Site plan approved for medical offices

By Tony E. Windsor

A public hearing was held at Seaford City Council recently to discuss a new expansion of medical office space at Mears Campus by Nanticoke Memorial Hospital (NMH), Inc. During the Tuesday, April 23, meeting of Seaford Mayor and Council, Code Enforcement Officer, Josh Littleton made a presentation outlining the plans for the new office building.

Located at the 200-300 Rawlins Drive, the Mears Campus, the site plans call for a two-story building addition comprised of 18,500 square feet per level, for a total of a 37,000 square feet expansion. Littleton said plans also call for a redesign of the site storm water management system, an additional 170 parking spaces, including three handicap spaces, and additional landscaping including an extension of sidewalk along Herring Run Road.

As part of the project, NMH will have to get additional approvals including those from the State Office of Drinking Water, a division of Health and Social Services; the Delaware State Fire Marshals Office, for site and building compliance; and the Delaware Department of Transportation and Sussex Conservation District.

He said the Seaford Planning and Zoning Commission has reviewed the plans and recommends approval by the city.

Councilwoman Leanne Phillips-Lowe asked Littleton for clarification regarding whether the site plans were exclusively for medical office space, or included any additional services.

Littleton said this project is dedicated to building additional office space, not additional services. This is an opportunity for the hospital to consolidate staff and includes no additional services, Littleton said.

The council voted unanimously to approve the NMH site plans.

In other Seaford Mayor and Council business, Seaford Public Works Director Berley Mears recommended the city approve a joint project to do both necessary street paving and to pave the Seaford City Hall alternate parking lot. Bids for the project were solicited and contractor Jerrys, Inc. responded with a low bid of $147,264.89. Bids for the projects ranges from Jerrys, Inc. low bid to as high as $168,350.56.

City Manager Dolores Slatcher said Mears explained that though the street paving project exceeds the amount budgeted in the FY2014 municipal budget, there is money available through the states allocated Municipal Street Aid funds to cover the $122,333.39 price tag. Slatcher said the Public Works Director is also recommending the use of general fund dollars gained from the franchise agreement between the City of Seaford and Chesapeake Utilities to pay for the city hall parking lot project at a cost of $24,931.50. It was also pointed out that the projects were bid using the State Prevailing Wage protocol.

Mears said the work is needed due to a significantly severe winter that created additional deterioration to existing paving. The council voted to approve using funds from the Municipal Street Aid Fund to pay for street paving and money from the General Reserves to pay for the alternate city hall parking lot paving.

Another project was also approved by council which includes paving and storm water improvements in the area of Park Avenue. Public Works Director, Mears, said four bids came in from area contractors for the project ranging from a high of $154,780.40 to a low bid of $120,025.05. Mears recommended awarding the project to low bidder, Jerrys, Inc.

The bid solicitation process utilizes State Prevailing Wages rates and came in over the $107,142.50 budgeted by the city in its 2014 FY budget. State Sen. Robert Venables and Rep. Danny Short allocated $35,714 each for a total of $71,428 from the states Community Trust Fund. The City of Seaford also agreed to commit $45,715 to the project in the FY 2014 budget, leaving a shortfall of $2,882.05.

Mears said there are Municipal Street Aid funds available to cover the deficit and pay for the project. The council voted to approve the Park Avenue paving and storm water improvement project based on the financial plan recommended by the Public Works Director.

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