Voters approve levy renewal in Linn-Mar, bonds in Center-Point Urbana and Mid-Prairie

Votes unofficial until canvasses later this month

Published: April 2 2014 | 7:07 am - Updated: 7 April 2014 | 3:04 pm in

Administrators in the Mid-Prairie Community School District asked voters for $10.64 million and on Tuesday night, the majority responded “yes.”

The measure needed a 60 percent plus one supermajority to pass and 987 (73.88 percent) of the 1,336 votes cast in Tuesday’s special election were cast in support of the bond referendum, which will finance construction of an alternative learning center and administrative headquarters as well as additional learning spaces and other upgrades at each of the Mid-Prairie’s five schools. The remaining 349 votes (26.12 percent) cast opposed the ballot question, but that number didn’t dim the spirits of Superintendent Mark Schneider who called the victory “a testament” to community members’ hard work.

“I’m surprised by the margin (of support) over 60 percent,” he said Tuesday night. “We’re obviously very pleased and appreciative of the community. … The community has taken a lot of ownership in this and obviously the rest of the community saw that.”

Schneider attributed the district’s electoral success in part to a committee-drafted facilities plan that spreads the anticipated bond dollars to projects at every building.

District information states that the bond issue will result in a $30.71 annual tax increase for a homeowner whose house is valued at $100,000.

Schneider said he doesn’t have a date in mind for when work will begin on the bond-funded projects. He said that immediate next steps will include working out the bond sale and getting detailed blueprints and plans from engineers and architects.

“You want to do due diligence,” he said. “You want to make sure the taxpayers get the best value for their dollar and all of that takes time.”

Vote tallies in the election are unofficial until the Washington County Auditor’s canvass on Tuesday, April 8.

Linn County results

Linn-Mar Community School District voters approved renewing the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy rate of $1.34 per $1,000 of taxable valuation – the highest allowed by Iowa Code – for a decade beginning in on July 1, 2015. Administrators can use the dollars for facilities and operations maintenance and improvements. Linn County Auditor Office results show that 734 votes (61.73 percent) of the 1,189 ballots cast were in favor of the renewal while 455 votes (38.27 percent) were against. The measure needed a simple majority to pass.

More than a year after voters rejected a $9.8 million bond referendum for additions to the district’s high school, Center Point-Urbana Community School District residents approved a $12 million bond referendum. That ballot question needed a supermajority of 60 percent plus one for approval and of the 1,146 votes tallied, 754 (65.79 percent) were in support while 392 (34.21 percent) opposed. The dollars are set to go toward renovations at the district’s intermediate, middle and high school buildings.

Vote totals from Tuesday’s Center Point-Urbana and Linn-Mar special elections are unofficial until the Linn County Auditor’s canvass.

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