Cape Gazette
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Friday Editorial

Dock endorsement: forward thinking

Aug 23, 2013

In a city like Rehoboth Beach, with one of the most beautiful beaches along the East Coast attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, it’s understandable a project along the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal would not top the list of priorities.

Still, the proposal for construction of a dock along the canal to provide another point of access to the city for all-important tourists and visitors deserved the yes vote for en­dorsement that it received from Rehoboth.

Although Mayor Cooper and two commis­sioners voted in the minority in the split, the project is in keeping with the mayor’s fre­quent pronouncements that while Rehoboth Beach loves its visitors, it doesn’t need more automobile traffic. If the dock ever comes to fruition, the people it brings will be travel­ing on foot once they disembark from water taxis, canoes, kayaks or other vessels dropping them off.

By providing one more means for transportation in Delaware’s Cape Region, the dock could offer another attraction to ensure a continued draw for visitors and open many eyes to the natural areas along the canal that deserve appreciation and the protective sense of stewardship that comes with such apprecia­tion.

The good news for Rehoboth is that the endorsement of the dock concept comes with no price tag. Now the dock partnership can proceed with an application for design money and work to attract more dollars from private entities. If the association is successful in get­ting design dollars, it can flesh out the entire plan giving Lewes and Rehoboth a clearer picture of what considerations would come with a docking facility. How much would it cost to maintain the facility, and where would those dollars come from? Where would as­sociated parking be available? Would users of the dock pay any fees to help offset costs?

And, the design concept could include a study to determine if you build the facility, will it be used? By not closing the door at this early point in the process, a majority of Rehoboth’s elected representatives showed they see value in an open-minded approach to a proposal that for now costs nothing.

There are lots of questions to be answered. At least with the crucial Rehoboth endorsement, the process of getting those answers can begin.

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