A lesson for the rest of the country

May 18, 2021

I had the pleasure of attending the groundbreaking ceremony for the development of the Western Sussex Business Park in Seaford. The park is located alongside the Ross Mansion and Seaford Industrial Park, and it is the result of two governments reaching out for what is good for all of Western Sussex.

The project had been worked on for more than three years by the city, but they ran into a major roadblock - funds to complete the infrastructure necessary for the project. In stepped Sussex County Council with a grant of $1.7 million to fund that infrastructure. Thus was born the Western Sussex Business Park. But to make this happen there was a need to improve the road system that would serve this facility.

Now, the third government reached out and made this happen. Through the efforts of the governor and members of the General Assembly that road problem was solved. In this day of government conflict and inaction at the federal level, it is a pleasure to see the “Delaware Way” once again working for the good of the people. One other point - Sussex Economic Development Action Committee had urged Sussex County to create a new Western Sussex Industrial Park , and they did that recommendation one better by working with Seaford to expand a facility that was already there and could begin bearing fruit years sooner than starting from scratch. It was a good day in Sussex County for everyone!

The cooperation displayed on this Western Sussex project will be needed once again with the location of Amazon in the Seaford area. The jobs to be created at this facility, be they 100 or 400, will benefit all of Sussex County and the three governments will be called upon once again to make this process successful. We have no doubt that this will happen. 

SEDAC continues to work with all the players attempting to resolve the doctor shortage in Sussex County. All of the hospital systems in Sussex are actively working to resolve this crisis in healthcare throughout Sussex. Bayhealth spoke to SEDAC about its expanded residents’ program that could bring new doctors to both Sussex and Kent counties. Beebe,

under Dr. David Tam, has increased its recruitment efforts. Tidalhealth, under the leadership of Penny Short, is increasing its efforts to recruit new doctors. But all these efforts need outside help and, through the efforts of Reps. David Bentz and Bryan Shupe, lead sponsors of House Bill 48, help is on the way.

This legislation will provide education loan repayments for doctors who commit to practice medicine in underserved areas or areas of need, and they must accept Medicare and Medicaid participants. These areas include Kent and Sussex counties. The state money must be matched by the hospital in which the new doctor would practice. Delaware health insurers also become players as, under legislation, they are required to help fund the repayment program with up to $1 million grants to begin the program.

It is my understanding that they have already agreed to do just that. The key to this program is that those who accept the money must practice here. 

The bill needs to become law this year and it is our understanding that support is there in the General Assembly to do just that. Here again, we see various levels of government and, in this case, the private sector, cooperating to make this happen. Dare I say the “Delaware Way” again in action. 

Joe Conaway is the chairman of the Sussex Economic Development Corporation.
  • Cape Gazette commentaries are written by readers whose occupations, education, community positions or demonstrated focus in particular areas offer an opportunity to expand our readership's understanding or awareness of issues of interest.

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