Carrie Casey with New Castle County says the County has not made any decisions about what might happen if survey results say the community is overwhelmingly in favor of relocation.
Nor has the County done any calculations about how much relocation might cost, or studied what fair relocation might look like.
She says the County doesn’t even have a plan for next steps after survey data are analyzed.
“The first key thing for us is seeing what the community really feels about this,” she said.
Casey says the County intends to involve the community in any decision-making processes — and that the community will be the first to see results of the survey.
Joe Day manages Code Enforcement for the County. He says no other stakeholders have been consulted about relocation so far, but if the survey finds the community wants relocation, other partners would likely be brought in.
“With DNREC or with DelDOT or with the Port of Wilmington, maybe federal grants,” said Day. “I think there’s a lot of other factors, but we need to get the results of the survey before we even investigate those other factors.”Jim Smith, Assistant General Manager of Land Use with the County, adds that private partners could be engaged. He points out that with 198 inhabited parcels among the two communities, lots of uncertainty remains.
“You’re dealing with two different communities with a lot of families inside each one,” said Smith. “We have recommendations that were laid out from a big group consensus, but now we have to see when you drill down to the individual families what do they really want and need.”
County officials stressed the survey is not leading — for or against relocation.
And they admit relocation would be a big challenge for the County.
“We’re going to work as hard as we can to meet the community’s expectations,” said Day. “By no means would we guarantee that that’s going to happen. But if that’s what the community wants, I mean we are here to work for the community. And we’re going to do everything in our power … to actually make this happen.”