REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.- People may be able to access Rehoboth Beach by kayak or water taxi as soon as next year.

On Monday morning’s Rehoboth Beach Commissioners Workshop, the city department heads shared thoughts on the Grove Park Canal Access project and potential logistical issues. Public Works Director Kevin Williams said the proposed location–behind the Rehoboth Beach History Museum–could conflict with a water line, but if the dock was shifted it would resolve all issues. Police Chief Keith Banks told commissioners the dock–an extension of Grove Park–would require minimal public safety improvements.

“We are already out there each day and night patrolling that area,” he said. “We are asking to install a video camera so we can feed into the police department so we can monitor that but really besides that, some signage, and a gate I really don’t see any real concerns.”

One concern was funding for the project. The dock is estimated to cost around $826,000. Organizers say they’ve secured $580,000 in committed funds, many through grants. While City Manager Sharon Lynn said the city has a $10,000 maintenance plan, the city commissioners must formally vote to adopt the dock as a city project first.  Aside from funding, some in attendance questioned if the canal must be dredged for the dock to be functional. Southern Delaware Tourism Executive Director Scott Thomas told reporters the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will tackle that issue as the project moves forward.

“We have the City of Rehoboth Beach, we have the LRCIA, we have the public at large talking about moving forward with this project,” he said. “Asking really good questions about ‘okay what needs to be answered each step of the way?’ because everybody wants to do it right, so that’s really good to hear.”

Thomas says construction on the dock could begin as early as this fall, with a completion date in 2020.

The City of Rehoboth Beach commissioners are set to vote on formal involvement with the dock at their next meeting. Last year the commissioners committed $20,000 toward project permitting.

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