Baker, general manager of the Department of Land Use, said that
County Executive Tom Gordon has approved a proposal prepared by
Thomas Comitta Associates which lists the steps needed to
accomplish those objectives at an estimated cost of about
Executive believes it's time to stop the planning stuff and
start the building stuff," Baker saida the committee's meeting
on Feb. 19.
an interim step, however. Comitta Associates, which has been the
Renaissance's professional town planner since 2001, must be
successful in a 'request for proposal' bidding process. Although
separate plans were submitted, they are so closely related they
must be treated as a single proposal and, because the combined
total cost is more than $50,000, the work is required by law to
be put out to bid, Baker explained.
committee indicated by a show of hands unanimous support for
Comitta and his West Chester, Pa.-based firm in recognition of
his past and continuing relationship with the overall project,
Baker said the contract will not be awarded solely on the basis
of low bid. Reputation, familiarity with the community and
details of the proposal will count strongly in the evaluation,
he said, adding that that is normal practice in contracting for
said the county has no problem with Comitta's continuing as
Claymont's planner and apologized for an extended delay last
year -- "which had to do with our client relationship" -- in
giving him a green light to proceed. As a result, the community
grant the county gave the Claymont Coalition, one of the
sponsors of the Renaissance, financed only past work. This time,
Baker said, the agreed-upon final cost will be specifically
budgeted for payment in the fiscal year which begins July 1.
County Executive said, 'Go'," Baker said. "We want to get this
done as badly as you do."
that Gordon be included in the agenda for the committee's March
meeting with the expectation that he will be in a position then
to personally announce awarding of the contract.
proposal included a timetable which has the community plan
completed by September if the authorization to proceed comes in
April. That would put Claymont in line, along with Hockessin, as
the first communities to have their plans given force of law
under the 'hometown overlay' which County Council is expected to
enact in March.
indications that the Renaissance effort is moving toward reality
came at the meeting.
announced that, along with the Claymont Business Owners
Association, one of the other sponsors, it will be housed in
office space rented from the Claymont Community Center.
quarters is the start of the process of establishing a
development corporation to promote "the good business climate in
Claymont," according to Brett Saddler, president of the business
organization. The business development effort and the
Renaissance movement will be intertwined, he added.
before the new corporation is formed, it has been decided to
accept a suggestion from Beverly Baxter, executive director of
the Committee of 100, a pro-development trade organization, and
'piggyback' on the $1 million directional-and-identity sign
program in Wilmington. Although still low key, that has been
previewed by inclusion of a stylized 'W' as part of the decor on
the recently renovated Interstate 95 bridge over the Brandywine
and earlier on the I-95 viaduct om south Wilmington.
stylized 'C'-for-Claymont will begin to show up on directional
signs leading visitors to the community by the end of
2004, Saddler said. "We'll have our signs up a full year before
Wilmington" and at a cost of about $14,000, matched 20-80 by
Delaware Department of Transportation, he said.