Contracts for canal dock services delayed in Rehoboth

Questions remain on relationship with city, Army Corps of Engineers and Rehoboth museum
June 22, 2021

Story Location:
Grove Park Canal Dock
511 Rehoboth Avenue
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
United States

People looking to rent kayaks or hitch a ride on a water taxi from Rehoboth Beach’s new Grove Park Canal Dock are going to have to wait a little bit longer.

Construction on the dock was all but completed earlier this year, and it opened to the public June 12. City commissioners were expected to award a contract for motorized services and one for non-motorized services at the dock, located on the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal behind the Rehoboth Beach Museum, during a June 18 meeting.

The city had issued requests for proposals on the two services. City Manager Sharon Lynn provided commissioners with her recommendations in advance of the meeting. According to support documents for the meeting, Lynn was prepared to recommend Cape Water Tours and Taxi as the provider for motorized recreation services and Quest Adventures for the non-motorized recreation services.

Mayor Stan Mills announced at the beginning of the meeting that the two items related to the canal dock were being removed from the agenda. He then asked City Solicitor Glenn Mandalas to explain.

Mandalas said he recently reviewed documents associated with the arrangement among the Army Corps of Engineers, which owns the embankment and the canal; the Rehoboth Beach Museum, the entity that has a lease with the corps; and the city, which would be awarding the contracts and collecting fees.

There are loose ends that need to be resolved, said Mandalas. It would be good for all three entities to know what their responsibilities are going forward with the dock, he said.

“I hate to be the one that’s identified something that’s going to cause a short delay, but I hope it is a short delay,” said Mandalas.

Commissioner Pat Coluzzi, who is also a member of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal Improvement Association, said she could see delaying action on the non-motorized contract because there were two proposals submitted, but she didn’t see why the motorized contract needed to be delayed, because there was only one submission.

There are issues related to the collection of fees for use of the dock and where those fees can be deposited, said Mandalas.

Coluzzi continued to press Mandalas on why the contract for the motorized services had to be delayed, but Mills stepped in before Mandalas could respond and said he had removed the item from the agenda, so there wouldn’t be any more discussion. There are issues that need to be resolved, he said, ending the conversation.

Following the meeting, Coluzzi said she was extremely frustrated that no decision was made, because people want these services. The commissioners look silly, she said.

There was no time frame given for how long it would take Mandalas to clean up the loose ends.

Ava’s Pizza permit of compliance application approved

Rehoboth commissioners did approve a permit of compliance application for Ava’s Pizzeria and Wine Bar, located at 29 Baltimore Ave., on the corner of Baltimore Avenue and North First Street. It was the longtime home to Jakes Seafood. Most recently, it was Steamin’ Blues Crab House.

Owner Chris Agharabi and opening manager John Mason were on hand for the meeting. Agharabi, who also owns Theo’s Steakhouse right up the street, said Ava’s would be his seventh restaurant.

All of the restaurants are food first, said Agharabi. Everything starts in the kitchen, not in the bar, he said.

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