Funnies Extra!

Unofficial results: Bond Issue fails

10/09/13 (Wed)

By CHERYL ODDEN

Tuesday evening, after the polls had closed for the evening, Garrison School Board members gathered to hear the results of a $5 million bond election.

When the news was announced by the four-person election board, there were no cheers; the bond issue had failed with only 50 percent of votes cast in favor of the bond request.

Stressing that the results were unofficial, election officials said 497 voters had been cast. A breakdown of "yes" and "no" votes was not provided.

Due to a law passed during the last Legislative session, official results cannot be announced until six days after school bond elections. The ruling provides time for absentee ballots to be included in the final tally. To be counted, absentee ballots needed to be postmarked by Oct. 8.

Unless the official ballot count swings in favor of the bond issue (with receipt of absentee ballots), this will be the second failed attempt to pass a bond issue.

Patrons of the Garrison Public School District voted against a $9 million bond issue this past November. During that election, 606 votes had been cast with 397 "no" votes deciding the issue. Only 35 percent of the votes had been in favor, far below the 60 percent required by law.

After the initial bond issue failed, board members and the architect worked together to substantially trim the project to what they considered "bare bones" to meet current and future needs of the students.

The result was a plan that would have added four classrooms, a teacher workroom and restrooms at Bob Callies Elementary School. Improvements at Garrison High School would have included an enlarged Agriculture Education department, a service kitchen, a commons/dining area and a new library.