Sussex County approves plan to complement Downtown Development District program

GEORGETOWN – Sussex County is making its own down payment on a plan to boost and help rejuvenate Delaware’s towns and cities.

County Council at its Nov. 1 meeting, agreed to set up a matching local incentive program that will complement Delaware’s Downtown Development Districts initiative, which provides rebates of up to 20 percent of construction costs for qualifying residential, commercial and industrial redevelopment projects in designated districts throughout the state.

So far, eight communities have been awarded designations, including Georgetown, Laurel, Milford and Seaford in Sussex County.

The program’s aim is to redevelop Delaware’s commercial business districts by incentivizing and driving private investment in the hearts of towns and cities, some of which have seen their town/city centers fade in recent decades as new development shifted elsewhere.

Sussex County will join the effort, providing a 50-percent match, up to $10,000, to any state grant for eligible, approved projects in the designated Sussex districts.

The county will set aside $100,000 in funding from realty transfer tax reserves for the grants.

Sussex County Council for 2015: from left, seated, Samuel Wilson, R-Georgetown, and Michael Vincent, R-Seaford; standing, Robert Arlett, R-Frankford; Joan Deaver, D-Lewes; and George Cole, R-Ocean View. At the Jan. 6 meeting, Mr. Vincent was re-elected council president and Mr. Wilson was re-elected vice president. (Special to the Sussex County Post)

Michael Vincent

County Council President said the county is proud to be a partner in the program, which has already helped attract a multi-million-dollar waterfront residential development project in Seaford.

“Economic development is everyone’s business: the state, the county and the towns,” Mr. Vincent said. “Sussex County needs to be at the table with our partners to help leverage those private dollars that invest in our communities and make them stronger.”

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.