Independence Referendum

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Tomorrow, voters in independence will be asked to decide on a large school referendum which will stretch over the next five years.

The price tag the independence school district is asking for is 3-point-5 million dollars over the next five years.

Officials with the district say this is more of a “need” rather than a “want”. But not everyone in town agrees with that.

Fox 25-48’s Jesse Horne has more.

When Barry Schmitt walks through the school halls in Independence.

He sees much work which still needs to be done.

“Even though we have a beautiful facility here … We’ve done very little maintenance on this building since that time, besides the normal year to year or day to day.”

Tuesday’s referendum asks voters to approve spending 700-thousand dollars over the next five years … Replacing two other referendums, totaling 900-thousand dollars – which are expect to expire at the end of the current school year.

The building itself is only about 20 years old. Schmitt says the district has done all it can to maintain the facility as best as possible with what they have. That means Tuesday’s vote will be a very important one for the Independence school district.

“We’ve got carpeting that’s wearing out. We have a roof that’s leaking in spots. Just things that, normal wear and tear, you have to address eventually. Some of our athletic facilities need to be upgraded. We’re starting to deteriorate in those areas, also.”

However, not everyone is on board with the referendum. Peter Monsos. Who lives across the street from the school, said he plans to vote no.

“I think they need to learn to live within a budget over there.” “I say figure out how to do it, but I don’t think they need any more money.”

While Schmitt says they need the money to improve the facility. He says Tuesday’s vote will not change his view of independence schools.

“I call this the best school ever and I want that to continue.”

In independence, Jesse Horne, Fox 25-48 news.

Schmitt says if the referendum does not pass, the district would – in his words – “tighten its bootstraps” for the rest of this school year and then work to draft a revised referendum in time for the November general election.

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