Quest Adventures to propose kayak rentals at Milton park

Magnolia Street drainage project bid to be awarded
April 29, 2022

Milton Town Council is set to debate a proposal by Quest Adventures to allow for kayak rentals and a storage area at Milton Memorial Park.

Quest Adventures will make a presentation at council’s regular meeting at 6:30 p.m., Monday, May 2, at Milton library.

Quest had operated a self-serve kayak rental from 2011-19 on private property behind Irish Eyes. That property has since changed hands, and Quest’s Kayak Tours Director Mark Carter said the option to continue a rental business there was not an option. 

So, the company is proposing to operate a similar business on town-owned land.

If allowed to operate at the park, Quest would set up a temporary storage area – comprising a rack system with a screening fence and locking gate – near the storage barn along the train tracks. 

Carter said if the proposal is approved, Quest would look to be operational as early as Memorial Day, but most likely by early June. The facility would close on Labor Day. 

Kayaking along the Broadkill River is a popular summertime activity in Milton. The annual kayak race, usually held as part of Bargains on the Broadkill, draws kayakers from all over. Last August, the state cut the ribbon on a new boat ramp and kayak launch at Wagamons Pond. 

Council to award Magnolia Street drainage project

After more than two years of planning, town council is set to award a bid for a drainage and bulkhead repair project at the Magnolia Street parking lot. 

Work includes reconstruction of 85 feet of the sheet pile bulkhead, modification of the storm sewer pipe and restoration of Governor’s Walk and boardwalk. In the parking lot itself, the project calls for demolition and reconstruction to provide a stormwater basin, stormwater pumping station and reconfigured parking lot area, plus sidewalk and curb replacement along Magnolia Street.

The project came about to alleviate flooding issues in the parking lot, especially following storms. About a third of the lot is often unusable because it is covered in water. A plan to improve drainage was first introduced in early 2019. The fixes would cost the town 19 parking spaces and would not prevent flooding during storms, but the project would reduce day-to-day flooding. 

The exact cost of the project will be revealed once the winning bids are announced May 2. The town has previously estimated a cost of $835,000, but costs could go as high as $1 million due to the rising cost of materials. The town has received $560,000 in state grant funding for the project; what isn’t funded with grants would be funded by the town’s transfer tax reserves. Originally, the project was to improve drainage at the Magnolia Street parking lot, but it grew to include repairs to the bulkhead when engineers from Pennoni Associates found a 30-inch drain pipe flowing to the river had collapsed, leading to a loss of soil behind the wall. The wall around the pipe has also become corroded.

Construction is slated to begin Monday, Aug. 1, and is estimated to last 240 consecutive days.

Granary vote expected

After it was postponed at council’s April 4 meeting, the final vote on the proposed annexation of 450 acres off Sand Hill Road that would be developed as the 1,350-unit Granary at Draper Farm residential development is on the May 2 agenda.

On April 4, council approved zoning for the parcel and amended the town’s land-use map to indicate the zoning of R-2 residential with a large-parcel development overlay, but rescheduled the vote on the actual annexation. 

The Granary annexation has been recommended by the town’s special review committee and a public hearing has been held. If the vote on annexation is affirmative, the project would then head to the planning and zoning commission to begin the site-plan review process. 

Council’s May 2 agenda also includes an update on Delaware Department of Transportation’s Coastal Corridors study, which includes the Route 16 area through Milton. Council will hear a request by the special review committee to extend the review period for the proposed annexation of 50 acres on Harbeson Road that would be developed into a 163-unit development known as Scarlet Oaks. Other old business includes reviewing punch list items for the Chestnut Crossing development.

In new business, council will discuss a memorandum of understanding with DelDOT related to a transportation improvement district, hear a request for a waiver from sidewalk and curbing requirements by Thomas Tobin of 113 Marshall St., appoint Charles Burton and Mark Carter to the economic development committee, conduct the six-month review of the fiscal year 2022 budget and discuss ordinances related to traffic control devices and sight distances at intersections. 


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