DOVER — Following a lawsuit over school funding and outdated property assessments, Tyler Technologies will complete a mandatory real-property reassessment for Kent County at the cost of more than $4 million.
“Please know that we’re not doing this because we want to. We’re doing this because it was a court order,” Kent County Levy Court President Terry Pepper said during a Tuesday meeting. “We have no choice other than to proceed with a reassessment and finding a vendor that would give us a fair price to do that.”
The reassessment will cost $4,468,844 and should be completed by Feb. 15, 2024.
County Administrator Michael Petit de Mange said Tyler Technologies came in as the lowest of two bidders the county received.
Sussex County also will be using Tyler Technologies for its reassessment, at the cost of $9 million.
As property tax assessments are a funding component for Delaware school districts, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Community Legal Aid Society filed a lawsuit in 2018 that alleged the state was not providing adequate funding for education due to outdated assessments.
No Delaware county has undergone a property tax assessment more recently than the 1980s — Kent County’s last assessment was in 1987, New Castle’s was in 1983, and Sussex County’s was in 1974.
During the Tuesday meeting, Levy Court also approved establishing the Ponds at Willow Grove housing development as a new garbage-collection district serviced by the county.
Though a majority of residents were in favor of the change, two spoke against it. Barbara Fry said she benefits from a senior discount by using a private company. Noting that her annual garbage fee will increase when the county takes over, she said she also does not need weekly trash pickup.
Giavonna Morris also spoke against the county offering garbage removal, saying the new rates will cost her about $30 more annually.
In other action, Levy Court awarded a $619 promotional grant to the newly established Frederica Farmers Market. The funds will be put toward radio advertisement, with the goal of pulling in beach traffic or visitors to the DE Turf complex.
The farmers market is held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday through Sept. 15.
Also during the meeting, the commissioners approved reclassifying Kent County dispatchers as first responders.
In addition, due to a failing HVAC system, the commissioners approved exterior modifications to install eight new HVAC units on the Greater Dover Girls & Boys Club building.
Levy Court’s next scheduled meeting is 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The next business meeting will be at 7 p.m. June 22. At that time, the commissioners will hold a public hearing for an ordinance to authorize the county to refund revenue bonds, not to exceed $3.5 million, for Campus Community School to refinance its high school facility.