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Lewes, Delaware
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August 14, 1998     Cape Gazette
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August 14, 1998
 

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20 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, August 14 - August 20, 1998 Property problems, planning committees before Milton Council By Rosanne Pack At a recent Milton Town Coun- cil meeting, the budget took a backseat to discussion of a derelict property and a plan to fol- lowup the adoption of the Com- prehensive Plan with committee action. A small apartment complex on Collins Avenue, often referred to as "the Coops," came up in coun- cil chambers when Ken Whitman, Milton building cod(: enforcement officer presented als monthly re- port at the Aug. 3 meeting. Whit- man said he has received recent complaints regarding the property that was closed to occupants in the midspring. He said, although the apart- ments are no longer occupied, there are some windows and doors that_are not secured. "I believe the town still has some real problems there," he said. "I've heard complaints, that with broken windows and doors, people are hanging out in there. I understand the owner was to ap- ply for rehabilitation grant money, but there doesn't seem to be any time stipulation regarding how long she has to get the grants." Before Whitman was hired, the previous building code enforce- ment officer and county offcials issued notice to owner Inell Alexander that the building was in violation of many requirements for rental properties and must be vacated until it could be brought up to code standards. Alexander worked with Milton officials in getting tenants cleared from the small apartments; she was to foUowup with applications for rehabilitation grants through First State Community Action. She last reported, several weeks ago, that she was taking contrac- tors into the property to get an idea of necessary repairs and addi- tions. "The place is a mess," Whitman said. "I don't know how long council will give her and I don't know what grant money will do. The place should be demolished, in my opinion. "She was to be given a 'reason- able amount of time.' What is a reasonable amount?" Mayor Jack Bushy pointed out that it has been four months since the last tenant moved out of the Coops. He said calls will be made to First State Community Action regarding grants and a report giv- en at the September council meet- ing. "I think council should give her a time limit," said Leah Betts, council member. "She has been given enough time to respond." Bushey agreed with Whitman that the property should at least be boarded up until further decisions are made. Following recommendations in the recently adopted Milton Com- prehensive Plan, town council named committees to work on is- sues such as capitalizing on tourism to boost the town's econo- my, preserving and enhancing the historic aspects of Milton and re- viewing zoning districts. The ex- isting historic preservation com- mittee and planning and zoning commission will work on some of the points covered in the plan; new committees are named for tourism and economic redevelopment. The historic preservation com- mitee will explore possibilities of establishing zoning regulations for historic properties and dis- tricts. There was also discussion of creating new zoning designa- tions that fall between industrial and commercial. Members of the new tourism committee are Tony Boyd-Heron, Julie Baxendell, Marcel Cheplic- ki, Pauline Wilson and Frances Dunlap. The committee is to coor- dinate with existing and ongoing efforts and projects of the Milton Chamber of Commerce. The economic redevelopment committee will concentrate on downtown Milton, but the com- mittee will also review economic needs and potential of other com- mercial areas of town. Members named to that committee are Frank Gordy, Holly Smith, Mike Dominquez and Don Post. A first draft of the FY 99 budget will be reviewed at a council workshop at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 19, in Town Hall; the pro- posed budget is $834,815.71. Bushey said the projected income and expenses of each department and each area of city business will be looked at and discussed at the workshop and the special meeting set for the following night at 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 20, also in Town Hall. He said council members would like to have budget discussions and any necessary revisions fin- ished in time for adoption by the Tuesday, Sept. 8 town council meeting. The FY 99 budget goes into effect on Oct. 1. HU-GE- 2SNOR'/IET DE ELOIVER/2 IREES  S//RUB Former DNREC water resources head looks on probably be less than 10 [dis- charges...Over 20 years, I think things have definitely tak- en a turn for the better." Esposito re- cently devel- oped costs and proposals to remove the remaining point-source ESPOSITO discharges, an effort being pursued by Rep. John Schroeder, D-Lewes, and other of- ficials. "It is the most difficult decision I have ever made," he said of his decision to retire and join Tidewa- ter Utilities on August 1. "I be- lieve I have the best division in the state government and I am proud to be associated with them. The best part has been the people... I am going to miss it. I still love the job." Besides eliminating point- source discharges like sewer environmental hot seat plants, Esposito believes develop- ment of central sewer systems has resulted in dramatic environmen- tal improvements by eliminating thousands of septic systems. But he doesn't see large, costly sewer districts like West Re- hoboth being developed in the fu- ture. "Over the next 20 years, I think small- to mid-size commu- nity systems will be [the focus]. You probably won't see large dis- tricts like West Rehoboth being built. I expect smaller, more local, sewer systems." Esposito has frequently heard comments that Delaware's inland bays aren't getting better. While improvement may be debatable, he does point to definite advances, including dramatic upgrades in how thoroughly the Rehoboth Beach Sewer Plant treats its waste. One of the major water quality issues facing Delaware in the fu- ture will be development of maxi- mum pollution plans. Those Continued on page 21 back at decade By Michael Short After nearly a decade in the en- vironmental hot seat, Jerry Espos- ito has retired from one of the most visible posts in the Depart- ment of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). Esposito has retired as the direc- tor of the Division of Water Re- sources after holding the post for nine years. That's a longer tenure than any other division head in DNREC. It has been a time of great envi- ronmental concern for the Cape Region. Esposito has found him- self at the center of much of that controversy, particularly the West Rehoboth Sewer District, the Long Neck Sewer District and concerns about pollution of Delaware's inland bays. During his 20 years with DNREC, Esposito says that much has improved in the inland bays. "When I started 20 years ago, there were some 30 point-source discharges to the inland bays. 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