Welcome to the Laurel, Delaware Website. After you surf through cyberspace, I hope you will decide to visit our community and see first-hand why our citizens believe Laurel is a great place to call home. Laurel’s greatest asset lies in its people – people who are friendly, industrious, and imbued with the pioneer can-do spirit so characteristic of Americans.
Laurel traces its roots to the “Wading Place” where Native Americans first crossed the waters of Broad Creek. The “Wading Place” eventually grew into a dynamic center of commerce. Broad Creek once thrived with ships which transported products between Laurel and distant ports. The advent of the railroad brought another significant boost to the Laurel economy as local farmers quickly realized they could distribute their produce nation-wide in days versus weeks.
Like most American towns, Laurel experienced the effects of a rapidly changing American economy in the latter part of the 20th century. As we begin the 21st century an aggressive program of economic renewal is underway. Our vision is to build on our proud heritage while creating new and exciting residential neighborhoods, commercial centers, recreational venues and job opportunities. Laurel Mayor and Council have annexed over 500 acres into the Town of Laurel, in the past decade. To ensure our infrastructure keeps pace with projected development, Laurel has constructed a new state of the art Waste Water Treatment Plant which is capable of future expansion. Aging water lines are being replaced on a priority basis, new water valves have been installed to minimize the impact of routine maintenance, and by the end of 2011 the Town will be fully converted to water meters. Design has been completed for the extension of water a sewer infrastructure to the Route 13 corridor. Construction, made possible by an $8 million USDA loan/grant will begin in 2012. This project will extend water and sewer to the east side of Route 13 for the first time in the Town’s history and open the Route 13 corridor for commercial development.
Residential development to the north and east will occur next as the US economy recovers.
We have some of the finest bass fishing waters in the USA. A new boat ramp has been constructed in Laurel River Park which will give anglers easy access to Broad Creek. The Laurel redevelopment Corporation has created a new park on the south bank of Broad Creek across from the new Dr. Pierce Ellis Medical Center. The Gro-Mark Corporation has donated a parcel of land to the Town that is located on the north bank of Broad Creek between Poplar Street and the railroad bridge. These two parcels represent pieces of what will eventually become an attractive recreational Greenway corridor that will run through our Town Center from the Mill Dam spillway on the east to Laurel River Park on the west. On the north end of Town land was purchased to create a new North Gateway Park which will welcome visitors to our community at the busy Five Points Intersection.
If you like indoor recreation, check out the new Bryan’s Bowling Center on Central Avenue. If watching softball is your thing, we are proud to say we are home to the 2011 Girls Senior League World Series Champions.
Dedicated volunteers serving as members of various Towns commissions and community service organizations embody the pioneer can-do spirit and work diligently to make Laurel a better place for all. In 2006 the Laurel Library Commission and the Friends of the Laurel Public Library celebrated the grand opening of the remodeled library in Town Center. The Laurel Public Library is one of the finest small town libraries in the state and ensures we will have an informed citizenry with access to the latest technology and resources. Laurel’s historic district boasts the highest number of historic homes in the state. The Town is partnering with the Laurel Historical Society to preserve this heritage. In 2012 we hope to announce the grand opening of the Laurel Heritage Museum and Visitor’s Center in the remodeled former Laurel Train Station. The Laurel Volunteer Fire Company has begun a major remodeling of the Fire Hall auditorium to ensure patrons have an exciting, attractive venue for special events.
Laurel is unique in that all Laurel School District schools are located within Town limits. The Laurel Board of Education and the people of the Laurel School District have approved a referendum to construct new schools at a cost of over $100 million. This investment in the future will ensure that Laurel’s children have access to the latest technology in an attractive, state of the art educational environment.
Excited by now? Visit us, shop, dine and enjoy the recreational opportunities. You just might get caught up in the magic and decide to make Laurel your home. While we may be small in stature. Laurel stands tall in spirit. Six Governors of the State of Delaware have called Laurel their home. We are proud of the past, but focused on the future. Check us out!
Mayor John J. Shwed