Indian River School District Neighbors Vote in Referendum - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Indian River School District Neighbors Vote in Referendum

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

SELBYVILLE, Del.- People in the Indian River School District visited the polls Tuesday to vote on a major capital improvement referendum.

The last capital improvement referendum failed earlier this year on Feb. 5.

The referendum will seek funding for the construction of a new Sussex Central High School, an eight-classroom addition at Indian River High School and a four-classroom addition at Selbyville Middle School.

"When you take a look at the projections for Indian River School District, they projected that in the year 2025, we'd be at 10,947 kids. Well, as of the week before I left, last week, we're at 10,910 kids," said Superintendent Mark Steele.

If passed, the average district property owner would see a gradual tax increase, maxing out at about $66 after four years.

Steele said that number will drop after year four.

Starting next school year, the district will have to use portable classrooms to relieve overcrowding at several schools. Steele said local funds must be used to lease the portable classrooms, which he said are costly and could create safety concerns.

"So if we take $500,00 or $600,000 operationally out of our budget each year, it's going to drive us to come back to the tax payer for another current expense much sooner rather than later," said Steele.

Neighbor Howard Dennis said he is against any tax increase and is voting against the referendum.

"There's so much going on right now, prices of things going up. Gas is going up, and I think a lot of people are having a hard time as it is," said Dennis.

Steele said the referendum is an investment in the community's future.

"A strong community has one major characteristic, very well-educated residents," said Steele.

Polls are open until 8 p.m. Tuesday.

District residents who are U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age are eligible to vote at the following local polling places: East Millsboro Elementary School, Georgetown Elementary School, Indian River High School, Long Neck Elementary School, Lord Baltimore Elementary School and Selbyville Middle School.

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