Rehoboth Voters Approve Funding for Two Major Projects - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Rehoboth Voters Approve Funding for Two Major Projects

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REHOBOTH, Del. (WBOC) - The city of Rehoboth is ready to move forward on two major projects years in the making. This after referendums on both projects passed over the weekend.

The first vote was on building a new city hall. The second was on building a controversial new wastewater outfall.

Combined the voters of Rehoboth Beach approved more $70 million in borrowing for the two projects - $52.5 million for the outfall and $18 million for the new city hall.

Mayor Sam Cooper says he was relieved the referendums passed.

"I think the people of Rehoboth understand that this is about the future of their city and that both projects needed to be done," he said.

About 1,200 votes were cast Saturday. The city hall project passed by more than 150 votes.

Douglas and Nancy Oby were sitting on the Rehoboth boardwalk Monday morning. They weren't surprised.

"Rehoboth is growing at such a rapid rate," Douglas said. "They need a place to conduct their government business and stay current with the times."

"The city is growing," said Nancy. "It's growing in leaps and bounds. They definitely need it."

The margin on the outfall project was much closer. It was just 31 votes.

A pipe is supposed to send treated wastewater a little more than a mile into the ocean off of Deauville beach. Currently the city dumps its wastewater into the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal.

Environmental groups have been opposed to the outfall project. They are concerned about nutrient pollution.

The Surfrider Foundation told WBOC over the weekend funding does not make the outfall a done deal.

"It's a very long and arduous permitting process that needs to take place. There are seven permits that need to happen for an outfall," said Gregg Rosner.

Cooper understands environmental groups will continue to push back against the outfall.

"That's their right. We've had a lot of hurdles in the past that we've gotten over. We've got some in front of us. We'll take them one at a time and get over them," said Cooper.

The city expects to finish with the outfalls permits by the end of the year with construction starting in 2017 and the project done in 2018.

The goal is to start work on a new city hall in 2016 and finish it in 2017.

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