For the fourth time in five months, a proposed dock in Rehoboth along the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal has received major funding.
Rehoboth City Manager Sharon Lynn announced during the Nov. 16 commissioner meeting that the city had been awarded a $90,000 Outdoor Recreation, Park and Trails grant from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Parks and Recreation. She said the grant will be applied to construction costs of the dock and pier and was good until June 30, 2020.
The project is years in the planning, and after being sidelined for a number them, the project has now seen a flurry of fundraising over the past few months.
In July, Rehoboth commissioners approved $20,000 toward the project.
The Lewes-Rehoboth Canal Improvement Association announced in August the project had received a $300,000 Transportation Alternative Program grant from the Delaware Department of Transportation.
Then in September, during a Connect the Canal Night fundraiser, Dogfish Head donated $25,000 and put up an additional $25,000 toward a matching grant opportunity. Rehoboth Mayor Paul Kuhns also donated $5,000, Commissioner Lisa Schlosser donated $1,000 and Planning Board Commissioner Rick Perry donated $2,500.
Dogfish Head’s Mark Carter is on the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal Improvement Association. He said a public access point along the canal in Rehoboth Beach is very important, allowing people to stand-up paddle, kayak and canoe along a pretty waterway. It will also serve as a place for boats to pick up and drop off passengers.
“It’s really more than a dock. It’s an extension of Grove Park that opens up the western waterfront of the town,” he said in an email Nov. 28. “When folks come to the beach, they want to experience the water, and this will afford them another opportunity to do so.”
Established in June 1986, the Outdoor Recreation, Park and Trails Grant is a matching grant program used for public parkland acquisition and outdoor recreation facility development.
According to information found on the Division of Park and Recreation website, this is the second time the project has received the grant. In 2013, the project received $22,217 for a canal launch geotechnical study to determine the feasibility of a floating dock, canoe and kayak launch, and pedestrian ramp and boardwalk. The total cost of that study was $44,435.
Grove Park has received three of these grants; in 1994, the program awarded $13,200 toward a restroom facilities project costing $118,000; in 2003, $160,000 was awarded toward a $552,000 project along the west side of the Rehoboth Museum that included a pathway, patio, retaining wall, benches, tables and landscaping; and in 2005, $37,000 was awarded for a $74,000 project that brought playground equipment to the park.
In an email Nov. 29, DNREC spokesman Michael Globetti said the grant is still waiting final approval from DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. There has been no date has been set for approval, he said.
According to the canal improvement association, the project has an estimated price tag of $850,000 and construction could begin as early as fall 2019. For more information on the project, or to donate, go to canal-connection.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.