Delaware Beaches’ Most Influential Residents: Pat Coluzzi

The 2012 Rehoboth Citizen of the Year, Coluzzi’s resumé reads long and impressive: city commissioner for six years, founder of the Rehoboth Beach Farmers’ market, president of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal Improvement Association…and yes, we could go on.

No matter how many growth spurts Rehoboth Beach had experienced since Pat Coluzzi was a child, it’s still a small town to her—and she plans to keep it that way.

A city commissioner for six years, she started the Rehoboth Beach Farmers’ Market in 2007, and she’s still the market master. She’s president of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal Improvement Association and the Rehoboth Beach Sister Cities Association. A former board member of Rehoboth Main Street, she initiated the effort to put banners on Rehoboth Avenue, and she redesigned the city’s website.

It’s easy to see why Rehoboth Beach Main Street named her Citizen of the Year in 2012 and grand marshal of the group’s Hometown Christmas Parade.

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Coluzzi, who lives in downtown Rehoboth Beach, has had a love affair with the city since her family started vacationing there when she was a child. In 1993, while still an IT consultant in Washington, D.C., she purchased a condo in Rehoboth. She moved there full time in 2002.

Coluzzi is especially concerned about traffic congestion. “I’ve been championing an increase in bicycle and scooter ridership into town to alleviate some of the problems,” says Coluzzi, who heads the city’s streets and transportation committee. Bike paths may link Lewes and Rehoboth but once you get to the canal bridge, you’re “on your own,” she says. “The grates can be scary.”

In addition to plates being installed over the grates, she’d like to see a pedestrian bridge from the Park & Ride over Del. 1. The Lewes-Rehoboth Canal Improvement Association, meanwhile, is working to bring a water taxi to Rehoboth, which would require a dock. Ideally, the taxi would accommodate bikes. It also would be solar-powered. No surprise there. Coluzzi is a solar-energy consultant.

She’s excited about this year’s farmers market, held on Tuesdays, which attracts up to 30 vendors a week in Grove Park. The market, she says, is popular with tourists, “and locals like it as well.” For this small-town lady, pleasing both is a priority.

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