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Lewes, Delaware
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April 30, 2013     Cape Gazette
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April 30, 2013
 

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Cape Gazette NEWS TUESDAY, APRIL 30- THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013 9 Task force weighs funding options By Ryan Mavity ryanm@capegazette.com A $15 million project to rebuild Rehoboth Beach City Hall is ex- pected to be presented to the city commissioners Friday, May 17, to determine if the long-discussed project will continue. Mayor Sam Cooper, chairman of the City Hall Complex Master Plan Task Force, said "It's now time to go to the commissioners, make this presentation in full, to see where we're at and then hopefully get a blessing to move forward with the next phase." The 2013-14 city budget in- cludes $100,000 for engineering and architectural work on re- vamping City Hall. At its April 18 meeting, the task force put off phasing and con- struction details of the project to focus on financing. Beginning that process, Coo- per provided an overview of the city's major debt obligations. He said his preference is for a 25-year loan at 4 percent inter- est. He estimated under this arrangement, the city would have a yearly payment ofjtlst under $1 million. Cooper said the city could significantly lower its annual payments by refinancing its ex- isting debt with WSFS Bank, borrowing an additional $2.5 mil- lion from WSFS and extending the debt to 25 years. That would cut the annual payment down to $385,000, he said. City Manager Greg Ferrese said, "This project is doable." Cooper said the city's focus on a new City Hall should be secondary to funding the ocean outfall project. The city has been court-mandated to stop dump- ing its treated effluent into the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal by De- cember 2014. "I don't want for City Hall to get out in front of the wastewater and then we have trouble with the wastewater," he said. Cooper said the city charter mandates any new bonds being issued must be approved at a public referendum. Under the proposal submitted by engineers EDiS Co. and archi- tects Davis, Bowen and Friedel, City Hall would be demolished; a new building would house the city administrative offices and the police station. The plan has included moving the building and licensing and information technology departments into the new City Hall and selling the 306 Rehoboth Ave. property. While the plans have included some upgrades to the conven- tion center, there are no plans to close it. In addition, the parking lots would be reversed so the police department parking is on the west side of the building and public parking is on the east side, behind the fire hall. EDiS had initially estimated building costs at $20 million, but later revised the plans to bring the cost down to an estimated $13 million. Cooper said he put the cost at $15 million to give the city some cushion. Scaling down the building plans, selling the 306 Rehoboth Ave. property, opened in 2009, and not seek- ing state funding - which would have required higtier wage rates - helped reduce costs. EDiS has estimated a sale of the property could net $2 million, but no of- ficial appraisal has been done. Architect Mike Wigley said the next phase for him is to further develop the plans into schematic designs, look at alternative con- cepts and further nail down cost estimates. Cooper said, "I'm happy with the process we're on." The city is paying off three major loans, with a fourth, for the wastewater ocean outfall project, still to come. Cooper said the current major outsts_nd- ing loans are: A $6 million loan used to finish the Rehoboth Avenue Streetscape project, the Lake Continued on page 10 TR LL EAD THE ORIGINAL SINCE 1976 MOTH ER'S DAY Give her One... give her two... or give her all three! 5-12-13 Every story has a beadTM OTHE RUNK HOW MAY 3-6 I Lewes & Bethany Beach MAY 8-11 [ MiLford & Rehoboth Beach Receive a sterling silver bracelet with the purchase of a decorative ctasp Gift of one Tro[[bead* with the purchase of any three Trottbeads *Free bead of equal or Lesser value. Spend st00 and receive a Mystery Gift with Purchase 216B 98 CBfoo, i ~1 III .COl1~ Hondbog$, Shoes, Clolhing, Jewelry I Accelloriel 107 2nd Street [ Lewes DE 199.58 I 302-644-4052 RehoboSh Avenue I Rehobofh Beach DE ]997] I 302-226-3300 33A North Walnut Street I Milford DE 1996:3 ] 302-422-8540 Garfield Pkwy # 109 I Bethany Beach DE 1996:3 I 302-541-4117 www.Biooming Boutique.cam J hours will vary by store A REHOBOTH BEACH task force is set to present plans for a new City Hall complex to the city commissioners Friday, May 17, to get a go-ahead to move forward with future planning. The preliminary cost estimate for the project is $15 million. Congratulate your graduate in the " E CAPE GAZETT 2013 GRADU ATION BOOKLET Featuring A look back on 2012- 13 SCHOOL YEAR including Awards Ceremonies Scholarships School Event Proms Sports Student Photos Publish date: Friday. June 14, 2013 Deadline: Thursday, May 30, 2013 Call 645-7700 to reserve your space! or email adsales@capegazette.com for more info.