Archive for May, 2010

Destination Station in Rehoboth finalized

May 19, 2010

Delaware Deputy Attorney General Dennis Spivack announced on Wednesday, May 19, that a memorandum of understanding was signed Tuesday, May 18, among the Delaware Department of Transportation, Office of the Attorney General and a nonprofit arm of the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce, for a transportation hub and science center to be built at the entrance to Rehoboth Beach.

Destination Station, a 50,000-square-foot structure, planned for 1.75 acres of state-owned land on Route 1 outside Rehoboth Beach, will include an energy and technology museum, mass transit hub and visitor’s center. The chamber estimates construction will cost between $12 million to $14 million and projects roughly 500,000 visitors per year.

Spivack said the agreement represents a monumental public-private partnership. Spivack also said the negotiations began more than eight years ago, calling them protracted and difficult before being finalized.

Destination Station design requests for proposals will be advertised immediately and finalized by the end of June, say officials. Fundraising will also begin immediately, said Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Carol Everhart.

Officials also say the project will create significant job opportunities.

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Chris Weeks attacks Schwartzkopf in the 14th

May 13, 2010

Uses recycling bill to lambast House leader

Republican candidate for the 14th Representative District Chris Weeks is attacking popular and long-standing Democratic House Majority Leader Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach. Weeks criticized the incumbent lawmaker’s support of recently passed legislation that establishes statewide, curbside recycling.

Chris Weeks

Senate Bill 234 requires trash haulers to offer recycling pickup at single-family homes by 2011, followed by a rollout plan to offer recycling to multi-family developments and commercial businesses in subsequent years. Another provision of the bill establishes a 4-cent recycling fee on bottles. Those funds would be diverted to municipalities and private haulers to help fund the curbside program. The bill passed the Senate 17-3, April 29, and on Tuesday, May 11, the measure passed the House, 26-12.

But any bill that requires new fees and allocates the funds must pass by a three-fifths majority in both chambers.

While SB 234
received that majority in the Senate, it failed in the House. Still, the measure’s on its way to the governor’s desk for his signature.

Pete Schwartzkopf

Republicans, including Weeks, are already questioning the bill’s constitutionality. Weeks, on Thursday, May 13, said he’s concerned about the “fast-track mentality” of passing measures and the constitutionality of the so-called bottle bill. He also said that state officials are slipping down a slippery slope with new ways to create revenue in Delaware. Weeks also attacked Schwartzkopf for raising taxes because Schwartzkopf supported SB 234.

State officials say the measure would help reduce costs in the long run by reducing materials headed to landfills. Democrats have also come forward insisting the 4-cent allocation is not a new tax. It is diversion of an existing fee to the curbside program, say bill supporters.

Keep in mind, the state already has a 5-cent deposit on bottles already in place.