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October 2, 1998     Cape Gazette
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October 2, 1998

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Delaware's Cape Region Friday, October 2 - Thursday, October 8, 1998 Volume 6, No: 19 Delaware now leads U.S. in farms preserved By summer of 1999, acreage permanently protected will reach nearly 50,000 By Dennis Forney Powered by $40 million from the 21st Century Fund in 1996 and another $20 mil- lion allocated by this year's General Assembly, Delaware's farm preservation program now leads the nation in percentage of farmland preserved. The state currently has 23,000 acres of farmland permanently preserved for agri- culture. By the summer of 1999, Mike McGrath, coordinator of Delaware's farm- land preservation program, expects that number to grow to close to 50,000 acres. "There are roughly 550,000 acres of farm- land in Delaware," said McGrath this week. "By next summer we will be pushing close to 10 percent of all the farmland in the state being preserved. That really puts us into an elite category." McGrath said he conducted the Study, in the last two weeks, of Delaware's farmland preservation efforts compared to other state-sponsored farmland preservation efforts in the United States. "We're first in the nation in the percentage of our farmland that has been preserved," said McGrath. "We're followed by Maryland, Vermont and Rhode Island. There are about 15 farmland preservation programs in place around the nation. Some have been around a lot longer than ours. We haven't even fin- ished three years yet so we feel like we're clipping right along." Continued on page 12 Carper calls for action on agricultural, environmental balance By Michael Short Gov.. Tom Carper spoke softly, softly enough that some in the room had to strain to hear. In an almost unprecedented move, Carper spoke tO the Agricultural Indugtry Advisory Committee on Nutrient Management meet- ing on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Carper created the committee to deal with the issues of how to keep a strong agricul- tural community while protecting Delaware's water supply. It was an issue burned into sharp focus by a series of news- paper articles that focused attention on the poultry industry and its potential impact on water quality. That may have sharpened the focus, but the issue first Came to national prominence a year ago when agriculture was blamed for outbreaks of Pfiesteria, including one in Maryland's Pocomoke River. Carper made it clear that he is focusing hard on this issue. He made it equally clear that he wants to maintain a strong farm community and a clean water supply. "I want to make sure 10 or 20 years from now, whoever is secretary of agriculture, whoever is farming and whoever is gover- nor, I want to make sure that we still have a Continued on page 11 Angle Moon photo Hobies crisscross Rehoboth Bay in pursuit of championship Competitors in the Hobie 16 North American Continental Championships, being sailed this week on Rehobeth Bay grinned in the teeth of heavy southwest and southeast winds that provided excellent racing conditions. Wally Myers of Mamora, N.J, a five-time national Hobie champion, continued his winning ways and appeared to be headed for a sixth title by the conclusion of the racing on Friday. For more photos and information, please turn to page 90. Board of Public Works, has been reviewing an engineering scheme, for supplying town water and sewer to the proposed project, for more than a week. "We believe that George, Miles and Buhr agrees with our plan for engineering sewer and water and we expect a letter of approval to be sent to the Board of Public Works any day now," said Kiernan. "We're also working with DelDOT [Delaware Department of Transportation] on approval of an entrance plan. And we know there are some problems there to be resolved. When we do go to the planning commission, we will present a legal description of what the town's zoning code allows us to do and will show that we're complying with it as it is written. We will also have our Board of Public Works docu- ments in order and an entrance plan approval from DelDOT. In theory, they can't turn us down because we will have complied with all their requirements." Continued on page 11 I By Dennis Forney While developers of the proposed Pilot- house project at Lewes Boatyard continue seeking regulatory approvals this week, a petition opposing the project continued to gain signatures. Jim Kiernan, who has proposed a retail store and condominium project for the 1.4- acre parcel along with builder Ron Moore, said he hopes to take the project before Lewes Planning Commission this month for preliminary approval. "We hope to be on the October agenda," said Kiernan, "but we will only do so if we feel we have all of what's required in hand. We also need to go back before the CARC [Commercial Architecture Review Com- mission] group at somepoint. We're trying to address some concerns about the appear- ance of our project from the vantage point of Pilottown Road coming into downtown Lewes." Kiernan said that George, Miles and Buhr, the engineering firm for the Lewes Pilothouse developers seek approvals as opponents pass petitions