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April 15, 2008     Cape Gazette
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April 15, 2008
 

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+ Deiaware,s Cape Region TueSday, April 15 Thursday, April 17, 2008 . . 50 Cents I I I II II 111111 I III [I I II II I J I I I I Wind farm resolution heads to Senate By Leah Hoenen Cape Gazette staff Late Thursday, the House of Representatives put its stamp of approval on a resolution supporting an offshore wind farm. By a vote of 25-11, House Concurrent Resolution 38 cleared the House and is now ready for consideration by the Senate. But local legislators say in the Senate, the measure will face opposition that could pre- vent it from getting out of committee. The resolution directs the controller gen- eral to vote in favor of Bluewater Wind's proposed 150-turbine wind farm off Rehoboth Beach. An amendment penned by Rep. Joe Booth, R-Georgetown, calling for state agencies to purchase wind power alongside ratepayers, also passed the House. Another amendment, seeking to delay the vote until the House could consid- er Delmarva Power's plans for onshore wind power, was defeated. In December, when four state agencies tabled a decision on the proposed power purchase agreement between Bluewater Wind and Delmarva Power, Controller General Russ Larson said some legislators were concerned about the cost of power under the terms of the contract. Tabling the decision led to House Concurrent Resolution 38. "Bluewater Wind very much appreciates the vote of the House of Representatives. All members, both who supported and who opposed, looked at the issue very seriously and gave it great consideration. It was very impressive to watch the legislators debate this and give it the consideration they did," said Bluewater Wind spokesman Jim Lanard. Bluewater Wind says its project will contribute to clean air and will provide the state with jobs. The legislation met with disappointment from Delmarva Power, which would have to buy wind energy from Bluewater Wind under a 25-year contract if the power pur- Continued on page 10 Ron MacArthur photo Public invited to participate in Sussex County office recycling program Sussex County employees Gregory Jefferson, left, and and set up a center behind the Wilmington Trust building Charlie McKinney toss shredded paper into a recycling on Route 113; it is also open to the public. bin. The county has started an office recycling program For a story and another photo, turn to page 4 Tennis complex draws ire By Ron. MacArthur Cape Gazette staff The idea of an indoor tennis complex is being met with no love from neighbors who are set in their opinions that increased traffic is no match for Old Mill Road. Planned for a tract just under two acres, the complex is planned off Old Mill Road, about 300 feet northeast of Route 1, just north of the Nassau bridge near Lewes. During a Thursday, April 10 Sussex County planning and zoning public hear- ing, nearly 10 people spoke out against the project. Existing traffic woes at a crossover at Old Mill Road and Route 1 were the main concern. Edward and Janet O'Brien of Lewes are asking the county for a conditional use of 1.8 acres in an agricultural-residential dis- trict. Planning and zoning deferred action on their request. The O'Briens want to build a 22,800- Continued on page 8 Rehoboth Beach revisits tree ordinance By Ryan Mavity Cape Gazette staff Nearly three years since the passage of Rehoboth Beach's comprehensive tree ordi- nance, city officials have begun discussions on new changes to define who gets to decide what about trees. City Arborist Bill Pike left last year, and his job has not been filled. At the workshop meeting Tuesday, April 8, Commissioner Ron Paterson recommended eliminating the term "city arborist" altogether and replacing it with the more generic "building official" or revising the qualifications of the city arborist. The city has not replaced Pike because most certified arborists are already employed by tree companies who are active in the city, and the position is only part time. The ordinance specifies the arborist must be recognized by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), a select group of 16,000 arborists worldwide, but few of them are in the Rehoboth area. The arborist's primary tasks are to exam- ine the health of trees, oversee tree-removal permits and determine mitigation. Since Pike's departure, those duties have been handled within the building and licensing department. Paterson said the lack of an arborist creates a potential legal entangle- ment for the city. "Since our arborist left in November, every time a city employee has gone onto a property to check a sign, check a tree - check anything, in essence - it has not been lawful," Paterson said, "because our code specifically says the only person that can go on the lot to check these things out Continued on page 11