SELLERSBURG, IN (WAVE) - A $95 million question has divided the West Clark Community School district for several years now.
The debate of raising taxes to support major renovations for a handful of schools in the district will finally rest Tuesday with a special election.
Of the $95 million referendum, approximately $4.8 million will go toward renovating the Borden campus. Another $7.3 million will go toward renovating Henryville. The remaining $83 million or so will go toward the Silver Creek campus.
Those against the referendum say that the big chunk set aside for Silver Creek is one reason why they will be voting 'no.'
"If they were spending a reasonable amount, we would have no trouble voting for it," Richard Belcher said.
Belcher took out an ad in the News and Tribune to argue that precise point.
"95 is just too much, especially when 80-million plus is going to Silver Creek," Belcher said. "The things that are going to Henryville and Borden are basically just a pacifier."
Chad Schenck, the Superintendent of West Clark Community Schools said the $83 million earmarked for Silver Creek is a high number.
"Out of the $95 million, usually the industry analysts will tell you to figure around 15 to 18 percent in soft cost," Schenck said.
With that soft cost taken into consideration, Schenck said he's looking at around $63 to $64 million allocated for Silver Creek.
"To receive an extensive renovation and expansion, equipping all of our teachers with their own classrooms -- right now that's not the case," Schenck said. "Certainly building not only the future in the next three to four years but also the next 20 years."
Belcher said while he agrees that Silver Creek is in need of repairs, the burden of the $95 million is just too heavy for the taxpayers.
"If you own rental property, the tax impact is so great that you're probably going to have to raise your rent," Belcher said. "A lot of the people who are renting can't afford more rent; a lot of people on fixed income can't afford more taxes."
Polls for the special election open at 6 a.m. Tuesday. If you would like to take a look at your precincts, you can find those listed here.
To see how the referendum would impact you, use this calculator.