LAUREL, Del.- A $6 million water expansion project is under way in Laurel that will bring water to the east of Route 13. A mobile home has already been torn down, and replacing that property will be a government-owned water tower, just east of the Bargain Bill's complex.
Of the $6 million needed for the project, $2 million will be paid for by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The remaining $4 million though will be paid for out of the municipal coffers. Many shoppers, such as Phoenx Daniels of Seaford, said the high cost was worth it.
"It's about time they move up," he said. "It's about time they get water. Everyone else has it. Why shouldn't the rest of us."
Cynthia Lecates lives in Laurel and said that she remembers when it had a booming downtown area. She hopes that the expanding waterlines will bring a revival to local businesses.
"I'm excited about it," she said. "It's going to bring business. And we need businesses like Seaford in order to build the economy here. You know - it'll help jobs that nobody has here and it'll boost the economy. It's a good thing.
Others though such as Karen Bailey are not so sure this project is worth the high costs.
"It's gonna hurt because of the way the economy is now," she said. "It's going to be more money out of the people's pockets.
Laurel Town Councilwoman Terry Wright said that the project will not only grow old businesses, but will open the door to new businesses as well. McDonald's has already signaled that it would be interested in setting up shop on the corner of Routes 9 and 13 if the waterline existed.
"Some of the goals are to allow the growth in our little town of Laurel," she said. "Because for many years we've had potential businesses approach us but we didn't have the infrastructure across Route 13 to supply them."
When the project is finished, it is expected to provide enough water for the equivalent of 1,400 homes, equal to 35,000 gallons of water per day.
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