SEDAC looks forward to strong year

February 14, 2023

The year 2022 was another successful year for the Sussex Economic Development Action Committee. And while much was done, there is still more to do! With ever-increasing membership, SEDAC looks forward to continuing the fight to bring more jobs to the county, and we will continue our efforts with a number of other groups to create economic opportunity for the people of Sussex. You will find our membership is involved with economic development throughout the county. From new growth in Seaford and continued growth around Millsboro, to efforts to bring more affordable housing to our county, SEDAC is there and stands ready to assist with the economic development so important to retention of our young people, creation of new services and seeing the infrastructure improvements so necessary for proper growth continue at the financial levels we now see from federal, state, county and municipal governments.

But let us not forget that the private sector continues to be the driving force that makes all this possible. We hope 2023 brings the needed change in the roadblocks that have been created that slow proper growth and cost outrageous sums that simply increase costs without protecting or improving our environment and providing opportunities for all people.

Let’s talk about 2022. We heard from a number of speakers this past year. They talked about several topics, including healthcare, state planning and growth, education, finances, wind farms, and criminal activities such as fraud, environmental crimes and public corruption.

We saw a project that we endorsed come to fruition with the expansion of broadband in Delaware through a grant of more than $100 million to three providers in Delaware. We created a committee to explore the creation of a medical school in Sussex, headed by members Chris Weeks and George Beckerman.

We met with the Kent County Partnership to explore the possibility that we could work together on issues and concerns that benefit both counties. We supported and commended Sussex County Council for increased funding of its Economic Development Department, and council’s actions to set aside $7 million for the Sussex airport and business park. We supported the Beebe Healthcare plan to provide a freestanding, hybrid emergency room in Millsboro that will specialize in both adult and pediatric treatment, and it has been approved by the Delaware Health Commission. 

We supported county council’s new affordable rental program and encouraged officials to now move to affordable home ownership. We supported the Bioenergy Innovation Center that provides energy, supports the environment and helps the poultry industry remain viable in Sussex. We continue to support the reduction of the realty transfer tax from 4% to 3%, a move that will make homeownership more affordable. 

Our Advocacy Committee, under the leadership of Josh Mastrangelo, has endorsed a number of development projects that will provide construction jobs, permanent jobs, new homes, new businesses, affordable rental units and will support Sussex County’s comprehensive plan. We invite those who are seeking to provide these opportunities in Sussex County to reach out to the committee for support. 

Once again, I want to thank Linda Price, our secretary, for all her efforts on behalf of SEDAC. Keep in mind that she does all this work while serving as president of the Greater Georgetown Chamber of Commerce. What’s that old saying? If you want something done, ask a busy person! I also want to thank our membership for their efforts to make SEDAC successful. We are all volunteers and, without their help and advice, nothing would be possible. Membership in SEDAC is open to all business interests in Sussex County. If you are interested in becoming a member, contact any of our present members or reach out to me. Please join us as we all look forward to the day when our children and grandchildren will not have long drives home during the holidays because the good-paying jobs are available right here in Sussex County.

Joe Conaway is president of Sussex Economic Development Action Committee.
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