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August 8, 2003     Cape Gazette
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August 8, 2003

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18 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Aug. 8 -Aug. 14, 2003 Erik Sumption photo illustration BPW board member Jon Woodyard indicates that a photo elrculatod by fellow board member Jim Connaughton depict- ing Chestnut Street without wires doesn't tell the whole pie- ture because 10-foot bumpouts needed for six transmission boxes are not included in the photo. Cables Continued from page 1 duced. Board member Jim Connaughton wants the entire project delayed so BPW can have the time needed to bury the cables. His suggestion was ultimately defeated 3-2. However, now a majority of Chestnut Street resi- dents actually want the project delayed to receive underground utilities. Connaughton, who made the undergrounding of utilities in town a top priority when running for BPW board in April, said the issue still isn't over. He encour- aged Chestnut Street residents desiring underground utilities to petition city council to delay the project. "We ask for citizen input and then vote against what they want?" questioned Connaughton. "It's a kick in the teeth." Not all BPW board members agree. "This is not the time to be spending money on projects to bury other companies wires," said Biotech Continued from page 17 trict. This is a big step, and I think we have an existing capability to do this. Perdue came before us (for its nutriem pelletizing plant) and we have a way to do this. Why are we changing something that isn't broken? All this is just politically correct, but it's not needed and there's no public hear- ing process available to the peo- ple. With all the opposition we've gotten to putting housing in the AR district, this'll really turn peo- ple's heads. We can't just sit here and support an ordinance that has no public heating. We need a pub- lic hearing process." Cole went on to claim that the county's "antiquated" agricultur- al/residential zoning district is "lopsided, heavy on the agricul- ture." The two swayed councilman Finley Jones, and a new final draft was presented, Aug. 5, removing the words "permitted" in both or- dinances and inserting instead the term "allowable" as fn a condi- tional use request application, complete with public hearings at both planning and zoning level and the county council level. Public hearings on the ordi- nances will be held in front of planners Sept. 25 and in front of council Oct. 14. ol P Seymour, who opposes any delay in the project. "That's just fiscal- ly irresponsible. We're a nonprof- it company, and we have to pay a for profit company to bury their wires? That just stinks." Verizon has given the board an estimate of $150,000 to bury its cable but cautioned the price could go high- er. The board is facing an estimat- ed $26 million in capital projects over the next five years. Seymour said the board should concentrate on dealing with the pressing utility needs of the city rather than spending $280,000 on what is basically an aesthetic proj- ect. Several Pilottown Village resi- dents adopted the stance of "what does this do for me?" 'q'here are at least three subdi- visions with cables buried, and we [homeowners] reimbursed the builder," said Chuck Foster. "I don't think it's fair for those who have already paid our dues." BPW board member Jon Woodyard, who lives in Pilottown Village, supports that view and recommended at an earlier meet- ing that Chestnut Street residents pay for the upgrade. Additionally, approximately 200 residents live outside city limits and will not be exempt from any cost associated with the bury- ing of any utilities within city lim- its, according to BPW General Manager Ruth Anne Ritter. Electrical rate increases affect all customers equally, she said. Residents living outside city lim- its are not eligible to vote in BPW elections. Of the 14 Chestnut Street resi- dents who turned out for the Aug. 6 meeting, only one did not sup- port delaying the project to bury cables. "I grew up here and I've lived on Chestnut Street for many years," said Cynthia Gray, who attended the meeting with her eld- erly mother, who mistakenly had signed a petition to delay the proj- ect. "I've lived with the potholes many years. I would like to see the street done as proposed. I Medallion Bowls rrom SB don't think most of you came to this town because of the utility lines. Lewes is a beautiful place - even with power lines." BPW President Gary Stabley, who cast the deciding vote last month to proceed with burying the utilities, faced a similar situa- tion when BPW board member Wendell Alfred sided with Connaughon to delay the project. Seymour and Woodyard remain opposed to any delay. Unlike last month, Stabley voted to abandon burying utilities for now. "If the city decides the project should be delayed then we [BPW] will revisit the issue," said Stable),, who stressed the board will continue to explore burying cables on upcoming street proj- ects. "I know people think I've let them down, but there are too many questions we don't have answers to, and the issue to post- pone the project is not up to us, but city council." Council meets at 7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 11, at City Hall. l:rom$lZ9