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Seaford - new growth, new businesses By Lynn R. Parks This time last year, the Seaford Golf and Country Club was deserted. The clubhouse and golf course had been closed for months; no one was booking weddings there or hitting balls from a tee. What a difference 12 months makes. This January, the golf course, now public, is open every day, from 7 a.m. until dusk. The clubhouse is undergoing renovations and will reopen this spring as the new Nanticoke Senior Center. And the swimming pool that was part of the coun-
try club will open to the public this summer for a second season as the Seaford Community Swim Center. This was all made possible by the cityâ€™s purchase in June of the former golf and country club. The city paid $1.4 million for the property and sold the clubhouse to the senior center for $624,000. Both the pool and the golf course are still owned by the city. The pool is being operated by a volunteer group and the golf course, renamed Hoopers Landing Golf Course, is being operated by the Adkins Management Company, Milford. The transformation of the coun-
try club to a public facility was just one of several changes in the city of Seaford that took place in 2010. Another highlight: In November, Perdue Incorporated announced that it will move its headquarters, currently in Salisbury, to Seaford. The move will mean about 120 executive and support jobs for the area. Perdue AgriBusiness intends to make an $8 million capital investment in its new Seaford office building, which it hopes to occupy in 2012. Perdue spokesman Luis Luna said that the company has not yet settled on a site for the building. â€œWe Morning Star 2011 Progress 5
The Nanticoke River at sunset. Photo by Daniel Richardson
are looking at several locations,” he said. “This is very exciting,” said Mayor Ed Butler. “Think about what 120 good-paying jobs will mean to Seaford and our community.” Taxes and fees In January, the Seaford City Council agreed to a charter change that would give a tax break to landowners whose land has been annexed by the city but has not been developed. City manager Dolores Slatcher said at the time that the change, which she estimated would cost the city $24,600 per year in property taxes, would give the city “another incentive to have farmland annexed into the city.” That is important, she added, so that the city “continues to grow its user base…to spread the costs over a larger base.” The city council also voted to continue through 2011 reductions in impact fees that the city put in place in late 2009 to spur development. In 2010, the fee reductions resulted in $36,150 in savings to people who built or renovated buildings in the city. There were 26 building permits that were affected, six of which were for new houses. The 2011 budget, passed in June, instituted a hike of 1 cent per 100 kilowatt hours of power, from 28 cents to 29, as well as an increase of 2.17 cents per 100 kilowatt hours 6 Morning Star 2011 Progress
to make up for undercharges in fiscal year 2010. In total, the average household, which uses about 1,000 kilowatt hours of power a month, saw about a $3 increase in its monthly power bill. Property owners in Seaford are also paying more in property tax. The city council approved a tax hike of 1 cent per $100 in assessed value, from 28 cents to 29 cents. For a house assessed at $200,000, that will mean an additional $20 a year in property taxes. All other city fees and rates, including charges for water and sewer, remained the same. Infrastructure Despite the continuing economic turndown, the city managed in 2010 to complete several infrastructure improvement projects. Meadville Land Service, Meadville, Pa., completed a shoreline stabilization project, overseen by engineering firm George, Miles and Buhr. Cost for the project and for engineering services was $113,680. Funding came from a $1.62 million state loan obtained in 2008 to pay for improvements to the sewer main that crosses Williams Pond and the sewer lift station on Norman Eskridge Highway. Voters gave the city permission to borrow the money in a referendum in May 2008. The shoreline stabilization proj-
ect was included as part of the loan. The city is nearing completion of a $2.165 million project to improve its water system. The project, 52 percent of which is being paid with federal stimulus dollars, was originally intended to replace water mains and eliminate dead-end water pipes in Westview and along Bridgeville Highway. When the low bid came in well under its $2.264 million budget, the city added eliminating dead-end water pipes in the area of Sussex Avenue and Tull Drive, along Atlanta Road, on Nylon Boulevard, Cypress Drive and School Lane. It was also able to replace piping and meter pits along Sussex Avenue. In February, the city used a $50,000 federal grant to buy 140 energy-efficient induction streetlights. The lights, expected to last 15 to 20 years, will pay for themselves within eight years, Slatcher said. The lights are expected to be installed within three years of their purchase. Westview on the west edge of town, which lost several streetlights in the February blizzards, is the first community in Seaford to get the new streetlights. Speaking of power, in the spring the city’s power department was recognized by the American Public Power Association for providing reliable service. The association recognized 94 public power utilities during its
annual conference held in March in Omaha. The United States has more than 2,000 such utilities. The award is given out on three levels, gold, platinum and diamond. Seaford’s designation is platinum. Only six of last year’s 94 awards were diamond. Fifty-nine were platinum and 29 gold. Building upkeep The city continued a two-year-old initiative through which it is working with owners of abandoned houses to improve the properties. In March, the code department condemned the 18 vacant units in the Nylon Capital Shopping Center, owned by the Cordish Companies in Baltimore. The units that were occupied, including two restaurants, Sal’s Pizza Gallery and Great Wall Chinese restaurant, were not affected by the condemnation notice. The condemned units were spread throughout the shopping center’s four buildings and were suffering from a number of problems, including structural deterioration, roof leaks, mold, problems with electrical, plumbing
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and mechanical equipment and problems with the exterior finishes, such as deteriorating trim work, damaged or missing siding, broken windows and peeling paint. The city is requiring that the condemned units be brought up to the standards of the 2003 International Property Maintenance Code.
The future As for next year, the city hopes to embark on a project to alleviate flooding in Wilmar Village behind Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Seaford has been approved for a $2.579 million state loan for the project; acceptance of the loan requires the OK of the public. A public hearing on the project is tentatively
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set for Feb. 22 and a public referendum will be held after that. The 20-year loan, authorized by the Delaware Clean Water Advisory Council, would carry a two-percent interest rate and no closing fee. Annual payback, which would be collected through the city’s sewer bills, would be $157,090, or approximately $3.56 per month per household. The project as planned includes several “green” aspects, Slatcher said. In December, the city council approved an easement that will allow the city to replace the asphalt on the parking lot of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church with pavers, so that water can seep into the ground there instead of rushing into the street. Also, several “rain gardens,” slightly-depressed areas of land that are planted with plants and that can absorb rainwater, would be situated throughout the area. The rain gardens, like the pavers, allow rainwater to seep into the ground. The city is also looking at the possibility of installing solar panels to generate electricity. One likely spot for the installation is the front yard of the city utility building on Herring Run Road. “There, members of the public could see the panels and learn about them,” Slatcher said during a September council meeting. Plus, she added, maintenance on the ground-mounted panels would be easier than if they were put on a roof. Funding for the project would come from the city’s Green Energy Program fund. Users of city power pay into the fund every month, at the rate of .0178 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity. The fund now has about $17,000 in it.
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Morning Star 2011 Progress 9
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Blades looking forward to several new projects By Cathy Shufelt In looking back over the past year Blades Mayor Mike Smith sees both positives and negatives. The town
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ing new billing software for the townâ€™s water department, joining the Delaware State Pension Plan, and being able to hire and have trained two new full-time police officers among other things. Smith and the other council members are pleased with how much they were able to accomplish in the midst of uncertain times. However, the town lost Code Enforcement Officer Bill Matsinger when he passed away suddenly which saddened everyone deeply, and the town continues to suffer budget woes like most towns in the state. â€œWe had some ups and we had some downs, but I have good people working with me, and if we have
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a problem we handle it. We talk about everything, and figure out what to do,” said Blades Mayor Michael Smith, “No one [on the council] tries to run someone else’s shop, and, unless they need me, I stay out of their way and let them take care of things.” In discussing the town’s ongoing budget issues, Smith said, “Things are tight, we lost our Municipal Street Aid which amounts to about $50,000 over the last two years, and we don’t know how much, if any, we will get this year. We have not increased our fees, but we will have to look at and re-assess our current fees, and see if we will have to raise them. We have to keep an eye on what the state is doing. The state pushes things off on the counties, and the counties push things off onto the towns, everything runs down hill. What the state decides to do impacts the counties and towns. They said the last quarter was better, but we didn’t see it. We didn’t put any money in [our budget] to expand anything, if the state gives us more funding or we get grant money from somewhere, we will spend it. We are not the only ones in the state having trouble. We will just have to watch what the [state] legislature does and hope they make decisions that help everyone. We hope we don’t have any more surprises, and we hope that the economy improves. We can’t control it, and we do the best we can. We look at what has to be done and do it.” The town is looking forward to completing several upcoming projects by partnering with state and local agencies as well as through receiving grant funding. These include more paving throughout town, extending the town’s existing sewer system across Route 13, and, hopefully, refurbishing at least one of the town’s police cruisers along with hiring more police officers. Town administrators also see the possibility of new building projects starting in the next year or two which would help bring the town much needed funds.
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Nanticoke Memorial Hospital By Lynn R. Parks In July, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital received a Best in Value award from Press Ganey, which evaluates hospitals across the nation and determines value indexes for them. Nanticoke was ranked among top hospitals nationwide and was specifically praised for its quality, affordability, efficiency and patient satisfaction. Nanticoke CEO Steve Rose was especially pleased that the ranking included patient satisfaction, something on which he has been focused on improving. “Our clinical quality scores have always been good,” Rose said. “We have always done a good job in treating our patients. But we had to work on our customer service and on our perception in the community.” Rose said that every employee in the hospital has undergone a training program in good customer service. “It sounds so simple, but it’s something we had to do,” he said. “We focused on how to greet people, on explaining what you are going to do and on saying thanks when you are finished.” 12 Morning Star 2011 Progress
Since then, the hospital’s scores that evaluate patient satisfaction, scores that are required by the federal government, have been rising. Patients are asked to rank the hospital on such things as responsiveness, communications, cleanliness, even quietness during the nighttime. “And our scores are much improved,” said Rose. “I am really pleased. We have worked very hard on this. We still have a long way to go, but I feel very proud of our progress.” Also improved is the hospital’s financial picture. While Nanticoke ended the fiscal year 2008 with an $8.1 million loss, its third losing year in a row, every year since then has ended in the black, Rose said. In October, the hospital was named one of only 40 Medicare dependent hospitals across the country, meaning that it will receive a better reimbursement rate from the federal health insurance program. “For the second year, Standard and Poor’s has upped our bond rating,” Rose said. “We have no more red ink.” As for improvements in medical
technology, Nanticoke was recently certified to perform procedures to put stents in carotid arteries, one of only two Delaware hospitals with such certification. The stent implant means that patients with blocked carotid arteries can receive treatment and leave the hospital in as little as two days, compared to a week’s stay, with some time in intensive care, if surgery is done to remove the blockage. “It really is pretty amazing; the technology is so cool,” Rose said. Also this year, Nanticoke purchased a digital mammography machine for its Mears Campus. “The difference in the image between that and the analog technology is unbelievable,” Rose said. “That was an important acquisition.” Last year, Nanticoke obtained a new neurologist, a vascular surgeon and a pulmonologist. This summer, Rose said, two additional pulmonologists, one of whom specializes in sleep disorders, as well as an endocrinologist and a urologist will join the Nanticoke family. The urologist is a woman, Rose said; “women who have urinary problems may feel more
comfortable going to her,” he added. Also this year, the hospital will continue to study the possibility of putting in a second heart catheterization lab, where doctors can treat blockages in arteries. Cardiac interventionist Dr. Ivan Pena joined the cardiology practice of doctors Alicea, Buenano, Laurion and Simons in October 2009 and since then, the volume of his patients has steadily increased. Rose said that the lab, which could be in place in 18 to 24 months, would cost more than $2 million. To jump start fundraising for the new lab, Seaford residents Charles Allen III, “Chick,” and his wife, Barbara, have already donated $200,000. Rose said that by the end of the summer, the Nanticoke Cancer Center will have a new radiology machine, which better targets cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. The new linear accelerator technology will cost $1.5 million, he said. For your information: For details about patient satisfaction scores for Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, and to compare those scores to those of other hospitals, visit the website www.hospitalcompare.hhs. gov.
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Laurel’s future growth centers around the US 13 corridor By Tony E. Windsor The Town of Laurel is poised to move toward what is possibly the most significant economic opportunity in its municipal history. In the fall of 2010, the Laurel Mayor and Council revealed that the reality of extending water and sewer services to US 13 was finally coming into fruition. The last town on the US 13 corridor from Greenwood to Delmar to extend municipal utilities out to the highway, Laurel has spent years trying to figure out how to accomplish this feat in a financially responsible manner and without putting the tax burden on existing town property owners. In November, representatives from the United States Department of Ag14 Morning Star 2011 Progress
riculture (USDA) traveled to Laurel Town Hall to present a symbolic check in the amount of $8 million to help pay for the historic infrastructure project. The opportunity to expand utilities to western Sussex County’s major thoroughfare is not being taken lightly by the town’s mayor. Since coming into office this project has been a priority item on John Shwed’s agenda. The mayor said the USDA funds will provide two significant opportunities for the town to get water and sewer to US 13 without placing a major financial burden on the town. He said that $1.5 million of the project money will come in the form of a grant. This will require to repayment by the town for these funds. The balance of the $8 million dollars will
come through a low interest loan, expected to be at about 2.37 percent. “What we have been able to do thanks to the recommendation by the USDA is to roll a couple of existing loans the town has into this USDA loan,” he said. “The practical benefit of the USDA borrowing terms is that the Town will be able to complete the $5.9 million project extending water and sewer to commercial Rt. 13 properties and also benefit 175 new residential users with absolutely no increase in its existing annual debt service payments. No tax increases will be required to finance this project.” The mayor said the opportunity to grow the town’s tax base through commercial growth on US 13 is the single most necessary component to
Photo by Ron MacArthur
allow the town to grow economically. He also said it has been his mission since becoming Mayor in 2004 to see the town of Laurel grow without putting the burden on the backs of existing tax payers. Shwed said that over the past five years, the Laurel Council has completed a variety of state and federally mandated projects related to the Town’s water and waste water treatment systems totaling $24.3 million. The town has been successful in securing grants to cover $9.3 million in addition to low interest rates ranging from 0% to 2.6% on all major financing. “After this new Rt. 13 infrastructure is completed, Town debt will total about $12.9 million, while annual debt service payments will remain approximately what they were before the project,” he said. The mayor believes US 13 can do for Laurel what it has done for sister communities like nearby Seaford. “I am confident that the corner of US 13 and Route 9 will be the break out intersection for Laurel,” he said. “I envision it to be just like the intersection in Seaford where Wal-Mart is located. Once the city of Seaford got utilities out to the intersection of US 13 and Tharp Road for Wal-Mart, look what happened. I see the same results for Laurel. Getting utilities out to US 13 and expanding the tax base for Laurel is the only way we are going to be able to help lessen the burden on our current town residents.” The town expects that pipes should
start to be planted extending the water and sewer services from the center of town to the US 13 corridor within a year. Probably one of the hardest pills for tax payers and Laurel elected officials alike to swallow over the past 12 months was the development of the town’s budget. The hard hit national economy has taken a toll on most every community in the nation and Laurel has not been spared. In battling a slow economy including stagnant commercial and residential growth, Laurel’s officials passed a budget that contains some of the most significant financial revisions seen by the town in over a decade. For the first time in 14 years the town was forced to raise property taxes by nine percent, water and sewer rates by 12 percent and for the third consecutive year, town employees did not receive a salary increase. One of the most significant bones of contention for town residents was word that it would be necessary to cut staffing. The position of town manager was lost after former Town Manager, Bill Fasano, resigned amid controversy surrounding allegations of prescription fraud at a local drug store. Shwed announced that in a budgetary move it was decided that Fasano’s annual $60,000 position would not be filled. In addition there would be a layoff of employees in both the municipal code enforcement department and public works department. But, it is the proposal to eliminate two
police officers that brought the bulk of emotion to the floor of the council chambers. The town dealt with a string reaction from residents who opposed a reduction in the police force, citing concerns about public safety. According to the Laurel Police Department the town has the highest criminal case load of any community in Sussex County. In 2009 the department had 9,000 calls for response, which amounts to about 700 complaints per officer. To make matters even more difficult the Laurel School District was unable to maintain one town police officer’s position as a school resource officer. The district had been paying the salary and benefits of a Laurel Police Officer as a support inside the high school. Loss of federal funding cost the position. Shwed was apologetic, but unwavering in explaining the budget demands that led to the unpopular cuts. He cited losses of funding from state and federal sources along with essentially zero growth in the town’s real estate tax base over the last two years as much of the catalyst for the stringent budgetary measures. “We have made hard decisions and choices, and we are sincerely sorry for the hardships we are imposing on our workers and citizens. But, we are required to produce an annual balanced budget. We can’t pull rosy income figures out of the air if they are unrealistic.” As if an answer to prayers, the Morning Star 2011 Progress 15
town received word a few months after passing its 2011 budget that an opportunity to gain back one of two lost officers had arrived. It came in the form of federal funding from the Community Oriented Policing Service (COPS) program. The Laurel Police Department made a successful application for funding of one fulltime police officer. Though its initial application sought two officers, the news was excellent for the town. The federal grant provides 100 percent funding for an entry-level salaries and fringe benefits for three years for the police officer. The town must agree to maintain the officer at its expense for at least 12 months following the end of the three years. Laurel is also looking at completing a long standing campaign to connect all commercial and residential properties to the town’s water system via water meters. In planning to have all meters installed by the end of the year, Shwed said there are still about 465 water meters that need to be installed. He said recently the town learned it has received about $580,000 from
the Delaware Office of Drinking Water to get the job done. The money will come in the form of a loan and will allow property owners to be financially responsible for only the cost of the meters, not the installation as initially expected. Residents will be given the option of paying for the meters over a period of a year through the water and sewer bills. A new development planned for Laurel is also pumping new hope for a vibrant future as life gets breathed into the US 13 corridor. Developer Michael Pouls and his Village Brooke project is still very much alive. The project consist of three developments bringing as many as over 2,700 homes and a halfmillion square feet of retail operation to Laurel. Village Brooke East and West will be located along Discount Land Road on both sides of US 13 and border Delaware 9. Village Brooke North, which unlike the other two Village Brooke projects, will have in addition to over 2,000 residential units, a major commercial operation complete with its own Main Street shopping
district theme. This project will be located along US 13, near the former Sussex DriveIn and the existing Car Store properties. Under the description of “activeadult communities,” the residential scheme targets home buyers 55-plus and provides an opportunity for them to enjoy independent, active lifestyles, while providing easy access to a range of social and recreational, most of which are included onsite. Pouls said the three communities will include amenities such as parks, walking and bicycling paths, indoor pools, gyms, billiards and special community centers and continuous care facilities. In Village Brooke East, Pouls said a borrow pit is scheduled to be used for the construction of a man-made lake which will allow for kayaking, canoeing and lake-side entertainment. Mayor Shwed agrees that the economy is slow to recover on the heels of great economic slow - down in the job and housing markets. However, he is optimistic that Laurel is positioning itself for a great resurgence in the coming years.
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The former Bank of Delmarva building, located on the corner of State Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, will be the home of the Delmar Town Hall once renovations are completed later this year. Photo by Mike McClure
Town of Delmar prepares for new town hall, looks to maintain services By Mike McClure Many of the town of Delmar's projects that began in 2010 will completed in the new year including the construction of its wastewater treatment plant and renovations for a new town hall. With little development taking place in 2010 and no major construction anticipated in 2011, the town is looking to maintain its current level of services without an increase in rates. According to Town Manager Sara Bynum-King, Delmar's wastewater treatment plant, which was completed in 2010, is expected to come online in early 2011 following final acceptance of the project. The project, which was done with Maryland and Delaware funds, addresses state mandates regarding discharge. Like many town managers of small towns, BynumKing has been working to find projects eligible for stimulus funds. Those funds require projects that are shovel ready. â€œSmall towns donâ€™t have many projects sitting on the
shelf (because of the cost to design them)," Bynum-King said. The town does have some pending street restoration/ water and sewer line repair projects pending. Work on Delaware Avenue (from Fourth Street to Pennsylvania Avenue) is under construction and is expected to be completed by late summer. Design for work on First Street, which will follow the same construction schedule, has also been completed. The town is also hoping to secure streetscape funds from the state of Delaware to continue its streetscape project down Pennsylvania Avenue to the playground areas. Streetscape work was done on Pennsylvania Avenue in the downtown area in 2009. The town's major project in the new year is the new town hall building which will be located in the old Bank of Delmarva building next to the current town hall. According to Bynum-King, the bid estimates for the project came in over budget, so the town is looking to cut the overall cost of the renovations. Morning Star 2011 Progress 17
One of the few new commercial developments constructed in Delmar this past year is this strip mall which houses the Dollar General store. Town officials do not anticipate any major new construction in the coming year. Photo by Mike McClure
Bynum-King is hoping to receive a proposal from the architect for bid acceptance by the end of January with work possibly being completed by late spring or early summer. The town received an $188,000 energy grant for solar heating in the building and is planning to change the building's entrance to the Pennsylvania Avenue side. The town is also looking to convert the existing teller area into a conference meeting room. Once the renovations are completed, the town may move the police department to the current town hall. The current police department may eventually be used to house parks and recreation and other civic organizations that currently meet in the municipal building. The only major commercial development construction that took place in 2010 was the addition of a mini strip mall on Route 13 in front of Delmar Commons. The mall currently holds a Dollar General store with additional spaces available. The new owners of the Yorkshire Development, which went bankrupt and sat dormant, are working to make much needed repairs to existing homes in the development. Heron Pond, located on the Maryland side, is also new ownership. The new owners have completed infrastructure work and is in the first phase of development with a number of sales pending. A number of other developers have proposed conceptual changes to concepts that have already been approved, but Bynum-King doesn't anticipate any major new construction in the coming year. The town continues to celebrate its history with Heritage Day, which takes place in the Fall. “It gets better and better each year," Bynum-King said. “We really hope that people will come together and volunteer to help with the event.” Heritage Day joining the Delmar Day in the Park, which takes place in June in State Street Park. Delmar Day in the Park, like the annual Christmas parade and 18 Morning Star 2011 Progress
the Delmar Citizen of the Year Banquet, is sponsored by the Greater Delmar Chamber of Commerce. The town was able to place Christmas lights in State Street Park in 2010 and is looking for businesses and local organizations to help increase that effort in 2011.
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Shown is downtown Bridgeville, which received an addition with the opening of a bakery on Market Street. The town has been working to make the area more attractive to businesses as well as potential visitors. Photo by Mike McClure
Bridgeville to make public safety a priority in 2011 By Mike McClure Bridgeville Town Manager Merritt Burke called 2010 a year of transition for the town of Bridgeville. Burke came aboard as the new town manager in September following the retirement of Bonnie Walls. The town also hired Robert Longo as its new police chief last July. The Bridgeville police department applied for and received over $40,000 in grants in 2010. The department has also instituted weekly foot and bike patrols. During the state of the town report, Burke said public safety will be a top priority in 2011. â€œSafe neighborhoods attract a large residential and commercial tax base," Burke said. The town finished 2010 with over
$450,000 in reserve funds. Town officials are looking to make the town more solvent for years to come. The town's spray irrigation farm became operational in 2009, giving the town plenty of water and wastewater capacity. Burke does not anticipate a raise in taxes or fees for the town's residents in the coming year. The Bridgeville Commission passed an ordinance which requires the registration ad licensing of all residential units within the town. Those units are also subject to yearly inspections. Like most towns, Bridgeville experienced a slow down in commercial and residential construction last year. Despite the decrease in residential and commercial development activity the town did succeed in its annexation referendum, which took place in
September. One of the properties that was annexed into town will hold a new restaurant. The Heritage Shores development reported about one or two home sales per month in 2010. Other real estate projects have been put on hold due to the economy. A small bakery opened on Market Street in October. The town has been working to make the downtown area attractive to potential business owners and residents. The town plans to "continue to support local businesses by trying to implement progressive policies that encourage growth and redevelopment in the town center district as well as new development along the U.S. 13 corridor." Burke also plans to continue efforts to market the town by updating Morning Star 2011 Progress 19
Little new residential or commercial development took place in Bridgeville in 2010, but the Heritage Shores development continues to sell new homes. Shown is the development and golf courseâ€™s clubhouse. Photo by Mike McClure
the town's website with current information and improving its visitor center, which is located in town hall. The town is a tourist attraction thanks to annual events such as Punkin Chunkin, the Apple-Scrapple Festival, and Christmas in Bridgeville. Punkin Chunkin was featured on the Discovery Channel last year. The town will also hit the big
screen when "Mayor Cupcake", which was partially shot in Bridgeville, is shown for the town's residents in early 2011. Other annual events that take place in the town with the slogan "If You Lived Here You'd Be Home", include: the community cleanup day, a community food drive for needy families, the Annual Memorial Day
Celebration at the Veterans Memorial in Bridgeville Cemetery, and the Annual Bridgeville Charity Open Golf Tournament. The golf tournament, which takes place at Heritage Shores, raised $2,500 for the Bridgeville Senior Center, the Bridgeville Lions Club and the Bridgeville Kiwanis Foundation in 2010.
Looking to the Future State Representative
On behalf of my constituents in the 40th District, Iâ€™ll be working on the following issues in 2011:
Making Delaware a more business friendly state to create job opportunities. Opposing higher (or new) taxes and fees. Supporting harsher penalties for those that prey on our children. Increasing the transparency of government. 20 Morning Star 2011 Progress
Greenwood’s new town mayor optimistic about future By Lynn R. Parks Greenwood has a new town manager. John McDonnell, who served as mayor of Delmar, Del., from 1990 through 2004, took over the position Jan. 3, replacing Doris Adkins, who resigned. McDonnell is starting his job with a sense of optimism. “The town of Greenwood’s strength lies in its people,” he said. “We have a lot of good, hard working people in this town. I believe that if we can survive this economic storm we are in, Greenwood will be in good shape for the coming years.” That “economic storm” is the same storm that is affecting towns throughout the country, McDonnell said. “The challenges facing Greenwood are much the same as other municipalities face,” he said. “With the economy being down municipalities must deal with some residents not being able to pay their taxes and/or water and sewer bills. Another challenge is the number of foreclosures that are occurring not only in Greenwood but countrywide.” Even so, things are perking along in Greenwood. A project that the town started last year to install water meters on all its homes and businesses is nearly ended, McDonnell said. “The town is working with the contractor to work out installation bugs and when this is finished the project will be complete,” he said. The town has installed 450 water meters. The project was financed by a state loan for $528,230, 39 percent of which the town will have to pay back. The remaining 61 percent will be paid by federal economic stimulus funds. The town’s goal, McDonnell said, is to be able to charge residents for the water that they use. This is part of its attempt to control the amount of wastewater that it pipes to the treatment plant in Bridgeville. Town employees are also continuing to search for leaks of groundwater into the wastewater system, McDonnell said. Such leaks increase the amount of waste that has to be treated and therefore increases the cost of treatment. New last year was a town of Greenwood website,
www.greenwood.del.gov. In addition to town ordinances and agendas and minutes for town council meetings, the website includes a history of the town, events, forms and applications. McDonnell said that the town saw no significant building projects in 2010. “With the economy being what it is we do not foresee any significant growth in 2011,” he added. “But we can always hope.”
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Bayhealth makes use of technology with da Vinci Si robotic surgical system By Lynn R. Parks Certain surgeries at BayhealthKent General in Dover are now easier for the patients. The new robotic surgical system, da Vinci Si, means that patients can have less pain and shorter recovery times. “We’re happy to bring this procedure to Bayhealth so that patients in central and southern Delaware can benefit from a quick, relatively painless surgery and get back to their daily routine,” said obstetrical and gynecologic surgeon Scott Bovelsky, who chairs the hospital’s robotics steering committee. According to Bovelsky, the system also means benefits for doctors. It offers a high-definition view of the surgery area, with “superior visual clarity of tissue and anatomy,” he said. In addition, he said, its dexterity and precision are greater than those of the human hand. With the da Vinci Si, more patients can take advantage of minimally-invasive surgery. Procedures that it can be used for include: removal of the prostate, hysterectomy, removal of uterine tumors, coronary artery bypass, mitral valve repair and colorectal surgery. The da Vinci Si is one of several changes at Bayhealth last year. The hospital has formed a partnership with Penn Orthopaedics, the first hospital in the region to do so. Penn Orthopaedics, part of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s top hospitals for orthopedic care. Through the partnership, Penn Orthopaedics residents will be in both Bayhealth hospitals in Dover and Milford. Penn surgeons will share their expertise with Bayhealth doctors and special orthopedic cases can receive expedited transfer to Penn. In addition, there will be opportunities for Bayhealth surgeons to be involved in Penn teaching conferences and other continuing education programs. Also in 2010, Bayhealth opened a stroke center to help ensure that 22 Morning Star 2011 Progress
stroke patients receive top-notch treatment. The center coordinates all aspects of a stroke patient’s care, from referrals to physicians and guidance on available resources to follow-up care after a patient returns home. It also offers information on how stroke patients can best recover and reduce their risk of stroke in the future. In addition, the center tracks and assesses patient data relative to a national database. The tracking provides a framework to ensure patients receive the best care according to standards set by the American Heart Association and helps Bayhealth assess improvements in stroke treatment. Last year, Bayhealth received a five-star rating for the quality of its critical care from HealthGrades, an independent healthcare ratings organization. The recognition is based on the 13th annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study, which analyzes patient outcomes from nearly 40 million Medicare records from 5,000 hospitals in the past three years. Mortality rates at five-star hospitals are approximately 53 percent lower than the national average, and are 72 percent lower than mortality rates at onestar hospitals. In the latest HealthGrades study, Bayhealth earned the top ranking in Delaware for overall critical care treatment. (Critical care includes treatment for pulmonary embolism, diabetic acidosis and coma, sepsis and respiratory failure.) The healthcare institution also ranked among the top five percent in the nation for critical care and received the HealthGrades critical care excellence award for the third year in a row. In December, the Bayhealth Medical Center named Deborah Watson, who had served as vice president of operations for the southern region for the past eight years, to the position of senior vice president and chief operating officer. As vice president of operations, Watson was responsible for the
management of the Milford Memorial Hospital campus from an operations, medical staff and strategic planning perspective. She led the team responsible for the creation of the Bayhealth Cancer Institute in 2008 and still serves as president of the institute. With the leadership change, human resources, marketing and communications, and operations all report to Watson, as will the new Milford Memorial Hospital administrator. The new administrator, to be hired following a national search, will lead Milford Memorial Hospital to better serve a growing patient population and create a new replacement hospital. Watson is also responsible for Bayhealth’s oncology, cardiovascular, orthopedic and neurosciences departments, as well as respiratory therapy and neurodiagnostics. As for this year, phase two of the expansion of Kent General in Dover is expected to be complete by December. That includes completion of the new emergency department, with 39 treatment pods (the current emergency department has 21 pods). In addition to new equipment and design, processes in the emergency department are also being improved. The goal of the new department will be to have all patients treated and released in less than three hours. The construction project also include a new 35,000-square foot Kent Cancer Center, with chemotherapy and radiation treatment rooms as well as physicians offices, and a 15,000-square foot welcome center, with access to the cancer center as well as to the emergency department and Kent General. In 2012, the medical center plans to open an emergency department on its Smyrna Clayton Medical Services Campus. The expansion will also include digital mammography services, physical therapy and a sleep care center, as well as room for addition primary care and specialty physicians.
Laurel Chamber of Commerce Serving Laurel Businesses and The Community at Large
We are looking forward to a progressive year in 2011. “Leadership in Business Starts Here”
Call 302-875-9319 for an application or information www.laurelchamber.com 208 Laureltown, Laurel, Delaware
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