County Tax Increase Calculator Available

SALISBURY — When Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt, Jr. last week presented a budget balanced with a 5-cent increase on the property tax rate, he promised a “tax calculator” would soon be available on the county’s website to allow residents to figure out just what the nickel increase would mean for them and the application is now up and running.

The Wicomico County website is On the home page, there is a column on the right called “What’s New?” At the top of that column is a link titled “Proposed Rate Comparison Calculator” and county residents are urged to utilize the application to check out what the proposed property tax increase will cost them.

There are two steps in the process. First, property owners can enter their most recent property assessment value. Those who don’t have their recent assessments can find the information by following a link to the State of Maryland Real Property Database. County officials are urging users to carefully follow the instructions. Once property owners enter their assessed value, they can simply hit “calculate” to determine the nickel increase’s impact on their specific property.

“I want to take the guesswork out of this for our taxpayers,” said Pollitt. “I have proposed a nickel tax increase to maintain vital county services. I want the taxpayer to know exactly how much this is going to cost.”

Nearly 600 Acres Preserved In Worcester

BERLIN — Gov. Martin O’Malley and the state’s Board of Public Works (BPW) last week approved the preservation of nearly 1,100 acres of rural area across Maryland through the Rural Legacy Program, about half of which is in Worcester County.

The BPW last week approved the preservation of 1,073 acres in four counties in Maryland including Garrett, Washington, Queen Anne’s Dorchester and Worcester. In Worcester, another 592 acres of forest land in the Dividing Creek Rural Legacy Area was approved for protection by the BPW.

“Through this program, we not only protect our wildlife and fisheries, but by partnering with Maryland’s family farmers, we are able to help keep their great traditions alive while preserving our state’s landscape,” said O’Malley.

The preservation of the Adkins property in Worcester County will protect 592 acres of forest land and extinguish 10 development rights. The protection of the property links other protected properties in the same area and expand the contiguous block of protected land in the Dividing Creek watershed, which provides habitat for a variety of plants and wildlife. The protected property is now part of over 16,000 acres of protected land that extends from the Pocomoke State Forest to the Nature Conservancy’s Nassawango Creek preserve.

“This project is important to water quality in Dividing Creek,” said Worcester County Commission President Bud Church. “Over 200 acres have been restored to wetland through the Wetland Reserve Program and the remaining 600 acres will remain in agriculture and forestry in perpetuity.”

Indian River Bridge 80 Percent Complete

OCEAN CITY — The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) announced last week the construction of the new Indian River Inlet Bridge is now roughly 80 percent complete and is hosting an open house at the site tomorrow, Saturday, April 30, to celebrate the milestone.

DelDot, in conjunction with Skansa USA Civil Southeast, Inc., the contractor building the span, announced the new bridge is about 80 percent complete. The open house, which will allow residents and visitors who use the bridge to view the progress, will be held tomorrow from 1-5 p.m. While much remains to be done before the new bridge is open to traffic later this year, the north and south portions are now over water and the gap between them is closing. As the next portion of the bridge construction unfolds, there are various phases the public can see and learn about at the open house.

Power Upgrade Meetings Slated

BISHOPVILLE — Delmarva Power will hold two community meetings next week in Bishopville and Dagsboro, Del. to provide information about the utility’s plans to enhance electric service reliability in southern Delaware and Worcester County by building a new, high-voltage transmission line between Millsboro and Bishopville.

The 138,000-volt line will be built on approximately 12 miles of an existing right-of-way. Construction is scheduled to begin in Delaware in November and in Maryland in February 2012. Completion is targeted for May 2012. The meetings will consist of a brief presentation followed by an opportunity for the public to meet with Delmarva Power representatives, who will answer questions about the project.

The first meeting will be held next Tuesday, May 3, at the Dagsboro Fire Department from 7-9 p.m. The second meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 10, at the Bishopville Fire Department from 7-9 p.m.