Senior citizens weigh in on IRSD’s proposed referendum

DAGSBORO, Del. – Apprehension, frustration and understanding could all be felt inside the Indian River High Achool auditorium Wednesday as senior citizens and other community members continue to learn more about their school district’s newly proposed referendum.

The Indian River School District is asking the public to pay a little extra in their property taxes to help fund much needed school construction.

“We developed a plan to build a new high school that would have a trickle down effect of utilizing the old high school and a middle school by moving students around and building one new school which would solve our entire capacity issue in the northern half of the district and by adding classrooms in the south we can do the same,” explains Indian River Supt. Mark Steele.

It’s a plan Steele says is crucial to meet the growing needs of a blossoming student population. And in a district where about 40 percent of its residents are senior citizens, it can be tough to get the go ahead.

One attendee says, “My question is what’s fair and how much should we pay.”

Another attendee from Ocean View, Anne Rogerson says, “Everybody is for good education for the students coming up in the public school system. Not to use the cliché but they are our future, but the county executives need to keep in mind that seniors are living on a fixed income and you know everything goes up every year.”

Finances seeming to be the driving force for the concerns, but after learning more about the plan in place and the potential tax incentives available for senior citizens, many started to get on board.

“There’s definitely a need for it. There’s definitely overcrowding and I don’t see where the portable thing is cost-effective either,” explains Dave Rogerson.

Another attendee, Jay Katz adds, “This presentation was thoughtful and easy to understand. It’s clear to see that we need to support the growth of our county and our schools and I’m very much in favor of this capital budget expansion.”

Residents are set to vote for the capital improvements outlined in the referendum on February 5th. The school district is holding another public meeting on Thursday geared towards senior citizens at Sussex Central High School starting at 10 a.m.

If anyone has any other questions or concerns about the referendum there’s a hotline you can call 302-436-1079.

Categories: Check It Out, Delaware, Education, Local News