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Lewes, Delaware
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March 13, 1998     Cape Gazette
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March 13, 1998
 

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, March 13 - March 19, 1998. 17 Sussex votes down efforts to limit purchas00.00s by councilmen By Michael Short Sussex County Council rejected a proposal on Tuesday to cap the amount that Sussex County can purchase from county council- men. Councilman George Cole re- vived the contentious issue by suggesting that county council cap the amount at $2,000 per year. "I think we ought to be held to a higher standard," Cole said. "It looks good. It will make us feel better about what we are doing and there will be no question [about ethics]." The DelawareState Public In- tegrity Commission recently ruled that Sussex County is doing noth- ing wrong as long as individual purchases are limited to $2,000. No total purchase amount was given, prompting Cole to suggest the $2,000 cap. Sussex County has sometimes purchased items and services from Councilmen Lynn Rogers and Dale Dukes, the owners of Rogers Signs and Dukes Lumber. State sets aside funds for Delaware River channel dredging By Michael Short Delaware has proposed $2.5 million in its capital budget to help pay for the dredging of the Delaware River shipping channel, an estimated $299.3 million initial project planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The project would deepen the shipping channel from 40 feet to 45 feet in a move that supporters say would help Delaware River ports by allowing larger ships to use the waterway. The economic benefits could be huge, according to supporters. But there have been critics, with the biggest criticism focusing on the proposed placement of dredge materials. Fishermen have argued that placing the material in Delaware Bay will smother vital habitat while others have argued that placing dredged sand offshore is a waste when Delaware beaches could badly use that material. Congressman Mike Castle, Sen- ator Bill Roth, Rep. Shirley Price, D-Millville, and Sen. George Bunting Jr., D-Bethany Beach. have all called for a public hearing on the massive dredging plans. Until now, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has sidestepped those requests. But now the Corps has pledged that it will hold a pub- lic meeting sometime this spring. Corps of Engineers Spokesper- son Richard Chlan said that a pub- lic meeting will be held, although no date has been set. Chlan said the Corps has been studying the issue of whether it makes sense to place sand on the beaches instead of placing it offshore. "It is probably economically and environmentally feasible [to Continued on page 18 But both men have done busi- ness with Sussex County for years and both said the purchases are minimal. Dukes said that he sells less to Sussex County than do any of his competitors. Cole's motion failed 3-2 when Rogers, Dukes and Finley Jones voted against it. County Council- man George Collins voted with Cole on the proposal. Cole said a limit should apply only to county council, which means other officials like Register of Wills Charles Rogers would not be included (Rogers owns Rogers Graphics, which supplies letterhead and other supplies to the county government). That prompted Council Presi- dent Dukes, Rogers and Jones to say that any procedure ought to apply to all elected officials and not just to county council. Both Rogers and Dukes said they had no problem personally with the idea. "One thing I am not going to do is anything illegal," Rogers said after the meeting. "I have got nothing to hide. I want to do it above board." There have been times when Dukes or Rogers are the low bid- ders and a change in policy could cost Sussex County money. Dukes added that limiting the amount of income could limit the pool of po- tential candidates for county council and he noted that he has not had one single voter come to him to complain about the policy. Instead, he said some voters have complained that the county was wasting time debating the point. NEW KITCHENS Quality Design & Installation For Kitchens & Baths FINANCING AVAILABLE 25 YEARS 644-9006 EXPERIENCE RT24JUSTOFFRT 1 AT FAMILY DOLLAR MALL No closing costs Perfect for debt consolidation Interest may be tax deductible Low monthly payments Apply by phone, 1-800-762-5696. With a Sensible Credi# Line from CoreStates, consolidating bills is as easy as writing a cheek. To apply, call 1-800-762-5626, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or stop by any branch. C4m'eSlmtos, the first name to think of for loans. www.corestates.com "9.00/I,alR alte effecU u ol 2/1/INI. Roto mey vary ImKI On lifO W=II t   rote  .%.   tt O    18% ,  yoi lox m(18o on th4t dod of blemlt. (Allot tl rsI lmm. itjo i8 m ojtl   ,   .)           Il hi tubjeCl tO vdlhdmtJ al troy tinm. Cltomllct J'e  to imy ti l Ik3oa immnm IQ. if .           a laxly. NO Izollcati ML Homeowmml insurance . Title  rlquid on Ioims Of $1Q0,00  .   N  .   -