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Lewes civic group takes issue with state transferring land to UD

Dover, Del. – The civic group Citizens Advocating a Livable Lewes objects to the state of Delaware transferring land to the University of Delaware by using epilogue language in the 2012 fiscal year Bond Bill.

U.S. Army Col. (Ret.) Gerald A. Lechliter, of Lewes, believes UD is attempting to use “sleeper legislation” to make this transfer happen. He provided documentation to that effect at the Delaware General Assembly’s Bond Bill Committee meeting Monday.

Epilogue language in the bill should not be used to authorize the DNREC secretary to declare open space as surplus and to transfer it back to the University of Delaware for cash or land elsewhere, Lechliter said.

“In February 2010, DNREC provided the university with an easement that allowed it to … to construct a 2-megawatt commercial grade wind turbine in the dredge spoils area of the 260.94 acres bought by the state for permanent preservation as open space in 2002,” Lechliter said.

He believes UD aims to build more than one wind turbine in Lewes.

Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Venables (D-Laurel) said the committee would take his testimony into advisement.

The UD lobbyist, who attended the Bond Bill hearing Monday, declined to comment on Lechliter’s complaint.

Lechliter told the Dover Post after his testimony that he is prepared for a legal battle if necessary. His property value and those of his neighbors are at stake.

“I’m a retired Army colonel,” he said. “I am familiar with the tactics of war.”