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November 15, 2002     Cape Gazette
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November 15, 2002
 

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Nov. 15 - Nov. 21, 2002 - 19 Mill Alley bricks, mortar project closes loophole in Milton's streetscape By Rosanne Pack A few hundred bricks and sever- al yards at a time and more than a decade of work have added up to a completed streetscape and Gover- nors Walk project that now loops through Milton. Elected officials and townspeo- ple met in Milton Town Hall Sat- urday, Nov. 9, and set off for a stroll over the bricks and around the town. To celebrate the comple- tiorl of the Mill Alley portion of an overall streetscape project, they walked from Mill Alley to the first section that was laid along the bank of the Broadkill River. Charlie Fleetwood, town coun- cil member and chairman of the Parks and Recreation Committee, said the stretch of bricked Gover- nors Walk across the street from the library was the first in the project. Counting back as they walked, Fleetwood and Milton Vice Mayor Leah Betts tried to pin down when the first bricks were laid along the river. The year couldn't be identified, but everyone agreed it was after the curbing and paving of the town parking lot across from the library, at least a dozen years ago. A grant or two later, more walk was bricked along side of the li- brary and through the Milton Memorial Park. Another section was added from the library to the footbridge over the river. A walk- way and fishing pier and riprap bank stabilization became part of the overall project as time passed and ideas cropped up. Fleetwood hasn't kept a ledger, but he estimates that more than $1 million has probably gone into the Governors Walk and streetscape project over the years. "It's been a multi-phase project, for sure," the councilman said. "This last phase was close to $300,000. Our funding has come from many sources, including Milton house tours and private do- nations. With our first phase, we were probably one of the first Greenways projects in the state." He said then-Sen. Ruth Ann Minner was instrumental in get- ting the Greenways Fund estab- lished and she supported Milton's efforts to beautify the town from the ground up. Over time, Rep. George Carey R-Slaughter Neck, and Sen. Thurman Adams, D- Bridgeville, pitched in with Sub- urban Street Fund money. Inter- modal Comprehensive Trans- portation Enhancement Act (ICTEA) funds came from Delaware Department of Trans- portation (DelDOT), Sussex County Conservation Fund pro- vided still more as did the First State Resource Center. "I just put together some money from one place with some from another until we had enough to contract for a phase," Fleetwood said. "I found out we were eligible Ronne Pack photo Out for a Saturday morning stroll, officials and contractors enjoy the completed Mill Alley walk that stretches from Federal Street down to Mulberry in Milton. Enjoying the walk are (front row, l-r) Jeannette Carey, Rep. George Carey, R-Slaughter Neck, Sen. Thurman Adams, D-Bridgeville, Vice Mayor Leah Betts and Town Councilman Charlie Fleetwood; (back row) Mayor Jack Bushey, former councilman Denlais Hughes, Bill Conway from Century Engineer- ing, John Collier and Rudolph Pieretti, from general contractor JJID Inc. for Greenways money for the brick walk along the river because it connected Wagamon's Pond with our park. We were very pleased to learn that. Then I went to a meeting where DelDOT was trying to get towns to apply for ICTEA money. I don't think they have any trouble giving it away now, but we were one of the ftrst towns to apply for that funding." The latest phase of street and walk work in Milton includes in- stalling brick sidewalks along Union and Federal streets down- town. The addition of trees and planting islands downtown was included in the project. Century Engineering designed that phase and JJID Inc. served as general contractor. Those who stepped off the brick walk loop returned to Town Hall for refreshments and fellowship before making plans for the next project. "It's been fun," said Fleetwood. "But, there's proba- bly more to come." The longtime councilman has been involved in the streetscape project since the first phase, as president of Milton Chamber of Commerce and as an elected offi- cial. From all indications, he'll fmd another path to brick and an- other grant to submit. 2004 gubernatorial candidates emerge from Return Day festivities By Bridin Reynolds-Hughes No sooner was the hatchet buried by candidates of the 2002 Election than Election 2004 crept to the surface of political conver- sations. Return Day, the ultimate politi- cal event, is often a tempting time to announce future plans and at least two politicians took the op- portunity to confirm their candi- dacy for governor in the next gen- eral election Former Superior Court Judge William Swain Lee, more af- fectionately know as Bill Lee, worked the crowds while enjoying the political ca- maraderie of Return Day. He indicated LEE he is ready to turn his full atten- tion to the 2004 race. "Now it is time to get serious about the future," he said of his run. Lee, a lifelong Delawarean and Republican, is retired from a long career as a Marine, as a prosecutor and as a judge. He served on the bench for 22 years as both a Fam- ily Court and Superior Court Judge. Lee was propelled to national prominence when he was selected to preside over the capital murder = Illlllllllll I I I I I IIIII II trial of Wilmington attorney Thomas Capano. Lee, a Rehoboth resident, was prompted by supporters across the state to seek higher office at the culmination of the trial, and re- signed his title in 1999 to pursue the governorship. Lee had hoped to challenge Gov. Ruth Ann Minner in her first run, but lost the 2000 Republican nomination to John Burris in a painfully close primary. Lee gar- nered 49.9 percent of the statewide vote, trailing Burris by a mere 46 votes. He may get a second chance as Minner has indicated her intention to seek reelection in 2004. Minner's election as Delaware's first woman governor in 2000 made history and was won by a comfortable margin of 59.2 per- cent to Burris's 39.7 take. Since then, her administration has had to negotiate rough terrain, including post-Sept. 11 concerns and plummeting state revenues. Currently, sF- is working with state officials to close a $95 mil- lion gap in the FY03 budget. Her new campaign slogan "Tough Times, Tough Choices, Tough Governor, Ruth Ann l 2004" is a sign of the times. "We have done a good job man- aging this state. We are probably the only state in the country that has gotten through the last two years without raising taxes, drasti- cally cutting services, laying off employees or raiding our emer- gency reserves. "And there are still tough choic- es that have to be made to keep balancing the budget. I intend to continue make those choices and I intend to be around when times are better," said Minner. Minner, who served in the General As- sembly from 1974-1982 and as Lt. Governor from 1993 to 2001, is no stranger to MINNER campaigning. "I know I'm going to have an opponent - it doesn't matter who it is," she said. Minner has run small fundrais- ers throughout her term 'and Will turn up the heat with a high profile campaign event Tuesday, Dec. 10 at the Hotel du Pont featuring for- mer Democratic U.S Senator and former vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn. "I look forward to having Joe Lieberman here in December to help my campaign and we will keep working after that," said Minner. The Democratic leadership said they do not expect to see a Demo- cratic Primary. Lee, however, may have to face a run off again to secure the Re- vm" publican bid. Speculation of other Republican candidates includes Attorney General Jane Brady, Speaker of the House Terry Spence, R- Stratford, Sen. John Still, R- Dover, and New Castle County Re- publican Michael Pro- BRADY tac. Brady, who won a third term in a very narrow win Nov. 5, has made overtures towards the office in the past. Lee said he felt the recent elec- tion might cause Brady to recon- sider. "I want the candidates to weigh everything and come together be- hind the strongest one," said Re- publican State Committee Chair- man Everett Moore. zero points