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Lewes, Delaware
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October 8, 1993     Cape Gazette
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October 8, 1993

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6 - CAPE GAZETYE Friday, October 8.- October 14, 1993 VIEWPOINTS Editorial The nibbling has begun Lewes Councilman Tony Pratt summed up the situation suc- cinctly at the Saturday, Oct. 2 workshop: "The confusion and complexity of the canal bank issue was a long, long time in the making and will be a long, long time in the unmaking." That became very clear during the meeting. The time period involved goes back to Duke of York patents in the 1700s. Cone ..... crete records are scarce, and the situation changes from propertg to property. Add to that the effort under way in Lewes to plan for all the years lying ahead for our children and grandchildren. Somewhere along the way a wise head said there's only one way to eat an elephant: one bite at a time. The canal bank issue will be resolved one property at a time. Of course it and all of other Lewes's land matters constitute a herd of elephants. Lewes has just begun nibbling. Still, as daunting as the effort appears, the result should be a much more stable foundation to plan upon for the decades and century ahead. When will it end? Another apparent elephant? The Rt. 1 improvements under way just about everywhere. Lots of people, few of them experts, have ventured opinions on what's going on along that stretch of road that holds us up with congestion by summer and holds us up by construction by winter. Still, all of us non-experts have one suggestion for any of those involved who might be listenin$t.4inish one section of the project before moving to another. It looks to us like orange cones are put up everywhere but where work is being done. Equipment is mar- shaled in one area - usually around Five Points - and then moved half the day to another area where progress appears slow. Mean- while we, being two lanes of traffic, travel down single lanes and wonder why we can't be in the other. No one else is. They say the definition of eternity is two people and a ham. In this case the definition of eternity is a whole community and a Rt. 1 project. Letters Congress should start correcting too The election season is under way again. The country is watching the budget process. It's time members of Congress look at what's happening elsewhere across this country and vote itself a correc- tion. In plainer terms that means Congress should think about cut- ting its own pay as a signal it too takes the budget deficit seriously. ---Dennis Forney Weather Picture The dinosuar in front of Affordable Antiques on Route 1 helps mark Fire Prevention Week in the resort are,=- .':.F @ @ last Quarter New Moon First Quarter Full Moon October 8 October 15 October 22 October 30 "For the life of me, I can't figure out why our local stores have such a struggle through the off-seasonY' eve thy N00gt0000or-S00 the more! Volunteer firefighters deserve our support It is unfortunate that the silent sacfi- rices and lifesaving efforts provided by Delaware's volunteer fire companies are often taken for granted. We have confidence that when we dial 911 to seek assistance, these volunteers will answer, will respond, and will place their won lives at risk in order to save our lives and property. It is easy to forget that these highly trained men and women who operate emergency fire services in most of our towns are simply caring volunteers from our own neighborhoods. They are neighbors who have made a pledge to help others when tragedy strikes. These neighbors receive no compensa- tion for climbing a laddertruck to rescue a child from a seared second story win- dow. These neighbors are an elite group who care and give freely of their time, their energy and their hearts. We seldom consider the names and faces of our volunteer neighbors when we call upon them to assist with a devas- tating fire emergency. Occasionally, we all need to be reminded of these impor- tant factors, especially when our neigh- bors in fire service are in need of our support. Many times, the best way tO make an impression is to get to the bottom line and call attention to how it affects the pocketbook. In addition to the dedication we receive from our volunteer fLre compa- nies, we also receive a substantial cost savings. I am about to release my fourth annu- al report entitled "Cost Savings Derived From Volunteer Fire Service in Delaware." This report provides data to support the fact that if volunteer fire service were absent in Delaware, $80 million addi- tional tax dollars would be required for the government to operate a paid, statewide fn'e service with the exception of Wilmington, which, of course, oper- ates a paid-service. An $80 million : expenditure would virtually guarantee a property tax increase. Even if current government support to the volunteer fire companies remained a constant, the net increase would still exceed $67 million Delaware tax dollars annually, a property tax assessments would surely increase each year as employment costs, benefits, equipment, building maintenance and new construc- tion required additional funding. Delaware volunteer fire companies currently receive $13,240,786 from state government, county subsidies, grants-in- aid and insurance premium taxes for operating costs. Sixty volunteer fire companies cannot fund total operational costs on $13.2 million per year. They need our private support to con- tinue to provide exemplary emergency service while saving taxpayers millions of dollars in taxes. Federal standards on fire service equipment and operations require volun- teer fire companies to provide state-of- the-art capabilities for their respective community needs. The cost of a new fire truck can exceed three quarters of a million dol- lars. Insurance costs at a Sussex firehouse exceed $25,000 a year. These are costs that we as taxpayers do not have to absorb. However, as good citizens, we should all reach a little deeper in our pockets to lend ample financial support. I urge every Delawarean to consider for a moment that your neighborhood volunteers need help, too. Support their efforts and join me in saying thank you and job well done to volunteer fire and ambulance personnel in Delaware. R. Thomas Wagner Jr. Delaware Auditor of Accounts More letters on page 8 ! 00i!:i00i ,iiP.Oii!iii!!i Volume 1 No. 20 Publisher Dennis Fomey Editor Tfish Vernon News Editor Steve Hoenigmann Reporters Denise Marshall Cordelia Macintire Sports Editor Dave Frederick Advertising Sales Dawn Bushey Office Manager Kathy Emery Photographer Robert Prengle Production Coordinator Tanzer Racier The Cape Gazette (USPS 010294) is pub- ,shed by Cape Gazette Limited every Friday at the Shoppes of Camelot, 4375 High- way 1, Rshoboth Beach, Delaware 19971. Second class postage paid at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Address all correspondence to: Cape Gazette, P.O. Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. Tele- phone: 302-226-2273. FAX - 226-2277. Subscriptions are avail- able at $25 per year in Sussex County; $40 elsewhere. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Cape Gazette, P.O. Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. "It is to be remarked that a good many people are bom curi- ously unfitted for the fate waiting them on this earth." - Joseph Conrad