Seaford and Soroptimist Club hope to join to buy building to protect park

By Tony E. Windsor

The city of Seaford may enter into a partnership with a local service organization to purchase a building, which formerly housed a local bar.
During the Tuesday, Nov. 23, meeting of Seaford Mayor and Council, City Manager Dolores Slatcher presented recommendation from a committee looking into the possible city purchase of the property on Middleford Road which formerly housed Jake's Bar and the Third Base Lounge.
Located adjacent to Soroptimist Park, the owners of the building, CNI Management, Inc. have marketed the property at $295,000. Slatcher spoke with representatives of CNI Management in an effort to try and get the price reduced to $200,000; however, the firm came back with a final offer of $250,000.
Slatcher said Soroptimist International of Seaford is currently in preparation for upgrading and expanding the city's Soroptimist Park and there is concern that a business may locate on the CNI property that would not be in keeping with the family-oriented atmosphere presented by the park. "We want to try and eliminate some of the unwanted entities that are sometimes in the park. It would be a shame if a business that is not conducive to the park were to come along," she said.
Slatcher said that given the desire by Soroptimist International of Seaford to protect the park, it may be an opportunity to partner with the organization in purchasing the property.
"There are grants out there for developing public park lands. I am aware of special Land and Water grants and Greenways money. I think Soroptimist may be interested in helping to raise some funding for this project," she said.

Slatcher suggested that the property owners be given a $5,000 deposit, which will allow the city to have six months in which to raise the funds needed to purchase the property.
Councilman Ron MacArthur asked if the city would lose the $5,000 deposit should it be unable to find the funding sources for the real estate purchase. Slatcher said that most likely the money would be lost. "This is a risk we have to take," she said.
The council approved the $5,000 deposit and Slatcher said the city and Soroptimist International would begin to look into ways to fund the purchase of the Middleford Road property.

Millennium party plans
Also during the Tuesday, Nov. 23, meeting, Councilman Ron MacArthur announced plans for a community Y2K Millennium Party for New Year's Eve. MacArthur said the event will be held in the Seaford Fire Hall, as well as other parts of Seaford City Hall on King Street.
The event is family-oriented and will prohibit the use of alcoholic beverages. Refreshments will be on sale and there will be games and music. The event will begin at 7 pm. and run until 11 p.m.
Families are then encouraged to go to the area of the Western Sussex Boys and Girls Club where there will be a midnight fireworks display to ring in the New Year. For more information about the event call 629-8740 or 629-9173.

Meeting cancelled
Also, the Seaford Council agreed to cancel the regularly scheduled Mayor and Council meeting of Tuesday, Dec. 23. The cancellation was done due to the Christmas holidays.