Sussex County Delaware

Council Gets Update
on Airport Terminal

 
Sussex County Council ...

Expansion Expected to be
Finished by Feb. 13, 2002

By ERIC MAGILL
SC Online Publisher

Sussex County Council approved a change order and received an update on the progress of the new terminal building at the Sussex County Airport at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2001.

Derek Sapp, project engineer, told council that the 5,100 square foot expansion of the terminal building is 50 percent complete and is scheduled to be fully completed by Feb. 13, 2002.

The expansion will provide room for three offices for aeronautic businesses, terminal operations offices, and a 60-seat restaurant.

Councilman George Cole, who has been critical of the $1.055 million project from the outset, asked if the restaurant space could be converted to office space if an operator could not be found.

County Economic Development Director Frank Calio said he isn't concerned about finding a restaurant operator and County Administrator Robert L. Stickels said the county will advertise for restaurant proposals beginning Nov. 28.

Calio added that Lockheed Martin has tentatively agreed to lease two of the three offices.

Cole also questioned the feasability of the expansion in light of the recent terrorist attacks that have severely hurt commercial airlines.

Councilman Lynn Rogers said that sales of private aircraft that the airport serves, as well as traffic at small airports like the one in Georgetown, have increased since the attacks as corporations purchase private airplanes for travel instead of using commercial jets.

Stickels concurred, saying that during the NASCAR race in Dover in September, the airport hosted 60 aircraft. He added that he believes the restaurant will bring in more traffic with private pilots stopping in "for their $100 lunches".

After hearing the update, council unanimously approved a change order for an additional $50,000 and 9 days construction time for the terminal apron project.

The project, which will cost $724,123.90 and take 99 days to complete, will add 11,000 square yards of asphalt to the existing terminal apron and also rehabilitate the existing apron and taxiway

Extension Program Contributions

Council presented checks totalling $159,115 to the University of Delaware Research & Education Center's Sussex County Cooperative Extension program for programs to benefit local farmers and poultry producers.

As in past years, council donated $109,115 to the county extension program. For the first time, the county also gave $50,000 to the program for its poultry production efficiency program.

Mark Isaacs said the extension program would use the $109,115 to bolster four programs:

  1. Bid Extension Picture -- Covers programs such as 4-H, Agricultural Production, Horticulture, Master Gardener, etc.
  2. Sussex County Crop Research -- Targets issues specific to Sussex County farmers' profitability.
  3. Lasser Laboratories -- A poultry research lab.
  4. Sussex County Poultry Research -- Targets issues specific to Sussex County poultry growers such as production parameters and environmental concerns.

Dr. Gary Van Winkle, the extension program's Poultry Production Efficiency Engineer, will receive the remaining $50,000 for his program.

Dr. Van Winkle, from the University of Georgia, said 70 percent of his job will be Extension services and 30 percent applied research.

He said the major thrust of his Extension work will be in educating poultry growers in the use of electronic controllers to increase productivity.

He said electronic controllers reduce the manhours spent by growers in the chicken houses by automatically controlling the poultry house's temperature within two degrees and also reduce stress on broiler chicks, which improves the production of growers.

The controllers, which schedule the operation of fans, heaters, and lights, are only used by about 15 percent of growers in the county.

"We need 80 to 90 percent to use these" to keep Sussex County poultry growers' competitive with other areas of the country, Dr. Van Winkle said.

Milton Library Update ...

Brad Hawkes, the county's director of Utility Engineering, told council that he hopes to bid out contracts for the expansion of the Milton Public Library by May 2002 with construction of Phase I of that expansion to be completed within a year's time.

Phase I would include construction of the first floor of the expansion and the relocation of library materials from the existing library into that floor.

Phase II would include construction of a second floor to be used for community meeting rooms and possibly elevators depending on the outcome of the bids. Hawkes said Phase II will require additional funding.

The existing library will be converted to administrative offices. The project is being designed by Weymouth Planners & Architects.

In Other Business ...
  • County offices will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 22, and Friday, Nov. 23, 2001, for the Thanksgiving holiday. There will be no county council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 20. Council's next meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 10 a.m.

  • Council unanimously approved an Engineering Construction Administration and Inspection agreement for wastewater facilities at the new Beebe Health Campus on Route 24 one-half mile west of Route 1. The facility will be part of the West Rehoboth Expansion of the Dewey Beach Sanitary Sewer District.

    Council also unanimously approved a conditional acceptance for Phase 6D of the Rehoboth Beach Yacht & Country Club. The 44 single family home development off Route 273 will also be in the West Rehoboth Expansion of the Dewey Beach Sanitary Sewer District.

  • Council heard the introduction of a proposed ordinance to amend Chapter 99, Section 13, of the Subdivision Code of Sussex County relating to submission of preliminary plat and presentation to commission. The Planning & Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed ordinance on Dec. 27, 2001, at 7:30 p.m. Council will hold a public hearing on the proposal on Jan. 15, 2002, at 11 a.m.

  • County Administrator Robert L. Stickels told council that the towns of Ellendale and Bethel have received $200,000 apiece from the 21st Century Fund for loans and grants up to $35,000 per homeowner for home repairs for homeowners who meet the income guidelines.

  • Council unanimously approved the issuance of bonds not to exceed $500,000 to Gumboro Volunteer Fire Company for a portion of the cost of a new rescue truck. All repayment obligations are the responsibility of the fire company.

  • Council unanimously approved the following grants:
    • $800 to the Church of God and Saints of Christ for its free Thanksgiving dinner in the county;
    • $400 for the Milton Community Christmas Parade;
    • $100 for student John Welsh's participation in the Sussex Tech High School Presidential Classroom program.

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