Letters to the Editor -- December 10, 2010

Reader supports proposed bypass

I am responding to the letter written by Jim Bennett regarding the Eastern Bypass. First, let me say he has a right to voice his concerns, but I feel it is one-sided.

In his writing, Mr. Bennett seems to say that the farmers’ rights should come before any others. I have been reading that the farmers feel that they only have two options for their land: One is to farm it and the other is to sell it to developers.

As it stands, DelDOT has three options on the table for Millsboro: the Eastern Bypass, on-alignment and no build. At this time, there is no option for a modified on-alignment or merely widening and updating the highway through Millsboro. The option for on-alignment is a raised limited-access road.

Let me emphasize “raised.” This will, in effect, cut the town in two. The road will have a ramp on the southbound side, just south of Betts Pond. The ramp will lead to an access road that will parallel the highway. Southbound motorists will have to exit here to access any businesses between Route 24 and Betts Pond. If the exit is missed, there will not be an alternative for several miles.

The road-widening and access road may infringe on the existing business properties’ frontage. The ramp will result in the loss of at least two businesses and cut into a small development, with the loss of some homes there, as well.

Without the visibility and easy access from 113, some of the existing business will fail and the commercial value of these properties will be diminished. This will necessitate the need for more business development on Route 24, as well as areas around the next interchange to the south. As long as land is sold to developers, the towns will have to provide services and attract more businesses to provide for the new residents.

The on-alignment project will have to be completed in sections, while the road is still in use for travel. This will take years and lead to more hardship for the businesses on Route. 113. In addition, the traffic during the summer months will be a nightmare.

The plan for the bypass is to complete the Millsboro section first, opening it up for use when it is completed to 24. The other sections will be completed at a later date. This will have no effect on existing traffic. Also, once the bypass is completed, motorists will have to exit 113 to the old business route. I know from experience, taking the business route off a highway is usually the long way to go.

I would like to also address Mr. Bennett’s comment that the bypass will have a negative affect on the Indian River High School. He is concerned about affect of the interchange but has no comment about the proximity of the Del Pointe Casino to the school.

In a perfect world, DelDOT would have found a solution that would accommodate everyone, but it is not. In my opinion, the bypass will be the better option, keeping the existing 113 as a business route and leaving it for business – thereby keeping the sprawl of strip malls and professional offices in one area.

No one wants change, but it is coming. Change is not always pleasant, but if nothing is done to prepare for the future now, it will soon be too late.

I would like to close with some words for thought from one of America’s great philosophers, Yogi Berra. “It is so crowded, no one goes there any more.”

Thomas J. Uss

DelDOT payoff scandals a call to action

Following an in-depth, thoroughly researched chronology of the Route 113 Bypass issue by Monica Scott, many of you are asking, “What do we do next?”

You need to take the following steps as soon as possible: Contact all three of our local legislators by phone: Sen. George Bunting, Rep. Gerald Hocker and Rep. John Atkins. Leave a brief message saying you are against the Route 113 bypass and that you would like for them to sponsor a legislative bill to drop the funding for it, especially in light of recent revelations of DelDOT payments to developers totaling almost $2 million. Tell them you prefer the “on-alignment” option of improving existing Route 113 instead. The citizens of Milford did this and a similar bypass was voted down by the legislature.

You should also call the Governor’s Office and express your opinion. Don’t let holiday activities prevent you from making your voices heard. The number of voters in opposition is all that matters here.

Some politicians are dismissing the project by saying that it will never be funded. Without giving you a dime, DelDOT can legally secure your property as a “designated corridor,” which will prevent you from expanding it or willing your property to your heirs. Do you want local farmers, homeowners and businesses to be in this position?

Don’t think you’re in the clear just because DelDOT hasn’t targeted your property. These are life-changing impacts for all of us. Do you want a highway interchange next to the Indian River High School? Do you think DelDOT is capable of building five more bridges in this region without putting the final nail in the coffin of our wetlands? Do you think crabbing and fishing will ever be the same?

I know you because you are my neighbors. I also know that you love this beautiful piece of salt and sand and earth and woods that we call home. A small handful of us can’t prevent this from happening without your help. It’s time to step up, to say no to this injustice so that we can look our children and grandchildren in the eye and say, “We stood up, we spoke out and we tried to save this precious piece of God’s country for you.” I have all the faith in the world that you will do the right thing.

Carrie W. Bennett

Readers offer opinion on playground

We are writing to express our viewpoint on the proposed park/playground in South Bethany. This entire proposal is absurd from a cost, safety and environmental perspective. This project will cost the town a lot of money now and in the future. Repairs, legal costs, maintenance and parking are just a few things that will ultimately cost the town a significant amount of money.

Additionally, the proposed park/playground leaves the Town of South Bethany exposed to many liabilities, such as potential accidents on the playground and close proximity to the canal and Russell Road, a frequently traveled road.

From an environmental perspective, the proposed project will destroy healthy trees. Why is this proposal still lingering? Why would we destroy this parcel of land just to pacify a handful of people?

The proposed park will be vacant the majority of the year. Leave the area in its current state and focus on more important things that don’t require the destruction of land and trees. South Bethany residents, please send your survey in to oppose this project.

Nancy and Kathryn Heinkel
South Bethany

(Editor’s note: The park survey for South Bethany property owners must be postmarked or returned in person to South Bethany town hall prior to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 10.)

Mitchell thankful for town manager

’Tis the season to be thankful. I am extending my thanks to our town manager, who has demonstrated superb leadership and management of town affairs for the last three years.
Few know of his achievements and accomplishments. He has saved the town tens of thousands of dollars in efficiencies through his management of the town. He has also successfully applied for grants totaling tens of thousands of dollars saving the town money and keeping our taxes low. He has conducted major studies, which otherwise would have been contracted to outside sources, thereby saving the town money.

His leadership has provided the council with successful ideas which have moved the town forward, gaining the admiration of other towns in Sussex County. Space does not permit to list here his many accomplishments.

Perry J. Mitchell, Council Member
Ocean View

Reader upset with AARP stance

I find it very disingenuous of the AARP leadership calling on Congress to meet their commitment to the seniors. These are the same individuals who sold out to ObamaCare at the expense of the same group.

With $500 billion to be taken out of Medicare in the Obama plan that they supported, they want us to now believe they are our guardians.

Isn’t it ironic that now one can’t turn on the television without AARP pushing their supplemental health plan? Certainly no conflict of interest here, as AARP’s plan will cover what Medicare will not with the $500 billion cut!

Give me a beak. In protest, I canceled my membership and encourage you to consider doing the same.

Richard. J. Logue
Ocean View