Washougal voters approve capital improvements bond

Vote will be formally certified on Feb. 24

The Washougal School District bond measure has passed by a slim majority.

The final ballot count on Friday shows 60.94 percent in favor. The results include a portion of Skamania County voters as well.

The bond measure required a “super majority,” 60 percent, plus one, to pass.

“We are grateful to the citizens of Washougal for demonstrating their support of education in our community by voting ‘yes’ for this important work,” said Dawn Tarzian, superintendent. “We saw a higher than normal turnout of parent-aged voters and appreciate that they are modeling to their children the importance of being involved in the democratic process by voting.”

The $57.67 million bond will raise property taxes by 48 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, costing those with a $300,000 home around $12 per month or $144 per year. These taxes will go into effect in 2016.

District staff will begin working with bond counsel to sell the initial wave of bonds, with the first sale likely taking place in July 2015. The district will also plan timelines for the work, including permitting, design and construction activities to take place over the next three years.

The district emphasized safety as a main focus of the work outlined in the bond. Security enhancements to the foyers at all district schools are expected to be completed in the summer of 2016.

The bond also supports construction of a new transportation facility, a new elementary and middle school at the current Jemtegaard Middle School site and a new Excelsior High School, as well as a series of other upgrades and repairs to existing schools.

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