Kent County Voters Approve Capital School District Referendum, N - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

People React to Outcome of Capital School District Referendum

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del.- People in Kent County are reacting to the outcome of Tuesday's referendum in which voters approved all three questions proposed by the Capital School District.

Voters had to decide whether to raise property taxes to pay for a pair of new middle schools and increased revenue for operational costs.

"I want to know that my kids are going to go to a good school and they're going to be safe, and I think a lot of young, educated intelligent families are asking the same questions, said Jesse Riggin of Dover.

The district, which primarily serves the Dover area, wants to build two middle schools on the grounds of the old Dover High School on Pat Lynn Drive.

The first question on the ballot dealt with whether to build the new middle schools, which would replace Central Middle and William Henry Middle schools. The question was approved, 1,746 to 801.

Gov. John Carney's administration has already pledged more than $60 million in the state's bond bill for that project, though the funding was tied to whether the district could raise the funds to pay for its share of the project.

Now that the plan is approved, Central Middle School is slated to become an elementary school and William Henry Middle School will house the district's Secondary ILC school.

A second option on the ballot asked voters whether they would support raising taxes to help pay for improvements and modern amenities at the new middle schools. The second question was approved, 1,649 to 745. 

The third option proposed to raise revenue for operational costs and help pay for things like salaries and other budgetary items. The third question was also approved by voters, 1,661 to 862. 

"It's an amazing, amazing thing," Superintendent Dan Shelton said. "By having all three questions pass, it means we're going to be able to have schools that we can be proud of. We're going to be able to have schools that have the things our students need."

With voters approval to these three questions, Shelton said the average property owner could see their taxes rise by more than $5 a month during the second year of the multi-year tax plan.

Dawn Lewis lives in Dover and said she supports the school district's needs but worries about any tax increases.

"That could really be damaging to a lot of folks," she said.

However, neighbors like Jesse said it's money well-spent.

"We really need to draw young families into the area and keep them here," he said.

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