The Greater Dover Committee has been working on bringing a regional sports complex to Kent County for a couple of years.
THE ISSUE The Greater Dover Committee has been working on bringing a regional sports complex to Kent County for a couple of years. After presenting the Kent County Levy Court with the results of two feasibility studies this year, the GDC started working on the development of a non-profit corporation that would run the facility.
The bylaws of the proposed corporation were presented to Levy Court during their Sept. 6 committee meeting. The corporation would be a non-profit known as the Kent County Sports Complex Corporation.
The $17.7 million facility is expected to bring in upwards of $18 million a year in revenue to central Delaware.
The 85-acre athletic field complex would be built near Frederica on the northeast corner of Bay Highway and Milford Neck Road.
WHAT’S HAPPENED Levy Court unanimously voted Sept. 13 to endorse the establishment of such a corporation.
The approval, though, did come with an amendment to the bylaws involving the proposed Board of Directors.
The bylaws presented on Tuesday night stated the corporation would have a Board of Directors that would include eight Class A directors and 13 Class B directors. The Class A directors would be the County Administrator for Kent County, Director for Economic Development, Director of Community Services for Kent County, Director of the Delaware Tourism Office, Director of the Kent County Tourism Office, President of the Greater Dover Committee, state senator from the 16th district, and state representative from the 33rd district.
The Class B directors were to include seven members appointed by Levy Court commissioners, two appointed by the County Council of New Castle County, two by the County Council of Sussex County and two by the governor.
Commissioner Jody Sweeney took issue with the Class A directors.
“I’d like to see more representatives than that from the county,” Sweeney said, “At least the District 4 commissioner should be a director.”
Sweeney asked to add another representative from the county to the board. However, it was noted that adding one more person would lead to an even number of individuals on the board.
Having eight Class A directors and 13 Class B directors comes out to 21 directors. Adding one more director would bring that total to 22 directors, which could possibly lead to a tie whenever the board would have to vote on something.
County Administrator Mike Petit de Mange suggested one Class A director be taken off of the board in order to add a representative from Levy Court.
After Petit de Mange and Sweeney briefly talked about it, Sweeney asked for an amendment that would put Levy Court District 4 representative Eric Buckson on the Board of Directors. The addition of Buckson on the board eliminated Petit de Mange, who as County Administrator for Kent County would’ve been on the board.
The amendment passed with a 5-2 vote with Commissioners Brad Eaby and Terry Pepper voting against it.
The motion for Levy Court to endorse the corporation would go on to be approved unanimously.
Levy Court President Brooks Banta had previously written a letter of endorsement in case the corporation was passed at the meeting.
“Through the feasibility study and business planning process it has become evident that a significant step in the evolution of this project would be the formation of such a corporate entity to provide organizational structure and leadership moving forward,” Banta wrote.
WHAT’S NEXT GDC's Executive Director Shelly Cecchett was thrilled Levy Court approved the establishment of a corporation for the regional sports complex.
"We're absolutely thrilled. It's been a good week for us. The City of Dover just endorsed us at their council meeting," Cecchett said.
From here, the GDC will continue to move forward in the process of making the proposed facility a reality.
“We need to continue looking for operators for the facility and we will continue to promote this as the economic engine we believe it will be for central Delaware,” Cecchett said.
Email Jennifer Dailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.