Seaford voters overwhelmingly approve major cap/current expense referendum

Voters in the Seaford School District went to the polls Wednesday in a major capital improvement/current expense referendum request that was approved by a wide margin. Delaware State News/Glenn Rolfe

SEAFORD — Voters in the Seaford School District Wednesday cast overwhelming support to a two-pronged referendum request seeking both major capital improvement and current expense funding.

The “unofficial” results from Sussex County Department of Elections for the major capital bond issue was 1,166 in favor and 526 against for the local share of a roof project at Central Elementary School.

The current expense tax increase request passed by a 1,137 to 596 margin.

“We want to thank the Seaford community for their support in this referendum,” said Seaford School District Superintendent Dr. Corey Miklus. “The passing of this referendum will allow us to continue on our path of ‘Success for all Students.'”

With referendum passage, the “average” residential assessment will increase $7.99 monthly or just under $96 annually.

The major capital funding is $491,000 — the local portion in the 75/25 percent state/local ratio for a $1.96 million roof project at Central Elementary.

The lion’s share of Seaford’s current expense is for the local portion of salaries. Operational funding is also used for instructional materials, supplies, technology, safety security, 100 percent of our school resource officer, sports/athletics, operations, utilities and local share of transportation.

Central’s roof project represents a small fraction of the $187 million in capital improvements throughout the district that Seaford sought in certificates of necessity submitted to the Delaware Department of Education last August. However, DOE only approved the roof at Central Elementary.

Wednesday’s outcome will precipitate Seaford’s first current expense tax increase in 14 years.

In a February 2014 current expense referendum, voters rejected a request for $1.5 million in operational funding.

About nine years ago, the district secured narrow approval in a $36.5 million referendum (about $9.1 million local monies) for expansion and renovation of Seaford Senior High School.