IR school board touts the benefits of East Millsboro Elementary annexation

DAGSBORO – Annexation of Indian River School District’s East Millsboro Elementary School property on Iron Branch Road would mean immediate coverage by local police.

It could also open the door to a School Resource Officer partnership with the town of Millsboro.
By a 7-1 vote, IRSD’s board of education July 29 took the formal step to proceed with the annexation process, which would likely cost the several thousand dollars in legal fees. The cost could range between $3,000 and $10,000, but probably would be mid-range, ballpark $5,000 to $7,000, according to IRSD Superintendent Mark Steele.

Immediate benefits to the school and district would be response coverage from Millsboro Police Department.
“The big benefit,” Mr. Steele said, “involves the police force in an emergency. They could respond to East Millsboro.”

Currently, Millsboro police could not automatically respond to East Millsboro Elementary.
Mr. Steele said that according to Millsboro Town Manager Sheldon Hudson, Millsboro police personnel could not handle a complaint at East Millsboro Elementary unless SussCom (dispatch center at the Sussex County Emergency Operation Center) actually called and asked them to report to that area.”

“If we were annexed, they would be able to report to East Millsboro and take care of whatever police business we had,” Mr. Steele said.
“One of the things they have also talked to us about is they would like to possibly provide a School Resource Officer for the district in the Millsboro area,” said Mr. Steele.

Of course, the district’s request would have to go through the town’s annexation process.
Although the school is not in town limits, the town of Millsboro currently charges the district in-town rates for water and sewer.

East Millsboro Elementary is one of two district-owned properties that border properties that are in town limits. The other is Ingram Pond.
Mr. Steele said the district checked with the town for any possible benefit to pair both properties together in an annexation request.

“There is not. They are both distinctly different,” said Mr. Steele.
An annexation request carries a $500 fee. Mr. Steele said the town’s apparent recommendation would be to waive the $500 fee “in both cases once we were ready to apply.”

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