Whether you are already impacted by The Refuge or could be impacted by a similar or expanded program near you in the future, it is vital that you attend this meeting. It has been three months since we posed these questions and others to our elected officials. Now it’s time to bring your neighbors and hear the answers. See where your elected officials stand and let them know where you stand.
This meeting was announced on September 11, 2019 by email:
Good afternoon, all,
Senator Poore, Representative Longhurst, and Councilman Bell have identified a date for the next community meeting about The Refuge. The meeting will take place at 6:30 pm on October 2nd in the Wilbur School’s Multipurpose Room (4050 Wrangle Hill Rd, Bear, DE 19701).
Senate Majority Leader Nicole Poore, 12th District
Wilmington: (302) 577-7047
Dover: (302) 744-4036
Due to the statewide Office 365 implementation, my state email address has changed: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is a written copy of my spoken comments at the New Castle County Council meeting on September 10, 2019:
My name is Brad Siegfried. It is my goal to protect my family’s personal safety, peace of mind, and property value. I am here tonight to ask for your help in accomplishing that goal.
The state-funded barrier to my goal is what the state calls “a center for substance abuse treatment and workforce training” that has opened at 4185 Kirkwood Saint Georges Road. That sounds so much less worrisome than calling it a combination drug rehab, prison re-entry, and construction equipment training program.
On July 2, 2019 over 60 residents met with State Representative Valerie Longhurst, State Senator Nicole Poore, and County Councilman Bill Bell at the Delaware City Library to discuss this program, known as The Refuge. Residents were understandably upset that the State had funded the placement of this program in our neighborhood without consulting or informing us — before or after the politically well-attended ribbon cutting on February 15, 2019 or the Governor’s tour on February 28, 2019. Only when the weather warmed up and we began to see strangers walking in the neighborhood did we realize what had happened.
At the conclusion of the library meeting, our State elected officials agreed to schedule a follow-up meeting at the Delaware City Fire Hall in a month to a month and a half. They agreed to conduct the necessary community outreach to encourage residents to attend. They agreed to provide answers to the questions posed at the library meeting. You can find those questions online at MoveTheRefuge.com. While most of those questions can only be answered by the State, I would like to thank Councilman Bell and the Land Use Department for their help in answering question #3: “Does the operation of The Refuge at this location comply with all Federal, State, and County codes and regulations.” I urge Councilman Bell to coordinate with the State elected officials so that we can have that next meeting at the fire hall and receive answers to our questions.
Stepping back from the specifics to look at the more general issue of how the County coordinates with the State on placement of programs such as The Refuge, I urge this Council to find a way to work with the State to protect the personal safety, peace of mind, and property value of their common constituents.