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Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
December 19, 1997     Cape Gazette
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December 19, 1997

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4 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, December 19 - December 25, Briefly Continued from page 3 ations must first be approved by the board. The Kiwanis plan to add a back room to accommodate the Girl Scouts and second floor on the rear wing to be used for storage and Kiwanis board meet- ings. When the Kiwanis submitted their plans, a number of concerns were heard from neighboring resi- dents, with a petition opposing the expansion circulated. The club at- tempted to address these concerns, noting that the expansion would not increase traffic on the street. They also lowered the height of the roof line by four feet so that the addition would be even less visible from the street, despite the additional expense they would in- cur. During the Dec. 12 meeting, one neighbor who had opposed the expansion, Joe Furey, said he had yet to see the revised plans, although Kiwanis representatives had told him they would submit the design to him and other neigh- bors. He told the board that they not only object to the roof line, but also to the fact they would almost triple the size of the Scout House, "which is not appropriate in a res- idential neighborhood." Kiwanian Warren McDonald said the plans were submitted to the city the week before and that they had contacted Furey and told him where he could inspect the plans and described the changes. Everyone who had signed the pe- tition were also invited to inspect the new plans. Building Inspector Susan Frederick added that she found no immediate problems with the revised plans and that they seem to meet all code re- quirements. When asked if the plans meet all requirements for a residential structure in that area, she replied that they do. Only Commissioner Betty Ann Kane voted against approving the expansion. Rehoboth OKs parking building expansion The Rehoboth Beach board of commissioners on Dec. 12 ap- proved the request from the Park- ing Advisory Committee to en- large the parking department building, which is bulging at the seams. The estimated cost of the 300-square. foot addition to the back of the building edging the City Hall parking lot is $20,000 to $25,000, which could come from the capital improvement budget. The old parking meter department in the basement of City Hall was the home of Rehoboth Main Street until the recent refurbishing of the city-owned house next to the new parking department building. That basement area is now being used for storage, primarily for police equipment. They decided to defer any deci- sion on whether to subsidize park- ing for merchant employees until the February board meeting. Parking Advisory Committee member and Commissioner Don- ald Derrickson requested that the city once again pay the $2 charge at the State park-and-ride lot for all employees working within the city limits. This would entail a re- vision of the parking permit ordi- nance to allow one free seasonal transferable permit to every mer- chant rather than the two allotted last year when the city wasn't sure if the state would go along with a reduced park-and-ride rate for em- ployees until the summer was well underway. Derrickson estimates the program would cost the city $10,000 to $15,000 next year, having paid out $2,300 this year. Mayor Sam Cooper said he had "grave reservations" about subsi- dizing employees, wondering if it is an "appropriate use of city funds." Derrickson said that if the employees use it, they would then be better able to explain and pro- mote it to visitors. DMV announces holiday schedule All Division of Motor Vehicles locations will operate from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 24, and will be closed on Thurs- day, Dec. 25, and Friday, Dec. 26. They will reopen on Monday, Dec. 29. All DMV sites will oper- ate from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31, as well. The division is sending a re- minder to its customers that the law requires a $10 late fee to reg- ister a vehicle after its tags have expired. Milton will update comprehensive plan In accordance with a state man- date, Milton has started the process of updating the town's comprehensive plan. Delaware law requires all incorporated towns to update comprehensive plans at least every 10 years. Nut- ter Associates, Inc., a community planning firm from Rochester, N.Y., will carry out the project. In the first step in a process con- tracted to be complete in six months, David Nutter, president and CEO of the firm, met this week with a focus group of town residents. Nutter requested an ini- tial meeting with representatives of the business and educational community, the service sector and town officials. Charles Fleetwood, town council member and chair of the economic development com- mittee, followed Nutter's recom- mendation for choosing 15 to 20 people for the preliminary meet- ing. The following day, representa- tives of Nutter and several Milton residents, including some elected officials, took a walking tour to establish an inventory of the town. From the focus group discus- sion of the present character of Milton, perceptions of the direc- tion that the town might take and the information collected on the walking tour, Nutter and Associ- ates will draft a preliminary plan. State and county regulations plans are also included in establishing 1997 the comprehensive plan for Mil- ton. Fleetwood said the plan will first be presented at a public meet- ing in late January or early Febru- ary. After the winter meeting, the plan will be fine-tuned and resub- mitted in the spring. After the ad- ditional opportunity for public in- put, the plan will be submitted to town council for approval. Fleetwood said that the process is very open and public comment is invited all along the way. The state and Milton split the cost of the $10,000 update of the compre- hensive plan. Political parties weigh in with tax-cut proposals In a case of dueling tax-cut pro- posals, the Democrats, led by Gov. Tom Carper, and the Repub- licans took their plans to the pub- lic within two days of each other. Carper and the Democrats came out Wednesday, offering cuts in personal income tax and gross re- ceipts business taxes that total more than $50 million. The gover- nor's proposals would equate to a personal income tax savings of approximately $116 for a family of four with an annual income of $40,000. A single tax payer with an income of $25,000 could see savings of $82. Democrats leave open the possi- bility of a bigger tax cut, depend- ing on the overall financial health of the state. The state's budget surplus is estimated to be $82.6 million this year, and the Democ- rats' proposal would still leave millions to be used for state pro- jects, such as construction, pur- chase of open space, providing funds for local governments and reducing school class size. In a press conference Thursday, state Republican leaders coun- tered with a tax-reduction propos- al that would more than double the size of the cuts in the Democ- ratic proposal. With an estimated savings to tax-payers of $109 mil- lion, the linchpin of the Republi- can plan is an across-the-board personal income-tax reduction, with the top rate of taxation 6.35 percent. The projected savings on a taxable income of $25,000 is $116; on an income of $40,000, $296. Included in the Republican package are some proposals that are not addressed in the Democra- tic plans. As presented Thursday, the Republicans will ask for elim- ination of the inheritance tax, cap- ital gains levied on the sale of in- terests in Delaware domiciled companies and the gross receipts tax on prescription drugs, and for a freeze of school tax rates for se- nior citizens. With a month remaining before the General Assembly recon- venes, Carper said that he does not want to cut taxes to the degree that they would have to be raised if the state economy took a turn down- ward. He said he feels his propos- als are broad based, fair and sus- tainable and will allow for a cush- ion, should large surpluses not continue. FOR WEEK OF DECEMBER 8 TO DECEMBER 14, 1997 DATE LOCATION TYPE 12/08/97 Rt. 1 and Rt. 1A, west of Rehoboth #5 12/12/97 Rt. 1 and Sussex 38, north of Milton #4 12/13/97 Rt. 1 at Rehoboth Outlets - Bayside, parking lot #3 12/13/97 Rt. 1 and Rt. 24, south of Lewes #4 iiiii Troop 7 Sussex County Kent County New Castle County I 7 18 13 28 I Of the 59 people arrested for DUI, 12 were involved in accidents. Rehoboth fire company buys tools Rehoboth Volunteer Fire Company Chief Chuck Snyder ex- plains the effectiveness of the Holmatro rescue tool to the Re- hoboth Beach board of commissioners during their monthly meeting Dec. 12, while fellow firemen (l-r) Bob Scala, treasur- er; D.J. Messick, ambulance second lieutenant; Joe West, am- bulance captain; and Chris Quillen, first assistant chief and president, look on. The city traditionally allots money to the fire company for new equipment, and this year they pur- chased an automatic external defribulator (AED), which ana- lyzes the condition of a person's heart and shocks it if certain criteria aren't met. Now all three of the Rehoboth ambu- lances are equipped with an AED and 15 members of the com- pany are certified to operate it, as are the three paid atten- dants. They were also able to purchase a simulator to hook up to the AED for training purposes in a very realistic manor. The third device is the Holmatro, the "next generation of a jaws of life," Snyder explained, which can spread and cut metal. This portable unit can be handled by only one person. State funding paid for $7,500 of the $10,900 cost, with the city making up the difference. Cape Shores couple appealing decision Ken and Joyce Hellings have filed an appeal in Sussex County 'Superior Court seeking an over- turn of the Lewes Board of Ad- justment decision which would re- quire them to lower the roof of their Cape Shores house by 4.8 inches. That is the amount by which the height of the house ex- ceeds the 34-foot Lewes height limit. "We feel that the board lacks flexibility and used unrea- sonable discretion in denying us the variance. We're only talking four inches," said Hellings this week. "As new homeowners in the city and state, we're just disap- pointed." Hellings served as gen- eral contractor for the house. "We made our decision to build our house on the basis of a grade that we thought was proper. And it was built on the basis of plans ap- proved by the city." According to the written decision denying the variance, which would have al- lowed the extra height to remain, the surveyor hired by Hellings provided a certificate of elevation reflecting the proper grade at which the house would be mea- sured, 9.8 feet, but that Hellings did not read the elevation certifi- cate, although it was received pri- or to construction. Instead, the house was built at a base elevation of 10.4 feet - the height specified in the original plans drawn by an architect hired by Hellings - which resulted in its overall height rising 4.8 inches above the city's 34-foot limit. In the conclusion of the decision, the board wrote: "The board concluded that al- though not an intentional action, the owner is not an innocent vic- tim of a contractor's independent mistake since the owner is the principal of the contractor corpo- ration"; and "The board conclud- ed that the problem was self-gen- erated rather than being unfore- seeable, brought on by nature or because of unique features of the property itself." No action is be- ing taken to lower the roof until the appeal is decided.