Harrington to Apply for Downtown Development District Designatio - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Harrington to Apply for Downtown Development District Designation

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Commerce Street in Harrington, Del. (Photo: WBOC) Commerce Street in Harrington, Del. (Photo: WBOC)
The Clutter Box is a local antique and furniture store in downtown Harrington that would be part of the Downtown Development District. (Photo: WBOC) The Clutter Box is a local antique and furniture store in downtown Harrington that would be part of the Downtown Development District. (Photo: WBOC)

HARRINGTON, Del.- Harrington is planning to submit an application to designate its downtown area as a Downtown Development District.

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell announced in March his plan to accept new applications for the state's development district program.

The program uses incentive packaging, grants and rebates to draw businesses to downtown areas across Delaware. It began in January 2015 when Markell designated the downtown areas of Seaford, Dover and Wilmington as Delaware's first three Downtown Development Districts.

Cheryl Lahman owns The Harrington Florist and Cakery on Commerce Street. She says the incentives would be helpful to small business.

"If they don't invest, why would anybody else invest?" she said. "They have to show that they're serious."

She says the incentive programs make it easier for businesses to start and continue operating.

"I mean sign me up. If I can get $30,000 and spend $5,000, sign me up. So they need to invest so that everybody else knows they are serious about what they're doing," she said.

Harrington's program, in particular, would include tax breaks for the first year of home ownership in the development district, fee waivers for new businesses and other incentive options.

Applications for the program are due to the Delaware Office of State Planning Coordination by June 1. Harrington has finished their application but has not submitted it. The application is open for public comment and review through May 9. After that, it will go to the City Council again for adoption.

According to Delaware's Planning Director Constance Holland, other interested cities include Laurel, Georgetown, Smyrna and Milford.

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