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September 1, 2006     Cape Gazette
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September 1, 2006

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Cape expects budget shortfall Personnel, program cuts loom, says Stone By Georgia Leonhart Special to the Cape Gazette Cape Henlopen School District officials say they expect to increase class sizes and carefully review every staff position as they work to resolve an anticipated budget shorfall. Budget problems were presented by Cape Henlopen School District Business Operations Director Edward Seibert to Superintendent George Stone and the Cape Henlopen school board during an Aug. 24 executive session. In a Friday, Aug. 25 communication to school board members, Stone stated that numbers were discussed, but in an inter- view Aug. 31, he declined to quantify the anticipated budget gap. Positions and pro- grams will be cut, Stone said. "We're going to take all of the steps we can to remain fiscally sound," said Stone. "We will be presenting a plan, and it will be painful," Stone said. The .district could eliminate paraprofessionals who are not supported by state funds, Stone said. "The painful process is a reality," Stone said. The district does not plan to fill posi- tions lost to attrition, and continuing sup- port for Sussex Consortium will .also be reviewed. Stone also said that achieving a balanced budget will require increased class sizes. Stone addressed a meeting of nearly all 775 district employees at the Cape Continued on page 19 Wet, soggy weekend expected Ernest0 may spawn high tides, rough surf, flooding By Ron MacArthur Cape Gazette staff The remnants of the weakening storm Ernesto could dampen the upswing in Labor Day weekend travel anticipated when gasoline prices fell dramatically this week. Motorists can find gas as cheap as $2.61 in the resort area - well below the Delaware average of $2.78. That may not matter much to holiday travelers headed to the beach with a dismal Labor Day weekend weather forecast. The National Weather Service is predicting 3 to 6 inches of rain Friday and Saturday, Sept. 1 and Sept. 2, with more rain in the fore- cast for Sunday and Monday, Sept. 4. In the Cape Region, 7 to 10 inches are possi- ble. The rain.on Friday will be driven by 20 to 25 mph winds with gusts up to 40 to 45 mph on the coast, said Valerie Meola, a meteorologist at the National Weather Continued on page 20 r " Dan Cook photo A blue heron takes flight over Waples Pond near Milton A blue heron takes flight from its perch on a stump in Milton. Waples Pond lies directly in the herons' flyway, Waples Pond outside of Milton. There is a significant where people can often spot them dining on the delec- blue heron rookery near The Rookery golf course, east of table fish in the pond. The commissioners on Monday, Aug. 21, unanimously scheduled a September public hearing on borrowing money to modernize and upgrade the city's water plant, which was built in the 1950s. The new water system would offer fluor- idated water and increase the city water supply by one third, but city officials say the project will require no additional rate increases. Water rates were increased in March in anticipation of increased energy costs and improving the city's water treatment plant. Planned upgrades include building a new 4,700-square-foot water treatment plant that could withstand hurricane-force winds and retrofitting existing wells, said Robert Palmer, senior engineer with Salisbury, Md.-based firm, Davis, Bowen & Friedel Inc. The new plant would be built next to the existing one, he said. A new system would not only benefit Rehoboth residents but those who live near- by also. Three wells at the Lynch Water Treatment Plant, located just north of Outback Steakhouse on Route 1, supply water to Rehoboth Beach and to those in Breezewood, Henlopen Acres, North Shores and Dewey Beach. Continued on page 18 Mayor Sam Cooper: No new tax increases planned By Kevin Spence Cape Gazette staff Rehoboth Beach residents could see a new water treatment plant get under way this spring if they pass a referendum allow- ing officials to borrow up to $5 million. ................ Rehoboth,.:to._b.o00.ow_,$5M for00.water plant