Costs rise on Rehoboth canal dock project

Commissioners vote to support but not fund $1 million project
July 12, 2019

Story Location:
Grove Park
Rehoboth Beach  Delaware  19971
United States

In June, Rehoboth commissioners raised concerns about the proposed Grove Park canal access dock, centered around future upkeep, public safety and the protection of a city water main during construction.

During a commissioner workshop July 8, those concerns were answered, but, according to Landscape Architectural Service Principal Matt Spong, it will cost approximately $175,000 for them to be addressed.

The original project cost was estimated at $836,000. Additional costs – primarily $50,000 for extra lighting, $30,000 for three years of maintenance, $20,000 for security cameras, and $22,000 related to protecting the water main before and during construction – have pushed the estimated to over $1 million.

Spong said avoiding the water main has moved the project 12 feet to the north in the area closest to the pipe. He said during installation, they will now be using helical pilings because that will result in much less vibration.

Dogfish Head’s Mark Carter, who is a member of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal Improvement Association, said funding for the project continues to move forward, most recently with a $200,000 appropriation from the General Assembly in the state’s annual Bond Bill. Speaker of the House Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth, said in June he would try to secure money for the project through the Bond Bill.

The line item in the bill, under the municipal infrastructure fund, is only described as being used for city infrastructure projects, but Schwartzkopf confirmed July 9 the money has been set aside specifically for the canal access project.

Carter said, with the Bond Bill money, funding for the project is now two-thirds complete. He said the improvement association is continuing to apply for additional grants, including a Longwood Foundation grant that will be applied for in August. Carter said from the beginning, the improvement association has been raising funds with a contingency percentage built in to account for unforeseen costs. He said the additional $175,000 to the estimated cost falls within the group’s total funding plan.

Commissioner Toni Sharp thanked Spong and Carter for working with city officials to address additional concerns.

During a special meeting immediately following the July workshop, commissioners voted to move forward with the project without city funding. As part of the motion, commissioners said a future vote would be required if any city funds are needed to complete it.

Commissioner Richard Byrne said the city needs to continue to expand its offerings for visitors and residents, and the canal dock project would be one more thing to separate Rehoboth from other coastal towns.

Commissioner Pat Coluzzi recused herself from the vote because she is a member of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal Improvement Association.

Carter said the city’s support allows the improvement association to continue applying for grants.

Spong said the city’s support would allow them to move forward on construction documents, which he said he expected to be 100 percent complete by the fall.


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