Sussex County Delaware

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Sussex County Council ...

County Council OKs
Americana Bayside Bonds

SC Online Content Editor

GEORGETOWN -- Sussex County Council approved an application for a $78 million Industrial Revenue Bond for Carl M. Freeman Communities at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2002.

The bond will allow the company to receive low-interest financing for the 1,700-home Americana Bayside community.

The issuance of the bond, apparently the largest the county has ever approved, will also bring $235,000 to the county from the bond application fee. The money will be used to make improvements at the county's industrial park and airport in Georgetown.

The approval follows the Oct. 2 recommendation of the Industrial Revenue Bond Committee to approve the bond.

According to the application, the bond will fund construction of up to 170,000 square feet of commercial, retail or office space, other buildings, including hotels, an assisted living facility, fire and police facilities, and other buildings totaling 178,000 square feet.

The bond may also fund sewer construction, electric and gas lines, telephone and television lines, and a stormwater management system.

The application also states the bonds to be issued will be paid for by revenues from the project and the county will not be liable for them. It also specifies that some or all of the bonds be exempt from federal income taxes.

According to county officials, $16 million slated for sewer costs will be tax exempt for the Americana Bayside project.

The proposed 862-acre Americana Bayside development is located west of Fenwick Island on Route 54.

County to Issue Credit Card for Employee Expenses

Sussex County Council has approved the issuance of a credit card for use by employees. The card was requested by the county's paramedic director, Glenn Luedtke.

The card, which will have a $20,000 limit, will be used for such expenses as hotel and airplane reservations when county employees travel for conferences or training.

County Administrator Robert Stickels said, "it is a burden not to have a card," particularly because employees often have to use their own credit cards to pay up front for work-related expenses, then get reimbursed by the county.

Stickels said the card will help the county take advantage of cheaper air fares by allowing earlier booking. Purchases will be approved by the finance department, he said.

Luedtke said the card would especially help "junior" employees by giving an alternative to putting out the initial expenses.

Still, council member Dale Dukes expressed concerns about the credit card. "I am very hesitant on this," he said. "I've seen other jurisdictions and the trouble they get in."

In Other Business ...
  • Council approved the refinancing of $31 million in general obligation bonds at a lower interest rate. According to Finance Director David Baker, the approval of the ordinance allows the county to lock in the current 4 percent interest rate. The bonds had previously carried interest rates of about 5.6 percent.

  • Council approved a resolution supporting the dredging of the Assawoman Canal.

  • Council approved the following grant requests:
    • Beebe Medical Center, $750 for an annual fundraiser;

    • Cape Henlopen Food Basket Inc., $350 for operating expenses;

    • Church of God and Saints of Christ, $900 for free Thanksgiving Dinner; and

    • Downtown Seaford Association Inc., Christmas Parade, $500.

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