By Lynn Schofer

The Seaford City Council approved the final site plan for the renovations and development of the Nylon Innovation Center. Mike Riemann of Becker Morgan Group presented the overview of the Nylon Capital project and addressed parking requirements. The design improves safety and traffic control, pedestrian connectivity, access points, and improved sidewalks. 

The project includes demolition of some buildings while the others will be remodeled to the new designs. The project includes a mix of health services, entertainment, retail, higher education, offices, child education, and outdoor activities. 

Shown is an aerial photo of the Nylon Center project, which received final site plan approval at last week’s Seaford City Council meeting. Photo courtesy of the Ninth Street Development Company

The developer Robert Herrera will return in July to city council for an additional update on the project. 

Dispensaries- The council approved the second reading of the updated code section 15-40A uses by special exception which outlines the adult use marijuana dispensaries in the city. The code includes permitted locations, hours of operation, storage and security of product, and restrictions of a facility.  

Subdivision- The Seaford Preservation Associates received approval for the subdivision of unbuildable land that is in a flood zone into two lots at Seaford Meadows Apartment complex. The purpose of the subdivision is to obtain federal funding for renovations which will remove the wet land portion from the campus. 

Appointment- Council approved the city committee appointment of records and authorized agents for the FY 2025. They are Beth Stewart, city clerk; Trisha Newcomer, director of economic development; Charles Anderson, city manager; June Merritt, director of finance and HR; and Lindsey Biddle. The yearly appointments are a state requirement which ensures only authorized individuals are able to submit requests and make decisions for the city. The city committees were approved by council which include economic development, electric, parks and recreation, planning and zoning, operations, antique fire truck restoration, emergency preparedness, and police chief advisory board.  

K9- Corporal Jamont Matthews of the Seaford Police Department introduced four year old K9 Elk who is trained to track and locate articles and people, odor detection of a controlled substance, and bite work. A demonstration was provided to members and the public prior to the start of the council meeting. 

Western Sussex Business Campus- The bid recommendation for the  Western Sussex Business Campus Phase II was reviewed. GMB, project management group, completed the process and prepared the recommendation to council. Project manager Benjamin Hearn reviewed the information and bids from three corporations with the lowest bid at $3,336,336 by Teal Construction which met all requirements as well as within the city budget. Teal has successfully worked with the city on numerous previous projects. 

Phase II includes an extension of Phase I on Opportunity Drive and extends across the tax ditch and serves the field across from Ross Mansion. Also included is a storm water pond and water main, electric, and a shared use path. The funding is available in the FY23 Bond Bill Appropriations as well as ARPA Funds total four million dollars. Additionally, the Phase II fulfills the contractual obligation to developer of the project KRM. 

The Western Sussex Business Campus construction administrative proposal with GMB was reviewed. GMB will continue to provide construction administration services for the Western Sussex Business Campus. GMB provides an inspector present as work is being performed as well as on site management and review of bids, shop drawing reviews, reviews applications, and presents to council updates and bid recommendations.  

TidalHealth- TidalHealth updated the fiber use license agreement that the city owns and operates. The fiber optic network runs throughout city which includes 11.8 miles of fiber of partial inground and partial on pole wires. Since the 1990s the city has offered the lease to customers and the largest is TidalHealth and have grown to rely on the fiber optic network for intranet. This agreement is for leasing of 24 strands of the fiber optic which will provide dual capabilities. This also provides a safety loop for critical communication. Revenue will yield about $26,000 annually with a term of five years and right to renew for five years for a 10 year total. 

All-way stop- The city received a letter from DelDOT to respond to the suggestion of the installation of an all-way stop at the intersection of Bridgeville Highway and Virginia Avenue. The city had verbalized a concern for safety at the intersection over five years ago and DelDOT completed a study with a recommendation. Also, a flashing caution sign to alert drivers of the new stop signs will be installed. Several voiced concern that the stop signs are not needed but instead a traffic signal should be installed. 

Councilman Mike Bradley said it is a heavily congested area with a tremendous amount of traffic and said he would prefer a traffic signal instead of a four way stop. Councilman Orlando Holland inquired if Seaford conducted a survey and Chief Marshall Craft explained it is a state maintained road and DelDOT is responsible for studies. There have been 18 crashes in the area in the last five years. Craft also pointed out that the cost of the traffic light will be approximately $250,000 to less than $30,000 for stop signs and flashing lights. Craft said he would prefer a traffic light but it is a start with stop signs and the safety of the intersection will be closely monitored.