INFORMATION

Milford Working Group

Meeting Minutes

March 23, 2004
5:30PM – 8:30PM
Carlisle Volunteer Fire Company Banquet Hall
Topic: US 113 North/South Study
Milford Area Working Group
Meeting No. 2

Attendance
Indicated by √
Working Group Members Representing
Adkisson, Scott Milford Area Resident
  Barriga, Irma St. John the Apostle Roman Catholic Church
  Becton, Thea First State Community Action Agency
Burris, Robert Burris Logistics
Burton, III, I. G. Businessman
Carmean, Richard City Manager, City of Milford
Clendaniel, F. Brooke Milford Historical Society
Davis, Mark Delaware Department of Agriculture
  Downes, Gary Milford Area Resident
Edgell, David Office of State Planning Coordination
Feinour, Terry Bayhealth Medical Center
Fox, Connie Farmer, Realtor
  Geyer, Dean Geyer's Restaurant
Hammond, Wyatt Milford Chamber of Commerce
Hudson, E. Keith Milford Police Chief
Lank, Lawrence Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission
Barry Munoz for
Levengood, Michael
Perdue Farms, Inc.
Mallamo, Mark Milford Resident
Marvel, Randy Milford Planning Commission
Matthews, Jr., William Sussex County Emergency Medical Services
Petit de Mange, Michael Kent County Department of Planning Services
  Pikus, Skip "Michael" Downtown Milford Incorporated
Robbins, Ronald Farm Bureau
Simmons, Mike Project Development (South Region), DelDOT
Stevenson, Glen Milford School District
Workman, Elliott Abbott's Mill Nature Center

The following is a summary of the meeting discussion:

  • Bob Kramer called the meeting to order and thanked the Working Group members for attending the second meeting of the group. The Working Group members then introduced themselves.
  • Barry Munoz indicated that he was representing Michael Levengood.
  • The meeting was then turned over to Carolann Wicks, Chief Engineer, DelDOT for opening remarks. She indicated that scheduling made it impossible for her to attend the first meeting, but she hoped to get to know everyone during the duration of the study. She indicated that DelDOT has been successful with its projects when the public outreach has been comprehensive. DelDOT has learned to listen well. You are closest to the situation. No matter how well the Project Team thinks it understands the area and its needs, they don't know it as well as those who live and work in the area. She encouraged Working Group members to discuss the study with their friends, neighbors and associates. The role of the Working Group is very important in identifying issues and needs. Ms. Wicks presented the analogy of the three legged stool. Defining the problem and developing solutions in the form of short, medium and long term needs is one leg of the stool. Support for planned growth and economic development by matching transportation infrastructure with development is the second leg. The third leg of the stool is protecting environmental resources and the preservation of the community values.
  • Ms. Wicks explained that the purpose of the group is to develop alternatives, debate them and make recommendations. She also emphasized that the Working Group is a part of a larger overall outreach effort including public workshops, smaller meetings with individuals and groups most affected by alternatives, and meetings with state and local elected officials and environmental resource agencies. She emphasized the Department’s commitment to the study and the significance of the study to DelDOT. She noted the Department has a solid Project Team committed to the study and introduced Don Plows, Monroe Hite III and Maureen Mauger. She also indicated that the DelDOT Team is supported by an experienced consulting team.
  • Finally, Ms. Wicks explained the partnership between DelDOT, the Counties and towns and how that partnership would serve the group well in terms of communicating changes at the county and municipal level. She ended by thanking the participants for their commitment of time and effort to the study.
  • Bob Kramer explained that there was an aggressive schedule/agenda for the evening and introduced Monroe Hite to kick it off.
  • Mr. Hite thanked Ms. Wicks for her remarks and thanked the group for attending. He reviewed the handouts for the project Notebook including a copy of the PowerPoint Presentation that members could use to follow the presentation, the draft meeting notes from the first meeting and the study schedule. He indicated that there was a proposed change in the schedule that would be discussed later in the meeting.
  • Mr. Hite reviewed the recent meetings in which the Project Team participated and upcoming meetings involving the Project Team (Tab 1, slide 5). He indicated that the Notebooks for those Working Group members unable to attend the first meeting and the make-up meeting had been mailed to those individuals. The presentation items from the first meeting and the meeting notes were placed on the project website and materials from this meeting would be posted on the website in 3 or 4 days. An update for the upcoming April 8, 2004 Agency meeting will be provided to the Working Group at the next meeting. He then indicated that the next meeting would include a field tour. He concluded by emphasizing that the work material being presented tonight is preliminary in nature.
  • Mr. Hite then turned the meeting back to Bob Kramer to review the Working Group's first homework assignment, the Working Group Guidelines (Tab 1, slides 6-9).
  • Mr. Kramer explained the need for the Working Group to agree on the Guidelines that will set the ground rules for how the Working Group functions and communicates. He briefly reviewed the guidelines for how the Working Group will interact with each other and asked if there was any discussion regarding that portion of the guidelines. Hearing none, he accepted silence as concurrence.
  • He then reviewed how the Working Group will make recommendations emphasizing the need for a super majority of the members present for approval of a recommended action. Again, he asked if there was any discussion. Hearing none he accepted silence as concurrence.
  • Finally, he reviewed how the Working Group will communicate with those on the outside. He asked if there was any discussion. Hearing none, he accepted silence as concurrence.
  • Mr. Kramer then introduced the Working Group's second homework assignment, its Vision and Goals and Objectives for the study area (Tab 1, slides 10-15). Bob explained that minor changes resulting from the Millsboro-South Working Group Meeting that had also been endorsed by the Georgetown Working Group were included in the Objectives (See blue text, Tab 1, slides 13 and 14). He emphasized that the Vision was the group's view of the future for their area. He asked if there was any discussion regarding the Vision for the Milford Area. Hearing none, he accepted silence as concurrence with the draft vision that was provided to the Working Group.
  • He then introduced the draft Goals and Objectives. Bob indicated that the goals and objectives would serve as the basis/criteria for developing and evaluating alternatives. Bob asked if there was any discussion regarding the Draft Goals.
  • Lawrence Lank indicated that he liked the fact that the Goals were written in the positive.
  • Richard Carmean indicated that the Goals represented his Goals for the Milford area and he concurred with Lawrence on the way the Goals were written in the positive.
  • Robert Burris asked what the inclusion of east-west routes referred to. Mr. Kramer and Mr. Hite responded by indicating that the issue was probably not as significant in the Milford area as it was in the rest of the corridor and that east-west access and the connection of the access with the north-south improvements was significant in the Route 54, 26, 24, 18 and 9 corridors.
  • Mr. Kramer asked if there was any further discussion. Hearing none, he accepted silence as concurrence with the draft Goals provided to the Working Group.
  • Mr. Kramer then asked for comments on the draft Objectives. He indicated that the Mobility heading, associated with the initial Objective, was combined with Accessibility by the Millsboro Working Group.
  • Glen Stevenson asked what the basis was for the Millsboro Working Group wanting to add accessibility to the Mobility Objective. Mr. Hite responded by indicating that the Millsboro Working Group considered accessibility the local equivalent of mobility as a regional issue. They wanted to include accessibility in the heading to emphasize the issue of separating local and through traffic, with the emphasis on not forgetting local concerns in the Working Groups consideration. Glen thought that accessibility seemed to be a contradiction to the development of a limited access solution. Mike Simmons indicated that mobility was improved by improving the accessibility for local traffic. If you enrich the system and improve accessibility you also improve mobility.
  • The discussion turned to a question of the priority of the Objectives. Mr. Kramer responded that the Objectives were all equal and no Objective trumped any other Objective.
  • Mr. Kramer continued through the Objectives. He pointed out the change in the Land Use Planning Objective of including the Livable Delaware Initiatives.
  • Richard Carmean asked where the issue of business needs was being addressed. Mr. Kramer indicated that the Congestion, Mobility, Land Use and Aesthetics Objectives all address issues relating to business needs.
  • Scott Adkisson asked what is Context Sensitive design. Mike Simmons responded that one design does not fit all and that Context Sensitive Design involves tailoring each project to its surroundings.
  • The discussion on the Objectives ended and Mr. Kramer accepted silence as concurrence with the Objectives as presented.
  • Mr. Kramer then introduced Joe Wutka to review the Constraints Mapping with the group. As Mr. Wutka went through the plethora of information on the constraints maps (Tab 1, slides 16-35), Glen Stevenson raised a question regarding Agricultural Lands Preservation. Mr. Wutka asked Mark Davis, Working Group member and employee of the Department of Agriculture, to respond to the question. Mr. Davis indicated that Agricultural Districts were voluntary on the part of the participant(s) and were good for a period of ten years. At that time, it was up to the participant(s) to reconsider their position. Agricultural easements are acquired by the state and are perpetual with the property. Mr. Davis was asked how the Department of Agriculture would address the impacting of an Agricultural Easement with a roadway corridor. Mr. Davis indicated that he was not sure. William Matthews, Jr., with Sussex County Emergency Medical services indicated that EMS locations should be included on the Community Facilities mapping. Mr. Wutka indicated that he would contact Mr. Mathews to get that information so that it could be included. At the conclusion of his presentation, when all the constraint layers were shown together, Mr. Wutka emphasized the need to balance impacts to all resources. He indicated the need to work cooperatively in a coordinated effort with all parties concerned to develop the "least impactive alternative".
  • Mr. Kramer raised the rhetorical question, how do you build improvements through this? He indicated this is the challenge to the Working Group, i.e., to develop recommended solutions that address the problem while minimizing impacts. Mr. Kramer then indicated that it was time for a break while the Project Team laid out maps and distributed material for the next set of discussions.
  • Jeff Reigner continued the discussion by reviewing the On-alignment strategies. The Working Group was provided a hard copy of the strategies for their own use in subsequent discussions.
  • Mr. Reigner continued with a discussion of the application of the strategies in the vicinity of the US 113 corridor from SR 14 to Airport Road.
  • Joe Wutka followed that discussion with a discussion of the application of the strategies south of Milford from Johnson (Fitzgerald) Road to Clendaniel (Haflinger) Road. A comment was made that Johnson Road, as labeled on the graphic was actually Fitzgerald Road and that Johnson Road began east of US 113. It was also noted that Clendaniel Road ended at US 113 and east of US 113 the road was named Haflinger Road. It was also pointed out that the cemetery indicated as being located in the woods just south of Lincoln Village was actually located in the field immediately south of the woods where it was noted as being located.
  • At this point, the discussion moved from the On-alignment strategies to the Off-alignment options. Bob Kramer stressed that the emphasis on the study was the On-alignment opportunities and that they should view what was to be presented with that thought in mind. Mr. Kramer turned the discussion back to Joe Wutka who discussed the significance of the size of the yellow bands on the aerial photographs in front of the Working Group members. Mr. Wutka then turned the discussion back to Jeff Reigner to review the Off-alignment options east of Milford.
  • At the end of the break out team discussions, each team reported back to the full Working Group on the results of their discussions. The following issues were marked on the maps by the small group participants

Comments on Western Corridors

  1. "Western bypasses just not feasible"
  2. Western bypasses are "not viable"
  3. "Western by-pass too costly
  4. "No far west bypass"
  5. Western bypasses will increase unwanted development west of Milford. Western bypass that leaves existing US 113 just north of Thompsonville Road conflicts with interchange and proposed Hertrich development
  6. Near-western bypass "may be OK"
  7. Will the near western bypass have problems with development?
  8. With near western bypass, there are "still major issues" between the county line and SR 36

Comments on Eastern Corridors

  1. Avoid Whitehead property if possible (mentioned by 4 groups)
  2. "Maintain N/S and E/W connections" at both ends of an eastern bypass (2 groups)
  3. Avoid Century Farm on east side of US 113 just north of Cedar Creek (2 groups)
  4. Avoid PDRs southwest of Lincoln (2 groups)
  5. Milford is growing to the south
  6. "East bypass OK"
  7. Eastern bypass south of Lincoln preferred
  8. Eastern bypass north of Lincoln "not too bad"
  9. "North end east side option preferred"
  10. Time factor is critical in implementing eastern bypass due to development activity
  11. Avoid the eastern bypass option that has impacts east of SR 1
  12. Concern about wetlands at west end of eastern bypass north of Lincoln
  13. Keep eastern bypasses as far from Lincoln as possible; preserve it as an intact village
  14. Integrate SR 30 with interchange between SR 1 and eastern bypass
  15. Eastern bypass could encourage beach traffic to patronize businesses on US 113
  16. Does the eastern bypass north of Lincoln utilize the existing power line R/W?

Resource Comments

  1. Note Christian Tabernacle (private school) (3 groups)
  2. Show Morris Elementary School in Lincoln (2 groups)
  3. Show family cemetery south of Lincoln Village (2 groups)
  4. Show paramedic station in Lincoln
  5. Show First Baptist Church/School on Old Shawnee Road
  6. There is no school on North Walnut Street – remove symbol
  7. Possible eagle nest/habitat at Silver Lake
  8. Clendaniel farm is Century Farm eligible
  9. Subdivision approved – east corner of Johnson Road and Cubbage Pond Road
  10. Valley extending from Clendaniel Pond Road cemetery to the east-southeast may contain wetlands

General Comments

  1. Truck traffic can't access SR 1 southbound without going through downtown Milford (3 groups)
  2. "Discourage cross town truck traffic"
  3. "On-alignment improvements to encourage people to use business 113"
  4. "Still look at on-alignment improvements regardless"
  5. "Signage important to maintain business route"
  6. Eliminate existing traffic signals on US 113
  7. "Bring truck traffic up [SR] 30 then grade separate @ 30/SR 1/US 113"
  8. Consider impacts to proposed DSWA transfer station
  9. Signs recommended north of Milford advising travel time to the beach via 1 vs 113
  10. SR 1/30 intersection is unsafe
  11. Consider future fire substation in the vicinity of Elks Lodge and Wilkens Roads

Other Comments

  1. There were numerous comments regarding access control along SR 1; the project team will provide CCPP information to the working group to address them.
  2. Joe Wutka's group discussed the issue of being sure that business interests are taken into consideration as the development of options continues, that as a stand alone project not affecting what happens south of Milford, a final solution may involve a combination of solutions rather than one solution and that options east of Milford appeared less expensive and less impactive because they were shorter in length.
  3. Ed Thomas' group favored upgrading existing US 113, providing access roads, removing lights, and building overpasses, but does not feel an overpass at SR 14 would be appropriate. They indicated that a bypass to the east of Milford extending from SR 1 to US 113 in the vicinity of Lincoln would be needed and that if there were to be a western bypass, it should be limited to the option closest to US 113.
  4. Mr. Kramer then turned the meeting over to Mr. Hite to discuss the next Working Group meeting and other items. Mr. Hite indicated that the next Working Group meeting was scheduled for May 11th and it would be combined with a field tour to review On-Alignment options. The field tour would begin at 4:00 pm with the Working Group boarding a bus at the Fire Hall and proceeding to US 113. The regular meeting would then follow the field review. Mr. Hite then reviewed the tentative agenda for the next meeting. He also reviewed the upcoming schedule through September. He noted that, a series of Public Workshops would be held in June to present to the public, at large, the results of the first three Working Group meetings and coordination with the environmental resource agencies. The Working Group will then take the summer off to allow the Project Team to develop conceptual alternatives. The Working Group would reconvene in September with a detailed discussion of conceptual alternatives.
  5. Mr. Hite thanked the Working Group for their efforts and adjourned the meeting at 8:30.