aluminum trihy- &ate shipped in from the the southern gulf Continued on page 12 A vamp is born in Rehoboth make-over Bobbi Sade, stylist at Bad Hair Day? in Rehoboth Beach, puts the finishing touches on Second Street Play- ers' actor Dick Pack, as he is groomed for his role of Angle Moon photo Sylvia St. Croix in the production of =Ruthless!," which opens Friday, March 20, in Milford. For more details and photographs of the transformation, turn to page 72. smattering of state officials, recessed some two years ago to await the economic report. Pratt would not divulge the con- tents of the report, but said it will be presented to the committee very soon. "Right now, we are just guessing," Bunting said of the impact of Delaware's beaches. "This gives us something to go on." Figures from a preliminary ver- sion of the report issued last August estimated that visitors to Delaware beaches spend some $506,809,000 each year. Right now, Delaware pays half of the cost of beach replenishment and affected towns pay the other half. The towns are ultimately reimbursed through the state accommodations tax. There has been a suggestion that Sussex County help, but the suggestion by the Association of Continued on page 12 a long-awaited economic study on Delaware's beaches is available. The study is designed to mea- sure the economic impact of beach replenishment, giving hard figures for the . yalue of costing $2.3 million. The results of the study could create econom- ic winners and losers in the beach replenishment debate. As Delaware beaches rebuild after a series of nor'easters, the After approximately two years, "ment project in Dewey Beach Delaware's beaches and who ben- efits most from them. At stake are possible new ways of paying to maintain those beach- es. It's an expensive proposition with the most recent replenish- Economic study to be released soon By Michael Short issue is poised once again to take center stage. Tony Pratt, of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Shoreline and Water- way Management Section, said that the beach replenishment com- mittee chaired by Rep. John- Schroeder, D-Lewes, and Sen. George Bunting Jr., D-Bethany Beach, will be revived. That committee, made up of a who's who of local officials and a State revives beach replenishment task force