GEORGETOWN -- Sussex County is making its own down payment on a plan to lift up and help rejuvenate Delaware’s towns and cities.
Sussex County Council agreed to start a matching local incentive program that will complement Delaware’s Downtown Development Districts initiative, which provides rebates of up to 20 percent of construction costs for qualifying residential, commercial and industrial redevelopment projects in designated districts throughout the state.
So far, eight communities have been awarded designations, including Georgetown, Laurel, Milford and Seaford.
The program’s aim is to redevelop Delaware’s commercial business districts by incentivizing and driving private investment in the hearts of towns and cities, some of which have seen their town/city centers fade in recent decades as new development shifted elsewhere.
Sussex County will join the effort, providing a 50 percent match, up to $10,000, to any state grant for eligible, approved projects in the designated Sussex districts. The county will set aside $100,000 in funding from realty transfer tax reserves for the grants.
County Council President Michael H. Vincent said the county is proud to be a partner in the program, which has already helped attract a multi-million-dollar waterfront residential development project in Seaford. “Economic development is everyone’s business: the state, the county, and the towns,” he said. “Sussex County needs to be at the table with our partners to help leverage those private dollars that invest in our communities and make them stronger.”