infrastructure

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - In the waning hours of this year's legislative session, the General Assembly's budget-writing committee has reversed a decision to cut grant funding for nonprofit groups and community agencies.

Members of the Joint Finance Committee voted unanimously Tuesday evening to reverse a decision they made last week to impose across-the-board cuts of 5 percent for local groups that receive money from the state's grant-in-aid package.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate has rejected a Democratic proposal to raise vehicle fees to pay for road and infrastructure improvements.

The measure was defeated on a party-line vote Thursday in the Democrat-controlled Senate, having cleared the Democrat-led House on a party-line vote last month.

The Democratic House majority was big enough for the required three-fifths majority, but Senate Democrats needed and failed to get Republican support.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A proposal by Democratic lawmakers to raise motor vehicle fees to pay for road and infrastructure improvements has cleared the House on a straight party line vote.

The legislation was approved Thursday on a 25-16 vote, just meeting the required three-fifth majority, with no Republican support.

The legislation, which now goes to the Senate, increases the document fee on car sales from 3.75 percent to 4.25 percent. Penalties for late license and registration renewals, along with several other fees, would increase substantially.

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Sussex County leaders have unveiled their proposed $128.6 million budget for the upcoming year.

That’s increase of 9.6 percent increase over last year largely due to sewer construction projects.

The spending plan does keep the property tax rate steady at 44.5 cent per $100 of assessed value.

The budget does include the phase in of a one-time sewer connection fee along with an $8 increase in sewer rates for current and new customers.

For one district, Long Neck, the hike will be $12.57.

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Mayor Jim Ireton will lay out his 2016 fiscal budget for the Salisbury City Council this afternoon.

Issues in his spending plan range from the first ever reduction in Urban Service sewer rates and public safety to infrastructure improvements and a new zoo exhibit.

In addition, the Mayor is expected to bring up – what has been called -- the Nuclear Option for Fire Department and EMS service.

The Mayor is seeking tax relief from Wicomico County for duplicative services.

Don Rush

DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) - A state panel is seeking public input on a report outlining how to prepare for and respond to potential climate change impacts in Delaware.

The Governor's Committee on Climate and Resiliency, which was charged by an executive order from Gov. Jack Markell, issued its report Monday and will accept public comment through May for possible revisions.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A panel charged by an executive order from Gov. Jack Markell with studying and preparing for climate change impacts in Delaware is eyeing a reporting deadline on its findings and recommendations.

The Governor's Committee on Climate and Resiliency, which meets Wednesday, is scheduled to submit its report by Dec. 31.

The committee's responsibilities include overseeing development of a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a way that benefits the economy.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - President Barack Obama traveled to Wilmington on Thursday and announced a new program to attract more private money to help pay to build new roads, bridges and highways around the nation.

The new program is designed to encourage collaboration between state and local governments and private-sector investors, expand the market for public-private partnerships and make greater use of federal credit programs.

Obama argued that the U.S. is losing its competitive edge to other countries that spend freely on infrastructure upgrades.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to talk about the need to invest in infrastructure during a visit to Baltimore.

The vice president plans to highlight a $10 million grant to the Port of Baltimore that will help improve the port's productivity by widening the channel.

It also will increase the port's cargo storage capacity.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is also scheduled to attend, along with Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.

University of Delaware

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A state panel is meeting to consider requests for millions of dollars in funding for infrastructure costs tied to various development projects around Delaware.

Among the issues to be considered Thursday by the state Infrastructure Investment Committee was a request for $7.5 million for a proposed data center and power plant at the University of Delaware's STAR Campus, once the site of a Chrysler assembly plant.

The panel also is being asked for almost $4 million for infrastructure needs for the College Park commercial development project in Georgetown.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown will testify in favor of a measure to create a framework for public-private partnerships to build roads and public buildings.

Brown is scheduled to testify before the House Environmental Matters Committee on Friday.

A similar bill failed to pass last year. Its prospects were complicated by a provision that was added to allow legal appeals on such projects to be heard on an expedited track before the Court of Special Appeals.