Michael D. Clark reports:
The slim margin of victory for the first Lakota operating levy since 2005 is holding up, Butler County election officials said Tuesday.
And Fairfield Schools’ bond issue may still have a chance after a recount was ordered by election officials due to just 31 votes accounting for its ballot loss.
The official count of the Nov. 5 vote, which saw Lakota voters approve a school tax hike by 287 votes, was confirmed during a morning vote tally, election officials said.
Lakota officials are waiting for the county election board’s final confirmation before restoring some of the $21 million in budget cuts made in recent years: teacher layoffs, elimination of some busing routes, fewer programs and higher student fees.
Final certification by the election board will be complete on Nov. 25 but will not likely alter Tuesday’s official tally, said election officials.
Lakota voters approved a combination 5.5-mill levy, which included a 3.5-mill operating levy and a 2-mill permanent improvement levy, on Nov. 5. The tax hike would cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $192 annually.
The Fairfield recount will be done in the first week in December.
Fairfield voters rejected a 2.62-mill bond issue that would have provided $61 million to replace Central Elementary and the freshmen school plus construction of a sixth elementary building, including additional money to maintain the district’s facilities.
Still, the district hasn’t given up hope of passing it in May since the state stands to contribute $19 million toward the $79.5 million project. But if voters reject it again, the district will lose out on the state’s contribution if it decides to try for a bond issue again.
Fairfield officials on Monday approved the first of two required votes to put a new bond issue of yet-to-be-determined millage on the May ballot.