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Lewes, Delaware
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September 25, 1998     Cape Gazette
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September 25, 1998

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Delaware's Cape Region. Friday, September 25 - Thursday, October 1, 1998 Volume 6, No: 17 7 Cape park bike path meeting .set for Oct. 13 Steering committee, public to discuss contentious issue By Dennis Forney One of the most contentious issues facing Delaware's Cape Region - if and where a bicycle path should be located between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach - takes center stage on Tuesday, Oct. 13. Volunteers team up to solve inland bays pollution woes By Jim Cresson The Center for the Inland Bays is teaming some former adversaries in a crucial battle to reduce nutrient pollution and restore habitat loss within the inland bays. For decades, local residents concerned about the deteriorating water quality of the inland bays have stood in public meeting rooms andargued their position with devel- opers, farmers, marina operators, sewer plant operators and government officials. Now, some of the most energetic and insightful of those often-at-odds citizens are volunteering to work cooperatively on CIB- supported teams whos.e mission is to find feasible, realistic solutions to the nutrient problem plaguing the bays. Nine tributary action teams - three each for Rehoboth Bay, Indian River Bay and Little Assawoman Bay - will be the eyes and ears, the brains and the brawn of a new Tributary Strategy Program that CIB board members expect will have a long-range pos- itive affect upon the inland bays. Reversing the nutrient enrichment prob- lem and restoring habitat loss in the inland bays will require the study of and solution to various pollution sources within a 300- square-mile area from Cape Henlopen to Fenwick Island, about half of Sussex Coun- Continued on page 16 That's the date the Cape Henlopen State Park Master Plan Steering Committee has selected to focus its attention on the issue. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.; the loca- tion is still to be decided. The location will be published in the Cape Gazette when it is determined. Rich Sargent, one of the chairmen for the steering committee, announced early in the Thursday, Sept. 17 steering committee meeting that there would be no discussion that evening of the bicycle path. Discus- sion of the issue dominated the previous meeting of the committee. Sargent said his aim at the Sept. 17 meeting was to focus on a number of recommendations.made by a consulting firm regarding the future Shape of Cape Henlopen State Park. Those issues were discussed but the bike path matter didn't hide entirely. Pascal Girard, president of the North Shores property owners' association, has been a steady and vigorous opponent of a bicycle path connecting the northern part of the park with the Gordon's Pond parking area at the Rehoboth Beach end of the park. Toward the end of the Sept. 17 meeting, Grard insisted that the bike path matter be discussed. "We're studiously avoiding the Continued on page 21 Jeff Tlnsman/DNREC photo Fina!resting place for obsolete personnel carriers a boon to Cape Region The artificial reef 16 miles off Indian River Inlet in the Atlantic Ocean was enlarged Friday, Sept. U, when U.S. Army troops pushed 40 obsolete armored personnel carriers off a barge. This is the third time that they've performed such a maneuver, having laid almost 50 other such vehicles to rest at that site since 1995 to enhance the area for fishing and sports diving. Mussels, shrimp and other invertebrates will soon make their home on the reef, attracting fish such as sea bass and tautog. The reef now measures 1.3.square miles and is the largest of Delaware's 11 reef sites. Each year, the state spends $540,000 on reef improvements and additions. two new elementary schotls and renovating most other schools. From start to finish, the "projects are expected to span 20 years. If the public supports the plan, the first phase will come with a price tag of $20.5 million, to cover costs of the new buildings and make changts to the elementary school configurations in Lewes and Rehoboth schools, and Sussex Elementary Consor- tium. The board is in the process of determin- ing when it will begin holding 'public hear- ings to garner public input. If after a suc- cession of hearings over time, the public determines it is willing to undertake the projects, the community will need to pass a referendum to raise its portion of financing the projects. If the state board approves of the undertaking, it could provide up to 60 percent of the costs. The .innovative, comprehensive proposal was developed by the Long Range Facili- ties Task Force, composed of community members and Cape district staff, who worked for more than a year to assess the district's immediate and long-term needs and create a proposal. The proposal takes into account such ,things as anticipated population growth and Continued on page 20 Public referendum is on the horizon By Kerry Kester With a unanimous vote Thursday, Sept. 17, the Cape Henlopen School Board approved a long-range facilities plan that calls for building two new middle schools, Cape board gives nod to major capital improvement plan