Markell promotes Fort Delaware; GOP calls for farmland funding

By Carl Kanefsky 9:26pm, July 25, 2014 - Updated 8:54pm, July 26, 2014
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Governor Markell used his weekly address to promote what he calls this year's theme of unleashing Delaware's potential to create economic opportunity and enhance the quality of life for our people.

Earlier in the week, the governor signed legislation authorizing the creation of the Fort DuPont Redevelopment Corporation, which will spearhead redevelopment of Fort DuPont, and bring the area back to life.

"We can expand recreational opportunities, restore wildlife habitat, preserve historic buildings, remove blight and create opportunities to increase tourism and entrepreneurship that will spur economic development," said Markell.

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Markell hopes the new Fort DuPont Redevelopment Corporation, which will boost redevelopment, much the same way that the Riverfront Development Corporation did for Wilmington and calls the property beautiful and historic.

"It housed a thriving military community and played a role in both World Wars. The land's history and natural beauty make it one of our state's greatest treasures. Yet it has fallen into disrepair, defined by old, vacant, crumbling buildings and flooding challenges," he said.

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See the governor's weekly address here:

Republicans used their weekly address to reflect on the state's Farmland Preservation Program.

State representative Jeff Spiegelman, says more than 115,000 acres on nearly 800 farms has been preserved so far, but budget cuts threaten the program's future.

"In his last three recommended capital budgets, Governor Jack Markell designated just $2 million annually for farmland preservation. In Fiscal Year 2012, he recommended no funding at all," said Spiegelman.

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Spiegelman says by law, the Farmland Preservation Fund is supposed to receive $10 million annually from the state's Realty Transfer Tax revenue, but that law is being cynically ignored.

"Gov. Markell needs to follow state law and provide Delaware's Farmland Preservation Program with a predictable source of funding to protect agriculture, the $8 billion in economic activity it generates and the 30,000 Delaware jobs it provides," he said.

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See the GOP weekly address here:

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