Fort Mill Times

Voters set for Fort Mill school bond decision

Eligible voters in the Fort Mill School District go to the polls next week in a referendum the school board called to address capital needs.

Based on the rate of residential growth, district officials and others project a 7,000-student increase within the next 10 years, pushing the total number of students to around 20,000 early in the next decade. The district is asking voters to approve a $226 million bond package to build a new high school and middle school, acquire land for future growth, purchase buses and make other capital improvements.

Deciding yes or no on the Fort Mill school bond May 5 may take some thought, but for diligent voters, the particulars of casting that ballot should be a breeze, officials say.

“Everything is pretty much the same,” said Wanda Hemphill, director of the county Voter Registration and Elections office.

Here is a breakdown of what residents need to know ahead of the upcoming vote:

▪ There are 23 polling locations, with 20 in Fort Mill and three in Tega Cay. Unlike recent special elections, where some voters cast ballots at different precincts, all voters this time around should participate at their assigned precincts.

▪ Polls are open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. May 5 in each precinct.

▪ Voters must be registered at least 30 days ahead of this or any other election.

▪ Absentee ballots by mail must be sent by May 1. Voters can vote absentee at the Registration and Elections office at 13 S. Congress St. in York, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, ending May 4.

▪ Voters will need a photo identification to cast a ballot. Acceptable forms include a South Carolina driver’s license, an ID card issued by South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, a South Carolina voter registration card with a photo, a federal military ID or a U.S. passport.

▪ Voters can get a free photo-identification card 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the registration office at 13 S. Congress St. in York.

▪ Any voters age 65 or older, or who have a physical condition limiting mobility, can participate in curbside voting. Designated parking spaces will be in front of each precinct.

For more information on any voting topics, including registration and precinct checks, go to yorkcountygov.com/RegistrationandElections.

John Marks •  803-547-2353

The question

Here’s what will appear on the ballot May 5:

Shall the Board of Trustees of Fort Mill School District No. 4 of York County, South Carolina, be authorized to issue and sell, either at one time as a single issue or from time to time as several separate issues, general obligation bonds of Fort Mill School District No. 4 of York County, South Carolina in the total principal amount of not to exceed $226,800,000, the proceeds of which shall be applied to defray costs of issuance of such bonds, architectural and engineering costs, and the costs of:

a) constructing, furnishing and equipping a new high school;

b) constructing, furnishing and equipping a new middle school;

c) acquisition and installation of information technology equipment;

d) acquisition of land for future school sites;

e) constructing, furnishing and equipping an aquatics facility, either as a stand-alone facility or as part of a larger facility built in association with another political subdivision or other entity;

f) constructing, furnishing and equipping a facility for teacher training and other School District support activities;

g) constructing, furnishing and equipping of renovations to Fort Mill High School;

h) constructing, furnishing and equipping of renovations to middle and elementary schools of the School District; and

i) acquisition of school buses; and

j) to the extent proceeds of such general obligation bonds remain available and in such priority as determined by the Board of Trustees, renovating, repairing, expanding, equipping and furnishing of other facilities of the School District?

▪ In favor of the question

▪ Opposed to the question

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