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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • Smyrna working with Kent County on economic development

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  • The Greater Dover Committee gave a presentation at Monday's Smyrna Town Council meeting regarding some work that's been done with Smyrna and other town's within the county.
    Town Manager Dave Hugg said the Greater Dover Committee will be soon be known as the Greater Kent Committee as the group is now working with the towns of Smyrna, Dover, Milford, Harrington and Kent County on bringing economic development to the area.
    The Greater Dover Committee is a group of over 100 business leaders in Kent County working together for the betterment of the county.
    "Some months ago it became apparent that the towns of Smyrna, Dover, Milford, Harrington and the county were all working to bring new development projects to the county," Hugg said.
    However, there was a lack of coordination between the groups; therefore the areas began working together as the Kent Economic Development Roundtable.
    "We're proud to be a member and that has been an excellent vehicle for getting the five entities together sharing leads and sharing information," Hugg said.
    Hugg said they've already given a presentation to State Sen. Brian J. Bushweller (D-Dover), who has given feedback on how the group can market themselves better.
    Bill Andrew, chairperson of the GDC, spoke with council regarding the new partnership. He said about six months ago the group noticed a void in Kent County's presentation to the state in terms of economic development.
    "It appeared to us that Sussex County and New Castle County were getting a lot more attention than we were and we wanted to make a change," Andrew said.
    Therefore the initial roundtable was held and GDC asked Smyrna, Dover, Milford, Harrington and Kent County what their highest priority project is for the area. Camden was initially involved as well. Andrew said the areas listed numerous projects but just one was picked per area for a total of five projects for the county. The project chosen for Smyrna was the U.S. 13 Corridor Plan and Design Book.
    "David has been a great leader of that group and we really appreciate his leadership and him stepping forward and actually challenging everyone to come up to his standards," Andrew said. "I'm not just saying that because we're here tonight."
    The GDC presented a video to council that talked about the point of the Kent Economic Development Roundtable and the five projects.
    Andrew said the group is seeking endorsements from each of the five areas in Kent County as well as Kent County legislators and the state.
    Page 2 of 2 - "We are seeking to get in front of not only DEDO [Delaware Economic Development Office], but any economic development group or funding agency for support of these projects," Andrew said.
    Smyrna Town Council will get a chance to vote on an endorsement of the work by the GDC/roundtable at their Monday, April 15 meeting.
    Email Jennifer Dailey at jennifer.dailey@doverpost.com.
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