VIDEO: Exemption ordinance voted down by council

New Castle County Council narrowly voted Tuesday night against an ordinance regarding some projects undertaken by private organizations at county properties.

WDEL's Tom Lehman reports...

The ordinance would have added a "clarify" the county's code to exempt projects in county parks or facilities from being subject to prevailing Special Service wage requirements, if they were "fully funded and contracted by volunteer groups for the benefit of the public."

Councilman John Cartier, a sponsor of the bill, said measure was intended to allow for the Friends of Rockwood to perform $100,000 in renovations to Rockwood Mansion.

"Community groups like the Friends of Rockwood could raise funds privately, do projects on county buildings and that this would relieve the taxpayer of the capital expense," Cartier said.

However, the measure failed to muster enough support from council members who voted it down in a 7-6 decision.

Councilman Bill Bell was among those who voted against the proposal.

"At the end of the day, New Castle County still remains totally responsible for what's done to its facilities, that's the issue I have with it," Bell said.

Councilman Jea Street said the measure could lead to a precedent that wouldn't adequately protect workers.

"By adopting , we are saying it's OK, we don't even care enough to look and at the point where you stop looking, things get worse," Street said.

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