A big Christmas present for Lewes area

December 21, 2012

The Mayor and Council of Lewes delivered a Christmas present to the residents of the greater Lewes area this week when they voted unanimously to purchase almost six acres of land adjacent to Stango Park from the Thompson family for $2.5 million.

The vote ends more than three years of discussions about the future location of a larger Lewes Public Library.

Through steady negotiation and cooperation between the Mayor and Council, the library's board of commissioners, the Lewes Board of Public Works, the Greater Lewes Foundation and the Thompson family, the entities were able to forge a deal that will serve the residents of the city and surrounding area for decades to come.

Purchase of the property will enable an expansion of Stango Park with additional open space and preclude a disruptive expansion of the existing library on its current site.

The addition of the Thompson land will create a contiguous parcel of more than eight acres in a strategic location for the community. The heart of the existing town lies to the west of the parcel.

The land to the east - between Gills Neck Road and Freeman Highway - is already filling with homes.

The parcel just purchased by the city lies in the center of it all. Not only will it serve as location for a new library and community center, it will also be home to a trailhead serving the rapidly expanding bicycle and walking trails that meet at this hub. People wanting to bike or walk to Rehoboth Beach, Georgetown or Cape Henlopen State Park will find this park and all of its facilities a wonderful place to begin or end.

A tremendous amount of fundraising and hard work lies ahead to complete this vision, but purchase of the property constitutes the first and most important step in the process. It shows what the spirit of cooperation - emphasized during the Christmas season - can accomplish when everyone pushes in the same direction.

  • Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Dennis Forney, publisher; Trish Vernon, editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor emeritus; Laura Ritter, news editor; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; and Nick Roth, sports editor.

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