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Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
April 28, 2017     Cape Gazette
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April 28, 2017

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LEADING THE SECTOR FORWARD Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement LEADING THE SECTOR FORWARD A DANA conference about Identifying, Measuring, Performing to, Aligning, Communicating and Tracking our outcomes to achieve the transformational change we wish for Delaware. U G P C P 20 FRIDAY, APRIL 28 - MONDAY, MAY 1, 2017 NEWS Cape Gazette operation on the site of a former cannery plant. He said he as- sumed commercial operation was a permitted use on the land, but county officials gave the parcel agricultural-residential zoning, AR-1 when new land-use maps were created. Five years ago, the parcel re- ceived a zoning violation from the county, in addition to several DNREC violations issued over the years to Blessing’s business. Councilman Rob Arlett ques- tioned why it has taken Blessing five years to apply for a condi- tional-use permit. “Our own county gave you a violation five years ago, and here we are,” Arlett said. Blessing said he went to Plan- ning and Zoning about the violation in 2012 and was told that he needed to submit a site development plan and a total comprehensive plan of the pro- posed facility. “I started the process. It’s taken this long to develop what we needed to do. I’ve had the property surveyed three times,” he said. Blessing’s attorney, Tim Wil- lard, said Blessing should have sought conditional use sooner. “Probably a better answer is he should’ve moved faster,” he said. “We’re here with what we’ve got, and we think you know what he wants to do.” Arlett said council should dis- cuss how a business can continue to operate for five years while in county violation – an internal issue that should be fixed at a later date. Council also wanted some assurance that Blessing’s plan to put seven covered structures on his property and a system to reduce odors will be built. “How much is conceptual, and how much can we count on?” Cole asked. “My only concern is many times with developments we have a presentation and a lot of it is conceptual, and it can go out the door and get changed. There are certain things we can hang our hat on and grab hold of, and that’s what I want to hear.” Blessing said he intends to build his business as planned and, if approved, he would start construction on two buildings by fall 2017. A negative air system with a biofilter will help eliminate odors, he said. “As soon as we can get through, we’d like to get started with the process,” Blessing said. DNREC’s Churchill said one mound of material on Blessing’s property did contain human sew- age and dead chickens – material Blessing was previously allowed to accept – but he estimated the amount is small. Blessing said he believes all human sewage and dead chickens have been processed into compost and re- moved from the site. He said odors also improved in 2015 when his business stopped land applying grease and other liquid waste. “Land application was prob- lematic … the odor is very limited now,” he said to laughter from residents in the back of the room. Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission heard simi- lar testimony during a March public hearing. The commission has not made a recommendation to council on Blessing’s request for a conditional use. Council will continue to re- ceive written testimony for 15 days until 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 10. Council President Mi- chael Vincent said the record would remain open another 15 days for written comment from either side regarding information received in the previous 15-day period. After that, the record would re- main open for 15 days until June 9 for council to ask questions of staff or agencies. After a final 15 days, council may vote to add more time to gather information, said Chip Guy, Sussex County communica- tions director. Compost Continued from page 16 By Chris Flood Gov. John Carney and Secre- tary of Education Susan Bunting announced April 20 that Dela- ware has received a $7.65 million federal grant for early childhood education. The Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership grant follows a $7.24 million grant the state received in January 2015. Both grants target early learning op- portunities for children from low-income families. The first grant targeted low- income children statewide, while Delaware gets $7.6 million child education grant More services coming to Sussex, Kent the new grant will focus on care options in Kent and Sussex counties. “A high-quality early learning experience is important for all children, and research shows this is especially true for our children from low-income families. “High-quality early learning yields substantial benefits for these children,” said Carney in a prepared statement. The Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership pays for teacher education, infant-toddler class- room materials and playground equipment. The program also provides wraparound health and parent services for children from low-income families. The grants support children from birth to age 3 years and their families being served in highly rated Delaware Stars programs. The Delaware Department of Education is partnering with the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services to support the work. Bunting said the grant will help more infants and toddlers in some of the state’s neediest areas. “Families want high-quality early care and learning opportu- nities for their children. However, in some areas of our state there are few, if any, available options,” she said in a prepared statement.