The Milford Beacon is asking each candidate for Sussex County Council in District 2 what county government can do to attract more jobs to the area.
The Milford Beacon is asking each candidate for Sussex County Council in District 2 what they think county government can do to attract more jobs to the area.
This week's response comes from Republican incumbent Sam Wilson, a 74-year-old Georgetown farmer and former mechanical engineer.
Greenwood Democrat Gary Wolfe's response appeared earlier this month. Libertarian candidate Ronnie Fitzgerald did not respond.
Sussex County Council District 2 includes south Milford, Greenwood and Georgetown.
"The most important thing government can do to encourage new businesses to locate here is to get out of the way.
If you came before the county council and wanted to build a business here, it could be two years by the time you got an answer on something like zoning. That meant you couldn't plan ahead on whether to purchase property. That's gotten a lot better than it was four years ago, and now, most of the time, you get an answer in 60 days or even faster if it's a smaller project.
Unfortunately, we still have a problem with businesses getting approvals from [the state highway administration] or the [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency]. That can take two or three years, but that's out of our hands because it's the state and federal government that's the problem.
I consider county government to be business friendly. We do provide tax incentives to businesses that want to locate here and we also have low-interest loans to help people who want to go into business.
I believe in government and necessary regulations, but not unnecessary regulation that hurts business or keeps business from getting anything done.
One of the biggest businesses in Sussex County is building homes. If you want to build a house, you get a loan from the bank, but then you get stuck with regulations on environmental issues and septic systems that can cost you $20,000 to $25,000 before you've even started building.
I've tried to encourage the county to work with the state to not stand in the way of private business."