Seaford Mayor Bill Bennett updates Chamber on progress with the city

By Lynn R. Parks

Seaford Mayor Bill Bennett told about 30 people at a breakfast meeting of the Greater Seaford Chamber of Commerce held last week at Pizza King that a project to reduce flooding in neighborhoods on the east side of the city is nearly complete. The Washington Avenue project is all done except for a punch list, he said.

In a referendum in March 2011, citizens of Seaford approved borrowing $2.579 million to do the flood control project. The winning bid on that project was for just $1.882 million, well under the amount that the city originally estimated and leaving enough money to pay for a project to help alleviate flooding along Porter Street.

Bennett said that design work on the Porter Street improvements is nearly complete. He expects requests for bids for that work to go out next month.

Also in the planning stage is a solar park to be built at the citys utility building complex on Herring Run Road. Last month, the city council agreed to accept a state grant to pay for a partial design of the facility. The grant is for $25,000 and requires a $25,000 match from the city for a total of $50,000. The citys share of the money will come out of its wastewater reserve fund

The park will generate power for the citys wastewater treatment facility; any extra electricity will be sold to offset costs of the park. According to city manager Dolores Slatcher, the city pays $177,000 a year for power at the wastewater treatment plant and $9,000 a year for power at the compost facility.

Bennett told the chamber members that the number of golfers at the citys Hoopers Landing Golf Course is steadily increasing. Last year, the course had 13,986 rounds played, a number that has already been topped this year. As of Oct. 10, there had been 14,610 rounds played at Hoopers Landing.

In addition, tournament play has returned, Bennett said.

That means a boost to the local economy, he added.

Two new residential apartment complexes are under construction in the city, Bennett said. Hopkins Circle, for people 62 and older, is just about complete, he said. The complex will have 35 units.

Groundbreaking for Stoneybrook Apartments on Tharp Road was held last December. Of the 192 planned units, 72 are complete, Bennett said. The complex features one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and has a community center, pool and fitness center. A few of the apartments are available for short-term rent to accommodate people who are visiting the area, Bennett said.

As for the deteriorating Nylon Capitol Shopping Center, Bennett had no good news to report. Eighteen units of the shopping center were condemned in March 2010. The owner, Cordish Companies in Baltimore, always does enough to bring it up to minimum code to keep from a demolition order being issued, Bennett said. We just hope that at some point, they want to do something with it.

He said that several times, the city has introduced people who have ideas for the shopping center to Cordish. Nothing has ever worked out, Bennett said. Its a shame the state that its in.

Similarly, the city is waiting on Perdue Agribusiness, which announced in November 2010 that it was moving its headquarters from Salisbury, Md., to Seaford, but has not yet done so.

Were in wait and see mode there, Bennett said. He hopes that as the economy and the poultry industry improve, Perdue will again start pursuing its plans to move to Seaford.

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