Kent County Levy Court supports expedited business proposal

DOVER – Kent County Levy Court Commissioner Eric Buckson said supporting the “Bring New Jobs to Delaware Act” is a no-brainer when it comes to encouraging large-scale businesses to come to the state.

Commissioner Buckson and his fellow commissioners unanimously gave their backing to House Bill 396 (Bring New Jobs to Delaware Act) at their meeting at the Kent County Administrative Complex on Tuesday night.

The “Bring Jobs to Delaware Act” is meant to bring about a faster process for new, large companies to begin opening their businesses throughout the state.

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Eric Buckson

House Bill 396 will be voted on by the House of Representatives in the 148th General Assembly at Legislative Hall. The bill is an act to amend Chapter 49, Title 9 of the Delaware Code in relation to zoning.

So if a business will be more than 75,000 square feet of new space and will create or add at least 60 new, full-time permanent jobs, the proposed act will make it eligible to receive the expedited review process.

“It is a no-brainer for me because I believe that the county and what we’ve set up here is a streamlined process, so long as the other agencies that the state has full control over are on board also,” Commissioner Buckson said. “When we work together and they are expedited it’s a pretty quick process. Our challenge is when we have to wait for responses from the state agencies.

“So when you write a bill that specifically targets the county and their actions, I take it a little personal, because I know what we’re doing and what we’re doing is as quick as we can make it happen.”

The expedited review process for qualified companies will create a review timeline which will allow for review and final approval and, if required, recordation of a land-use plan within nine months of the plan’s submission, provided that all non-county permits and approvals necessary for Kent County approval have been obtained.

Commissioner Buckson said he thinks new businesses should be able to be approved well within the timeframe of nine months.

“They said ‘nine months’ and my point is this, make it five months,” he said. “We’ll meet the bar. We can make it five just as long as you can.”

To defray any additional costs that may be associated with an expedited review, Kent County may charge a one-time expedited review process fee of up to $20,000 in addition to its other plan review charges of which up to $5,000 may be given to state agencies to defray their costs.

Plans under expedited review will have priority in the plan review process over those plans not under expedited review.

Kent County Regional Sports Complex receives funds

Levy Court members voted unanimously to move $1.4 million from its Unrestricted General Fund Realty Transfer Tax Reserves (Unappropriated Fund Balance) to the Kent County Regional Sports Complex, which is under construction and is expected to open next spring.

Sewage resolution passes

Levy Court unanimously approved a resolution to extend Kent County Sewage Disposal District No. 1, voting to allow the “Cypress Branch” extension in the Lebanon area in the district.

Charitable check presentation

Tyler Anaya, a planner for Kent County Levy Court, conducted several fundraisers and presented a check for $1,371.01 from the Kent County Levy Court to Autism Delaware’s Development Director David Woods at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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