Friday, October 30, 2009

Levy passes

Express Staff Writer

Blaine County's electorate approved a 10-year, $59.8 million Blaine County School District plant facilities levy Thursday. The margin was 59 percent to 41 percent. Fifty-five percent approval was needed for passage.

The election, held five days before the Nov. 3 general election, drew 3,220 votes, representing about 27 percent of Blaine County's registered voters.

At Bellevue Elementary, 354 votes were cast, with an approval percentage of 47 percent. At Carey School, 207 votes were cast, with 65 percent approval. At Hailey Elementary, 1,002 votes were cast, with 58 percent voting yes.

There were 991 votes cast at Hemingway Elementary, with 57 percent approving the levy. At Woodside Elementary, 205 votes were cast, with 71 percent approval.

Absentee votes numbered 461, with 67 percent approval.

The school district proposed the measure to raise $5.98 million per year over the next 10 years to fund new technology, safety and security upgrades, building repairs, alternative energy development, resource conservation measures, new classrooms and a new elementary school in the future if needed.

The levy replaces two existing tax assessments that will both end on about July 1, 2010. The two existing assessments raised about $62 million during the past 10 years at a cost of $167 per year to the owner of an average-priced home in Blaine County.

The new levy will actually be a modest tax decrease, assessing the same homeowner $158 per year.

Terry Smith:

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