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Lewes, Delaware
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April 21, 2000     Cape Gazette
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April 21, 2000

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, April 21 - April 27, 2000 - 17 PSC staff recommends no water rate increase for Tidewater By Jim Cresson Tidewater Utilities, which last summer requested a 38 percent rate increase for its 13,000 Delaware water customers and then reduced that request to 21 percent this winter, may not get anything when the Public Service Commission (PSC) rules in Au- gust. That was the message delivered by PSC executive director Bruce Burcat and Public Advocate Patri- cia Stall Monday, April 17, to about 60 Tidewater customers at a public comment session in Cape Henlopen High School. "After a very thorough investi- gation by our commission's 16 AUSTIN CLAYTON Toll/Free: 877/REHO-BCH Direct: 302/226-4155 E-Mail: County Continued from page 15 The resolution came after a dis- cussion April 18 of the proposed spending by DelDOT for Sussex County. DelDOT's planned Capital Im- provement Plan (CIP) for the next five years includes $126 million, a dramatically increased spending figure that drew praise from County Administrator Bob Stick- els. Stickels has repeatedly argued that Sussex County does not get its fair share of the pie, but he was pleased with the funding total. The funding plan included all of the Sussex County recommenda- tions with the exception of one, the elimination of tar and chip surfacing of roadways. The CIP funds bridges, road re- pairs and other transportation projects. But while the funding drew praise, some elements drew criticism. Stickels said he hopes McCabe Continued from page 1 symbolic reasons," he said. 'q'hat was the 225th anniversary of Paul Revere's ride. "I want to warn people that their freedoms are in danger, just as Paul Revere did. It's not the British that are coming this time, but politicians who are endanger- ing our freedoms." He said he has compiled a list of rights that he wants to see pre- served, including the right of teachers to have order in their classrooms, the right of law abid- ing citizens to buy and own guns, and the right of self defense. He feels Delawareans are taxed enough and there should be no new taxes; he also wants to see road tolls abolished. "I think we should phase out the road tolls that we have," he said. "Don't you think that everyone is angered by having to continue to pay road tolls after all the taxes we pay?" He also feels that mandatory sentences should be imposed for all crimes, particularly crimes in- professional employees, Tidewa- ter hasn't shown any justification for this rate increase," said Burcat. Stall agreed, saying: "In our role of representing the consumer, we've reviewed the testimony and the evidentiary hearings and we do not believe the company needs a rate increase at this time. How- ever, the five PSC commissioners may make any decision they want." Tidewater president Richard Russo then addressed the public, explaining the utility company's position in seeking the rate hike. "The reason for the rate request is about btilding things," Russo said. "We have some building plans to better serve our cus- tomers, and they cost money. We lowered the request because we found out we'd spent less last year than we'd expected, so we'll need less money for our building plans. But we do need the 21 percent in- crease because we haven't had a rate increase in the nine years we've owned this company. And when we need money to expand our service, where do we get it? We get it from you, our cus- tomers. That's how a business op- erates." Rep. John Schroeder, D-Lewes, spoke in opposition to the Tidewa- ter request. "I find it very difficult to have anyone request an increase for quicker development of a traf- fic signal in the Dodd and Eliza- beth avenues area between Dewey Beach and Rehoboth Beach, a project some local residents have clamored for for years, George Cole said he didn't think it was a good idea to spend money on a park and ride lot north of Five Points. Cole said that would be a "sec- ond empty lot." Vance Phillips argued the state needs to begin looking at a north- south route, noting that it had tak- en DelDOT 20 years to do a truck bypass around Milton. Councilman Phillips said the amount of money was impressive, but said some of it was simply playing catch-up. He said Del- DOT didn't seem to realize how badly the county needed trans- portation funding and said to not begin to plan now for a road that could take decades to build is "ir- responsible." Phillips' resolution noted that population in Sussex County is expected to grow 23.5 percent by the year 2020. "Whereas, the Sussex County Council believes that proper long- range transportation planning is necessary in order to accomodate this growth; and whereas, al- though the Sussex County com- prehensive plans for the past 30 years have identified development areas, the Delaware Department of Transportation has committed very limited resources to alleviate the impact of this planned devel- opment," the resolution noted. The resolution was approved unanimously, although Cole said many residents opposed a major east-west roadway proposed sev- eral years ago. "You may see people saying this is not our vision for the coun- ty," Cole said. Bunting said that the Sussex County Senators, Robert Venables Sr., D-Laurel, Gary Simpson, R- Milford, and Thurman Adams Jr., D-Bridgeville, all support the leg- islative resolution. volving guns. He would limit the rights of criminals after they are con- victed. A graduate of the Univer- sity of Delaware, Me- MCCABE Cabe, his wife Marlene have lived in Delaware for 29 years. The couple laas two adopted sons, TJ and Joey, and family moved to Sussex County 11 years ago. McCabe describes himself as a nature lover, a sportsman and a conservationist. He is a Scout master and is active in his church. He cites his "moral compass" as his main guide. Even though he is a candidate on the Republican ticket, McCabe said he wants to appeal to mem- bers of both major parties, !nde - pendents, blacks, whites and His- panics. "I have an open door to all citi- zens," he said. "I feel the urge to speak and raise a flag that freedoms are be- ing taken away." , Est. 1958 0000)LISTtDI I..IAZ00 Electrical Contractor L.P.I. Cert.'959 645-8457 645-9060 1-800-610-8457 CERTIFIED LIGHTNING - PRO TEC TION P.O. BOX 252, Lewes, DE 19958 of 21 percent in utility rates. I think it's worth noting that Tide- water's parent company, Middle- sex Inc., reported a profit of more than $7 million last year. There is an awareness up and down the state about this rate request, and HI just say I'm against it." Public Advocate Stall said any- one wishing to contact her office may now call toll-free at 888-607- 2427. Haynes explained that the PSC will make its final decision sometime in August. Henlopen Acres- Rehoboth Beach 77 Pine Reach Road This exceptional property has a large living room with fireplace, formal dining room, four bedrooms, large screened room, and slate patio, all on a large wooded lot. $71S,000 shown by appointment only. Sandalwood 27 Sandalwood Drive Spacious contemporary home is nearly new and is situated close to the lower Delaware beach areas. House has a master bedroom suite on first floor, two additional guest bedrooms, large contemporary living room, open kitchen, formal dining room, cozy den with great light, large screened room at rear, wood-burning fireplace, butlers pantry & single car attached garage - all on a large wooded lot for only, $232,500 shown by appointment only. 84 Sussex Street Downtown Rehoboth Great apartment in a great location just five blocks from the ocean in North Rehobotb. Apartment has three bedrooms two baths, two large balconies, off-street parking, electronic security door with intercom and is offered furnished for only $199,000 It won't last, so call today.