Letter to the Editor: Candidate says he will aggressively control developers in Sussex County

I am pleased that Sussex County Council has finally moved to adopt transportation improvement districts (TID), which I have championed for years. TIDs will not solve all our transportation issues overnight, but they will do a great deal to improve the conditions of our roads. I commend the County Council for moving this important initiative forward.

New development is going to require substantial upgrades to infrastructure. This is going to come at a substantial cost. Our citizens shouldn’t have to pay for those improvements.

I proposed a “win-win” for all impacted by future and existing development a couple of weeks ago at a County Council meeting. Along with the full implementation of TIDs, Sussex County should ask the Legislature to amend its charter, so that it can issue industrial revenue bonds or tax increment financing (TIF). Our municipalities within Sussex County are allowed to use these bonds, and the county should be able to use them, as well. Tax increment financing can and should be used in tandem with the TID program. TIFs will build roads and improvements immediately before development occurs.

The simple mechanism is that bonds are issued and are repaid or funded by development in special districts created by the county. These districts allow for special property fees to be imposed on new development, requiring the developer and individuals moving into the area to pay for transportation and other improvements when development occurs, not after the development occurs. It stops the practice of having our citizens foot the bill to make needed improvements after development happens.

Tax increment financing, along with an aggressive TID program, will fix our roads in the near future, and we will not be beholden to the promises from the Delaware Department of Transportation, which never seem to materialize.

I ask for your vote Nov. 3, and I guarantee you that I will work tirelessly to fix our roads and prevent sprawl. I have decades of proven results in my decades of service.

Please vote Mark Schaeffer on Nov. 3. Thank you.

Mark G. Schaeffer